Webpage Takeover Experience

August 9th, 2017

You're standing in the checkout line, waiting for the white-haired woman ahead of you to count out the correct change. Instead of tapping her phone to pay, like a modern individual, she is treating the poor cashier to a story about how and where she found each penny in her coin pouch. It's unclear if she's really old or simply insane.

Your eyes drift over the magazine rack and you roll your eyes at the top tabloid heading. But wait, [INTERESTING TOPICS] Monthly? That magazine is right up your ally. How have you never seen this before? Releasing your cart from the white-knuckle grip of annoyance, you pluck the glossy periodical out of the stand.

Opening to the headlining article, you start to read the first sentence.

"It's not every day you get to play with..." Is a far as you get before the pages are ripped out of your hands and you find yourself face to face with a young man wearing an intense smile. His teeth are so white they look fake. In fact, his whole smile, his whole face looks fake. He has long dark hair which has been slicked back, possibly with the natural oils extracted from his greasy head. His intense gaze oozes uncomfortableness the way a rotting peach oozes juices when you put too much pressure on it.

You jump back in surprise, but also because he's standing way too close. He smells like someone sprayed old cologne over a silk bouquet in a misguided attempt to make the flowers seem real. The only thing keeping you from falling over backwards is the fact that one of his black polished shoes is placed firmly over your right foot.

"Hi!" He says, not breaking eye contact. You're not even sure if he's blinking. "I noticed you are enjoying this article in [INTERESTING TOPICS] Monthly."

You eye the man warily, still trying to wrap your mind around who he is or why he's here.

"How would you like to receive special messages about [INTERESTING TOPICS] every hour of every day?" He asks, his head now tilted slightly, as if he is some sort of alien creature attempting to mimic human motions, the way a toaster might try to mimic an electric shaver.

He pauses, staring, to wait for your response. It takes a few seconds for your brain to catch up with reality.

"W-What?" you finally stammer.

"Since you love [INTERESTING TOPICS] Monthly so much, we'd like you to know that we send out regular emails to everyone interested in our magazine." The intensity radiating from his face would be labeled 'liquefy' if he was a blender. "You don't want to miss out on these exclusive interesting articles, do you? Just write out your email address here." He holds out a pristine notepad. The thick stench of pleather is almost enough to make you gag.

"No. No. I don't want your emails. I don't want your magazine. I just wanted to glance at the article, but..."

You're interrupted by an annoyed cashier. "I can help the next customer."

“But, now I don’t want anything to do with you.” You finish. You try to move, but your foot is stuck.

"Please get off of my foot." You say as you try to turn away and pay for your groceries.

The man's smile never falters as he steps backwards, quietly disappearing around the corner. You shudder as you begin unloading your cart for the lady to ring up. This is a face you never hope to see again. A situation you never want to experience, but in the back of your mind, you know that webpage takeovers will find you again. Oh, they'll find you again, and there's nothing you can do to stop it.