Duluth, MN-University of Minnesota graduate student Ben Arnold admits the past can sometimes be hard to live down, especially when you are forced to revisit it every day. Arnold, a second year Pharmaceutical student, carries his albatross, email@example.com, not around his neck but rather on business cards, term papers, and social internet chat rooms.
The history of the address is cloudy for Arnold who isn't even really sure why he is enrolled in Pharmacy School other than the fact that "it seemed cool at the time and I didn't actually want to get out into the real world." Since it's inception in 1997 the herblvr420 address has been the source of many good laughs. Arnold reflected that "back then man, the internet was like the wild west. People shot straight from the hip and there wasn't any John Q. Lawman to kill your buzz. I guess I got caught up in the moment."
Ben makes no bones about the fact that he had other address options when he signed up. "They put out something like firstname.lastname@example.org, but I was like ‘if you're gonna sign up with Tokermail.com why not go all the way'. Boy if I knew then what I know now."
Friends and loved ones have repeatedly asked Ben to change the address citing its juvenile nature and grammatically incorrect amalgamation of letters. Ben's sister, Julie McCray, advised him to simply sign up for a new service, "My service provider was able to issue me three different address for stuff like junk mail and the like, not to mention the numerous free services out there. For God's sake Ben this is 2004."
Through public embarrassment and frequent head scratching from potential employers Ben Arnold has not budged. The main thought process behind this otherwise silly practice of holding on way too long to sophomoric electronic nomenclature, Arnold says, is simple - "I'm a stickler for everything comfortable. I've got all of my buddy lists, contact address boxes, and two-tone customized color screens all set, man. I don't have to do anything to get ready for my day," Arnold rationalized "I just put some pants on and login; I've got the weather, horoscope, sports scores, and funny George Bush quotes all in one place."
As the soon to be Chemist weights the options of turning over a new e-leaf he perhaps finds the strength to create a new address by, of all things, checking his email. Notes Arnold, "Maybe this Cialis guy is right, maybe today IS the day."