- Sometime during the years just before Queen Victoria acceded to the British throne, Edna Sputnik, a Russian immigrant, met Thucydides Stepponapuppi, a Greek immigrant, outside a now defunct Greek Orthodox church somewhere in London. Soon after, they were married and began making lots of little Stepponapuppis and, wanting to share photos of the kids with relations in their respective old countries, created a website for the purpose.
Shortly thereafter, having enjoyed webdesign so much, they decided upon the novel idea of creating a website about their neighborhood, Leicester Square, in London. Records of that time are sketchy, and information about why they named their website "InmanSquare.com" instead of "LeicesterSquare.com" is lost to history.
InmanSquare.com flourished, and at the Great London Exposition of 1851 it was awarded by Prince Albert the Gold Medal for Best Neighborhood Website. It was uncovered later that, in point of fact, Albert may have been motivated to grant them the Gold Medal because InmanSquare.com was the venue through which most people of the day found out about the Exposition, the website having run a banner for several months prior to the grand opening.
By the 1880's, the website was a world-famous, highly regarded, and revered resource, much as it is to this very day. Leicester Square's tinkers, coal draymen, and, in particular, coopers often changed the names of their businesses to get better placement on InmanSquare.com. When one of Queen Victoria's intimates wisecracked, "My oh my, your Highness, this InmanSquare.com is becoming more popular than Yourselves," she retorted with her now famous, "We are not amused."
However, dark days lay ahead. In the spring of 1912, it was decided to send the website's server (the actual computer on which InmanSquare.com existed) to the United States on tour. At the time, computers were, of course, still monstrously large machines, and it was determined that it should be shipped on the Titanic's maiden voyage, what with the Titanic
being really flaming big and all. It was nailed to the deck and painted to look like part of the permanent superstructure (which fact accounts for why Kate Winslet never mentioned it. Fooled her good, didn't they?)
According to surviving witnesses, as the mighty ship sank, the huge wooden computer broke loose from the deck and floated, but it was not again spotted until weeks later. During this time, InmanSquare.com was offline, and the resultant confusion eventually led to the catastrophe now called World War I.
It was spotted intact and in May drifting off Bar Harbor, Maine. After some dispute between the Cunard Line and Lloyd's of London, the latter of which had insured the server, it was towed to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which had the only available crane big enough to raise it out of the water. Unfortunately, the borough of Brooklyn was at the same time hosting a beer convention. In the competition (for best beer) associated with said convention, Narragansett Ale and Pabst Blue Ribbon were the frontrunners engaged in a fierce and violent battle for votes. Somehow during the melee the InmanSquare.com computer was entered as a contestant and won the prize for "Best Beer of 1912." Foul play is suspected to this very day.
Parties interested in historical artifacts may see, on reruns of the television comedy series "Cheers," one of the original plaques awarded in that competition. In some episodes, Carla talks to Sammy from the end of the bar. When the camera focuses on Carla, the viewer can see in the background an old brass plaque that states: Brooklyn's "Best Beer" of 1912: InmanSquare.com.
The InmanSquare.com server (that is, the computer itself, you will remember) languished in a Brooklyn warehouse for years and years while Cunard, Lloyd's, the salvage company that had towed it, and the descendants, in Greece and Russia, of Thucydides Stepponapuppi and Edna Sputnik fought a great legal battle over possession of the server and the website. Fortunately, the Great Depression happened along. No longer did anyone involved care to pour any more money into the courts to try to gain title. Finally, it was decided that InmanSquare.com should be handed over to either one member of the Sputnik family or one of the Stepponapuppi, to wit, one Edna Stolichnaya, a Russian-American, or one Ming Lapointe, a Greco-Sino-Franco-Americo. Ming won the coin toss.
Ming Lapointe left Brooklyn and left the business (that is, InmanSquare.com, the subject of this article, you remember) to his heirs when he was diverted into another business as Ming, Emperor of the Universe, who, of course, will be known to the reader through all those Flash Gordon movies of the 1930's. Ming's ownership has passed down to his great-grandson, current owner Genghis Lapointe, who had no use for a website about Leicester Square but kept the website anyway.
One fine day in the late 1990's, Genghis was attending a lecture at Harvard University's Buddhist Center for Wicked Sublime Inspiration and met marketing consultant Laurin Stoler, who suggested that the internet address InmanSquare.com might be put to better use as a source of information about the actual Inman Square rather than London's Leicester Square. Genghis was astounded —just bowled over by what seemed to him the great novelty and subtlety of the idea. He immediately began work on the current website, which work continues to this very day.
The whereabouts of the server (computer) on which InmanSquare.com is hosted is unknown. Allegations have been made by associates of Al Gore that it is currently deep underwater, buttressing one of the caissons that hold up the Brooklyn Bridge.
For more information, please visit your local library.
Plus, how about those Red Sox, huh?