How did the idea for AvocadoTheftBook come about?
The idea first hit me when I realized we were running dangerously low on social networking sites. But I didn’t want to throw just anything out there. I wanted to shake shit up and blow people’s minds. But also change the world in a positive way. And I think it’s safe to say, AvocadoTheftBook does all of that, especially the change the world part.
Is it some kind of parody, mocking the ubiquity—and often the inanity—of social networking sites?
You’re too funny. Of course not. One night—who am I kidding—most nights I lay awake wondering if any of my old friends, acquaintances, or farmers I’ve never met had been victims of avocado theft. A case of the old hemidemisemiquavers, I suppose. One night, I did a search on Jimmy McCardle, an old fourth grade playground buddy. I purchased a background file on him, one with his phone number, address, criminal history, and credit report, and I gave him a buzz. He was a little taken aback—after all, it had been a few decades, we weren’t very close, and it was 3:45 a.m. Jimmy was confused at first—that’s Jimmy for you! But after some awkward back and forth and a little threatening on my part, Jimmy told me that he never had an avocado stolen from him. He wasn’t even a farmer. Then he hung up. One thing bothered me: he didn’t ask me if I’ve ever been a victim of avocado theft. (I haven’t. I’m not a farmer either.) That night, I slept like a baby on Benadryl, which is what I had had for dinner. AvocadoTheftBook was born.
Is it also a site for sharing tips or recipes with avocados?
No! I can’t stress that enough. There are plenty of places on the Web where losers can debate what the best guacamole recipe is. AvocadoTheftBook is NOT one of them. It’s a streamlined site with one goal in mind: to share whether or not you’ve been victimized by an avocado bandit.
Don’t other social sites allow people to trade in minutiae while also offering a lot of other service and functionality?
Wow, to you avocado theft is minutiae. That’s exactly the kind of thing an avocado thief would say. True, other sites do allow you to post whatever you want. If you want to post your avocado story on some other site, go ahead, be a dick. You might get an enlightened response, like “wow” or “that’s too bad.” And if you have children, do you really want some pedophile knowing if you’ve had avocados stolen? We don’t allow pedophiles to be a part of the AvocadoTheftBook community if they aren’t willing to pay the service fee. That’s a guarantee.
What about other thefts?
I get this stupid question a lot. AvocadoTheftBookers are not to share stories about, say, olive tree theft or orange grove pilfering. People don’t give a shit about stuff like that. Our policy is clear: this is an avocado site. More to the point, it’s an avocado theft story site. Those who violate that policy will have their accounts deactivated.
What if someone buys an avocado in the supermarket, but the bagger didn’t put it in the bag?
It happens. And we’ll allow that story to be shared. After all, it spins the heart-tugging narrative of an avocado that almost had a home, but was cruelly separated from its owner by a rogue bagger. (But the missing avocado must appear on the receipt, or the person didn’t technically own it.) If people tell a story like this more than once, that person will be flagged. If we see a pattern of abuse—a lot of supermarket stories, convenience mart tales—it’s deactivation city for that asshole.
What about success stories involving catching an avocado thief and having one’s avocados returned to him or her? Or tales of avocado thieves brought to justice?
This is like talking to an actual avocado! You want maudlin, treacly garbage like that, watch Oprah. This is about avocado theft. It’s the first social network utility that gives a voice to people who have been victimized in this way. And you can learn so much about a person via their avocado theft story.
Most social networking sites are free, but you charge. Is this wise?
I’ve visited and have joined many, many sports-betting and pornographic sites, so I think I know a thing or two about how to monetize an idea for the Web. I didn’t launch AvocadoTheftBook for the billions, but I didn’t want to lose money either. True, so far I’ve lost everything after plundering my checking and savings accounts and my children’s college funds (and their piggy banks) to create AvocadoTheftBook. But life’s too short to not pursue your passion. And I’m confident that the current number of users (seventeen) will grow exponentially over the next year, making AvocadoTheftBook financially solvent, which should go a long way in convincing my family to take me back.