Funny thing: I giggled like any 12-year-old at the whole “Mr. T ate my balls” thing. I even eked out a grin over “all your base”. But I just don’t get lolcats (the name is a combination of LOL, or “laugh out loud”, and, well, cats).

Basically, take a cute picture of a cat. Photoshop in a (just as cute) caption, using a boldface sans-serif font, in an English-meets-chat-meets-gamer pidgin. Optionally, phrase it according to a set structure – such as “i’m in ur basketz cuddlin ur bearz” – and bammo: you’ve got yerself a lolcat.

Or a lolbot. Or a CBC lolcorpse.

And I just don’t get it. I’m baffled. It’s like there was a big collective Internet meeting where everyone decided that henceforth, this kind of thing would be funny, and I was out of the (chat) room at the time.

Their weirdest thing is that I can already tell that, after repeated exposure, I’m probably going to start finding the damn things at least a little funny. Just looking up examples for this post, I cracked a grin once or twice. I’m not proud of that, but there you go: I are weak.

Oh, christ, it’s started.

For the authoritative anthropological take on lolcats, check out Anil Dash’s post. And for what looks like the 600-pound tabby of lolcat sites, visit I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?

(Incidentally, there’s a neologism for those syntactical tropes that reword well-known phrases for a quick laugh: snowclones.)