This page has been mirrored here, in case you're the sort of person who wonders about such things. Or would like a larger font size - everything links up, and there's code over there, too, so you should be able to find your way back without difficulty.
"How do you decide who gets on this ring and who doesn't?" is a fashionable question to ask in these amateurishly litigious times, in which so many have learned that they need not silently endure the traumatic injustice of hearing the word "no", without seeking their day in the court of public or institutional opinion.
"I don't know" was my old answer, "I guess I just look over the applicant's site, see what I think about it, and play it by ear". Scandal! Outrage! That I would resort to such unethically subjective criteria for admission or refusal, when my call on such things was of such vital importance, there being as few rings in existence as there were and are to this day. Something had to change, if I knew what was good for me.
Properly humbled, I set at the task of determining exactly what the proper procedure would be for determining acceptance or rejection in the case of a ring of this nature. What methodology would capture its inner spirit, its' very essence? After much deliberation and a few mudslides I found what I had been searching for. More is to be added later, but for now, let's just stick with the procedure for joining this ring:
1. Remove all of your clothes, every stitch, except for your tie. This is a formal affair.
2. Paste latex gills on your neck, and rubber scales over your torso.
3. Turn to face your TV. Pop a tape of an old Brady Bunch episode into your VCR.
4. Without moving, call all of your in-laws into the room. If you lack in-laws, get married.
5. Announce that you've been living a lie, albeit not for very long if you exercised the second option in the previous step, and that your one and only true love is Charlie the Starkist tuna. In honor of your momentous exit from the amphibious closet, you now ask them to pelt you in the head with whatever seafood
products they may have on hand, so that you may be as one with your real beloved, not what's-her-name.
6. Quickly place a tin pail over your head because somebody always forgets to take the seafood out of the can first (usually your weeping bride's father), and a lead apron because somebody's aim is usually a little low (that would be Mom).
7. As you enjoy the musical clink! clink! clink!, sign up for one of my homelists
8. Introduce yourself and your site, and include the url.
9. I'll print out your application, and send the printout to my uncle's recycling mill where it will be turned into toilet paper, to be sent to a Carpathian monastery, to not be used until the brothers have their next serving of cabbage soup. The name of the brother who grabs for the roll of paper in which your legal spouse's romantic hopes and dreams have been symbolically pulped will be noted. The number of letters in his name will be multiplied by the daily high temperature in Budapest, the result divided by 20, and the remainder will be communicated to me.
10. I'll then roll a 20-sided die, add the result to the number communicated to me, at which point the details of the analysis become proprietary information.
11. I'll get back to you, and if the results are favorable, I'll get open the ring for you and invite you to complete the application process. Dealing with the cuts and bruises and the in-laws will be your own responsibility, should you survive.
12. Oh, and please stay away from my female relatives after this. I mean, dude, you left your wife just to join a webring. I can't believe you'd do that, and why do you smell like kelp?
So you see, it's all really quite scientific, so let's not hear any more talk about arbitrariness in admissions to this ring. Some people will skip a few of these steps and just post to that homelist of mine. I'll just have to leave that one between you and your conscience, and ask what Charlie would think of such deceptions. Or would, if he in fact existed. Nothing more to see here, time to stop stalling and go visit the ring.