edit Stage 1: Innocent IP (I pee! hee hee hee!)
Who knows how you stumbled across this website. Word of mouth? Random internet surfing? Fate? It certainly appears as if the latter has played a role. On your first visit you read some truly great comedy. And you see there are over twenty thousand more articles to admire! How could your life have been complete without this wondrous, miraculous anthology of genius? The next day you come back for more. And a bit more. Not every article you read is as great as that first one you came across, but you are not deterred. Perhaps... perhaps you could make it better! But are you really worthy? Is it really your place to change the work of others? Doubts fill your mind, but you steel your nerves and take the plunge. A small, electric tingle of excitement shoots up your spine as you add a forgotten "h" into "te" and click the "Save page" button. You've done it. You have made your first edit to Uncyclopedia. You are one of us.
Over the coming days you grow in confidence. You begin to recognise some of the fantastic in-jokes of Uncyclopedia. You soon notice that many writers less wise than yourself write pages completely bereft of a gem of Wilde Wisdom or the invaluable input of our Russian friends. Luckily they have you on hand to fix this for them, as well as adding a few paragraphs of your own priceless humour. Ah, how you glow with self-worth as you observe these completed and expanded articles, now with the subject's gay lovers fully catalogued. Finally you are ready to write your first article. To your surprise it comes easily; as disconnected as any comedy could hope to be, and you're sure that your reference to that irritating little dyslexic kid down the street will have all readers rolling on the floor. Alright, so it's a little short and could maybe do with an image and some punctuation, but for a first effort you feel it's a job well done.
But then, disaster strikes! You come back the next day to find your article has disappeared and many of your inspired edits have been reverted. In a storm of self-righteous fury you delete all pages where your input has been shunned and replace them with your complaints written in block capitals and with so many exclamation marks you cannot possibly be ignored. Satisfied that justice has been done you return to your quest to make Uncyclopedia better than ever before. But you find to your horror that you cannot make changes! You have been blocked! With heavy heart you return to your free online games. Somehow, blowing up pixellated monsters just isn't the same as it was. The next two days are the slowest of your life, as you miss something you never knew you needed. You vow to come back a reformed character, to register as a real user and become an upstanding pillar of the Uncyclopedic community.
edit Stage 2: Noobhood (Wow, four 'O's!)
You register as an official user. This is the most important day of your life. You are touched that an administrator has bothered to write you a lengthy welcoming message, particularly after your regrettable exploits as an IP. That just shows how caring the people of Uncyclopedia are. You feel the need to justify your new position by writing a proper article, with real images you've worked out how to upload All By Your Self. After two days continuous work and nearly two hundred edits, you feel you have done your article justice. Surely this article will be the one in ten thousand million that survive the ultra-rigorous vetting programme for which Uncyclopedia is so renowned.
The next day you return to your PC, heart in mouth, and sure enough your article has survived! It's a masterpiece. The creme de la creme of comedic writings. So funny you feel sure if you hadn't written it yourself you'd need twenty new stitches every time you read it. You feel you probably ought to share your genius with the rest of the community; they'd hate you if they knew you were witholding such a majestic piece of literature from their sights. So, you start a new forum on the village dump (another first) and remove the bushel from atop your shining light, allowing the world to bask in your reflected glory.
The world huffs said light, presumably out of sheer jealousy.
After a few hours of begging your article does get reinstated, though you decide upon re-reading it that it was perhaps not quite the masterpiece you once thought. Never mind, you will reach out further, strive harder, beating ever on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into... you are informed by a reader of your second article that plagiarism is frowned upon on Uncyclopedia and Fitzgerald was never funny anyway. Damn, those English lessons really were a waste of time then. However, you have discovered how to communicate with other users, to annoy admins, and you're writing articles. You will soon be ready for the next stage of your editing career.
edit Stage 3: Article Whore (I'm not a whore and neither are my articles)
So, you've written three or four articles, maybe half a dozen if you're a real keen bean, and you know you could write more. But it saddens you to think that your other articles are sitting alone on their respective pages, unread and uncared for. All your time and efforts, to make something that will be looked at once in a year's time and then vandalised by some idiot of an IP who'll probably add a Russian Reversal quote and a couple of meaningless paragraphs of random humour. What is the point, you say, of writing more articles which will just suffer a similar fate. So begins your career in advertising.
Soon every page on the website is linked to one of your articles, each of which are also sitting pretty in pee review. But still no unreserved praise, no awards, no recognition of brilliance. You review four or five articles on pee review yourself in the hope of having someone return the gesture. They don't make you laugh. Yours would make people laugh. Your first review comes in and it's clearly written by a moron. You make a note to score all reviews lower in future to correspond with this one. One day you will get an article featured, you tell yourself, and then the big-time will have arrived.
It can be done. You pick your best article and get to work. Your formatting skills have improved and you make some really positive changes. After a couple of weeks deliberating and asking for others's opinions, you bite the bullet and self-nom the article. It lasts three days, two hours and four minutes on VFH, receiving 3 Fors and 1 Against. You blank the Against man's user page and then cry for a week. You do not give in though. You have learned from your mistakes. All it will take is a few sacrifices and you will be able to climb the ladder of Uncyclopedia.
edit Stage 4: Uncyclopedian (Guardians of humour)
You are now a fully fledged member of the Uncyclopedia community. You vote on things, you discuss things, you huff and revert and review. You still find some time to write and may by now have had a couple of featured articles or other minor writing awards. In between food, work and sleep this is where you exist. It may seem extreme, but that's what it takes to become an admin, and that is your greatest dream. To be able to delete without going through VFD, to edit the main page and to change Braydie's signature so every page on the website has "I Am A Hermaphrodite!!! :-)" scrawled across it in pink and blue... Ahhh.
Eventually your day comes and you are nominated for adminship. Your finest hour has arrived. You scrape through the voting and you have arrived! To your surprise you are forced to give up your soul in the initiation ceremony. You have some doubts, but you're hardly going to give up now, are you? From this point forth, You are the property of Uncyclopedia, and you will take it out on every person who dares set eyes on any part of the site.
edit Stage 5: Administrator (That's Sir Administrator to you)You are unemployed. You live in a cardboard box. But you're also a high ranking authority figure on an online comedy website! You have nothing to eat but your cardboard box, so you are now also very wet. But still you serve the needs of every other user, putting them before your own well-being. This may be because you hope they will one day be sucked in as comprehensively as you, but nevertheless, they salute you.
Your days are now spent trawling the Recent Changes page... you will see this page so much you actually can predict what's going to appear on it the next time you refresh. Sometimes you spot someone vandalising a page; you revert it, you ban them with a witty (or just rude) repartee that makes sure they know exactly what a fuckwit they're being. They receive your wisdom as a message from god and treat you with the respect you fully deserve. What does it matter if people in the street throw you dirty glances, or lie to you about not having any spare change? When they go home to their heated waterproof houses they will go online and obey your every word.
Occasionally you vote for stuff, mock your inferiors on the Village Dump or deal with griping users trying to show off their crappy articles. Sometimes, you joke ban the other admins when you're bored. Actually you find yourself bored quite a lot. Doubts begin to enter your mind. Perhaps... Perhaps there is more to life than Uncyclopedia. Perhaps you really are wasting your time... You quickly push these disturbing thoughts to the back of your mind. But they just won't go away.
edit Stage 6: Retired (Missing presumed dead)
So you've quit Uncyclopedia. You'd heard it was possible; rumours had spread of a few escapees getting clean away. Eventually you screwed up your courage and turned off your computer.
For weeks you struggled to sleep and found yourself twitching towards the keyboard. But you resisted.
Soon you started going outside and speaking to real people. You weren't great at it to begin with, but you soon learned to laugh intead of saying "lol", and to speak without getting to preview your words first. You may even have got a job. One day you might have made a proper friend. You were doing so well. But now you're back here, reading this article. You cannot get out. You will never escape. Uncyclopedia has you...