Also known as franscar, kitty is a widely respected and well loved forummer, best known for his distinctive avatar images and for creating the most widely followed work-related thread in the history of the boards.
Registering on the forums
Although kitty is fondly remembered as being baffled by the modern world, a characteristic he enjoys playing up to for purposes of banter, atpr did not prove his first foray into the world of forumming. Within days of registering, kitty had already established a posting style that illustrated a promising future. High standards in grammar, punctuation and spelling were, and continue to be, hallmarks of the franscar posting style. As kitty became more comfortable with the standard of his contributions, a significant amount of local patois and internet-friendly abbreviations crept into his posts.
Kitty's first post on the boards was a safe and relatively uncontroversial introduction. It was roundly ignored by the other users. Fortunately for atpr, this rebuff did not deter kitty, and his next attempt at communication was replied to by none other than Our glorious leader himself. Following this brush with greatness, franscar felt confident enough to offer opinion and comment on a whole range of topics and has continued to do so to this day.
Franscar in the community
Aside from his semi-regular appearances in Luke's pressing question of the day, kitty has also made important contributions to both the football and recent record purchase threads on the boards. Kitty's has also been rewarded with his own smiley, which is the forum equivalent of a Knighthood. This unique accolade has only been offered to two posters in the history of the forum, the other being zaffle. The 'Spinkitty' is normally used to celebrate good news and denotes that the user is happy and/or excited.
At the beginning of 2009 kitty undertook a new years resolution to no longer download musics from the internets illegally. Such was the success of this experiment that it continues to be an official franscar policy to this day. Kitty also suffers from vinyl and cd fever, and enjoys few things in life more than rearranging his collections according to strict criterion. He is deeply suspicious of science and any mathematics that involves letters rather than numbers.
Kitty is a military historian, and is seen throughout the community as the 'go to' poster to answer any military history based questions that may arise. To this date, no such questions have arisen. Kitty is also renowned for his unsettling knowledge of obscure footballing trivia, mostly gained in wet, cold, miserable places in the north during the mid-90s. Despite almost constant disappointment in his following of the game, kitty continues to follow the sport closely and is often found on IRC chasing off Americans by discussing the subtle nuances of the Irish First Division and the FA Premier League with setanta and oli.
Although kitty began his forumming career as very much an 'on-topic' poster, his contributions have become progressively more tangential, and his correspondence with irregular posters outside the clique has contracted sharply. Despite this, kitty has now undertaken the mammoth task of becoming the forum's official birthday monitor. This ceremonial duty informs posters of which leechers happen to be celebrating on each day. Kitty's understudy for this chore is Cryabetes, who nearly bought disaster to the thread by not bothering to do it a couple of times.
On Friday 17 June, 2011 kitty passed the 10,000 post mark on the forums and entered the 10k club. Despite being understandably proud of this achievement, kitty chose not to dwell on a remarkable forumming past, but has instead chosen to focus on the difficult task of continuing to improve his forum skills.
Franscar's exciting day at work
The thread is birthed
On Monday 10 December 2007, an incredible new concept was added to atpr by kitty. Franscar's exciting day at work was, much like Catholicism, a concept ahead of its time. Its appearance caused confusion and scorn in equal measure, however it was quickly realised by the more mature and sensible posters on the boards that this was a thread with the potential to develop. Ian, Dougal and kyleface were all on board with the thread before the end of page 1.
Despite initial misgivings from a number of members which resulted in their decision not to participate in the thread, the first stages of thread development were completed in quick time and healthy debate raged almost immediately. Although the thread remained for the most part 'on-topic' during those days, with users also supplying information upon their daily experiences in the world of work, franscar felt suitably comfortable with the foundations of the thread to offer insights into his personal life away from the office at which he was, at the time, employed.
Early thread highlights include:
Page 8 - Kitty says "hi" to Ian's girlfriend. This is the first recorded incident of what would later become an occasional running joke on the boards.
Page 10 - An anecdote about a failed attempt at socialising with "friends of a friend".
Page 13 - Pasty rearranges the dock on his computer. The ensuing controversy spills out onto the next page of the thread.
The thread takes off
After approximately a month, the thread was an established part of the Spam section of the boards and had already gained over 300 posts. A small but active group of regular posters gave the thread a familiar feel, however at this time there was no indication of the thread becoming insular and uninviting to new posters (this is a common occurrence within large-scale threads on many internet messageboards and is not unique to atpr). At this point many thread starters would have been satisfied with the progress of the thread, declared it to have been a success, and moved on to other concerns. Undoubtedly such thoughts crossed the mind of franscar, however such was the overpowering tedium of his working life that the thread had in fact taken on almost religious importance to him. This importance was reflected in a standard of contribution from kitty during this period that took the thread to a magnificent level of quality, and one which helped inspire those around him to reach new heights in forumming.
Many have said that 2008 represented a year-long pinnacle for the thread. It provided a stage for some of those who would become the most respected posters on the boards to introduce, create, and hone their posting style within an educational, emotional and oftentimes hilarious atmosphere.
Early 2008 highlights include:
Page 16 - An innocent contest revolving around guessing the flavour of crisps eaten by kitty (won by ɹǝsıɐʞ), leads to two pages of crisp memories and informative contributions from a number of well known posters.
Page 20 - Kitty is frightened by (>'-')>
Page 23 - A unique meteorological event, as snow falls on two different continents at the same time.
Page 28 - ian gets a job teaching children.
Page 32 - Irregular contributors WookieWookieWookie and koalamanchester begin a campaign to have the thread stickied. The campaign receives backing from none of the regular posters and is ultimately abandoned.
Page 36 - Kitty and ian predict the housing price crash months in advance of its occurrence.
Page 39 - Kitty draws two awesome pictures for sosoconsistent, a racecar and a faceless man in a Sunn O))) style robe taking a small dog for a walk. Bangin'.
The mid 2008 crisis
By the end of spring 2008 it had become clear to kitty that his career was in a miserable state. The onset of recession in the trade was forcing him to spend more and more time each day thinking over the choices he had made in his life and becoming, at times brutally, negative towards himself and his situation. This introspective approach to forumming was off putting to more laidback members of the boards, however the established cabal of regular contributors ensured that despite an overwhelmingly bleak outlook on the horizon for franscar, the thread itself would maintain popular appeal.
Page 49 - A number of members offer their thoughts on how to pass the time in a traffic jam.
Page 59 - Kitty makes his first reference to the purchase of a vinyl record player in the thread. Although the purchase does not merit much further discussion within the thread, the purchase of vinyl in copious volumes has since become synonymous with franscar.
Page 64 - Kitty has a lovely holiday with a very dear friend. Such is the forum's expectations that franscar share every detail of his life in the thread, many posters are worried when he does not post for an extended period of time. Sosoconsistent and bromide are most vocal in their concern.
Having undertaken this lovely holiday, kitty had time to relax and evaluate his career. His thoughts during this period were not recorded due to the constraints of not having the ability to telepathically appear on the forums. A brief evaluation of his thoughts upon returning to work, and the thread, appear on page 65. Although the eventual decision to leave this employment was yet to be taken (and would only happen towards the end of 2008), many long term followers have pin-pointed this moment as the pivotal one in deciding kitty's future.
Despite a more maudlin tone influencing the thread from this point on, but nothing too goth, think of it as being more like Return of the Jedi rather than the other ones, regular forummers continued to get involved and bring light-hearted incidents and anecdotes to the attention of the other members of the board. Although franscar remained central to the action and provided the driving force, it was during this dark period in kitty's working life that the regular posters on atpr gained the confidence to share more of their own personal stories with the group.
Page 68 - ian appears on local radio.
Page 70 - Scott explains a sordid workplace love triangle in such a cryptic manner that nobody can quite follow what happened. This storyline is quickly dropped.
Page 75 - sosoconsistent acquires a cat, who goes on to be known as Miles Dyson.
Page 79 - Daniel. posts this sentence: "So today at work, someone sent in a video of their girlfriend taking a poop on their chest."
Page 84 - Kitty does up the button on the front of his boxers with the spare button from the bottom of his shirt.
Closing time - franscar resigns
At this point, in November 2008, matters come to a head and kitty resigns from his position. The thread responds to this news with messages of support, even though there exists an undercurrent of uncertainty at the continued popularity of the thread once the central premise behind it no longer exists. In order to retain the positive vibe, kitty draws a picture of a zeppelin for soso and sets a challenge for the thread to reach 100 pages in the two weeks before he leaves his job (the thread stood at 87 pages in length at this time). Tragically, the thread does not reach the 100 page milestone within this time limit. Many observers have suggested that this failure was such a disappointment to kitty that his feelings towards the thread were never quite the same again.
During this period there was still an interesting diversion as regular posters did their best to push the thread on to that 100 page milestone:
Page 87 - The toe socks debate begins. The general consensus finds in favour of normal socks over toe socks.
Page 94 - It's over. The thread fails to reach the 100 pages set down as a challenge.
After six weeks of mourning and low quality posting, kitty resolves to keep the thread alive. He immediately gains the support of long-time contributor of thought-provoking and incisive comment, sosoconsistent. It takes a further three weeks to amass enough posts to break the elusive 100 page barrier. Occasional friend of the thread ozstrike takes the honour of adding the first post on page 100. Humourously, his post is nothing more than a query as to when the 100 pages will be reached.
2009 - a new challenger appears
Concerned by the stale and repetitive posting in the thread, kitty redoubled his efforts to find new gainful employment, and by March 2009 was once again part of the workforce keeping the Great in Great Britain. By this point in the history of the thread however, personal tales had become considerably more important than those of the working day. Even posters who had, to this point been largely ignored in their contributions to the thread, were finding the confidence to make 'off-topic' posts about their daily lives that they did not consider suitable for their own thread. One notable example comes on page 104 of the thread, when Kon decides to post a picture of his underpants on a washing line in his Communist bedsit.
A combination of Kon's underpants, Kitty's fragile and unpredictable mental state and the creation of a new atpr thread phenomenon in Luke's Pressing Question of the Day sent franscar's thread into a terminal state of decline. Luke's thread was fresh, new and exciting. As a result, many of kitty's regulars abandoned making posts in his older, more established thread and concentrated their forumming into establishing this newcomer. ɹǝsıɐʞ and sosoconsistent proved admirable exceptions however, and for a brief period during the summer months the thread underwent a renaissance which coincided with kitty feeling quite chipper about himself and his existence. Unfortunately, this situation was not to last, and by mid-September a steady campaign of thought-provoking, debate-stirring questions of the day had managed to strangle the fight out of kitty.
A constant state of decline
The existence of Luke's Pressing Question of the Day injected a sense of innate 'wackiness' into the forum. The need to make a lasting and memorable impression on the other forummers within the constraints of answering a simple question (often only involving a single word or phrase answer) found a number of posters unable to adapt their posting style to the more anecdotal post type required by kitty in his own thread. Born of a sense of duty and loyalty to the thread, kitty found it behoving to continue making posts, however by the late spring months it was clear that the golden age was over and the standard of contributions from all posters was poor in comparison to those made in 2008.
In one final, desperate bid to save the thread from the ignominy of dropping onto page 2 of the Spam section, on 20 October 2010 kitty took the unusual step of adding political banter to the title of the thread. Although initially seen as a response to the growing sense of uncertainty surrounding the economy in the United Kingdom and worldwide, kitty also hoped to tap into the significant number of posters whose passionate diatribes could be found in the Real World Discussion section of the boards.
On 12 March 2011, friend of the forums kit had the honour of making the first contribution on page 200 of the thread. He chose a photograph of Hollywood star and WWF wrestling legend 'The Rock' to mark the occasion. It is unclear what the thought process behind this move may have been, however the move sparked a flurry of activity over the weekend - 12 March being a Saturday - and the thread moved onto page 201 shortly after.
Franscar's exciting day at work also holds the distinction of being the only forum thread in the history of the board to have received it's own introductory video. This was introduced by the video's creator ryan on 10 May 2011 and was added to the opening post of the thread shortly after. The aim of the video is to create a welcoming atmosphere to new posters in order to encourage a new generation of friends to the thread. Success has so far been limited, however the general standard of contributions since 'The Rock' bought in the 200th page has seen a marked improvement.
Victory in our time - The WAR of attrition is over
On 11 September 2011 there was no question of the day. As Americans stood in silence across the world pondering upon the senseless killing of thousands a decade earlier, kitty and his legion of loyal supporters celebrated a victory to be remembered for many years to come. The end of thought provoking questions led to a return to the work thread of many of those who had previously abandoned it. Displaying a newly found maturity and sense of community spirit, kitty chose not to shun those who had come crawling back, but instead to develop the work thread into a quasi-self help group, dedicated to furthering the careers of the forum and improve their employment and student lives.
"Your parents are still enjoying intercourse. Think about that."
"I wanted to see her tits before you ran her out of town. Selfish teddy bears."
"You don't know who the Ultimate Warrior is? My man, you have never lived."
"one shot kills, pistols only. No Oddjobs."
"Myspace? How dare you, I'm 24."
Franscar is well known for his considerable failures in attaining the interests of ATPR's womenfolk. Most notable victims have been sosoconsistent and Bromide. With sosoconsistent now a happily married woman, kitty's attention had been dedicated to the wooing of Bromide until 11 August 2011. As a sign of franscar's respect for Bromide he will only refer to her as ma'am, however his marriage proposal towards her has now been withdrawn.
Franscar lives and forums from Birmingham, UK. He has lived there throughout his life and often mentions the city in relevant posts on the board. In October 2011 kitty will be moving his forumming life to the northern city of Leeds. It is not known at this time how this move will affect his fragile state of mind and whether this will modify his forumming behaviour. His page is probably the most organised on the wiki, let's be honest here. Nobody expected anything less.