Artie, was 'born' on #weird-al circa 1998 LONG before I ever came to or heard of RASSM. The concept was born shortly after someone started talking about the good ol' Red Snapper from UHF and somehow the conversation turned to trout, and somehow it turned into something else (which I forgot) and I said "RAINBOW TROUT?!". I was half-going along with the joke, and it was naturally half a personal pun since I'm a Rainbow Heron so I should be able to recognize a Rainbow Trout and make a big deal of it. :-)
Somehow it meshed with the fact that we'd thrown keggers before so I thought up "trout-flavored beer". I think I used rainbow trout as the species of choice in my first batches, but then I found I couldn't bring myself to do that cuz of the rainbow connection (no not the Muppet kind) so I excluded that particular brand of trout from my beer, and to sorta seal that deal, I kept a (live) rainbow trout around...
for the smacking...
At the same time all of that was going on, people were smacking people with fish (I think that again it was the Red Snapper or just fish in general but I forget), and one person had a thing where they started "smack[ing] me upside the head with a bit of a large trout" whenever I got especially punny. I honestly don't remember if this person smacked anybody else with the trout or not. Well anyway, since the rainbow trout thing was essentially "mine", I started smacking them back "upside the head with a bit of a large rainbow trout". Eventually Artie got his name and I incorporated that into my smackings.
The other thing about the smackings was that people often ate the fish they were smacked with and I got very protective of all the trouts that were used as smackers (especially when I was smacking or got smacked), and to save the trouts from certain death, I would often immediately
steal take the fish they were smacked with and sit on them. I often sat on a rainbow trout anyway tho. :-)
When the smacking went to email (for a VERY brief period of time), it became "lovingly smacks [someone] upside the head with Artie the Rainbow Trout." It became a "lovingly smack" cuz I thought that just a regular ol' smack might be taken the wrong way to someone who's never been smacked with him before.
That's his original online legacy.
That was all just before the 2000 concert in Greenville. Prior to the concert (and completely unrelated to it), Mom & I went to JC Penny for something and found a stash of fish pillows and naturally I found a rainbow trout. It was perfect! So we bought him and I took him to the concert (altho I didn't get to smack anyone) and you can see us online at my Weird Al Site Spectrum. It's not a very good picture for Artie, and I obviously don't look like that on a day-to-day basis (I haven't worn glasses for a while now and I need to start doing that again).
Somewhere in between November of 1998 and just after that 2000 concert, I stopped going to #weird-al. Mostly it was my getting ill and partly it was because I just couldn't get on the servers anymore, especially at the times when most people were there. So Artie sat on my sofa for a few years just chillin' out and watching tv while serving as part of the Rainbow Wall in my room.
Then voilà! He showed up in a RH-and-DG (or is it DG-and-RH? I guess it depends on who starts it) thread post. I'd actually been waiting a while to use him in RASSM since he'd be perfect. But two things:
#1- I got a lot of characters already
#2- someone else already smacks people with fish and I didn't wanna be accused of stealing the idea (like I was mistaken for stealing DG's personality when I first came to RASSM)
Artie is my oldest "character" online and thus *should* be outranking the Pokémon and sigs in that sense.
Artie is generally gentler in the smacking & whacking department than when ng sig (with the typo stick) or my Lego Emperor (with the canesaber) do it (and for their own reasons). *They* hit ya really hard on the top of the head...damn hard in my case <rubs head>. They think they can do that to me cuz I aced nearly all of my grammar tests in school. Why the hell they hit me for spelling instead of grammar I'll never know...
Artie was actually a bit sore about ng sig and Lego Emperor partly taking over his role like that but I think they're trying to patch things up now.
<has to break up fight between Artie, ng sig, and Lego Emperor>