It was funny how one asshole could ruin the whole chat room… just one troll coming in and slinging abuse could kill the vibe. But our room had some folks that didn’t play. They could really cut someone down to size, when their behavior warranted it.
They especially hated was when a dude (always a guy) would come in the room and start asking for dirty talk or naked pictures. That was the chat room equivalent of someone walking into a crowded bar and going, “Which one of you broads is going to fuck me tonight?”
I remember one time one of the veterans convinced the guy that he could find naked pictures of everyone in the room if he just pressed [Alt] [F4] on his keyboard. (Alt/F4 is a keyboard shortcut to close whatever program you’re in.) I laughed as the guy’s avatar promptly disappeared. Dumbass…
Sometimes there would be real 4-alarm flame wars in the room, usually with newcomers, or acquaintances from another room. I learned that there were people in Virtual Places (VP) who could find your IP address and hijack or cripple your system from their PC, so I tended to lay low. In technological terms, I was a lamb in there with the lions. I had no defenses, and no expertise to recover my system. Because of that vulnerability, I became real good at withering putdowns of people who had just left the room. I wanted to defend my friends, but I didn’t want my PC turned into an expensive paper weight.
But on most nights, we had a ball. I didn’t have to go in and perform; I got to play to my strengths. I much prefer to be a comic “counter-puncher,” than go in with solo material.
I had so much fun in VP, I would spend the workday feverishly wishing for quitting time, so I could race home and get online. There would be weeks when I was completely down the rabbit-hole and no one could get ahold of me. And I mean that literally because I only had dial-up internet service. When I was online, anyone calling me would get a busy signal. I swear, my parents must have thought I dropped dead with the phone in my hand.
My regular 40ish room started doing annual “reunions,” in various parts of the country. I was so torn! Part of me was dying to go; another part of me was scared I’d be let down. It was moot though, because all parts of me were broke, so going anywhere was out of the question. Even when they met in Washington DC, practically in my own back yard, the hotel prices were obscene for a dude of my limited means. But after each Reunion, they’d put up a website, so I could I look at pictures. It basically looked like the people you’d see at a PTA meeting, only with drinks and cigs.
(It seemed like everyone in the pictures smoked, so I know that would have bugged the crap out of me. And you could still smoke in bars and restaurants then, so my eyes would have been burning like crazy.)
In retrospect, I wish I would have gone, if for no other reason than it would have made a better story. I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve always tried to meet up with bloggers, when possible… because I missed out before.
This was my old dog, Jesse, from when I was a teenager. I still miss her, but she made a nice avatar. She was too good for shades, though.
Eventually, I cut way back on the chatting, and settled on one night a week. I chose Fridays, because not only could I drink wine and stay up late, but because our room had a theme: Butt Fridays. Basically, that meant that everyone would fly an avatar that featured their finest back-sided assets.
That was the only time I used beefcake avatars, but even that didn’t last very long. I found a picture online that I figured would be perfect for Butt Friday, and it became one of my first self-made avatars.
Yes, that's a rhino in a thong. Once you go “rhino,” you’re knee-deep in vagine-o. (Sorry.)
It was always a fun vibe. I’d light some candles, pour the wine, pull some CDs to play on the PC, and settle in for a night’s worth of digital revelry. I’d never know where I’d end up that night, who I’d be talking to, but I had a pretty good idea what it would be about.
One thing I learned is that there were an awful lot of lonely women out there, married or otherwise. I mean, I know that chat rooms weren’t the most efficient place to meet potential mates (or even hookups), simply because of the long odds of finding someone in my area. But still, I preferred to chat with the single ladies. I mean, I’m no home-wrecker, right? I don’t want some dude coming into town, wanting to kick my ass for keeping his old lady up all night.
(Although I’d say, “Dude, if you were taking care of business on your end, your wife wouldn’t be up late chatting with some schmo like me.”)
I also found that the lonely housewives really just wanted two things from me. A sympathetic ear, and cybersex.
Honestly, it was inevitable, after fifteen minutes or a half hour of exchanging our stories, listening to their problems, they would hit me up to tell them sexy stories. They usually wanted me to tell them about what I would do with them, if we ever met.
I swear; I never, EVER, started the sex talk. Not that I minded, particularly… Hell, I was bored and lonely too. So I obliged, and lo and behold, found I had a knack for it. Well I guess I did… they sure seemed to like it. I’m pretty sure I’m responsible for ruining a good number of desk chairs across North America.
So I would make up a scenario and start telling the story, as fast as my little fingers could type. It’s funny how bold you can be, when you’re talking to a stranger from across the continent. I’d type the kind of things I’d never be able to say to someone face to face, without turning purple from embarrassment. Of course, the wine helped.
The other chatter would chip in a bit, sometimes it was a real back-and-forth, but for the most part, I did the heavy lifting. And once I got a response from her like “frswdrqqqqqq…” I knew I had just won. Or maybe she did.
So after all of that, spinning line after line, setting up a location, a plan of action, and a play-by-play description of the hot virtual monkey lovin’ that was so engaging, they were able to rub one off, they’d always ask me if I had done the same.
Then they’d get offended, because I’d be like, “Seriously? How many hands do you think I have”? It takes two hands to type that fast… how the hell am I going to do anything else, for cryin’ out loud? I could either tell the story, or do something else, but not both.
Sometimes I’d slip a joke or two into the narrative, just to see if they were paying attention.
Bluzdude: Now I’m moving further up your leg… mmm, so soft. Moving further… further…
Chatter: Oh yeah, keep going.
Bluzdude: Ow, just hit my head on the underside of the table.
Bluzdude: Who are you again?
Sadly, my sense of humor wasn’t always appreciated in the spirit it was given. They probably thought they were chatting with one of the Three Stooges. But if they laughed, I knew I had a good one.
Not all my chat friends were temporary. In fact, I formed on-going relationships with several. And I’ll tell you all about them… in the next posts.