Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Virtual bar fights

A long time ago, in an internet far, far away, there used to be this thing called chat. Not AIM, or Google Chat, but websites where you'd sign up, pick a topic group and chat with strangers. This was before social networking, so it was one of the few places where you could quickly meet new people without having to give up any private information.

I had a favorite tactic: I would pick any chat room - gardening, new moms, whatever - and I'd try and initiate a "virtual bar fight."
They would go something like this:

Lollypop1:Does anyone know how to get confectioner's sugar extra tart? Trying to make a blueberry pie.

Ovenmastr: What kind are you using?

Lollypop1: Lawsons' extra fine.

Me: (Stumbles toward the bar)

Ovenmastr: I like to heat it beforehand. Low heat in an iron skillet.

Me: (He smells like a dead horse. His eyes are bloodshot and he's covered in dirt)

Ovenmastr: Conf sugar can be tricky, though. Not for beginners.

Me: Gimme a whiskey

Lollypop1: I think you have the wrong room

Me: I said GIMME A WHISKEY. (He pushes himself away from the bar and stands up at full height, grimacing. His eyes narrow)

Now from here, one of two things would happen. Either an anonymous chatroom member will play along and enter MY scenario, either as the bartender, a lawman or another surly patron. Or I go on solo. I'm fine with that. Inevitably my character will start calling people out, or break a bottle over the bar, or start throwing chairs.

It was a great way to blow off steam and get my writing jollies all at the same time.

Nowadays, however, chat is beyond passe. I tried Googling for it and most required passwords, or were "Adult" or "Teen" chat, which you couldn't pay me to visit. The one I found that was free, quick and legit was Chat Avenue. I tried out their music room. It did have real people, although ads for "Sexy Single Chat" appeared automatically after every sixth message. The patrons had lot to say, but not about music. It was mostly jokes in progress about gays, pedophiles or diarrhea.

Well, at least you know where your kids are at this time of night...


shesthesheriff said...

Dude we should totally go on chat roulette and wear those Mexican wrestler masks and call people out. Do like an Iron Shiek type smack down. I guess that would be awesome until your boss is like-Rubin-is that you?

Jonathan Rubin said...

Best idea ever. You get the masks.