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Jaffo's Journal #7 - Got those AOL Chat Room Blues

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Jaffo's Journal #7 - Got those AOL Chat Room Blues
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mASF post by "Jaffo"
posted on: USENet: newsgroup, December 12, 1996

Okay, so I have an AOL account. I'm not proud of this. Last night I found
out you could get 50 free hours or something off the web, and they have
this "telnet to AOL" pricing plan where you can get unlimited access for 10
bucks a month if you already have an ISP.

I wanted to go online and leech modules off the TSR Roleplaying forum, so I
gave it a shot.

So, here are my first impressions of AOL:

1. Bastards don't have a 32 bit version that works with Windows NT, so I'm
using the 16 bit version. Minor inconvenience.

2. The graphics are pretty, but they're too small, and the windows are
kind of a pain to rearrange. Pretty soon all of this will be moved to the
web, and I'm looking forward to it! And that brings me to...


4. The Usenet news and file selection mechanics are a pain in the ass, and
it won't let you select multiple files for download. A huge minus for a
file hog like myself. I'm hitting the Download Later button so much, my
mouse button finger has a cramp. (I feel like George Jetson.)

5. AOL chat rooms are a vast wasteland of luzers, perverts, and horny
teenagers. In other words, they're JUST like IRC. Maybe somewhere in the
world there is a chat environment being used for the betterment of mankind,
but I sure haven't found it yet.

6. Talking politics in an AOL chat room is like pissing on a forest fire.

7. Trying to find intelligent roleplaying discussion in an AOL chat room
is like trying to find a Physics professor in a single's bar.

8. The only things worthwhile on AOL are the proprietary content pages
sponsored by specific companies and television networks, and perhaps the
celebrity chat sessions. I'm not sure if these heavily moderated chats are
any fun or not. I'll be attending the Counting Crows conference tonight,
so I'll let you know.

9. AOL would be a lot more fun if you were traveling in a kind of
Cyber-Gang. Get 5 or 6 buddies together and cruise the chat circuit.
Taking over innocent rooms, flaming little teenage perverts to death.
Using numerical superiority and peer pressure to bully and harass people
into being interesting. Actually, I think this kind of "Informational
Gang-Banging" would be quite fun. I'd love to take a dozen Kibologists
into AOL as part of a "Usenet Invasion Force." With the new unlimited
pricing plans, and the extended free hours, I think a lot of friends in
different cities could meet this way and get kicked off the service in
style! Email me if you're interested. <G>

But none of this gets to the real reason I wrote this post. I have my URL
in my Member Profile, and to my surprise, one of the AOL people had the
technical skill and motivation to look up my profile, find the URL, and
actually READ my page.

Turns out it's this 20 year old Advertising and Marketing student from some
community college right here in Arlington.

Just for background, we all know it's hopeless trying to find attractive
women in ANY College of Business, but if you were going to try, Advertising
and Marketing would be the place to look. Women are attracted to
Advertising because it's the most "right-brained" of the lot. More
creative than the rest of the specialties, and you get to wear nice clothes
and give cool presentations.

I'm not particularly attractive, and I have NO IDEA how normal people
think, so marketing is not my forte.

Information Systems is probably the worst of the lot, where you find people
that look just as bad as the Computer Science people, but have slightly
more developed social skills. (in other words, they know how to put on a

Accounting attracts the math nerds in their white button-up shirts and ugly

Management attracts the confused business studs who had too much
testosterone to stay in Arts & Sciences. If they ever offer a specific
major called "Beer," half the Management majors would switch overnight.

Finance attracts the tense, high-strung ruthless types with dollar signs in
their eyes. Walking into a gradulate-level finance classroom makes me feel
like Caesar walking into the Roman Senate Chamber. Everybody looks
friendly and dresses nice, but watch your back! As you might expect, I
like these people best. All that competition gives the department a
special ZING that appeals to me. A little undercurrent of violence. Like
working for the Mafia.

I'm doing a double-major in Information Systems and Finance, so women
aren't even ALLOWED in my classrooms.

But I digress. This Advertising Chyk sends me an Instant Message and says
she likes my web page. Three things run through my head immediately:

1. She's 20.
2. She's single.
3. She lives in the same town I do..
4. She's in Advertising.

Ten minutes later, I realize three OTHER things:

1. I'm REALLY OLD for 25.
2. I'm NOT single.
3. I'm a computer geek.
4. I'm ALSO a politics geek, which, you will discover, is even worse.

To protect her identity (she would have a f*cking COW if she knew I was
writing this) we'll call her "Shirley."

Here are a few excerpts from our conversation:

JAFFO: What's your major?

(I should drive hot pokers into my eyes for asking this question. I HATE
people who ask this question. But when you get caught unprepared, you kind
of drop back to basics in self-defense.)

JAFFO: Are you interested in politics?

(You have to see my web page to understand this. It's NOT a stupid

SHIRLEY: No. I have more important things to worry about.

(Then why did you like my web page? That's what I should have said. I
mean my page is like 80% politics. Instead, I got into this stupid
discussion about why most people don't find politics interesting, and me
trying to justify why I DO think it's interesting, etc.)

JAFFO: Well, I look at politics like a sporting event. I have "my team"
and I like to keep score.


(And here comes the REALLY stupid part.)

JAFFO: I know most people don't care about it. It's like a hobby for me.
(REALLY STUPID SENTENCE COMING UP.) I had to really work to keep my mouth
shut in poli sci class. I wanted to talk about issues, but I didn't want
to look like a geek.

(And here's the good part. She says...)

SHIRLEY: Uh huh. I'm probably one of the people who would have laughed.
I have more important things to worry about, like what to wear to my


At this point, several OTHER things go through my mind:

Response #1: Blame the chyk - What's with these stupid Community College
AOL BIMBOS! If you had half a brain under all that hairspray you'd realize
that I'm talking about THE FUTURE OF THE FREE WORLD HERE!

Response #2: Self-recrimination - Oh god, how could I be so stupid. I
have NOTHING in common with people my own age! How does anybody with half
a brain get a date in this town? I feel like I'm back in high school!!!

Response #3: Reality reasserts itself - Thank GOD I'm not dating! God
knows how bad I would have f*cked this up if I was TRYING to flirt! I
should call Ellen.

And then, the back peddle disconnect response. I haven't seen this kind of
face-saving since I saw that Japanese baseball movie.

JAFFO: Yeah, well, I really don't like the way they teach Poli Sci
nowadays. I wish they would talk more about current events and make it
more relevant to real life.


SHIRLEY: Well, it was nice chatting with you. I have to go do some things


I need a drink.

jaf***3@ao***.com[ ? ]

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Unless otherwise noted, this article is Copyright©1996 by "Jaffo" with implicit permission provided to for reproduction. Any other use is prohibited without the explicit permission of the original author.


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