Wasatch Area Voices Express (W.A.V.E.) WOMEN'S EDITION
Volume #1 Issue #5
by K.K. Campbell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To get a glimpse of how the other sex lives, people have tried pop psychology, role-playing, cross-dressing, even sex-change operations. Such inefficiency.
Me? I just had to use a computer.
Some years ago, I was researching a story about "computer-chat" systems -- better known as bulletin board systems, or just BBSs for short. By hooking your dusty home computer to your telephone by a modem, then dialing certain phone numbers, you can talk to complete strangers. You'll see their typing on your monitor. And they yours.
Anyway, in this research, I noticed, to my chagrin, that there are many BBSs which charge males to call, but allow females to call free.
Since writing makes one just enough money to starve by degrees, a friend, Elisa, graciously let me use her account. A female account. I could call free.
The only condition she set was that I tell no one I wasn't actually her. If the person who ran the BBS found out she was letting a male use her account, she would get deleted.
Effectively, by using her account, I was transformed from a 6'4" male into a 5'1" female -- whose hobbies, as stated in the little biographical profile she'd written for others to read, included "gazing at the stars with a special someone."
So call I did.
And WHAM! It started almost immediately: "chat requests" from males. Little notes on my screen saying, "So-and-so is requesting you for a private chat." I could only imagine what they wanted. So I paid no mind and went about trying to learn my way around the system. But this one guy named Jeff was relentless.
I couldn't tell him I wasn't Elisa (I promised, I promised). I just did my best to ignore him. He'd surely quit -- right? Men are polite -- right?
After chat request number 31, Jeff switched tactics and started sending me little notes. Messages only I could see.
The first message read: "Are you new here?" Variation on the timeless, "Come here often?", I suppose.
"Who is this guy?" I had to ask aloud. So I went to the BBS area where all the little biographies were stored and looked up Jeff's profile. It scrolled onto the monitor.
Description: 30-years-old, 5'9", 200 lbs, with very short, black hair.
Hobbies: Sex, stereos, electronics, sex, making love to beautiful women.
Favorite movies: All, especially sex movies!
Sports: Sex. Sex.
Favorite Reading: Playboy.
(There was other stuff about him being a computer programmer.)
I stared at the screen, awestruck, overcome by flashbacks of grade school and pictures of naked women carved into desktops with ball-point pens.
Meanwhile, Jeff's personal message barrage kept pounding away at my bunker walls: "Need some help?" "Elisa your real name?" "Please chat -- something important to say!!!!"
It began to dawn on me that Jeff was simply not going to leave me alone.
"Stop being a weenie, Jeff," I growled at the terminal. More than just *annoy*, he was really beginning to piss me off. He was only acting like this because he thought I was female. If there had been a "male" designation on the screen beside my name, Jeff would not have bothered me after the second ignore, if he would have noticed me at all.
A new message beeped onto the screen: "Make love!"
I blinked in disbelief. What, precisely, was ol' Jeff trying to say, here? Was this some general philosophical statement ... or did Jeff imagine he was now coming in for the seductive kill?
Before I could decide, yet another message appeared: "xxx-4238."
His phone number. He was giving me his phone number. I had not once even acknowledged his fucking existence on Planet Earth ... and he was giving me his phone number.
"You want to chat so bad, okay, pal, I'll chat," I said through gritted teeth. If I had to pretend to be a 5'1" female, fine, I'd be a 5'1" female *and* tell him what a defective representative of the male species he is.
I figured out how to accept chat requests -- on this BBS, when one was "open" to chat invites, one was simply whisked there upon the request, you didn't have to "accept" them. So there I sat, glowering at the screen, waiting, waiting ... C'mon, Jeffie ... And sure enough, the chat request came in right on schedule and I was transported to personal chat. One on one.
I watched him type that first sentence, ready to DefCon1 this dink's ego ... when the twisted smile was wiped from my face.
It wasn't Jeff!
It was some other guy, named Albert. Someone else asked me to chat! I had no idea who he was, I'd never heard anything from him. My mind raced. I had to get out of chat, fast ...
And it was then I realized, in horror, I didn't know how to *leave* personal chat.
"Um, hi," I typed, trying to extricate myself. "I didn't mean to chat with you. I think I hit the wrong key by mistake. I'm new at this BBS. How do I leave chat?"
Bad move. Delighted with my apparent stupidity, Albert decided to take me under his protective wing. He wasn't going to take the polite brush-off.
Instead, Albert started heaping doting advice and condescending pep talks on me: "If you have any problems, come to me first," "Beware, some of these guys are perverts," "You are as good as anyone here, just remember that!"
I was unsure if Albert thought me an idiot or a turn-on ... or both.
But Albert was the least of my troubles. My going into chat with a male was apparently a signal for every male online to chat-request me. A "Tony" and a "Jim" now started hitting me up. I desperately wanted to leave chat, but Albert wasn't coughing up the info too fast, thrilled to have a captive audience to listen to his bombastic drivel.
And Jeff! Poor Jeff. Seeing me chatting with Albert -- another man!
Jeff was apparently undergoing some sort of painful mental event. His messages poured in like mortar fire. And they were capped with: "Bitch! I asked you first!!!"
*Bitch?* That was it. Game over. I reached over and just switched the damn modem off. Bye, boys. Go play with someone else.
I flopped back in the swivel chair, rather exhausted. Jesus. I felt like breaking something. Like Jeff's head maybe. But there had been nothing I could I do. Except hit the switch.
And to this day, I often stop and wonder what switch women hit to get away from these kinds of guys in real life. Hopefully it involves hollow-point bullets.