Once in a while, the most mundane of events will cause the most spectacular of results. This isn't one of those times.

Saturday in Ye Olde Chat Room — which, I hasten to point out, caters primarily to the over-forty crowd — we had a couple of visits from a twentysomething whippersnapper from somewhere near at least one of the fabled Three Rivers, with a name that suggested he was going to make the ladies' hearts speed up. The reaction he got was something less delightful, but that's probably not too surprising; this is one surly bunch at times. (You have to figure, any place where I can fit in has to have at least a strong undercurrent of surliness.)

What made this particular incursion interesting, though, was that the visitor's words sounded entirely too much like mine. No case of plagiarism, I hasten to add; still, someone who endeavors to communicate in an IRC channel in (mostly) complete sentences? Next thing you know, they'll be telling us there's a good Pauly Shore movie. Anyway, in the guttural-grunt milieu of IRC, this guy did manage to make himself stand out.

Of course, the real problem I had was not so much that he was bucking for my Most Pretentious Chatter title — when I turn on the pedantry, I can easily quash wannabes — but that he had somehow gotten it into his head that he had something to offer (besides 16.5 cm of magic wand, a figure he was way too willing to disclose) our Chat Babes, generally close to twice his age and probably twenty times his level of life experience. My immediate thought was "Yeah, the teenyboppers spurned you, so now you're hoping for someone closer to your end of the desperation scale." This, in retrospect, seems slightly unfair, and certainly I can't claim to have any superior position. Could I have been reacting out of simple jealousy? I don't think so; it's not like the poor guy was in a position to take away anything that was legitimately mine, and anyway he wasn't making a great deal of progress, at least that was visible in the channel itself. (Anything off-channel, obviously I won't know.)

And after that, I got to wondering if maybe there might be something after all to Ben Franklin's advice on choosing a mistress, which extols, in a half-assed way, the advantages of women of a, um, certain age. It would never have occurred to me in my early twenties to seek out the company of older women; then again, at that time of my life, it would never have occurred to me to seek out the company of any women at all. So give the guy full props for going after what he thinks he wants. What's that you say, Mrs Robinson? I should mind my own damn business? Yep. You're right. Consider this file erased.

The Vent

6 August 2000

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