A few years ago, when CHATROULETTE first came out, it caused quite a stir.
Created by a 17 year-old Russian kid, who Skyped a lot, then saw the movie "The Deer Hunter" (which dealt with Russian Roulette), the idea of CHATROULETTE was born.
The concept was interesting, where one was randomly selected with a stranger (or as they refer to it... a partner) anywhere in the world, to chat with, including text, sound and even video.
However, it soon became perverted (literally) when many men decided that they preferred to "chat" with their wieners out in the open, for all the world to see.
Chatroulette became a joke and people went on it knowing fully well that 9 out of 10 "partners" that they were likely to encounter had wieneriffic content.
One night, I was at a friend's house when they decided to try it. We laughed at the first few phallic fellows, taking turns aiming the camera at each other. Minutes later, after coming across only a scant couple of females, we quit, having seen enough wieners to last us for the rest of our lives.
South Park had an episode where Cartman was trying to find new friends for Kyle (who had recently joined Facebook)... and he went on ChatRoulette.
After a while, people got tired of seeing such wiener rich content and ChatRoulette, like many internet fads, faded away.
However, recently, there has been a revival of sorts, and ChatRoulette has risen like a phoenix. (So says Wikipedia....)"The website now has encouraged users to be at least 18 years old, and prohibits pornographic behavior. Users who experience harassment or witness illegal, immoral, or pornographic activity may report the offending user. After three users have complained about the same participant within 5 minutes the user is banned from the service."
40 minutes seems so random to me.
How did they arrive at such a punishment, and why did they refer to it as a game?
I found it strange and wondered if it spurred on a challenge to certain intrepid souls.
So... I got this idea.
I used to teach preschool (many years ago) and I have babysat many little kids over the years.
That explains why I have an Elmo puppet (and I'm not afraid to use it).
I set up my webcam so that only Elmo would be in the frame, turned off my microphone, and went to CHATROULETTE to see if hilarity would ensue. I had high hopes.
Right away, I realized that most of the "partners" were still men.
I was pleasantly surprised that they were now mostly dressed (some were shirtless) but none, thank Allah, seemed to have their wieners out for display.
The majority of guys just took one look at Elmo and clicked to the next person.
Elmo was "nexted" a lot.
Some, like this guy, lingered long enough for me to wave Elmo's hand at him, stunning him long enough for me to grab my camera and snap off a picture of the screen:
A few guys thought it was funny and laughed.
Some even waved back at Elmo, powerless to his charm.
This guy was not amused... check out what he texted:
Who was he kidding... sitting in the dark with his wiener in his hand, wishing he could show it to some poor unsuspecting muppet. (I'm guessing there are probably sites for just that).
Then, as I questioned my maturity, I came across my first actual woman.
She, unfortunately, didn't stick around long enough to say anything, but I did catch her with my camera (it was a skill I was getting better at, as trying to multitask was not easy).
I was stunned that she was actually attractive, and I wondered why she was trolling for wieners, when she likely had to beat them off of her on a daily basis (not literally, of course). I wanted so much for Elmo to be able to engage with her in a meaningful way, but she was gone in a flash.
There were a lot of strange, lonely looking guys... some younger than I expected, like this kid, who upon seeing Elmo began to play a song on his guitar.
I nexted him.
Then, surprisingly, another cute chick (with funny pants)... who also didn't stay long.
She seemed young as well, and hostile.
She wasn't the first, and definitely not the last to flip poor Elmo the bird.
As a matter of fact, several people gave Elmo the finger, leading me to wonder what they expected in response (since Elmo really doesn't have fingers... just furry hands).
I attempted to give them one of those Italian flips of the hand, but Elmo doesn't portray violence well, nor can he be the least bit intimidating. More often than not, when Elmo got the finger, he appeared to spontaneously burst into ballet, which, almost always elicited a quick nexting.
Then, I came across some international, friendly partners.
These two ladies were obviously British (from their accents that I could plainly hear).
They were cracking up as I made Elmo dance and clap and headbang to the music in the background.... until they got bored (perhaps due to my lack of wiener content), and left abruptly.
I started to get a little bored myself, and frankly, my Elmo arm was starting to cramp.
More random dudes with no patience or interest in muppets filtered by, as Elmo was nexted with reckless abandon.
Then, without warning, I came across these:
... and Elmo yelled out "BOOBIES!!!"
It was around then that the battery light started to flash on my camera and I knew there was only a limited amount of roulette fun left (if I were to be able to properly document it).
Even though the boobies were commendable, I was still looking for the money shot (hopefully not one that involved a wiener).
A few more random guys like these dudes...
... who seemed bored and disconsolate.
(Maybe they hadn't been lucky enough, like Elmo, to find actual boobies).
Then, that young guy above (in the white shirt) texted me.
The only other texts I had received up until that point were vulgar, disparaging remarks about Elmo and/or my mother.
He asked, innocently enough, "You are a girl?"
I thought to myself... what the hell would make him think I was a girl?
Yet, I didn't want to burst his bubble quite yet, so I answered with the first thing that came to my mind... "Monster."
I thought that might throw him, and I wasn't surprised when he asked "Can I have a look at you?"
At a loss for words, I simply said "no."
He countered with "I am 19 years old... you?"
I answered "Monster." (I was method acting... trying to get inside Elmo's head).
That either confused him, or made him question his English... so as he looked quizzical, I added "I'm like 4" (because Elmo really is around 4 years old... right?)
The look on his face, as he read that line, is captured below:
But, bless his heart, he persevered , and wrote:
"I'm Chinese... you?"
C'mon... was there anything else I could answer him... other than the most obvious?
No... I had to say it.
"Monster," I replied.
He countered with "Why always say monster?"
I handed Elmo a small Piglet for no other reason than I saw it on my modem.
The Chinese dude loved it, probably thinking to himself...
Piglet = Woman.
So I looked for something more manly, and I gave Elmo some scissors.
The 19 year old Chinese man looked concerned and asked "what's that?"
I answered what I thought Elmo would most likely say: "Elmo loves scissors."
Then he asked again if he could "see me" and I wasn't sure what I was going to do.
I couldn't just reveal my real self to him because at that point he would have felt used... and I would have felt even worse.
(Perhaps I could have earned my first strike out of the three, like that blue box said, on my way to being banned for next 40 minutes).
I had to think of something quick.
I wrote "you are looking at me now," thinking that maybe I could stall for time... but my camera was about to die and I had to think of a good ending.
Then he simply wrote "please."
So I replied with "You really want to see me?"
"Yes." He said.
"Alright, but only quick... ready?"
I got the camera ready.
I started to shake Elmo violently, like he was having a seizure, as the camera was rolling.
The puppet came off my hand, revealing... well, my hand.
I waved goodbye to the Chinese dude with one hand and nexted him with the other.
I felt a little bad.
The camera was about to die, so I went to turn it off just as another partner showed up.
This time, I was truly stunned, and I came across the last thing I expected to see.
She was a knockout.
I mean a really, really pretty lady. (And those of you who know me, and realize that I have Photoshop skills... do not expect to see Megan Fox or Natalie Portman. This is a true story, and what you see is what I saw. No kidding.)
My mouth hung open and a little droll came out.
I grabbed Elmo, with the quickness, and got him into the frame.
My camera had just enough for one last picture... and hurriedly, before she dissipated into the ether, I caught her image.
(Notice Elmo's look of bewilderment at her unexpected beauty).
She left before I even thought to grab my wiener.