Cyber Connections Cafe\’

Real Stories of People Riding the Internet Wave

How many dates does it take to find a decent guy?

Posted by carron on December 3, 2006

Oh boy, online dating…Well, I had a few experiences that you could call alarming or strange.  I go a lot on my intuition, and it has saved me alot of grief, I think.  First of all, I’m a widow, and after about 14 months I wanted to pen pal with other folks, to get to know some people.  That included males.  I think my first site was “” but I don’t know if they are still in existence.  I met a few guys online, we chatted in a chat room and then one on one via email.  One particular guy I emailed with for awhile, but never met in person because he was soooo strange.  He kept asking me if I had a “long neck”.  I made a joke of it and said, Yeah, I’m a real giraffe.  But I think he was serious.   We exchanged pictures, and he kept calling & emailing me, telling me he thought my neck was lovely”…he got my son on the phone one time and made a comment to me about “who was that?”  He seemed very distrusting, and made comments about Steven sounding much older than 17.  Right away I didn’t like that.  I decided that he wasn’t one I wanted to meet, and wrote a polite email to that effect, and in return, he totally freaked out on me.  I had to end up blocking him and fortunately for me, I never gave an address or my last name, and he lived far enough away I didn’t have to worry about him finding me. Shortly after, I got an unlisted phone number.Another guy I met for coffee, after several weeks of email and phone calls.  I thought we had a lot in common, until he dropped the bomb on me that he had 5 kids, all under 10 years old!  His brother was living with him as a live-in nanny.  As we got to talking, he admitted that his wife left him and that she was pregnant with their 6th.  He was very resistant to my questions about why she left, but I had the underlying feeling that he abused her.  He was an army officer, and I just had a sneaking suspicion that he was not a nice person.  No one leaves 5 kids for no reason, and pregnant to boot!  I decided after meeting him once that was enough.The next strange one was when I was emailing & chatting with a guy who seemed very normal.  He was a football fan, good old country boy from what he said, devoted father or two.  He had a steady job, had been divorced for a few years, etc.  We had one coffee date, I liked him and he liked me, so we decided to go out to dinner another night.  As we sat down to order, he told the waitress, separate checks, please.  I thought, ok, that’s pretty strange and a little cheap of him, considering he asked ME out, but ok.  After we had talked a bit and we were in the middle of dinner, he got on the subject of his wife, how she had cheated on him, etc.  He then said, very casually, “I really wanted to kill her.”  I kind of nodded, like I could see how he would be so angry, he would fleetingly want to put a bullet in her, but he said, NO, I mean, I REALLY planned to kill her.  As if it was the most normal thing in the world.  I thought, ok, whack job, I’m out of here.  I finished up pretty quickly and asked the waitress for my check, and he wanted to know if I wanted to come back to the house & watch football….no thanks!  Never saw him again. The last story:  I met a guy online, who lived fairly close to me, but seemed a little off from the start, but I figured, what the heck, we will meet for coffee.  We met and he seemed very nice, clean cut, articulate, but after we got to talking…(notice a pattern here, ha ha ha!?) he dropped the comment that his first wife had left him (again, a common pattern here) and proceeded to plow into his “how I hate her and look what she did to me” whining.  (If I had a dime for all of these stories I’ve had to listen to, I’d be rich, like most women will tell you.)  I told him I preferred not to talk about his divorce, since that was his private business, and I just would like to get to know him.  He said, fine, then proceeded to tell me about all the bum dates he’s had since his wife left, including kinky sex!  Mind you, this is at 10 am in the morning, in a country diner!  I had to head that conversation off at the pass as well.  He then asked me for a date.  He wanted to take me to dinner.  I asked him could we please not talk about weird dates or his ex wife.  He agreed, and promised a clean slate. 

We met for dinner, and he was a real gentleman.  No separate checks this time.  He was educated and had an interesting job (airline pilot), so we talked about that for awhile.  I never have spent any time talking with any of the men I met about my husband who had died, and interestingly enough, not a one really showed any interest!  Anyhow, Mr. Airline Pilot got on a subject that told me he was not a candidate for date #2.  He informed me that he had an IQ that way above normal and therefore, most women couldn’t converse with him.  All of this with a straight face.  Unfortunately at that moment, I swallowed some water the wrong way and began to cough & choke.  He didn’t offer a napkin, or show any concern, and proceeded to continue to talk.  I had to leave for the bathroom to get control of my coughing, and when I came back, I decided I’d had enough and made an excuse about leaving early.  I was relieved to get out of there, the man was obviously in love with himself (kept checking his hair in the mirror behind me). 

Help!  How many dates does it take to find a decent guy?


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Was MIT the first place that started computer dating?

Posted by carron on November 28, 2006

Year: 1966

Aim: meet some smart guys

Technique:  The Computer!


Lounging in the common room, at

College, my friends and I were hanging out talking about the mixer that weekend at Harvard when a young guy from MIT strolled in and asked my friends and me if we’d be interested in a free computer dating service to connect us with guys from MIT and Harvard.  After our initial reservations, we’d never heard of anything like this, we decided it might be a fun, goofy thing to try and we accepted the forms he was handing around.  Each form was about four pages long and asked a series of questions ranging from basic information like name, age, height and religion to what we were studying, our interests, likes and dislikes.  Next to the questions was a scale of 1-5 on how strongly you liked or disliked something and another scale of 1-5 that rated how strongly you felt about a prospective partner needing to like or dislike the same thing.  You could, for instance, state that you were Jewish and only wanted to date someone else who was Jewish or that your prospective partner must be taller than you and like, say, opera.  You also had to rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 of how good looking you were physically and what level of handsomeness you required in a prospective partner!  It seemed as though you could customize your perfect partner.  We giggled over our choices, some of us rating ourselves as honestly as we could and other girls putting down a 5 on looks in the hopes of attracting lots of answers. It sounded like a lot of fun and we all looked forward to meet some wonderful guys from Harvard.  I have to admit we Wellesley girls preferred the Ivy league group, we all agreed that we would rather date a guy from Harvard than MIT.


These were exciting times and I couldn’t wait for the first call.  I had received a list of about 15 guys with their name and phone numbers but declined to call any of them, if they were interested, I figured, they should make the first call.  In the meantime, us girls got together and went over our lists.  Some people had a long list of names and others had just three or four names so we tried to work out what part of the forms had given us more or less guys on the list.  Was it how attractive we had rated ourselves, our interests or hobbies?  We couldn’t find any rhyme or reason to the lists. As we began to date the guys we came to the conclusion that none of the questionnaire had mattered except for our age and height!  All the guys were always older and taller but even major issues like religion had been ignored with some of the Jewish girls being connected with non-Jewish partners.  It didn’t really seem to make much sense.  We wondered what had been important to the guys except for age and height!

I had a number of calls and got together with two different guys from Harvard but was disappointed with the outcomes.  I spoke to others on the telephone but declined to meet them, disillusioned with the whole thing.  One guy from MIT called trying to get a date but I brushed him off saying I had to wash my hair that night and I was busy the following week.  The guy called back again and tried once more to get a date but I kept insisting I was too busy.  Eventually, in frustration, he complained “I’ve paid $5 to join this computer group so the least you could do is meet me and have a coffee!”  Reluctantly, and rather guiltily, I agreed to have one date and told him where I was housed at
Wellesley.  At least I wouldn’t have to go out of my way to meet the guy.  That Friday, at 6pm, the desk clerk called up to say I had a caller.  A “caller” meant a man was waiting as opposed to a “visitor” which would have meant a female friend.  I really didn’t want to meet this guy and I made no effort to do my hair or put on make up except for a quick swipe of lipstick, I wandered down the hall and peered over the banister to see what this unfortunate guy looked like, expecting some nerdy, pimply youth.  At the desk stood a young man with thick black hair and as he looked up a stunning pair of true blue eyes met mine.  Aaargh!  I want to run back to my room and do my hair, change my sweater, put on makeup and collect myself but he had already seen me and I had to continue down the stairs wondering how I could possibly have thought poorly of an MIT student.  He was gorgeous.  If there is such a thing as love at first sight then cupid had definitely struck me.

We went for coffee at the shop on campus and he completely charmed me and ended my computer dating career right then and there.  We were inseparable from then on and married five years later. 

Computer worked even back in 1966



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True colors didn’t show up online

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on November 17, 2006

I found this gem on


Okay, I’m a little shallow. I look for the hot guys. And there’s certainly a lot to choose from on this site. Good-looking, young professionals, which suited me fine. I found one that looked nice. I winked at him. He winked back. So I gave him my email address and he IM’d me. We had a pleasant conversation – not too long because he had to go. But I wanted to get to know him better, so we IM’d again. He was very friendly online. I could tell he was slightly eccentric, but he was good looking and his IM’s didn’t give me the impression I was talking to a total alien. He was rather sweet. We chatted off and on for two weeks until I felt comfortable giving him my phone number.


We only spoke on the phone one time and he made me feel very comfortable so I took a chance and agreed to go out with him.


He said to dress up because we’re going somewhere very nice. He seemed excited so I had high expectations. And I dressed up!


He didn’t.


He showed up in old jeans with paint stains, a holey tee shirt with tree pictures. Steel-tip boots with paint and a baseball hat worn backwards. In hind site, I remembered his photo. It was a close up of only his face. But he had a nice smile and nice eyes. Now, seeing the total package, was a different story.


He arrived in his pick-up truck and pulled flowers out from under the bench seat. The flowers were a nice touch, but they actually appeared hand-picked and I worried whose garden they came from. He greeted me with a hug so I decided to give him a chance even though I was seriously over-dressed compared to him.


We went to a candlelit Italian restaurant in the Manyunk district of Philadelphia. I felt like everyone was staring at us. Mostly because of the way he was dressed – like he just came in from a paint job. He was very polite to me, but to the staff, he behaved like he was having beers in a bar with the guys. “There’s two of us and I want to be able to smoke!” he demanded. We got to our table and the waitress asked if we wanted a drink, and he belted, “Ugh! This is our first date. I could use a stiff one!”


We ordered our dinner and he complained about the prices. At first, we made polite conversation. Sometimes he would just make random and bizarre remarks – for example – he would ask me a question, I would answer and he would respond with something wacky like, “Sometimes I feel that we’re all just aliens on this planet.”


Soon, our topics became pretty deep – a little too deep for a first date, but by this time I may have been looking for faults. We discussed religious values, how our parents met and he informed me that his mother’s an alcoholic. He said that his deepest darkest ambitions in life come when he’s a little buzzed and he’s trying to evaluate his position in this world. I’m a psychology major and I’m used to people talking real deep thoughts with me so I wasn’t too surprised. Maybe he was intimidated and was trying too hard – trying to say intelligent things.


Then he did the craziest thing. He asked, “Do you mind if I smoke?” I said I don’t mind and I pulled out a cigarette.  But instead of a cigarette, he took out a baggie of tobacco and rolled his own cigarette right there at the table! (No – not pot – real cigarette tobacco! Pot would have been less weird and would have explained his behavior.) I was practically mortified. The whole restaurant was staring.  (Okay, so they rolls his own.  Even if that ‘s not strange, he could have rolled a few at home and put them in a cigarette case.)


Our dinner arrived and he rolled his baggie up and left it sit on the table during dinner. The waiter looked at it suspiciously, but thankfully said nothing. I excused myself to go to the bathroom to call my roommate to make sure she’d be home.  On the way there, the waiter pulled me aside. “Is that your brother?” he asked.  I explained that this was a blind date. “Oh, that explains it. You don’t seem like a good match.” (How ironic that he used that word.)  I asked him if there was anything he could do to speed up our departure. He said he would do his best.


I went back to the table and we finished dinner through more bizarre conversations. I was trying to be open minded, but I couldn’t help focusing on how weird he was and how uncomfortable he was making me and how oblivious he was to that fact. It seemed apparent to him that nothing was wrong.


He wanted dessert, but I talked him out of it. I suggested Ben & Jerry’s down the street (thinking we could eat cones on our walk back to the car to speed things up.) In Ben & Jerry’s, he finally took off his hat. His ear-length, died black, stick straight, yet fried hair made him look like Beaker from the Muppets. I forced back a giggle, and forever thought of him as my Muppet date. No wonder he tucked it under the hat. And no wonder his photo online was only of his face. His hair (and hat) were not shown.


When we got back to my apartment he asked to use my bathroom. I hesitated, but I also knew he drove an hour and a half for our date, so I allowed it. My roommate was home, which made me feel better. She and I waited in the kitchen while he was in the bathroom. We did not want to encourage him into the living room. I just wanted him gone. But, he wanted to hang out! “Come on. It’s early.” he said. I lied and said I had to get up early the next morning. He said we just got back from dinner. He planned on hanging out afterward – waddaya mean? That’s when he brought out the REAL weed. He offered me a bowl but I held firm and asked him to leave. My roommate had her cell phone in her hand in case he gave us trouble.


He kept saying “do I really have to go? I thought we could hang out.” When I got to the door, he asked if he could see me again. I made up an excuse. He gave me a hug and tried to kiss me. I pulled back. He said, “What, I drove an hour and a half and bought you dinner and dessert and you just push me out the door? That’s bullshit!” I asked him to go because he was making me uncomfortable. He swore and flipped me the bird and jumped in his truck and sped off.


My roommate and I stayed close to the phone the rest of the night, but I never heard from him again – luckily!

 I guess learned to spend the time chatting online more wisely. Get to know a person a little better – ask the right questions or pick the right topics. I don’t mean to take longer than 2 weeks. But, whenever we IM’d, our conversations were pretty short because I was usually at work. I wish I had used the time online to find out more about his personality. But maybe true colors only show up in person.



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A Girls Gotta Eat

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on November 17, 2006

A Girl’s Gotta Eat


Sure I have time to get out there and meet guys, but you kind of get tired of the same-old same-old from bars. Although it has its advantages. Once when I was in college, I went into a bar with $15 in my pocket, had about 7 drinks with 7 guys, and left with $25 in my pocket. (I don’t know how that happened. One of those unidentified drunken moments that I’ll never quite understand.)


Anyway, when I started my first job, everyone in the office raved about so I thought I’d give it a whirl. “A great place to find professional guys!” And they are mostly professionals who, at first, seemed like they were so busy with their jobs that they didn’t have time to get out there and meet girls. So they cut time by meeting online and then jumping right into the date. But later, I realized something different was going on.


As you review the profiles and pics, you wink at someone, or otherwise show interest, or they might do the same. And that gets the ball rolling. Then we’d talk online and, after we feel comfortable, we’d exchange phone numbers. And then after a phone call or two, we’d decide if we want to meet in person. We’d arrange a typical date – dinner, a picnic, a ball game – whatever seemed like fun.


Sometimes the guys are great and I would like to see them again. But they don’t seem interested in a second date. Sometimes they are interested in me, but I find them to be losers – or more commonly, egotistical maniacs who can’t stop talking about themselves. (For one date, the only time the guy seemed interested in any facts about me – was when he asked where I lived so he could pick me up.)


So it seems all I have are a whole lot of first dates and I started to think about my experiences and how the dates ended and what might have gone wrong. Then the light bulb went off in my head and it occurred to me the “I’m Dating” category really means “I’m looking for sex” – at least to the guys. And if I don’t give them sex, then they don’t ask for a second date. But that’s okay. I can play that game too. I’m in grad school now and I’m as broke as I ever was.  I get a lot of free meals out of these bozos. A girl’s gotta eat!

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Chat Room Dating – Three Strikes!

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on October 22, 2006

I lay in bed and imagined spending the rest of my life alone.  I mean, it’s not as though I didn’t like spending some time alone it’s just that I didn’t want it to be always and forever.  I have a wonderful daughter, Liz, to share things with but how many sixteen-year-olds want to spend every Friday and Saturday night with their Mom.  I jumped out of bed, started up the computer and began to search for my future.


To start with, and mostly I admit out of complete ignorance, I tried chat rooms.  I started with AOL chat rooms for divorced and single people over 40, it seemed as good a place as any, after all what did I know.  What I discovered was that the Internet lets all sorts of weird, and rarely wonderful, people into your life and not only that but your email box becomes besieged with spam after any time in these chat rooms.  Why did everyone suddenly feel I needed Viagra, I’m a woman for starters. Were they just presuming I was going to meet some really old guy and I’d have a supply ready, just in case?  I mean what’s with that?  Then there was the steady supply of “marital aids.”  Well, there’s a euphemism, what about “divorced aids,” that might be more appropriate.  Is someone out there trying to tell me something?  The only message that was coming through loud and clear was, “Get a New Email Address!”


After trolling through a number of screen names and talking back and forth with a couple of particular guys I started to chat on the phone with one of them.  I felt I could tell from his voice, intonation and attitude what he was like and I agreed to meet, he asked me over to his house for a coffee.  Looking back on it now I realize this was the most stupid thing I could have done, to go to his home rather than meet in a public place, but in my ignorance, I knew no better.  I told my daughter where I was going and what I knew about him and before I had even been handed a drink she was calling my cell phone to check up on me.  It was reassuring to know she was both within reach on the phone and she was looking out for me.  Wasn’t this the opposite way around, aren’t I supposed to be the mother checking on my sixteen-year-old’s whereabouts? 

The evening went well, he was a nice enough guy but the distance that separated us physically and the fact that he had three young children was off putting.  As we talked, I began to feel he was looking for a mother, housekeeper and cook more than anything else. I didn’t want to go back to being a Mom of little ones and being at the beck and call of someone else’s children, I was looking for a new life now.


I went back to the chat rooms and tried again but it seemed that most of the guys out there were looking for a physical relationship above all else, nothing was taken at face value and sexual innuendos flowed freely.  Call me old fashioned but, to me, the physical side of things comes after the mental and emotional connection.  Finally, after much searching, I found another guy that seemed on my wavelength, we spoke on the phone, he sounded great, and we arranged to meet for dinner at a little French restaurant. 

Shortly into the dinner, over an expensive bottle of Pinot Noir, I began to realize he was a scumbag, plain and simple.  He suddenly seemed only interested in the sexual side of things and when I finally managed to get him off that topic he spent his time talking about why he drove a small car (it’s cheaper); why he get’s his clothes from Marshall’s (it’s cheaper); why he shops at Acme (it’s cheaper). 

Could he get any cheaper?  Yes, he could. 

The meal couldn’t have ended quickly enough but then there was another surprise, “Oh dear, I seem to have forgotten my wallet!”  My first thought was that this was something he should have thought about before ordering the wine but my second thought was that nobody, and I mean nobody, forgets their wallet.  I had been duped.  I went home and cried. 

Now, I was beginning to question my own ability to evaluate someone.  It’s true, you really do not know who you are talking to online.


For a while I gave up on looking.  I would rather be alone than feel desperate enough to be going out with these kinds of men.  But, gradually, I decided it might be worth one last look.  I searched around in the chat rooms, for the over forties, and found a guy that seemed genuine and interesting, as we chatted back and forth my daughter came into the room and I showed her the conversation.  Looking at the screen name she suddenly burst out, “I know that guy, he’s in my class at school!”  I was talking to a seventeen year old!  Is this the new thing, instead of old men trying to lure teenage girls now it’s young men trying to snag older women? What is this about? 

But, despite these downfalls, if you persist and are careful you can find good people online.  I gave up chat rooms, joined yahoo personals and the first guy I met up with became my present partner of six years.  It was worth it in the end.


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So Your Mom Wanted You To Date A Doctor?

Posted by kygans on October 5, 2006

The dating service called….sorry “cool” shaved head guy needs to re-schedule. Sure, no problem I can reschedule for a “cool” shaved head physician. We finally meet for dinner. He shows up and he is NOT “cool” shaved head physician. Instead it’s tall, creepy smile, albino looking person. Please help…I’m starting to clam up. OK, I can do this, it’s just dinner. Let’s make conversation….so I ask “what area do you…” and he interrupts “what’s my specialty?” Yes, you arrogant S.O.B. what’s your specialty? Pain management, imagine that! I’ll need that after this dreadful date. Please toot your horn some more…”I’m going to Europe, play guitar and sing at my church, and did I mention I’m a pain management physician.” Please Mr. Shaved Head Creepy Physician I’m begging you to climb back into your Audi and take a ride back to the mortuary!

Jennifer Trott, aka Jenny-Dates-A-Lot

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Wild West Meets Middle East

Posted by kygans on October 5, 2006

       A few short months ago, a member asked if any SASS members might have guns worn out or damaged, unserviceable for shooting, so that he might purchase them and hang on a wall for decoration. His spouse and he were members of a SASS Posse and he was home from Iraq but his wife was serving in Iraq. He was remodeling their ‘family room’ and wanted to have it done in Western  theme for his wife when she returned.            Many members offered information as to where he might get ‘reproductions’  in realistic form, that would be so much cheaper. All were also offering prayers and praise to both for serving our country.            He spoke of the fact that as soon as his wife got home, he would shortly thereafter, have to return to Iraq, serving his second or third term there. His job there is to disarm road side bombs (IED’s) when discovered!            That was enough info for me, who has never served in the armed forces, but all my family has including my own children. I was determined to help with this project.            I replied in the forum that he may have the collection of reproduction Western handguns I bought several years ago to decorate a home I had sold. The pieces were wrapped and stored away for four years plus and were probably never again going to be hung on my walls, so I asked his address and sent them to him so that he would have the wall at least partly done to surprise his wife. Some other SASS members saw my reply and followed suit.            I received e-mail photos of the walls a while later and a most thankful e-mail along with them. I am sure all who contributed to this wall, received as kind of letters as I did.            What a small contribution I and other SASS members made for two people who regularly make the ‘ultimate contribution’, laying their life on the line daily, so that we all are able to enjoy our lives, our families and our great hobby!   Thanks for the opportunity to mention the goodness that exists out there among the SASSNET family.                                  Remus O’Dell                                       

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Cowboys, Guns & SASSNET

Posted by kygans on October 5, 2006

            A few months go I was just finishing up purchasing all the firearms needed for me to be able to ‘shoot’. I’d been two years at it now, with one ‘back-up’ rifle needed.

            ‘Flint Westwood’, one of the earliest members of SASS, was retired from the shooting, but not from SASS and was liquidating a portion of his collection of guns. Luckily for me I just happen to be on the SASSNET line when I noticed his ad to sell his Model ’92 carbine, and it was in the caliber I was gathering, .44-40.

            I contacted him, he informed me all that there was to know about the Carbine, and we talked dollars. I was about tapped out and asked for a time payment deal if possible.

            ‘Flint’ not only agreed to a time payment plan to make it possible for me, he, recognizing my financial straights, lowered the price, paid for the shipping and handling of the gun and extended the time I asked to purchase it!

            The Carbine arrived three days later, and it was the most smooth action, ready to shoot rifle in my arsenal! This Carbine has been his since he started shooting SASS stages way back twenty years ago. It looks like a century old Carbine and in perfect working condition with the smoothest action any Carbine could possibly have.

            “Flint” used it to win the ‘championship shoot’ I believe he said, in 1993.

I still have not been able to get all my stuff ready, so much to do in my life at this time, but I now have all my guns. I still would not have, if not for the kindness and consideration and the willingness to help out a fellow Pard, when he needed it most!

            I have named the Carbine, “Ol’ Flint”.

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Dark side of community – mob cyberbullying

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on August 26, 2006

I am learning about the scope of internet sexuality, and understanding the power of the internet to build community, one aspect of the web that took me by surprise is online bullying. Apparently this is a huge problem for kids. While we don’t yet have stories about this form of Cyber Connection, a quick search on Google turns up many sites specializing in this scourge.

For example, a story in tells about an overweight kid who was undressed in the locker room. Another kid took his picture and started flashing it around from cell phone to cell phone. By the time the boy had finished dressing, half the school knew about the picture. It’s a dark twist on community. They hooked up to hurt someone. What enormous power!! The wave can be used for good or bad, and at either extreme it can carry you along in its surge.

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International Play by J.J. Hudson

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on August 26, 2006

I play the oldest game known to the world. Ancient game boards similar to our backgammon board have been unearthed in the deserts of Iraq, though the variety the people at that time played we in modern times call the Royal Game of Ur. It’s quite a simple game and the finer points of strategy can probably be picked up in a night.

The beauty of the Internet is I now get to play backgammon with people all over the planet. Thanks Bill Gates! Geography is made obsolete with a toss of pixilated dice. I can’t see my international doppelganger, but I have some indication as to his ethnicity. Just today I’ve played the royal game with people who speak Hebrew, Norwegian and Japanese, somebody who speaks Francais, and a really angry Russian. I’m not claiming I’m a skilled player, but I’ve made quite a few self-appointed experts at the game very annoyed. I take pride in how the Russians seem to vanish, coitus interruptus, when they fall behind or even have a single bad roll. Such babies they are.

I feel like I’m learning a lot about the people of the world through my international play. I know the Russians are as temperamental as they are aggressive. The Japanese play very conservatively and take longer turns, which isn’t a bad thing if you need to run back to the refrigerator for another beer. The Norwegians are cold, hard strategists like they are generals looking over a black and white battlefield. As for those who speak Hebrew, they are clearly pragmatists about the game. They seem to understand the value of a loss. A loss is not to be taken too heavily upon the heart, because in the next game you can trick those previously victorious and overconfident into doubling and then doubling again. This is the equivalent of getting the executed to string the noose around their own neck while the hangman sits in the corner sipping an iced tea with lemon.

None of that probably made much sense if you don’t understand the fundamentals of the game.
I have one problem with playing backgammon over the internet. It’s the chat feature in the particular program I use. It only allows us thirty short and succinct messages to transmit to the opposition, inane comments like “Good Job,” “Thank You,” “I’ll be Back in a Minute,” and “Are You Still There?” This is unsatisfactory because I think a lot more could be done to expand the interactive functionality of this program.

How about these additions:

“Are you ducking any rockets?”

“How is the refugee situation in your part of the world?”

“Are you voting in the next election?”

“Do you have an election?”

“What do you think about President Bush?”

“It sucks.”

“He/She sucks.”

“I love him/her.”

“Fuck off.”

One thing I am alarmed about also is that there appear to be no players of an arabic or Persian persuasion. This is so shocking because the game originates from that part of the world. I just don’t believe Fox News regarding all the rich intellectual capital of the Middle East being pent up studying for jihad. We can do much to bring people together and fight this clash of civilizations that people at The New York Times and The New Republic keep fussing about. I would love to play backgammon with someone in Baghdad, Tehran, Karachi or Dubai.

Bill can you stop for just one minute giving away your money and get to work on that?

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