Yes. That is the word – “poo.”
One of the double-edged swords of online gaming is continually forgetting that there is a real person behind the avatar you are chatting with. I forget this all the time. Sometimes I think I’m mumbling to a computer, or robot – an entity without feeling or regard of the Universal balance we call ’cause and effect.’ So when I tell you that I developed a case of “late stage” paranoia that my real life and my virtual life were merging – this is why. When I’m inworld, I don’t use the fancy gadgets that other avatars use, I could care less that the group of avatars I’m talking to might actually be just one person. (Kudos to them and all the energy they have, if that’s the case.) I was there to chat, satiate my curiosity with some adventures, go shopping on the cheap, and generally get away from the real world for awhile.
It’s also why I didn’t think twice about sharing my poo stories.
One night folks were sharing their “extreme partying” stories. I didn’t really have much to tell at the time, but I did have a funny story that had just happened to me – on my way to a Friday Night Happy Hour.
I had been trying to lose weight for some time. Working full time, going to school, taking care of a family, keeping up a house…well… you get the idea. It amounted to a significant weight gain. However, I had gotten it into my head that I could look like my avatar. I’m not talking about surgery or anything, but I think having an avatar inspired me to look better, as they’re all so very perfect. I’m sure there’s some “research” on the topic somewhere and I’ll remind myself to go look it up one day (heh).
At the same time there were commercials on the air that “My Ally” had FINALLY gotten FDA approval and would be released to the public. Yes! I will take the fat decreasing shortcut, please…and will soon be melting pounds away like Butter Flavored Crisco! (MyAlly users should already know where I’m going with this.)
I was particularly proud of my results so far, Spring had arrived and I was very excited to wear my WHITE CAPRIS.
And then I sneezed.
Oh God. That didn’t just happen. (Yes, LG, it did.) You just made number two in your capris.
So I did what any other Happy Hour Hungry Hippo working in a medical facility would do…. I snuck into Resusci Annie’s storage closet, ripped the pants right off her and was on my merry in no time.
(The avatars were rolling in their imaginary chairs, I just knew it.) But I couldn’t stop there….newwwwwww. I had to be the funny one, the one coming from left-field – irreverent and quirky – so high on the moment that I type “…well at least my dog didn’t bring my underwear back this time.”
Oh God. That didn’t just happen.
I type too fast sometimes. They don’t have a recall button in world like Outlook has. So now, I HAVE to go on and tell the related story, of being a girl…barely 8 or so… getting into her parents chocolate-flavored ExLax. Ridden with shame, she expels her bloomers into the nearby woods. Only to have the retriever “bring ’em back” to her Pa.
Oh the lesson she learned.
So we come to my late-stage paranoia. After telling the stories and being teased mercilessly online, I log off and go to bed. But I can’t sleep. Who was I talking to? In real life? What if they knew who I was? In real life? NO ONE CAN KNOW ABOUT THE POO! I AM A TEACHER FOR CHRISSAKES!
I didn’t sleep the whole night.
The next few weeks, I kept deriving meaning from every communication I had. Not the silly meaning making that confounds you on occasion, like… telling your boss you want to do a ropes course at the YMCA, and having him think it’s akin to the knot tying badge he earned in Eagle Scout’s. No, MY ropes course is about teambuilding, not tying knots, DUH!
It stayed on my mind like this for weeks. I was suspicious of everyone. One night my family started joking about diarreah at the dinner table (which is gross anyway) – and so I squinted at my husband.
My friend bought me a Cadbury chocolate bar as an Easter Gift, it looked suspiciously like an Ex-lax block. I squinted at her.
The TV began airing “Regularity” commercials. I squinted at it.
A stranger in the elevator mentioned “you have something on the back of your pants” and so while brushing of the lint…I squinted at her too.
At some point, I got over it. But not before quietly quizzing everyone I knew, under the radar, if they had any knowledge, whatsoever, about my poo.
P.S. Yes, I did give Annie her pants back.