More embarrassment. Thanks a lot, internet.

February 23, 2007 at 11:56 am | Posted in embarrassing moments | 19 Comments

Back in 1996, when Netscape was the king of web browsers, and the university’s 28.8k connection was considered top of the range, I got my first taste of the internet. By the internet, I of course mean porn. And by first taste, I mean I no longer had to borrow someone’s crusty second-hand Penthouse, or place reliance on the swimwear section of a clothes catalogue, to get my thrills. I can even remember using the RTE Guide* (an Irish tv guide) one time, so the www was a major leap forward in wanking technology.

Many an hour was filled in my first year at university avoiding lectures in the computer room, messing about on primitive Telnet-based “chatrooms” with my fellow nerds. Nerds because, let’s face it, the 21st century had arrived before it had become socially acceptable to use a computer.

On the rare occasions when Netscape would work, we were straight on looking for hot bitches gasping for cock. The stuff we found was relatively tame in comparison to the all-singing, horse-fisting, Mongolian-clusterfuckery you see these days. Mostly just naked women. That’s right, NAKED.

Soon the thrill of seeing these fine specimens on-screen, to be stored in the wank-bank for future transactions, was no longer sufficient. Like a hapless junkie moving up the drug ladder, I was heading towards my own private heroin: printouts.

Printing out naked women in a room full of 30 people with only one shared printer is simple. It’s not getting caught doing it that’s the difficult part. On more than one occasion, I clicked Print, only to have to abandon the precious output because some intellectual fucker popped up to the printer to collect his thesis. Better to leave it there and feign ignorance than to get caught trying to collect it. It’s like that scene in Heat when Val Kilmer’s nearly into the safe and De Niro radios him and says drop it, leave everything, drop your shit and get the fuck out of there right now. He could smell the police ambush, you see.

My police ambush came in the form of a lanky bespectacled postgraduate. An English lad, no less. What the fuck an English lad was doing in an Irish university, I’ll never know. Have they no feckin universities in England, eh? Ridiculous carry-on.

I still remember the picture, some blondie from Playboy. With several months’ experience under my belt, I’d become adept enough with the printer to be able to scale the image up to fit a full A4 page. Battle-hardened and tactically masterful, the only thing I hadn’t considered was the audacity of this random bastard.

I made it to the printer safely. I collected the printout safely. I carefully folded it in half, and in half again, to avoid detection. I walked back towards my seat, a smile breaking out on my face, just like Val Kilmer in Heat as he makes his way from the bank to the getaway car. Right before the shootout to end all shootouts kicks off.

The shootout began when this lanky fucker snatched the paper right out of my hand. “Excuse me,” he said as he looked down his nose at this heel-scraping of a first-year, his toffee-nosed inflections making me itch somewhere unscratchable, “I just want to check the quality of the toner before I do any printing.” He opened up my carefully folded page, and stared. And stared. And stared.

I burst into flames, dizzy heat bubbling from my core and flowing like lava over my skin. I felt myself prickle and knew I was redder than a Blood who’s just been taken out in a drive-by. I was rooted to the spot by twin anchors of shame and embarrassment.

Thankfully, being English**, the poor cunt was even more embarrassed than I was, and he just handed me the paper back, mumbling some sort of half-hearted apology about invasion of privacy and yes, the toner seemed to be fine.

It was a long time before I went back to the Computer Room in UCG.

Have a good weekend.

*No, not Pat Kenny. Or Gay Byrne. It might’ve been Thelma Mansfield though.

**To my English readers: I’m only coddin, ya know.



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  1. Thank God it wasn’t a Spanish sudent who… er, fingered you, Kav. They’re the loudest fuckers known to mankind.

  2. God, I know. They used to drive me mental when they descended on the town for the summer. Mostly because I wasn’t cool enough to pull them, I must admit.

  3. I was.


  4. Sorry Sweary, Manuel doesn’t count.

  5. “his toffee-nosed inflections making me itch somewhere unscratchable…” Genius.

    And I don’t know exactly what “ridiculous carry-on” means, but bet your life I’ll be using it. A lot. I like how it sounds like “ridiculous carrion.”

  6. Ok, I’ll give you that one.

    But it’s a good thing you were caught by a guy, and not a girl. I would have laughed and laughed and called you Jack Off the rest of the year.

  7. Ha! That’s great!

    Netscape was OK. IE would have frozen the screen on you right at the worst possible moment.

    That story could well explain some of the peculiar expressions you’d see on blokes in the computer lab sometimes. And a lot of the profuse sweating.

    Being a university computer lab technician must be flippin’ hilarious some days. Fridays – when all the fellas are getting there little bit of something for the weekend.

  8. I don’t know about Irish Unis but over here, in 1996, every “pc lab” would be swarmed by Malaysians and Greeks after midnight. The printer had nothing but naked ladies (which doesn’t really qualify as “porn”) stacked up (yeah, i wish…), even though every screen in the room was covered by IRC chat windows – ok, ok, there was the odd nerd using Telnet too.

  9. All I can say Kav, is thanks be to Jaysus that d’internet wasn’t an option when I was in UCG. We weren’t even allowed to email outside the college, and that was in 1990. I’d never have gotten out alive. We just had to make do with drunken fumbles in The Oasis and The Warwick 😉

  10. If you look up porn in UCD, a Dalek comes in and vaporises you with its death ray.

    It may as well. They threaten expulsion for that kind of thing now. Wish I was at college back then Kav, but I was only a babbums.

  11. We had BBC Microcomputers in RTC Galway back in my time there (1983-1985).

    And porn was illegal, too.

  12. Ha! Ha! HAHAHA!

    I love the confession.

  13. itelli, it must have been funny for a bloke having to shuffle through all the naked ladies to find his own special girl up at the printer. You can imagine all sorts of conversations: “Oh, now that’s much more what I was looking for! D’yawanna do a swap on her for my blonde?”

  14. Wanking over dot matrix porn. How low can a man get? I’ll tell you. The Damart thermal underwear catalogue my grandparents used to get. That’s how low.

  15. Oh yes! Thelma Mansfield. Funny, but she still causes me temporary blood displacement.

    Jayzez, Kav. We have the best of both worlds at our age: The young wans from when we were young fliz, who are auld wans now, and the young wans of today – they all do it for us.

  16. Ha, I remember when we started using the Net at college too, there were computer rooms, but they were all in use, so myself and a mate went over to the Library to use the computers there. My friend was trying to check her Hotmail email account, but misspelled it and typed in HotMALE which conjured up a hell of a lot more than email on the screen! Thing was, the library had porn detectors installed so a massive alarm went off, honestly with sirens and all, alerting staff that porn was being viewed. Cue embarrassment all round. It was years before either of us went near a computer again!

  17. Ahh bless ya! Luckily you hadn’t had time to sticky up the page before you were busted.

  18. My printout got stuck in the damned printer.

  19. whyioughtta: Ridiculous carrion, that’s cool. I’ll have to find a way of using it.

    Cindy: Frank the Wank would also work.

    Sam: They’ve gotten a bit more sophisticated since then, so most of the stuff’s probably blocked. Still, I wouldn’t mind a peek. the It Security guys in here show me the “banned” inbox that collects all the porn being sent, and it is unreal the amount of stuff people risk sending from work.

    itelli: It’s an acquired skill, adjusting all your windows to hide the evidence. Takes hours of practice.

    John: Ah, The Oasis…I got the last couple of years of that before it became Liquid. By the time it became Liquid we had made the Warwick our regular Thursday night spot. Great craic altogether.

    Dario: Yeah, they were only getting to grips with t’internet as a tool for porn then – there were no firewall filters for it, though I suspect we could’ve been disciplined back then too.

    Gerry: Wasn’t porn only legalised in Ireland a few years ago? I remember back around 98 the furore that the release of Playboy caused.

    Summer: Good. Making people laugh at my misery is my goal.

    Eddie: Roffle. I know how you feel, I’ve been there. Teenagers are liable to do anything. Though in your case, it was probably last week…

    Sneezy: I remember coming home from school and Live at Three would be on, and I’d be so feckin jealous of Derek Davis, getting to share a couch with her.

    Karen: Oh Christ, I dread to think what our place would’ve been like if we had alarms on our computers. It would’ve been like the Love Parade in Germany, whistles blowing all sides.

    Steph: I know – I had so been looking forward to getting home, lighting some candles, pouring a glass of wine, getting some sexy music on, and seducing that printout. I had to console myself with thinking that there’ll always be other nights.

    MJ: Holy crap, I hope you denied all knowledge of it!

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