I am doing well. The past week or two has been relatively free of awkwardness. Long may it continue!
The only downside is that this does not provide much in the way of blogging material. However, luckily for you all (and unluckily for me!), I have a lengthy back catalogue of embarrassing tales that I can share on here instead.
So, in the first of a new series, I figured I would delve into the proverbial vault and treat you to an awkward story from my past.
The Email Address:
When I was growing up we did not have a computer at our house. As a result I was not really able to join in conversations when friends talked about stuff like playing The Monkey Island and Sims games, going on MSN Chat, downloading music or having hotmail accounts.
This changed when I turned 16 and started college. They had loads of computers there and I had oodles of free time. I finally got fully up to scratch with this whole internet thing.
It was around this time I also became involved in a prank war.
In an escalating series of pranks against my friend ‘Beef’, my friends and I set up a phoney hotmail account for him and signed him up for a variety of websites, product trials and memberships. We all had access to this email account and proceeded to team together to take Beef down.
Upon Beef’s surrender, life returned to normal and everyone forgot about the prank war. This meant that fake hotmail account and the address lay dormant and faded into memory.
Only it didn’t.
The combination of me continuing my education, lacking a PC at home and me not being able to think up a new email address meant that I changed the password, cancelled all the subscriptions and questionable connections to the account before adopting the email account as my own.
The email account saw me all the way through college and I planned to use it when entering university too.
As most people do around that age (18-20) I felt like reinventing myself. The plan was to shed my awkward, juvenile skin and emerge at university as a confident, studious and sensible guy who is taken seriously by his peers.
It did not really work out that way though.
After a week of initiation, the serious stuff at Uni began (lectures and classes etc). In my inaugural Early Modern Political Thought class the teacher offered to email all of our class our the lecture and seminar notes once a week. She asked to all jot down our email addresses onto a piece of paper which she passed around the class.
Thinking nothing of it, I jotted mine down and passed it to my left.
When the sheet was in her grasp, the teacher scrunched her face up and pulled a bemused expression. She then let out a loud sigh and addressed the class.
“Okay folks. Who is the comedian who has put down this clearly fake email address?”
She was met by a sea of blank faces.
“Need I remind you all that you are now all at university studying Politics.”
She was still met by a load of blank expressions. I could tell she was starting to get angry.
“I am not a fan of wasting my time and do not have the time or patience to deal with jokers in my lectures and seminar groups. We are not leaving this classroom until someone admits to this juvenile endeavour!”
Whilst she I was talking, the fear of god slowly crept into me as I realised that the email address she was referring to was mine.
At this point I should probably mention that my email address was firstname.lastname@example.org.
I thought about remaining silent. Maybe she would just let it drop. I knew that would need the course notes though. If I did not say anything then she would not forward those over to me.
So I raised my hand and began to speak.
“um…yeah that’s mine. It’s not a joke though. It is 100% genuine…I promise…”
All eyes in the room were now on me. The lecturer glared at me.
I held her gaze.
I could she was weighing me up. Trying to determine whether or not I was being serious.
“Seriously? Your email address is sexualbeef?…”
Laughter erupted from the classroom. I imagine most of this was down to the fact that this little, skinny guy was referring to himself as sexualbeef. I don’t think many of my fellow students picked up on the irony of it all.
My brain mistakenly went in to its default mode of using humour to defuse a situation.
“…indeed. I wanted an email address that summed me up in as few characters as possible. I think sexualbeef is pretty spot on. Don’t you?”
She didn’t. She rolled her eyes and muttered the word ‘idiot’ under her breath before carrying on with the class.
I slumped into my chair and avoided all eye contact with anyone by pretended to find my blank notepad fascinating until the class was completed.
I had hoped that this simple misunderstanding would been swept under the rug and I could go through my 3 years of university life very much under the radar of the faculty as well as my fellow students.
I knew that this would not be the case the next day. I walked into the Student’s Union to grab a coffee. Whilst in there I caught eyes with 5 guys from my E.M.P.T class who were sitting at a table together. They all looked at me, pointed, laughed, applauded and then shouted “heyyyy sexualbeef!”.
I was referred to as sexualbeef by almost everyone on the course for the remaining 3 years!
That particular lecturer and I never really recovered either. She avoided my questions, ignored my emails and seemed truly disappointed that I was one of the few Politics students to survive the course and earn the degree.
I told this story to Beef. He says that this means that, in the end, he won the prank war.
He may have a point.
I still use the email address you know. Although, for obvious reasons, it no longer serves as my primary one.