Book of da Week: Confessions of a Chatroom Freak by Mr. Biffo

Confessions of a Chatroom Freak - Mr. Biffo
Get ready to confess, wretched sinners!

Confessions of a Chatroom Freak by Mr. Biffo (better known as Paul Rose, of Digitiser fame – we’ll explain later) compiled this hilarious book from chatroom sessions he had with men during the 2000s. Posing as LoopyLisa21f, he was able to have long, rambling, increasingly ridiculous conversations with these guys, many of whom trailed along with his maddening antics in the hope of getting into Lisa’s pants.

Paul Rose, from 1993 to 2003, gained a significant cult following for his hilarious, surreal writing on the video game Teletext (now defunct) magazine Digitiser. This has been a big influence on us, with Mr. Wapojif structuring his name as a tribute to the dude. So what better way, now that Mr. Rose has his site Digitiser 2000 up and running, to celebrate with a look back at this super funny book from 2007? Indeed.

Confessions of a Chatroom Freak

It’s an idea our very own Mr. Wapojif had – our editor even took to chatrooms in 2005 to wind some dudes up, but with the release of Mr. Biffo’s tome we were sadly denied originality. Oh well – onwards and upwards!

It’s an unusual book in that it harnesses the deranged perversity of some men and turns it into a positive thing – the book will make you laugh. Lisa may be one eccentric lady, but the men she meets are so dismally deranged and pathetic her outlandish ranting rarely drags anything out of them except innuendo. Behold:

LoopyLisa21f: I pursed my bits, and it went back in.
HotShaft: lol
HotShaft: funny
LoopyLisa21f: I'm not kidding, though...
HotShaft: bet ur not
HotShaft: do i get to c ur pic
LoopyLisa21f: Well... perhaps... I'm very shy.
LoopyLisa21f: At Sunday school I had to wear a cushioned sheath over my upper body.
LoopyLisa21f: My mother knitted it for me.
HotShaft: lol
LoopyLisa21f: I used to cover it with badges.
LoopyLisa21f: And tinsel.
HotShaft: lol

Confessions of a Chatroom Freak is crammed full of such encounters, with LoopyLisa’s often bizarre ranting regularly winding guys up into a frenzy.

LoopyLisa21f: Ok. Well, you have to be patient. It's just that I have never done this kind of thing before. I really haven't. And I fear that things have taken a turn for the worse.
BernieC: ok
LoopyLisa21f: I'm trying to "enjoy myself", and normally I like to read erotic poetry, you see.
BernieC: well i am thinking of lying there with you
LoopyLisa21f: Ok. I'll try and picture the scene...
LoopyLisa21f: Is one of us reading a book of erotic poetry?
BernieC: no
LoopyLisa21f: Are we reading a book of normal poetry?
BernieC: no
LoopyLisa21f: Are we reading a book of limericks?
BernieC: no you are [insert foul depraved act here]
LoopyLisa21f: With a book of poetry?
BernieC: with your hands
LoopyLisa21f:But I have to hold the book with my hands.
BernieC: the book is gone
LoopyLisa21f: Where did it go?
BernieC: in the bin
LoopyLisa21f: Hmm. Well, I don't know how that would've happened. I would never throw a book away. When I've finished a book I take it to Scope. Though one time they got a bit cross with me, because I took a cookery book in there, and I hadn't realised that Craig [LoopyLisa's dimwitted, accident-prone friend] had drawn a willy in it, and he'd done it so that it look like the willy was coming out of a casserole. If you've thrown the book away I really won't be very happy.
LoopyLisa21f: Anyway, let's soldier on.
BernieC: well your [insert depraved act here]
LoopyLisa21f: Why am I doing that? Is it sore?
BernieC: it will be
LoopyLisa21f: Please can I get the book out of the bin?
BernieC: no
BernieC: because now its in your mouth
LoopyLisa21f: Why is the book in my mouth? 
LoopyLisa21f: What am I doing with the book? Am I trying to eat it?

Rereading this 10 years later, there’s a tragicomic sensibility to the transcripts. Chiefly, Mr. Biffo goes off on one and shows off his hilarious abilities, but then there are the strange, wounded, oddball souls who populate the book with their demands of pictures in the often confounding pursuit of digital action.

A lot of it is flat out hilarious, although if there is a criticism it’s just how long the book is. At 300 pages, it’s simply too much madness. It’d be like if we did 20 posts a day. This means some of the chat sessions don’t have the same impact, and LoopyLisa also supplies diary entries with further details about her life – these are simply superfluous.

Thusly, it’d have been a bigger hit, we think, if it’d been reduced to 150 pages or so, but nonetheless it has a well-deserved spot on our bookshelf for being an interesting cultural oddity.

Update: Paul Rose

A quick mention again about the writer as Rose, who will be unknown to most of you, is something of a cult legend in England. At its peak, Digitiser (on the wholly anachronistic Teletext – even when it was running in the ’90s it was woefully outdated compared to magazines) was pulling in a million readers a week.

Such staggering figures have little to do with the video game subject – it was all about the humour. With a cast of insane characters such as Insincere Dave, Zombie Dave (who spewed forth stunningly vulgar discourse, cleverly masked behind zombie vernacular), the provocative Fat Sow, the Man Diaries (some of the most surreal writing ever achieved), and Mr. T (who was obsessed with bins, rather inexplicably), each edition was a marvel to behold.

They went out daily, except for Sundays, and there are websites such as the longstanding Super Page 58 where you can go to find out more about this wonderful world, if you so wish. That’s what websites used to look like back in the day, kids!

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