I struggled to find the address, peering from the window at the ill lit house numbers. Probably a mixture of nervousness and excitement at finally meeting the faces behind the online tags but mostly nervous. The house I wanted wasdark but one further down the street had a lot of activity. I thought I would try my luck. I was greeted at the wrong address by several women who grunted at me…yes grunted. I politely asked if this was the venue for the chat party and was hesitantly answered with 'yair who're you?' I was a bit worried the taxi had gone already. A girl came from the house frowning at me. I said my nick and she looked puzzled. I spelled the damn thing and connection was made. Her smile only went as far as her lips. She invited me in, pointed to the back yard and sat at her computer to chat. Hmmm. Well I decided I would introduce myself to everyone there. After all I made the trip just for this, might as well make the most of it. There was a lovely young woman moving interstate with whom I had a brief and interesting conversation but she was very popular and flitted from group to group. Her young man was there too and he was equally pleasant. Then came the ferals…OMG (Oh my god for laymen). They were scary, a mixture of the ‘Moe’ Murphy's cross bred with some wild boar. One of the neandertal knuckle draggers 'checked me out' and I decided then and there I was leaving as soon as I could find a phone. The feral kids were running amok up and down the street, screaming and belting each other with sticks, the parents were ‘blewing’ and everyone else was plastered. They were the desperate and dateless crowd and it wasn’t any wonder. It was 8.35pm. Just then two very handsome young men arrived, looking as though they had been dumped on another planet. After a brief conversation it turned out to be true. They were UBD dwellers who had never been to the suburbs especially not new housing estates like this one. The farthest either had ventured was Chapel or Lygon streets. This was culture shock for them. I gave them permission to escape and they took off faster than Schumaker at the Grand Prix. Pity I didn't think fast enough to ask for a lift. The shift at the monitor had changed as more and more chatter's reached for a link with their addiction. No wonder the alcohol was so freely flowing this was worse than Disney destroying my childhood fairy tales with an animation. The reality just did not link to the imagination. Face to face we were all wishing for a screen to hide from reality! Finally things seemed to be improving as I struck up a fairly decent conversation with a guy who had been born in the town I was now living in. He made it clear he wasn’t there for a pick up and so did I so we relaxed for a few minutes until…the predator attacked me. Actually shoving me aside the femme fatale pushed her acres of bosom as high as she could and screeched "This ones moine" and launched into a tirade at this poor man who happened to frequent the same chat room as she did. I sidled out the door and someone offered me a lift to the station. I had been looking forward to meeting some of the people I chat with regularly but sadly none of them were there. Next time I will try a public rather than private gathering and check for all the exits.