I’m actually very proud of myself: though initially a complete computer illiterate, I hadn’t been home from prison two weeks and had already taught myself to navigate the confusing (to me, anyway) array of iPhones, online banking and myriad websites designed to alleviate every inconvenience and make life that much more fulfilling and complete. I’m now a Googling, Skyping, Amazon wish-listing, Ebay-browsing, Scruff-woofing search-engine-scrolling internet junkie… Instead of just your ordinary, garden variety junkie.
Still, I’m left feeling somewhat dissatisfied. PayPal says it’s because I haven’t BOUGHT anything yet using their services, and I have to say that I agree. Upon signing up for the time-saving, online financial transaction website, I watched in utter excitement as the percentage of my profile ‘completeness’ rose with each date entry: address, date of birth, banking information, etc. Imagine my horror upon finalising my signing-in process only to be told my profile was still only 75% integrated. A blinking message appeared in the lower right-hand corner of my screen allerting me to ‘click here’ to make my first purchase. According to the gods of PayPal I needed to ‘buy something now!’ in order to complete myself.
Well, of course.
About a month after my release, I was naturally eager to try out all these new-fangled gay ‘dating’ apps. Grindr, it turned out, was NOT a hand-held device used to pulverize pepper corns. But it was surprisingly simple to navigate. In fact, it was easier to master than an ACTUAL spice grinder, which I fumbled with clumsily on my third day home, trying to figure out how the damn thing worked and spilling pepper corns all over the table. Unlike the physical grinder, I was able to figure out how to use Grindr in a matter of seconds.
That’s the problem. Now that I have become adept at using the dangerously-addictive social-app, I can’t stop. What warm-blooded gay male – who’s been basically celibate for 17 years – could possibly turn his back on a virtually non-stop calvacade of horny, willing and able pig-bottom skinheads?
Not only that, but as I’d find out the hard way, patronising this type of website can be fraught with peril: The first time I visited… um… one site in particular, I was scared shitless when suddenly my screen froze and on it appeared a very frightening looking FBI logo, along with a message saying my browsing history was being ‘confiscated’ and being used as ‘evidence’ to bring charges against me for downloading porn containing ‘beastiality, underage children and possibly illegally-held sex slaves.’
It was a bit unnerving, to be sure! Though I hadn’t been viewing any of the above-mentioned types of pornography, nothing I could do would unfreeze my screen and I was positive the FBI would be knocking down my door at any moment, carting my horndog ass right back to prison.
Thankfully my roommate Ernie showed me the next day how to eradicate this supposed warning that turned out to be nothing more than a scam. Not that I could have foreseen such a thing happening. After all, I was visiting only respectable, family-friendly websites. What right-minded individual would’ve expected any kind of shady, scam-like activity incurred from clicking on a site called straightwhitethugs.com?
I am now much more careful, locking my phone in order to not accidentally butt-dial Vines of me jerking off to potential employers (this happened yesterday), using separate e-mail addresses – one for business, one for pleasure – and remembering which is which. Now, if only I could remember, upon ‘completion of my transaction’ to log out of Scruff… and send that very-important-sounding lawyer in Uganda my social security number and banking information.