Dom Joly: Hooked on piano ditties and pathetic phalluses

Share
Related Topics

So, as usual, I come late to an internet trend. Somebody told me about this thing called Chatroulette and, desperate to waste time and avoid having to write anything, I gave it a go. I was hooked immediately. It's a very simple premise. You simply log on and turn on your webcam.

There you are, sitting and staring vacantly at the screen while you are randomly connected to other people sitting and looking equally vacant at their computer screens. You can hit the "next" button and move on to another random selection whenever you feel like it. This can be a bit tense as nobody wants to be "shunted", so you tend to press "next" pretty quickly just to show the other person how unimpressed you are by their vacant stare.

That's how it's supposed to work anyway. The reality seems to be rather a lot of penises. I don't mean that the people you're linked up to are penises, but about every fifth connection the vacant person staring back is replaced by somebody waving his penis at you. This, I hasten to add, is not why I'm addicted to this site.

No, I like it because of the wonderful random nature of it that keeps you hanging on, waiting to see what the next connection will bring. In a sense it's a bit like haphazardly ringing on people's front doors and then, when they open said door, just staring at them until they shut it again. Except these front doors open on to the bedrooms.

I tweeted about how much I loved this site, and was immediately told, in no uncertain terms by my trendy followers how "last week" I was. Having chastised me, my helpful twits then pointed me in the direction of the Chatroulette Piano Man. This is a guy who has taken things to the next level. Not content with merely staring at the vacant people who appeared on his screen, the Piano Man sits ready at his piano, making up little ditties about whoever shows up in front of him. It's very funny and you should check it out, although you are so last week if you haven't already seen it last week. My only disappointment is that Piano Man does not feature any of the penises in his song compilations. This, I feel is a cop-out. I'd love to see him attempt to sing a pithy ballad about a dancing phallus. The internet is essentially boiling down to, is a man wearing a hooded cagoule singing about a stranger's penis while playing the piano.

Another curious element of Chatroulette is that more than 50 per cent – not a scientific survey – of users seem to feel it necessary to wear sunglasses indoors. These sunglasses, more than often, seem to be mirrored aviators. At first I presumed that these were either to disguise the participants or to make themselves look cool and intriguing. Now, however, I've seen so many people wearing them that I'm starting to wonder whether there is a dress code that I never received?

It's difficult to remember at what precise age you suddenly realised that you looked a complete prat in mirrored sunglasses – indoors. At a guess, it was probably about 25, although I do still know the occasional acquaintance who continues with the practice. Better that, I suppose, than waving your penis online at complete strangers?

Maybe some of the online manhoods that I've seen in the last couple of days actually belonged to friends of mine? Maybe they gave up wearing mirrored aviators indoors in order to pursue their first love of online flashing? It's all very confusing and a long way from checking your computer once a day for emails, but what can I do? I'm simply technohip.com.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: Every privatised corner of the NHS would be taken back into public ownership

Philip Pullman
 

Errors & Omissions: Magna Carta, sexing bishops and ministerial aides

John Rentoul
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links