in a cage, IRCing with a stick

Okay, this is a long story, but it is one of the classic anecdotes of the channel. For many years until it was hacked in the early summer of 2000, Nutation used to run a bot called Technoboy on the channel. Nutation set Technoboy's /whois information to read "19, blond/blue, skater" so that Technoboy wouldn't so obviously appear to be a bot. This was occasionally supported by various botmasters making Technoboy "speak".

Castro19, as he was known then (his nicks change variously; but most of us just know him as Larry), once famously msg'd Technoboy "Hey, you sound cute...gotta pic?". Nutation happened to be visiting Decay- when this happened. Never ones to let an opportunity for mischief pass them by, they proceeded to have Technoboy engage in a conversation with Castro19. While Nutation kept him talking, Decay- scoured for an appropriately blond, blue-eyed, 19yo skater type picture. He found one and Technoboy and Castro19 swapped pix.

Castro19 clearly liked what he saw and Nutation had Technoboy agree to meet Castro19 that Friday at JRs in Walnut Creek (at this time JRs was the only 18+ club in the Bay Area and the place to be on Friday nights). Of course, now Decay- and Nutation were faced with the dilemna of how to make a non-existent person show up at a club in Walnut Creek. They decided to go to JRs that Friday wait and see what happened when Technoboy failed to show up.

Enough people on the channel (including myself) were in on the prank that nobody revealed the hoax. A few of us even went out to JRs to help further the ruse. When Castro19 would come up and ask if we'd seen Technoboy, we'd say "oh yeah, he's been looking for you all night!" Since Nutation and Decay- had told us in advance what Technoboy was supposed to be wearing, all our stories were co-ordinated. Finally, someone told Castro19 "I think he got tired of looking for you and he left. Gee, he looked kind of hurt."

Later that weekend, Castro19 msg'd Technoboy again to find out what had happened. Decay- made up some story about not being able to find Castro19 and they agreed to meet the following Friday. This went on for a few weeks with Castro19 getting more and more frustrated and disillusioned. In retrospect, it was amazing that this trickery managed to go on with so many people in on it and nobody revealing it. All good things must end, however, and besides, Decay- had run out of Technoboy "pictures" to keep stringing Castro19 along with.

Finally, one Friday at JRs, Nutation took Castro19 aside and told him that Technoboy wasn't going to be able to make it because something had happened at home, but that Castro19 "... had better ask Technoboy about it yourself." That night, online, a chastened Technoboy "revealed" that he couldn't meet Castro19 anymore because....he lived as a kept boy and he had disobeyed his Master, who was now punishing him by forbidding him to go out and see other people. "My Master is very strict..." Technoboy told Castro19, "...when he punishes me, he locks me in a cage, and I have to IRC with a stick..."

Amazingly, it took almost a year before Castro19 realized that Technoboy had been a bot all along. Whenever the channel splits or one of the bots goes offline or becomes desynched (or just plain malfunctions) we say that it's in a cage, IRCing with a stick. Similarly, to let (a bot) out of its cage means a bot's been fixed, e.g. "Nutation lets GagReflex out of his cage" When someone comes back from a date with someone who didn't match their description, they are said to have had a date with a 19yo blond/blue skater.