I posted this to the Second Lifers Livejournal group earlier in the week, but I thought it might be fun here, too. The Second Lifers community is at http://community.livejournal.com/second_lifers .

I really though I had seen some major software glitches in my time, and some viruses at work. But after last two nights ago, I know I’ve seen nothing. Here’s what happened:

A friend of mine was working on his virtual house that floats 400 meters above his Second Life land. I wanted to take a look at the house from the outside, and since you can’t fly the usual way that high up, I was using a free object another friend had given me, called an X-Flight Carbon Rod X, which you carry in one hand, and which lets you fly around at crazy speeds to high altitudes. There are a lot of objects like this floating around in Second Life.

And suddenly and for no reason I was plummeting toward the ground in an electric blue bondage harness, matching pumps and spiky cuffs … and with a ball gag strapped into my mouth. Oh, and just in case I wasn’t completely humiliated by this, I was bald.


Here’s what’s left of the gear. The rest of it I deleted in an uncontrolled rush of shocked humiliation. (This was before I got my sense of humor back.) Looking at it now, I really wish I had kept both the shoes!

I was not drunk. I didn’t black out. I didn’t click anything. I had really, honestly, never seen this gear before in my life. If I had been plummeting toward the ground in a schoolgirl costume and a fox tail, I think I would have had serious questions, but it would have made at least a tiny bit of sense. This was just, incredibly random.

At the same time that I was horrified, I have to admit that I was also very, very amused. My sense of humor would have been better if my hair had still been on my head, but there’s something just inherently funny about suddenly finding yourself falling from a quarter mile up, in full bondage gear.

The worst thing was that some of my body parameters seemed to have gotten spontaneously changed, so I had to restore from my most recent backup of myself (if you don’t back up your shape, please copy it and do so now!) and tweak for the things I had modified since then. Still, I think I finally got that more or less sorted out. Even the clothes I had been wearing were resting safely in my inventory.

I have two guesses about what was happening here, and neither one seems likely. First, it seems like it could have been some kind of an exploit or practical joke. Maybe I flew over somebody’s very creative security system. Maybe the maker of the X-Flight Carbon Rod wants to make my life a little more interesting (although that person probably had nothing to do with this!).

Or, it could have been a glitch. A little glitch. The kind of thing that can happen in any computer program. Surely you’ve used been using Microsoft Excel when suddenly your data found itself plummeting to the later spreadsheet rows in a harness and ball gag.

I do like embracing chaos in life. Really, I do. In this case, though, the chaos was a little wackier than I expected, and now I’m nervous. What’s next? I find myself teleported inside a cake to a virtual biker party, wearing nothing but pasties? My wardrobe is suddenly swapped for that of a gay elf knight? Although actually, that might not be too visible a change.

I think for now I’ll use my jet pack instead of my carbon rod, and if I’m a little nervous every time I log in, well, so be it. Life’s exciting sometimes. I’ll have to get used to it.

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