AOL Memories #1: The Fred Durst Experience

*This will be a series in which I recall some of my most cherished AOL memories. Some entries will be shorter than others and some may be sad or funny. As a teenager in the 90’s I spent a lot of time on AOL and these are some of my favorite memories.*

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Back in the 90’s if you had a computer and a phone line, chances are you were online. America Online to be exact. As soon as I got home from school I’d plop in front of the computer and sign in. I was one of the lucky kids as I knew some parents had a time limit for their kids. I didn’t spend the whole evening online. After all I am a gamer too. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say AOL had its claws in me. I was addicted. From chat rooms to eventually doing the whole role playing thing, I loved it. One day I decided to have a bit of fun.

I’m guessing this was around 1997-1999. I was young and at the time I didn’t know that these would be cherished memories for me. So I’m kinda guessing on the year. Korn was one of my favorite bands at the time. Limp Bizkit on the other hand I hated. I hated that cocky douche Fred Durst and his wannabe bad ass attitude. My younger brother and some of his friends liked Limp Bizkit and we had some kind of “war” about who was the better band. These wars were nothing more than little arguments. You know, typical kid stuff. This led to me wanting to see if other Limp Bizkit fans were as dumb as some of my brothers friends. It’s wrong I know, I realize this now but I was a teenager.

One afternoon I decided to go into the Limp Bizkit chat room. I didn’t really have a plan at the time. I sat there for awhile watching people talk about their favorite LB songs. How awesome Fred Durst was and how he could kick anybodies ass. Pretty stupid stuff. Then I got an idea. I’d tell these guys I was Fred Durst. That I sometimes make up different screen names and pop into the chat to see what my fans are saying about Limp Bizkit. I didn’t think it would work and most people ignored me or told me I was full of crap. Then I got an instant message.

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I can’t remember the screen name but I recall it had “Skater” in the name. He asked if I was the real Fred Durst. Being the asshole I was I said of course I was. This poor kid took it hook, line and sinker. He would ask me what the other members of the band were doing. I recall telling him one time that Wes Borland was asleep on the couch. He would ask if we was working on a new album or if I would send him any tracks. “Sorry but the record company won’t allow me to send them.” A simple but reasonable excuse. Sometimes when I’d sign on there would be instant messages from him. He seriously couldn’t believe he was talking to the “real” Fred Durst.

This went on for almost a week. Sometimes I’d sign in as invisible because I just didn’t want to bother with him. Finally I figured it was a good time to end this. I debated telling him I was a random nobody and the he was a moron for believing me. For some odd reason I didn’t. I’m not sure but maybe I felt sorry for him or I felt bad for leading on a hardcore fan. I told him that we were about to go on tour and that I would be deleting the screen name so no one else would discover it. He was sad of course but I thanked him for being a fan. I then blocked him because there was no way I was actually going to delete my screen name. So yeah, if you’re reading this and you was online friends with Fred Durst back in the 90’s, I’m sorry that wasn’t him and now you know the truth!

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