The Lobby and Anything Goes

Update April 2015: I just logged in to my old Anything Goes site where many of you are and discovered that way back in November 2014, Confuzer (thanks very much) posted a link to some of the chats that went on in 2000. Take a look. Some of the posts had me rolling at the memories. The usual suspects You know who the guilty parties are: RussianGirl, confuzer, verdeii, loz-who-changed-her-name-from-lollipop for obvious reasons, ROSES, Draven et al.

The link to the chat record is down in the comments, also.


For Alicja, wherever you are.
I’ll be seeing you
In all the old familiar places…
–Irving Kahal

Update May 2011: Michele White has written a book titled “The Body and the Screen – Theories of Internet Spectatorship”. It runs some 200 pages, not including notes and end credits. By the sound of it, she was being paid to sit and chat. The book is copyrighted in 2006.

Club Gabbay gets an honorable mention at the bottom of page 29. I wonder how much time she spent in the rooms, and what character names she used. She has more publications to her credit, so it’s obviously not a thesis. Michele, if you’re out there, come by and say hello.

Link to Michele’s publication on Amazon here. Unfortunately, the pdf has been removed.

I found the link to a record of some very old ClubGabbay chats that Confuzer (Rutger) mentioned in his comment, below. There’s quite a few of them. Read and enjoy. Don’t neglect **ArRoW**’s Chat Center guest book below, either.

Update October 2009: With the closing of GeoCities domain and web sites at the end of October 2009, all the old familiar places will be gone for good. Here’s a link to **ArRoW**’s Chat Center guest book. Take a look at some of the old entries for some memorable names.

Update April 2007: It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Alf on April 24, 2007, known to us all as Fozzie. While Fozzie was working in his woodlot, harvesting trees to turn them into lumber for a building he wanted to construct, the little Furpot was called to the great kitchen in the sky, where beautiful cooks and lovely waitresses prepare and serve the finest foods and sweetest desserts known to exist, just for him. Fozzie will be sadly missed by all of his good and kind friends from Australia to North America and places in between.

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ClubGabbay's notable chat background

The Lobby chat room background from ClubGabbay. I did a little color enhancing to make the background more recognizable.

Back in the ’90s there was a chat site known as ClubGabbay, or Anything Goes. It consisted of a number of rooms, most notably the wildly popular “Anything Goes” chamber, but also a more tame room known as “The Lobby”. The crazies–of which I was one, I sheepishly admit–populated Anything Goes, while more sane individuals among us were known to frequent the Lobby.

(How many of us discovered ClubGabbay from the Healthy Choice Chat Center? I know I was one that initially found the Healthy Choice room, but soon thereafter migrated to ClubGabbay and Anything Goes.)

In the search engines, the site was listed as being one for music appreciation, but from what I saw, no one who came in talked much about music. Eventually, in the late ’90s, the owner of the site attempted to sell his somewhat mediocre audio recordings to fund the operation, but that bombed big-time. Eventually the entire place collapsed into the one remaining room known as The Lobby.

The chat room eventually ended up being given or sold–I’m not sure which–to a couple of people. Then the trolls arrived, during which time a couple of the regulars using multiple handles actually ended up destroying the place. Finally, the Lobby imploded and was closed. The domain remains still, but it comes up as a commercial search site, listing mostly inane plastic cookware and travel sites–such a fall for a once-popular and widely-known series of chat rooms.

During the course of the site’s operation, I went on the road to meet many of the chat site regulars, who were physically located far and wide across North America and the world. Most of those I met were located in North America, but some from offshore ended up visiting, and I eventually rode to meet them also.

When the chat room closed, we were limited to the various messenger services and their limitations. The crazy days were long gone by then, and the silliness that had pervaded the old site no longer ruled in the one-on-one world of the IM chat clients. If you couldn’t post a link to a silly picture, what was the point? Stay in touch without that? No, thanks. Consequently, we all went our various ways, and most ended up falling off the map.

I think it would be mildly interesting to find out what all the crazies are doing now. From personal contact, I know that a few have completed their Masters or PhDs, some have gotten married, others are having babies, and still more are doing what they always did, working away and killing time in other chat rooms or forums. Some have passed on from this life and are now in a kinder, gentler place but will continue to live on in our chat room memories.

It was a fun time in the early days of the wide-open chat room environment, but eventually most of us lost contact while moving on to live our lives.

Here’s a link to a forum, not often used, for all the old familiar faces.