Bay Area Darkfriend Social/First Intercontinental Virtual Darkfriend Social

August 16, 1997

A retelling of the social by N. Lundblad interspersed with comments Drew Gillmore and Bill Garrett. Edited for correctness and self-favoring bias by Bill Garrett.

The Wheel of Time turns, etcetera, etcetera.

The sixteenth of August, MCMXCVIIAD, began with a whimper as your browbeaten, cajoled, but willing nonetheless chronicler rolled out of a warm and comfortable bed at 10:15am, a wonderful and pleasant time to arise from beds in the equally wonderful and pleasant dell of Berkeley. Since he had slept late, it could be officially said that the day not only didn't dawn twice, it didn't dawn at all. Rather, it just kinda _started_, with the special brand of disorientation and bugger-all confusion that only a good night of rollicking college shenanigans could have produced. Brush the teeth. So. Yellow. Bulldozers? Nope. 'Twas a legal pad, upon which was written in large, crudely imitated Helvetica Bold, the following cryptic missive:

BADFS: Sat! Bring stuff. Concord. Bart, Green minivan? Fnord.

10 seconds later I was lying in the mu^H^H shower, followed by a mad dash for the pitiful store of liquid refreshment in my ucky fridge (3 Cokes, 3 CFDPs, and 2 Mexican beers). The BART train rolled me into a happenin' little burg called Concord (pronounced Konkerd) at almost exactly 12:30pm. I had been looking forward to seeking out and putting to the question people who looked like Darkfriends on BART, but since Troy Terry had "...issues" I knew there were no true DFs there--only the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is your average BART train.

After sitting by an ominous parking structure for a few minutes, an ominous looking green minivan with too many doors pulled up, handily brought to my attention by someone manically waving a piece of paper with 'DFS' on it. A-ha. The driver was one Mansur Ward, his passengers Paul Ward, Briana, and Charlie, whose last names escape me at this moment. I was instantly overtaken by a heady feeling of "Who are these people?", as none of them had really posted much to the group. I was assured that they were all Jordan fans (instead of, say, psychopathic pack-hunter maniacs looking for their friend David Fork Smith) by the ensuing derision of people who think Thom Merrilin's first name is pronounced with a th-as-in-thumb. Briana apologized for her shirt, which was more Day-Glo than...well, more Day-Glo than your average Day-Glo article of clothing. She claimed she hadn't done laundry in a while and was reduced to her "white-trash clothes." A common plight--I know it well.

We arrived at the Casa de Friends of Drew at about 12:45pm. Drew was alone with his computer and a manically happy devil-dog named Caleb. I had hoped to announce ourselved with some cool Jordan bit, but the best laid plans of Darkfriends gang garble garble and we were reduced to standard handshaking and stuff like that.

[Drew adds: I had thought to start by saying "Against what do we gaurd?" Or some such blather, but I was caught by surprise. You guys were fifteen minutes *early*.]

Drew had started up the First International Virtual Darkfriend Social with the gang in Sweden, so we all gathered around the 'puter to see Where We Wanted To Go Today. Somewhere along the line Bill and Hawk and Andrea showed up, as did Rick Moen and Eric Fulton. This other guy showed up but I don't know his name; he appeared magically when I was in the bathroom, and nobody could tell me when he came in. Maybe we had a little visit from a Forsaken, checking up to make sure we were up to no good. Which we were.

[Drew adds: He is Mike. The One Who Owns The Cam. And My Computer. And a good friend of mine. He came for the booze.]

(Official namelist, then: Drew Gillmore, Mansur Ward, Paul Ward, Charlie, Briana, Nathan L., Bill Garrett, Hawk, Eric Fulston, Andrea Leistra, Rick Moen (who rode his bike all the way from Oregon), and the mysterious Forsaken. Troy had ...issues and could not make it and Aaron Bergman had a wedding and also could not come.)

Note: if I forgot anybody, well, I'm lame. So be it.

There was Hawk-Guac which was pleasantly chunky, which it usually is unless it's a particularly bad day. It subsituted for Hawk in all the cross-pond picture-taking, much to the hoped-for consternation of the Swedes, who we figure don't really grok the whole concept of guacamole. But that's all right.

[Drew adds: I managed to get *one* picture of Hawk while she making the Hawk-Guac, (Wow. That sounds *really* bad.) and sent it to the Swedes. Unfortunately, I didn't save it. I should have saved *all* of the pics, but hey, My beer kept disappearing and so I was distracted. That and Hawk threatened me to within an inch of my life if I even thought about saving it. Fortunately for me my teleporting beer had disappeared at that moment and I was too busy locating it to think about saving the picture.]

[Bill adds: It's unfair to expect our Scandavian friends to understand slang like "guac", when I (at least) would probably fail to recognize nicknames for Swedish foods. We were talking about guacamole, the primary ingredient of which is mashed avocados. I can see how, if you didn't know this, you'd think it really funny that we were holding up a dish of chunky green slimy stuff and calling it "Hawk-Guac". It'd probably look more like hawk guano than anything else.]

So we had a camera on the 'puter and this cool whiteboard thing running with Netscape conference.

[Bill adds: We couldn't make out anything they were saying on the audio connection. It all sounded like "Bork bork bork."]

The folks across the pond posted a group picture, as did we at several points, and told us we weren't real Darkfriends because they had sacrificed the Goodkind book. So we offered the Gor books, but they weren't really necessary because we had Ba'alzamon already present. He possessed Caleb the Dog for a while, and then somehow put his face from tDR on one of our bodies. That was scary. Fortunately I allowed Rand from LoC to take over my face for a while, which was an enlightening experience to say the least.

[Drew adds: We had some really good pictures. One of Nathan sacrificing a Random Joe from the street (aka Eric Fulton) with The Sword With A Sharp Point But No Blade That Might Be A Sword Depending On Who You Ask (was The Sword That Isn't _Really_ A Sword, but Hawk kept insiting that it was), and we even had a Gleeman contest, as well as a MiB contest. I have to say that the Rand and Ba'alzamon pics were pretty good, though. Expecially for a two minute cut and paste job, if I do say so myself. *pat* *pat*]

I spent some time outside with the fire and food so I don't knwo what went on with the FIVDFS over the last couple of hours, though I think it involved someone in Sweden selling their Warder. Our food was wicked good; the burger somehow managed to come out great despite the fire being hotter than Georgia asphalt. There were some kosher dogs too, and later Potato Salad and Ambrosia.

Briana, Paul, and Charlie left after a while, saying something like it being an adult thing now. I confronted Briana and insisted I was *not* an adult. She said I was indeed, because I was drinking, but I was not convinced. Being called an adult by eighteen-year-olds sucks. Bill suggested finding some nubile young women to call me sir. Hmmph. Then Hawk called me a whelp, which just beats all. Bill insisted that the Challenger blew up on a Saturday, but we convinced him that it must have been a Teacher Enrichment Day or some such.

Joke of the Day: What did Christa McAuliffe leave as her last message to her husband? "You feed the dog, I'll feed the fish."

Har har har. We went through all of them.

Drew's friends had an apple tree with lots of apples lying around, so we picked up a stick and proceeded to sublimate our subconscious need for tPoD by exercising violence upon innocent apples. Drew, Bill, and I managed to beat the living snot out of almost every visible apple, especially after the aluminum bat arrived. It rained apple juice and showered soggy chunks. The tennis racquet improved on the bat somewhat, but didn't have such a nasty, brutish, and short feel to it. When we ran out of fruit, it got windy and we went inside and slowly called it a day.

[Drew adds: I think I got the distance record, two yards over on top of the aluminum gazebo (with a loud *THUNK*) with the tennis racket, but Bill also managed to put an apple on top of the school behind the house. No small feat, either.]

[A few days later, Drew adds: There are *still* apple chunks everywhere back there. And I found *two* pieces of apple in the front yard today.]

The newsgroup was referred to often, although it was as a rule all off-topic material, except for when we tried to decide whether or not the acronyms for the Pit of Doom and The Path of Daggers should be different. Pretty pitiful, neh?

[Drew adds: The rest seems kind of hazy, I seem to remember doing a Swedish Chef impersonation with celery that got Bill rolling, and then watching Charlie juggle celery.]

Anyway, it was about 8pm when the Bay Area/ First International Virtual DFS drew to a close.

Some quotes, brutally paraphrased 'cuz nobody wrote nuthin' down.

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Bill Garrett