DC Darkfriend Social

March 19, 1995

Below is a report of what happened at our DC Darkfriend Social in March. I (Bill Garrett) wrote the original summary but several other attendees later added various pieces. I've sewn them all together without acknowledging who wrote which part, so I'd like right now to thank Judy Ghirardelli, Chad Orzel, and Pam Korda for contributing.

Be sure to check out the Photo Page for pictures from the gathering.

Ill-Met in Arlington

The thirteenth quasi-monthly DC Darkfriend Social was held Sunday, March 19, 1995. Attendees were Bill Garrett, Hawk, Megan (a lurking friend of Hawk's), Brad Smith (Puppy), Joe Shaw (Uno), Chad (Oilcan), Pam Korda, Brian Postow, Mike Ikeda, and Judy Ghirardelli (Piglet). We had made reservations for 4:30 at the American Cafe in Arlington, but when we got there we found out that the restaurant was closing -- permanently -- at 5 that day. This had not stopped the manager from confirming our reservations by telephone the day before.

We waited until 9 of the 12 expected guests arrived and then walked over to Slade's, in the same shopping mall. We've been there twice before for DF socials. To help the last 3 guests find us, we drew a dragon's fang on a sheet of paper, wrote "Slade's" beneath it, and hung it up in front of the American Cafe. The manager didn't quite understand it, but he approved it because he thought we were casting aspersions on his competitor.

Math is Hard

As we began taking our seats in Slade's, we realized that there were two tables with 8+4 seats and 9 of us. Given the group's supreme abilities in math, splitting up into groups of 5 and 4 was out of the question. Several people were happy to play the equivalent of muscial chairs and exile the loser (me) to sit by himself at the small table. I whined, and Joe and Chad were gracious enough to offer me their seats while they wandered off to watch the second round of the NCAA basketball tournament at the bar.

When they came back, we squeezed ourselves around the table. We were worried that we couldn't afford the second table, you see. Our waitress overheard our jokes about it and, with an incredulous look, said "We don't charge for tables." Several of us erupted into laughter, and the waitress walked away with a disheartened look that seemed to say "Oh, well, don't expect much tip from them..."

Judy arrived soon, and we asked her if she saw our sign. "Oh, I loved it!" she said happily as she pulled it out of her purse and showed it off with a smile. I suppose that explains why neither of the other two people we were expecting ever arrived. Folks, if you went to the American Cafe and couldn't find us, blame Judy for stealing the sign. ;-)

Brian threw in the ObCSpun: It's undecidable whether the other guest(s) are going to show up or not. I favored him with a grimace from behind the monster-sized beer I was drinking and that was the end of stupid CS puns for the evening. My beer itself became an item of discussion... I made some comment about the glass being very tall, which Megan somehow misheard as "They forgot the tampon." I have no clue where she got that from.

Servants of the Dark

Our waitress' name was also Megan. She warmed up to us after I had quietly whispered to her that I knew we were a bit rowdy, but that we were planning to tip her well. (That, and something she said about us being her only table.) We took a picture of her and told her she'd soon be immortalized on the Internet. She was underwhelmed. She ought to be scared. She referred to me as her number-one guy, though. I was tickled. "It must be because you're so fine," added Judy.

The waitress was also hitting on Chad, whom she asked, if you can believe this, "Do I know you? You look familiar". I told her Chad was an offensive lineman for the Maryland Terapins. She gave me this half-suffering glance that said, "I know my players, and I can see that he really ha^H^His a tight end."

The ObNovak Discussion

Someone who hasn't met or seen John Novak asked what he looked like. Pam began to describe him and Hawk started rummaging through her pockets, saying "I'll show you what he looks like." Judy stared at her, astonished, and said, "You carry around pictures of Novak?!"

Later on, the discussion turned to who Hawk would bite and under what conditions. Someone made fun of Chad and he quipped "I'd say 'bite me' but I know this crowd." We asked Hawk if she'd bite Chad, and whether she'd be more likely to bite him than Novak (eg). "You know how bad Novak tastes," she said. The unison response: "WE know?"

Megan introduced herself as a person who hasn't read WoT but does follow our newsgroup. She says she reads our group because she reads alt.peeves, and worships the ground Novak snorts on, and migrated to our group where he is more... prolific. When Judy heard this, she pointed and screamed "A Novak Groupie!!!"

Chad tries to explain why Megan would bother with us: "This mystified me... I just don't see the point. I mean, we _are_ as witty and debonair a group as can be found on the Net, and some of us are sex gods (no, Dylan, not you), but really... Without the context of WoT, we probably look like a pack of idiots."

We also explored the Zen of Novak. "What is the sound of Novak?" I asked. "What is the sound of one Novak clapping?" Chad asked, promptly demonstrating by clapping with one hand. "If a Novak falls in Peoria," Chad continued, "does it make a sound?"

Joe Shaw chimed in: "If Novak posts in the woods, and nobody is there to read it, did he say anything?"

Bill responded, "I think that should be phrased as 'If Novak posts on the newsgroup, and everybody has killfiled him, did he say anything?'"

Curious Characters

Chad explained the origin of his nickname "Oilcan" once again. His rugby friends all had names, and decided that he needed one, too. A fellow named Tex dubbed him Oilcan, after a baseball player. "You accepted that name?" queried one incredulous person. Chad pointed out that two other guys had the names "Butt Plug" and "Crack Baby", and hence he considered himself to have gotten a fairly good deal.

Megan the Novak Groupie had the lion's share of good quotes at the Social. When she wasn't flirting with Brad, she was heard to say:

"'Amol'? What's that, a gangster's girlfriend? A Lebanese militia?"
"Excuse me, I'm not a prostitute, I just play one on TV."
"I'm way too much of a slut to ever be someone's wife."
To which one of us responded, "She's not a slut, she's just 'morally inhibited.'"

John, I'd be worried if I were you. You have some odd fans.

Ahhh, the Family Newsgroup

Discussion like this caused frequent appeals to this being a FAMILY newsgroup and a FAMILY restaurant. It was at times like these that Chad and Joe typically excused themselves to go watch TV at the bar. Chad: "There's gotta be a game on." Joe and Chad: "Is the America's Cup on? Maybe a boat will sink."

At one point in the evening, a waitress led a family of 3 or 4 over to a table next to ours and asked if they minded sitting there, next to us. This elicited hoots and raucous laughter from our group. They ended up sitting on the opposite side of the dining room. Gosh, if we'd had Dylan there, taking his pants off (as I hear he does at Texas DF socials), we probably could have had the whole restaurant to ourselves.

Hawk started biting people again, particularly me. I got upset and slapped her. She slapped me back. I slapped her back. We slapped each other back and forth, tapping out a syncopated rhythm. Pam took off her hat and started dancing to the cadence. The sheer sight of her doing this caused me break out in laughter and stop slapping Hawk.

As I recovered, I asked her what type of cap it was that she was wearing. Or, to repeat what I think I actually said, "What *is* that thing on Pam's head?" "Just some thing that was in the closet," she said.

Hawk also spit in Judy's face. It was truly disgusting. I do believe they were Judy's words too: "God Hawk, that was DISGUSTING!!!" while using her napkin to wipe her face. Let's hope Hawk wasn't sick at the time.... Judy's cranky and alittle flaky when she takes cold medicine, and there's no telling what she might do. Megan observed: "Hawk spits, but she can't swallow."

This occasioned more cries about the FAMILY newsgroup and the FAMILY restaurant. Even the waitstaff at the restaurant felt the same tension about us that some of the more staid members of our group did. When a group of 6 came into the restaurant after our discussion had gotten going, their waitress led them to a table opposite us and asked, "Do you want to sit _here_?" We saw the look of terror in their eyes and cracked up laughing. I believe they finally sat on the opposite side of the dining room.

Hawk was still irritated about the slapping incident. "I need to borrow your handcuffs," she said to Megan. Megan: "Which ones?"

This exchange came back to haunt Pam a few days later. You see, I had been jotting down quick notes about everything we discussed at the social. Just before the handcuffs discussion, Judy had grabbed my notes to see what was written. I complained about not having anything to write on, so Pam quickly lent me a scrap of paper (a Waldenbooks receipt) from her purse. Shortly thereafter, I got my paper back and handed back Pam's receipt. Pam stuck it in her pocket and forgot about it. I'll let Pam finish the story:

    The next day, I was cleaning out my pockets, and I
    discovered what looked like a bizarre shopping list:

	The Zen of Novak
	Handcuffs--what type?

    I did a mental doubletake; it took me a few minutes to
    connect this with events of the previous evening.

Quotes out of Context

Random quotes from the evening: Novak's comment about the last quote: The academic set has Usenet. (Which explains my desperation for good conversation.) The nonacademic set has tractor pulls. I have never been to a tractor pull, so shut the hell up.

Chad: I have. You ain't missing much.

What a Long, Strange Road it's Been

We gathered outside after the social to pose for our group photo. Judy was so cold and shivering because, after all (all together now), she is only a Very Small Animal.... Someone pointed out that Chad, her quasi-warder was there, and should offer her his jacket. Chad glanced down at her, the pitiful shivering thing, and says "No way are you getting this jacket." What kind of a quasi-warder is he anyway? I offered Judy my coat, but she was so put out at Chad that she declined. I hope the cold she caught teaches her right. :-)

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Bill Garrett