Be sure to check out the Photo Page for pictures from the gathering.
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.
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.
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."
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?'"
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:
John, I'd be worried if I were you. You have some odd fans.
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.
Chad: I have. You ain't missing much.
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