Last night was a crazy night. No, it didn't involve waking up in someone else's bed, alien invaders, flying pigs or celebrities of any sort. In fact, like all nights, it started out normal enough. With my parents out of town, I decided to call up some buddies and see if they wouldn't mind coming over and downing a few brewskies and exchanging conversation. However, only one buddy was around and so stoned he couldn't drive, so only one buddy showed up. He brought his new girl on by. She seems like she lost a lot of weight because the skin just under her shoulders, on her upper arm, seemed kind of loose and flappy. Enough about the girl though...

By the time they showed up at 10:00pm I was already well into my fifth beer, and enjoying quite a buzz. While I remained hopeful that more buddies would show, we watched the Red Sox game. The game wasn't bad, anytime you come back and win it's great, especially in the 9th and 10th innings, but when I was watching we were losing. As I got up to go grab another beer for myself, something flew by me, through the kitchen and into the hall. Jill screamed.

The three of us had no idea what the hell it was, as it swooped by us so fast. I'm sure it came from the solarium next to the living room, but I have no idea how it got in there. It was either a bird or a bat.

By the time we had this figured out, it circled around again. This time through the dining room, into the kitchen and then upstairs. My buddy and I leapt into action as Jill took a seat on the floor, under a blanket. She doesn't like bats too much.

I went upstairs after the bat, and told my buddy to wait at the bottom of the steps in case it came down. I cautiously crawled to my room, a drunken crocodile hunter. I quickly scoped out my room and then grabbed two blankets. I closed the door and walked to the stairs again, tossing down a blanket when I got there. My parent's room, then my brother's were checked. I checked the bathroom, closing every door I came to in order to cut off its escape. Flicking on the lightswitch in the study I didn't see anything, so I flicked it off and started to close the door, thoroughly confused about the location of said animal.

It was then, drunk, confused and with my back to the recently checked study, that the bat flew an inch over my head. I yelped in surprise and readied my arms. With no where to go the bat turned towards me, and I launched the blanket into the air. The bat was nowhere to be seen. "I got it!" I hollered, my speech only hinting at a slight slur.

"It's loose!" My buddy yelled from down the stairs. It must have crawled out when I started to look under the blanket for it. I told him to fan out, to head through the kitchen and rustle the animal towards me. 2 of us, only one bat, we could surround it. I held my blanket wide, ready to launch it at a moments notice. And that's when I saw the bat again. It flew into the living room and started flying around in circles. My buddy blocked off one door, and I the other. When it came close to me, I launched the blanket again.

While the blanket is not the most effective hunting tool in the world, it worked fine here. On the ground again, we saw no movement from the bat, but knew it was under the blanket somewhere. We started to spread the blanket out, and groping it, to see if the bat could be found. Bats are not large creatures like they make out in the movies. This one was only 4 inches long, and 2 wide, maybe. He lifted up the blanket and saw the bat huddling in its wings. Once we located the bat, I grabbed the bat, surrounded in the blanket.

I could only imagine the trauma inflicted on this poor animal. It's echolocation must have been going berserk, as it was wrapped in a blanket, being clutched by me. I could feel the animal shivering, vibrating, with fear? I wasn't sure. I made my way to the solarium, scaring Jill along the way, as any boy would do to a girl with anything remotely icky in his hands. I walked to the door and threw the bat out into the night. It took off like nothing had ever happened, and hopefully ate a lot of mosquitos.

Did you make it to A Plan for World Domination or Just Another Nodermeet? Bristol, Summer 2003?

For the poor souls that didn't make it, and perhaps for the lucky ones that did - here's an aftermath.

Friday
Friday was the day of turning up, and despite this even we didn't see Andrew Aguecheek or BlueDragon until the following day. The noble wertperch arrived with barely an hour to spare before the passing of the new day due to the British train system.

With promptness even more pronounced than my usual I managed to turn up at the flat that was to be the base of operations before any of the Brisnoders had appeared. My slight glow of smugness at having made the four hour journey without a hitch temporarily faded after there was no response at the doorbell, but a quick phone call to our lovely organiser sorted that out, and noders turned up within five minutes.

From there things went rather more smoothly. While varying types of lasangne were cooked to accomodate the complicated food issues various noders suffered from (vegetarian was the non-fussy option this time) noders trickled in and made the customary rounds of greetings. After a swift half pint of a cider that cost twice as much as everything else in the pub, and tasted far too much like apple juice for me to be comfortable I was back in the flat again, ready for dinner. The most noticable arrival was that of toalight and tingo (guided by the navigationally endowed Tiefling) who had come from Norway to meet the Britnoders.

An excellent meal then followed from about 10.30, with much joviality, and more than a little red wine. As might be expected, we didn't go straigt to bed after this, and lounged around either talking in the flat, or smoking outside for some time, before at about 3am circadian rythms finally caught up, and led to nights of sleep that were non the worse for being on the floor.

Saturday
After a tea and coffee fueled wakeup Saturday led to a large division amongst the noders. While some of the Brisnoders not affected by the Sabbath went to the Ashton Court Festival most of the rest of us headed into the centre of Bristol to enjoy ourselves in other ways. wertperch initiated a session at an internet cafe which led to a brief period of contented E2 access. While wertperch rushed off to deal with a friend we settled down into a pub, for a couple of pints, and a nourishing lunch, which was my first real meal of the day.

From there, the group became even more fractured as the hardcore geeks (Tiefling, BaronWR and myself) set off to find a geek store, in which to purchase geek games. We were eventually sucessful, and ended up with an assortment of games with which to occupy ourselves for the evening, as well as a few more dice, such as a D100 for my collection. Eventually, nursing sore feet we made if back to the flat, finding several noders there waiting for us. BaronWR was fortunate enough to win the first game of Kill Doctor Lucky with a well placed runcible spoon.

Eventually everyone met up again, joined by BlueDragon (whos car was blocked in by a vindictive landlord), and Andrew Aguecheek, who despite being local had been forced to work earlier in the day. We went to a pan-asian restaurant called Budokan, which served excellent food, and cannot be highly recommended enough, both for taste, presentation and service. This was followed by a quick drink before closing time.

An evening somewhat similar to the previous followed, although this time there was the added attraction of more board and card games, although the Risk promised in the meet node never materialised, due to it being locked in the absent elem_125's room. Perhaps beginning to feel the strain of overlong waking hours pull us down a considerable quantity of caffeine and nicotine was consumed, despite asserstions as to them being suited only to the weak. Eventually, yet again, sleep took hold of us.

Sunday
A late rising and the need of most visiting noders to catch their trains in the mid-afternoon soon stopped most plans to go and listen to the music festival. By the time breakfast had been acquired and consumed it was already time for a pub lunch, or in my case, just the beer.

With time rapidly ticking on at 1s/s we went to have a quick look at the Clifton Suspension Bridge, a fine piece of architechture by the great Isambard Kingdom Brunell. Fond farewells were made from Bristolian to non-Bristolian, and all the remaining non-Britolians piled into a large cab, to go to the station, while the Brisnoders headed off to sample the live music.

More farewells, and all departed on their appropriate trains, although in a few cases there was nearly an hour of waiting around to be done beforehand. Departure ensued, and for the non-Brisnoders at least, the meet was over. Perhaps some of us will see you next weekend?

Those Involved, in order of appearance


Apologies to anyone who feels missed out or offended by my bigoted portrayal of them. Perhaps you'd like to set me straight with a counterpart writeup?

Pictures from the meet should soon be appearing at wertperch.co.uk

Work was better than average today. I work in a nursing home. I'm a kitchen aide for $7.21 an hour. I'm the one who gets to set the table and wash dishes for twelve people twice a day (for breakfast and lunch). Well, it pays my EXTRAVAGANT Magic: the Gathering bills and allows me to get a solid hour to hour-and-a-half of reading time. Today was particularly splendid, as I had my copy of Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide (contains all five books of the Hitchhiker's Trilogy, along with another short story) with me, and two of the residents were out for the day. That means I finished cleaning up breakfast and lunch earlier than usual -- more reading time!

After work I went straight home to eat lunch: frozen pizza. That's good stuff! So after popping a pizza into the toaster oven, I hopped on the computer. The cable line is down for maintenance. ACK! Luckily, for some bizarre reason, my mother is still paying for America Online. After dialing into AOL at an excruciatingly slow rate, I'm granted a Welcome Screen with the headline Hunting Naked Women with a Paintball Gun. This is the first (and hopefully the last) time I have/will ever opened a link presented to me on an AOL Welcome Screen. (If you're interested in reading it, search Google News for "naked paintball").

So I'm up and running online. It's nearly 16:00 -- time for the weekly Capture the Flag tournament on the AberMUD Phoenix. My team was doing really well -- I was killing Blue team members like swine. Halfway through my mother's boyfriend cuts my connection. He has to use the phone. He told me his brother just had a heart attack. At first, I was a bit dazed. Sure, I had never met his brother, but I understood that it was vitally important for Kevin to contact his family. Then after a few minutes of doing nothing, a question pops into my head. 'How did he know his brother just had a heart attack?' Well, to make a long story short, Kevin's brother did not have a heart attack. He just needed to use the phone to call his buddy. Damn. It's about 17:30 when I get back online. The Capture the Flag tournament ended ten minutes ago. My team won. However, I don't get any credit for playing, as I wasn't there until the very end. Double damn.

After doing a bit of browsing on E2 and working a little on my own MUD, I decide to fry my brain in front of the boob tube. Cable Guy, Dogma, and The Wedding Singer are on simultaneously. Success! I love Jim Carrey, Kevin Smith, and Adam Sandler; I get to flip through three hilarious movies.

So that brings us to the present. I wrote this node primarily because I had an incident yesterday with a really shoddy writeup. At the time of this writing, it's still sitting there, grotesquely, in One Ring. I wrote a Brainfuck program that printed a few lines from the One Ring poem, but it was definitely ill-received, off-topic, and pointless. It's quite a blemish on my good node record. :(


"As soon as I found out about this, I called for an investigation," Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said. "Las Vegas is a place where anything goes, but this crosses the line if this is real."

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