When my wife and I decided to visit my family in Las Vegas--where I was raised--over the Veterans Day weekend, I shot Roninspoon an e-mail suggesting that we hold a Vegas E2 gathering. The apparent ease with which other groups of Everythingians pull this sort of thing off on a regular basis while we seemed unable to rankled us both, and he agreed that this would be a good thing.

I was hoping to meet in someplace that was uniquely Vegas, and eventually we settled on the Star Trek-themed Quark's Bar at the Las Vegas Hilton. I must confess that this extremely dorky venue was my suggestion. I would later come to deeply regret this.

My wife and I arrived a few minutes before 9:00 on Saturday night. Roninspoon (whom I will henceforth refer to as "Ed") and his Significant Other had not arrived yet so I ducked into the bathroom. There I discovered to my delight that the towel dispensers are equipped with motion sensors. I truly felt like "Captain Spock", washing his hands in a "space bathroom" aboard the "U.S.S. Deep Space Nine". Beam me up, Mork!

We rounded the bar, avoiding a boisterous group of patrons dressed as Klingons (a grim foreshadowing of events to come), in search of our party. My mental image of Ed was based on a pic on his website wherein his head has been placed on the body of Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, so I wasn't real sure I'd be able to spot him. However, as we completed our circuit we ran right into Ed, unmistakable in a cool leather jacket and piratical earring, and his elfin SO. Huzzah!

We took a table and found ourselves plagued by an overly attentive waiter who was forced to hover around us as we were his only customers. I had a Romulan Ale, which came recommended by a friend of mine because it turns your teeth blue. My wife had a "Data's Day", and Ed ordered a beer that did not have a stupid Star Tek name, which immediately marked him as a dangerous subversive. I can't remember what his SO ordered, but it was pink and frothy.

I'd nervously envisioned a night full of E2-related banter between Ed and myself with our bored female companions pointedly looking at their watches every few minutes, but happily this wasn't the case. We swapped stories of dramatic car breakdowns, clueless computer users, colorful co-workers, and childhood injuries.

(Regarding the latter, judging from his stories Roninspoon should by all rights be dead. He has almost as many injuries as Mick Foley, for crying out loud.)

Then the Klingon came.

Midway through one of Ed's injury stories, a hotel-employed actress dressed as a Klingon stalked over to our table. I tried to oblige her by looking impressed--I mean, the costume was good and all, and had we been a group of tourists who'd come just for the Trek ambience, we might possibly have welcomed a visit of this type. (Though I gotta say in my case, not bloody likely.)

Ed gamely finished his story while the Klingonette stared at him balefully. She then tried to engage him in...I dunno, repartee or something. He was radiating "leave us alone" waves so powerful that they were visible to the naked eye, yet she wouldn't take the hint.

I tried to draw her fire by playing along. This is her job after all,I thought. She has to do this. Maybe if I throw her a bone she'll be satisfied and she'll leave faster. I babbled some lame nonsense about us coming from a distant and unexplored area of the galaxy but SHE STILL WOULDN'T FRICKIN' GO AWAY! Finally she hit the road, leaving a vast and embarrassed silence in her wake. As we slowly came to grips with our collective trauma, we reached the following conclusion:

Nothing Kills A Conversation Like A Klingon

Fortunately, Ed got us back on track with a story about nearly getting killed while jumping out of an airplane. That his horrifying experience came as a breath of fresh air is a measure of just how much Klingons suck.

Shortly after that we all got pretty tired, and decided to call it a night. Ed magnanimously picked up the tab for the evening and we said our goodbyes, expressing the hope that we could do this again Real Soon. We meant it, too; Ed and his shy and charming SO were good folks, and we look forward to seeing them again. (After all, we scarcely touched on his deep and abiding love for Star Wars, a passion shared by mi esposa loca.) We'll probably stay away from theme bars, though.

Although I was excited at the prospect of meeting a fellow everythingite my SO was not. She was plagued by the sort of worries you get after watching an ABC after school special or a Dee Snider movie. I had to trick her into attending. We went shopping, and then I sprang it on her. "Sorry baby, we got to be at the Hilton at nine." Her apprehension only increased when she discovered we were meeting Quizro and his engaging wife in the Star Trek themed location previously mentioned. "You're such a dork." I didn't share her particular fear of this meeting, but I am a cautious man. We arrived at quarter to nine, and I quickly scouted the open seating area of the bar and restaurant for a man who may have vaguely resembled the picture from his home node. I didn't spot Quizro and retreated to the nearby gift shop. The glass facade of the gift shop presented me with an unobstructed view to the entrance of the restaurant. I waited at my post and fended of the occasional inquiry from the tall Bajoran managing the store. When I witnessed the approach of the man I was expecting, accompanied by the woman I presumed to be his wife, I exited my blind and approached, timidly inquiring if they were in fact the ones I was waiting for. It was odd to hear someone call me by my alias. After a brief round of introductions we were seated and the fun began. I had really been looking forward to this. I won't lie to you, I was a little bit jealous of all the groups that have managed to meet before and spent so much time talking about it. It all sounded like so much fun. I wanted in on that. We ordered drinks. Quizro ordered an appropriately themed beverage. I opted for a "Space Corona." My decision pleased me after I saw Quizro's fruity colored beverage. "It's beer" he claimed, I don't believe him, it was blue. I purposefully attempted to keep our conversation from alighting on topics of E2. I had already attempted to explain our little community to my SO and she wasn't receptive. She just rolled her eyes and said "whatever, dork." Talking about E2 seemed like it might not be the best idea, so instead I briefly mentioned that one of my harrowing encounters had already been "recorded", or "written down," I avoided using the word Node. The Klingon thing really bugged me. I was half a breath from saying something rude and doing something that would embarrass my SO, when the daft bitch finally left. Stupid Klingons. The most boggling part of the evening was discovering that I already knew Quizro's parents. My previous girlfriend had been the campaign coordinator for a local politician and Quizro's parents had donated office space out of their business for her to use. I had met his parents on several occasions and had even interviewed for a job with their company. That discovery left me temporarily speechless, something I am not accustomed to. All in all I had a wonderful evening. Quizro is a real nice fellow and I hope we can get together again sometime. For that matter I wouldn't mind meeting any number of people I have met here. On the way home I asked my SO if she had enjoyed herself in spite of her initial objections. "Yeah, I had fun," she replied, "they were real nice people, not weird at all." That, my friends, is a glowing appraisal indeed from one as easily intimidated as she.

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