A science fiction convention that will live in infamy, though its organizers, the Washington Science Fiction Association, were not at fault.

Apparently a group of bondage enthusiasts had attached themselves to Disclave, although they were not actually members of the organization. A couple of the non-members in question searched for an appropriate hook in their hotel room from which to suspend the lady of the pair. Their choice: a sprinkler head.

The rest has been excerpted in numerous filk songs, such as this one from Dave Wengert entitled "Idiot! What Were You Thinking!?":

And then so securely tied she was hoisted in the air
And it looked as though they didn't have a care
Until a lesson learned at length on a thing called tensile strength
It was wet when that sprinkler came down

"Wet" is an understatement, as numerous rooms were utterly flooded.

The WSFA members reportedly were quick to respond and made the best of a bad situation. (The fact that the persons responsible for the flooding weren't directly connected to the con surely helped.) Hotel difficulties apparently helped throw a monkeywrench into plans for Disclaves in '98, '99, and 2000, but the Washington Science Fiction Association is gearing up to try it again. It's working title -- None dare call it Disclave! -- seems particularly apt. More power to the WSFA; they've been holding Disclaves since 1950 and they deserve a break.

To elaborate on the 16-year-old writeup, Disclave did indeed meet its end after the soggy incident described above. Dave Weingart's song can be heard on Last.fm, from the album Screams of the Vegetables. The last Disclave has become an in-joke in the DC fan community and beyond, with references being made nearly 20 years later. Disclave's successor convention, Capclave, began in 2001.

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