The aftermath of The Sensible Thing

or "Big noders don't cry"

First things first I had no idea where which park I was meant to be at let alone where Reformer's tree was at, with this in mind I decided to be fashionably late.

When I arrived at Marble Arch Station I gave Strawb a call. Has anyone else noticed how conversations on the cell phone using nicks and handles always sounds like something conspiratory? e.g.

Me: Hello is this Strawberry Frog?
Strawb: Yes who is this?
Me: This is booyaa.

We arranged to meet at the Reformer's tree whilst still not knowing what it looked like in five minutes. As I arrived at the park I clocked a group that looked noderish. Still no sign of this infernal tree I'm tempted to run over to the group who would later be identified as the h2g2 guys ( I still think we should ran over there and fought them - boo ) and introduce myself. No, I should do this right and call up Strawb.

Me: Hi I think I'm at the Tree. I see group of people can you wave so I can see if you're there.
He doesn't wave. Mmm couldn't be the wrong group.
Me: I don't think you're that group. Uh.
Strawb: Keep walking up till you see a mound I'll be waiting there.

I eventually find him clothed in a Tux t-shirt looking equally nervous. I eye up my exit options, if he makes any sudden movements I'm gonna make like Baldur's Gate and GO FOR THE EYES, BOO, but Strawb's demeanour is non aggressive. I hide my spork.

I'm lead to the meeting ground where I see mkb and catchpole. I feel slightly guilty as these guys really have brought things for the picnic: a box of Celebrations, two tubes of Pringles and some drinks. *rolls eyes* As princess loulou would say later on, "A geek picnic".

As Strawb goes to fetch spiregrain a Dalmatian bounds over and looks like he's about to savage mkb. Naturally I take precautionary measures and attempt to place catchpole between the beast and myself. After giving our picnic the once over he sniffs and runs off to find a better spread.

It's already three o'clock and no one else has arrived. We go to drown our sorrows with Strawb's wonderful red plonk from South Africa. I'm not a wine person but that was rather yummy stuff. As we're about to divvy up the liquid the wine hounds ascorbic and princess loulou call Strawb to pick them up.

ascorbic and mkb throw down as they try fight for the exclusive use of their name (they're both called Matt Kane). lou is not impressed with the picnic, I don't think the joke about making Pringles and Celebrations sammiches went down well either. lou gets out her spread which consists of a salad, real Spanish omelette (sadly without real Spaniards as Spire had hope they would be) and whole host of other yummy things. Catchpole and myself admire ascorbic's taste in beers, "London Pride".

<creative license>ascorbic calls in a few favours and minutes later a hoard of invisible *winks at call*screaming monkeys bring us bol, (darsi), call and the unexpected guest TheLady!</creative license>
Fact: These guys really were on their way rather than be called upon to attend. I wanted to find a way to include a hoard of invisible screaming monkeys into the story.

Not to long after were joined by bol, (darsi), call and an unexpected (but very much appreciated) guest noder TheLady (she wasn't on the guestlist radar).

Now unless our guest of honour mkb has a book of Jesus party tricks we're not gonna be able to feed everyone with the meagre offering we have. We draw straws and it's decided that bol, spiregrain, Catchpole and myself are the designated hunter gathers. On our way out a bemused Oolong arrives.

bol urges us to hurry whilst we try to source a off-license and food store as the list of things to buy gets larger (they're calling him on his mobile). We were like Vikings as we raped and pillaged our way through Sainsburys but eventually commonsense got the better of us and we paid for our goods. I got my priorities right by buying the beer and bread.

We return in what appears to be the nick of time as we find that the group are trying to work out how many cuts of meat they can get from mkb. mkb has found a bottle opener and intends to fight his way out of this predicament.

When the final straggler decimetre arrives the picnic begins in earnest. It's at this point I must plus plus StrawberryFrog's ass for picking a location that was near the public toilets, as we all know you only rent beer.

oolong starts up his petting stall. TheLady and princess loulou take turns to stroke his fine mane.

Now this wouldn't be a nodermeat if we didn't talk about nodes and the perennial favourite Butterfinger McFlurry is brought up. We share our favourite jokes from The Single Sickest Joke Ever. Other chestnuts such as Daylogs vs. LiveJournal and whether lyrics should be noded are also discussed. The thing I fear about speaking to noders is that I'll either be lumped with the Script Kiddie or the intellectual, but noders do have this communal humour and consensus. I'm continually reminded of this when I attend a nodermeat.

I do my nodermeat duties by hyping the international Bristol noder meet and squished tubers and dead bird: an orphans' Thanksgiving. bol mentions that SophiesCat will be arriving at our fine shores around July and would love to meet up with a bunch of noders. The mutterings karaoke and soy can be heard. Now we just need to organise it.

mkb's nerves finally give in and he makes his excuse to meet some non-noder friends for supper. Seriously mkb was a wonderful guest of honour hopefully he'll pass on the message that the UK noders are just like the US noders 'cept we're much better looking.

The weather seems to take a turn for the worse and group wishes to seek shelter in one of the many fine public houses in this city.

An advance scouting party go off to find a suitable pub whilst the others go to feed the ducks (well that's what they told us I'm still checking for news of ducks being snatched from the Serpentine).

Whilst trying to find a pub where we could all sit down and talk (and be heard) spiregrain laments about his time spent in student lodgings in Knightsbridge. Apparently mentioning that you had accomodation in Knightsbridge was a good chat up line to use on the ladies! ;)

After we find a pub I feel that my work is done and make my excuses. That and I was rather inebriated already. I wanted to warn them of the impending doom by screaming, "THE TURNIPS ARE COMING.", but they seem so happy.

On the whole it was a good afternoon. If any of the guys that attended would like to tack on what happened after I left I'd appreciate it. Also if I got things wrong /msg me I was under the influence after all :o) *hic*.

Fil-i-g in t-e b-an-s (feedback from the crew)
bol attempted to convince us of the similarities between himself and Bernard Black (from Black Books well they're both called Bernard!

% bol says re The Sensible Thing: Ahem. *and* Bernard Black is Irish, nasty to people and drinks to much.

His words not mine ;) I personally think he was rather k-spiffy and funny chap.
We'll forget about your plan to kill the rest of the hunter gathers and make off with our money eh? ;)

spiregrain and decimetre debated the virtues of the amiga and atari.

After further consumption of liquid dummymaker pseudo-political debates transpired. Friends don't let friends drink and spout pseudo-politics! Drink responsibly.