This was to be my second nodermeet. My first was four years ago in Holland Michigan. I am not going to say I had a bad time at that one, but it simply did not compare to this one, wasn't even close.

My original plans were to get together a giant group of noders and ride up in my (very old) 1975 Pace Arrow RV. But alas I couldn't get enough riders to make that a viable option, the seven miles per gallon it tended to get sort of priced it out of the market. I glanced at my motor scooters and little two seater convertible and deemed them both inappropriate for the trip as well. But luckily I had an ace in the hole, "The Burninator". "The Burninator" is a seventeen year old Suburban with a 12 inch raised roof conversion, most of the paint is dead, the front fenders are a completely different color and the body is almost completely rusted away below the doors. "The Burninator" may not look like much, but boy can it go.

Now one thing you have to know about "The Burninator" is that it burninates, all the time! Mostly it just burninates out in front of my apartment. Sometimes it burninates the peasants. But this weekend it would be burninating the countryside.


Phyrkrakr was the first to arrive at my place. He got there long before our other riders. I usually tend to feel anxious around new people, but somehow that never happened at all this weekend. We used our extra time to do the mandatory things, like bolt the loose seat back down in "The Burninator" and shop for booze.

Josh arrived soon afterwards. We finally got ahold of Pat, and upon finding out how late he would be, we decided to start watching Death Race 2000. We barely got past the "The baby, go for the baby!" part of the movie though, as Pat finally arrived and it was time to leave.


It was exactly like loading up Santa's Sleigh, but without anything to do with Christmas, or presents, or Santa, but "The Burninator" was loaded down with noders and beers and we were ready to rock. First stop Edwardsville to pick up ScientistPhilosopher who was wise enough to wrangle a deal that required no driving on his part at all.

I'll have to say that our little group of five bonded very well on the way down. If you are going to a nodermeet then I highly suggest carpooling with as many people as possible. Everyone ends up knowing each other by the time you get there. It makes for a completely different experience than simply walking into a room full of people that you don't know.


Upon arriving we promptly went to the wrong house, apparently this was a common mistake, as we were not the only ones who did it. I sort of like to fool myself with the idea that the no-shows for this gathering actually spent the whole weekend at the wrong house, sort of like they did in National Lampoon's European Vacation.

The first night consisted of a lot of drinking and a lot of talking. I consumed my fair share of beers, but I couldn't even begin to compete with some of the real champion drinkers there. I am fairly sure that CrAzE and ScientistPhilosopher managed to stay drunk the entire weekend.

I spent the night sleeping in the back of "The Burninator". It was pretty comfortable and I was only woken up by locked-out noders three times.


Everything memorable happened on saturday. There was the seven hour Carcassonne game. I instantly fell in love with the game, but at the same time realized that I need to play with other people who play like me. I make my moves in under a minute, while most of the other players would take five to ten minutes per move. Oddly enough Artman2003 ended up nearly winning, and he seemed to be the only other speed player there. During the Carcassonne game I also began to grow more and more concerned and annoyed because Liquid Rubber and CrAzE had borrowed "The Burninator" for a quick trip to the liquor store, and they did not return for almost three hours.

That evening we watched the video from "Cold hands, warm hearts. Handfasting in London, wertperch and grundoon together.". Unfortunately the audio in most of the video was almost completely inaudible, but the GCP and company kept themselves entertained by commenting on whether we would, um, you know, with each of the respective Britnoders. The female Britnoders almost universally ranked favorably amongst us, and several of the male Britnoders also scored prominently with certain auxiliary members of the GCP.

I was lucky enough to go to bed before izubachi and ScientistPhilosopher started their road towards their own handfasting!!


Sunday was uneventful, it consisted of saying goodbye and going home. This event made me realize at lot about my life. First and foremost is the fact that I largely have the wrong friends. I love my friends dearly, and have known them for a long time, but we have absolutely nothing in common and that gap grows daily. I had more to talk about with people I had never met before than I normally do with my best friends. The second thing I realized is that I normally have very little to look forward to in my life. After the meet I found myself asking myself, "What next?".

Soylent Green is people

I didn't have enough time, or maybe I wasn't in the right places at the right times to get to know everyone, but I got to know a lot of people.

  • Wiccanpiper - He was easily one of the most social people there and is absolute proof that you don't have to have the same opinions or lifestyles as someone else to have a great time with them.

  • BriarCub - I really wish I could have gotten a little more time to talk to Tom, as it seems like he would fit in really well with Josh and I.

  • avalyn is about ten times cooler in person than I imagined he would be.

  • eien_meru is someone I could easily start hanging out with.

  • hunt05 is actually a girl!! Who knew that???

  • CrAzE is exactly the same person in real life as he is in the chatterbox.

  • yclept is thoughtful, intelligent and can talk about almost anything, and more than one noder went away harboring a bit of a crush.

  • Phyrkrakr exemplifies the GCP ideals of fun, mayhem, beer, food, and discussion.

  • ScientistPhilosopher is almost too interesting to even begin to describe.