Nov. 26, 2009
Posted: Nov. 30, 2009
Continued from Chapter 19: Laugh Track
Sen says, "Sadly, no." She pauses. She says, "I mean, yes." She pauses again. She says, "I mean, we are seriousing you."
Thomas says, "Shitfuck."
Sen says, "Yeah."
We all just stare at each other.
Gully says, "Uhh... so... what happened was..." he looks at Sen and then at me.
Sen says, "Oh, right. Yeah, well, as you know, the Meetup.com folks are pretty pissy right now about small groups. So, we had this party, and right afterwards, these suits showed up."
Thomas says, "Hold the Skype. People in suits? Suited individuals?"
Sen says, "Yeah, why?"
Thomas says, "Fuck Nation! Two girls and a guy?"
Sen says, "Yeah..."
Thomas says, "Fuck planet! Fuck fucking universe!" He kicks something wooden under the counter. "Ow! Fuck!"
Sen says, "What...?"
Thomas says, "Some suits showed up at 'Laser Tag is Awesome!', my Monday morning meetup for the unemployed and drop outs and the like."
Stan says, "Monday morning, huh?"
Thomas says, "We still only have two members, but we're on the grow."
Stan says, "Count me in. Mondays, I don't work mornings."
Thomas says, "Oh, awesome! Yeah!"
Sen says, "Anyway... you have the suits at your meetup now?"
Thomas says, "Yeah, showed up out of the blue. Creepy as a butt too.
Sen says, "You should... be careful."
Gully is all nods. He says, "Uhh, yeah, dude. Watch out."
Thomas says, "What are you all gonna do?"
Sen smiles this, like, huge, dorky, super adorable smile. She says, "We figure they're trying to sell Meetup.com, so we're gonna try to get all the small meetups to hold a public boycott, make their name look bad until they stop these shenanigans."
Thomas raises his eyebrows and then looks down. He says, "Sounds... I don't know..."
Stan says, "Ridiculous?"
Thomas says, "Hey, what're you guys doing tonight?"
Sen says, "We were going to try to hit up a couple of the Wednesday meetups, see if we can get some support."
Thomas says, "You should go to Meetup Meetup."
Sen says, "Oh, yeah?"
Thomas says, "Yeah... We use a fake address, though.. Let me get you the real one."
Sen says, "What is Meetup Meetup?"
Thomas says, "The night of that godawful minigolf thing, where I met Gully here"
Gully says, "And, uhh, Rose too."
I shrink into my shirt.
Thomas says, "Yeah... anyway, Theresa and me - she's this yoga chick - we got together online afterwards and formed a meetup to get some interfacing between the local meetup folks. You know, keep that from happening again."
Sen says, "And, you didn't reach out to us?"
Thomas shrugs. He says, "We didn't reach out to a lot of folks. Only the ones we knew."
Thomas says, "You wanna be in the loop? You gotta network more. Doesn't matter what community you're a part of."
Gully says, "Anyway..."
Thomas says, "Yeah, let me get you that address. These are the folks to talk to."
He pulls a card out of his pocket and hands it to Gully, who takes it and gives it to Sen.
Sen says, "Thanks."
Thomas says, "Yeah, no problem. Anyway, enough small talk..." (gurgle, glow) "... let's get you in some vests and teach you guys..." he pauses and points at Gully and I, "how to have fun!"
Chapter 20: Meetups, Meetups(permalink)
The Meetup Meetup is apparently held in a warehouse a short distance out of town, with half broken and half covered up windows, and a gravel lawn. Thomas's car ahead of us drives around back, and we follow. There are already a few cars parked there.
This is what will probably happen:
Imaginary Sen, Rose, Gully, and Stan follow Imaginary Thomas into the warehouse through a garage-door-ish size opening. Imaginary Thomas closes the door behind his with a yank of some sort of chain. But, all the lights are off, so when the door closes, it's all black. That's why, when the lights all suddenly come on, we - at first - can't see the giant brood of vampires! Which, by the time I do see them, pretty much give up on the notion of remaining among the living (or the dead, le sigh), but apparently Sen is prepared, because she pulls out a stake crossbow, and she starts shooting vampires left and right. Gully does some kind of weird cartwheely thing and ends up on his hands with a vampire head between his legs, and he rips it off with some... impressive flexing. So, Sen and Gully are all kicking ass. I'm basically standing there like an idiot, and that's when I feel it, the bite, the life draining out of me. I look over. Stan... is a vampire. Fuck. By the time Sen sees me, it's too late. She watches, her mouth wide open. She almost gets killed herself. Everything goes slow motion, as I reach out to her. She's yelling something, but because of the slow motion, I can't understand it. It sounds kind of like "Hose." She's running over, but I don't see her arrive, because I fall to the ground and die. ... And, then, I get up, and I'm a vampire; I can feel the undeadiness flow through my body, like bile, or like taking a shower in salsa. Sen is next to me. I smile at her. My teeth feel weird. She smiles at me too, but her eyes are squinty, and she's frowning. She says, "We had a good time, there, Rose. You and I. We had a good time." Yeah, we did. You rock, Sen. You are cooler than everyone on Facebook combined. Then, she stabs me with her stake.
This is what actually happens:
The four of us follow Thomas into the warehouse through a garage-door-ish size opening. Thomas closes the door behind his with a yank of some sort of chain. But, well, all the lights are on, so we have no trouble seeing a group of twelve or so people sitting on the floor of the warehouse in a circle. When we arrive, the ones with their backs to us look over.
One of the women stands up and says, "Thomas! Who the Hell...?" Her voice also sounds familiar... Theresa? She's got black hair in a bun, and she's wearing a black low-necked number that doesn't go well with her jeans.
Thomas says, "These are some other meetup folks. This is Gully. Remember from that minigolf fiasco?"
Gully says, "Uhh... and Rose too."
Thomas says, "Right. Anyway, they have some shit-in-your-pants shocking news, and I figured everyone ought to hear it, so..."
Sen tells everyone our story.
Theresa says, "Shitfuck."
A guy on the left says, "I was at that party..."
Thomas says, "Yeah, and these same folks in suits showed up at one of my laser tag meetups on Monday. This is clearly a problem."
The guy on the left says, "Someone stole my identity at that party."
Theresa says, "Clearly."
The guy on the left says, "And my wife."
Thomas says, "So, these guys are planning some kinda public boycott protest thingy to get Meetup.com's underwear riding up its ass."
Sen says, "Since we think they're being all uppity in the first place because they wanna sell it."
Sen says, "And, protesty boycottified goodness does not elicit confidence in a potential buyer."
Theresa says, "Ahh..."
Another guy, now on the right, says, "So, basically, you're gonna throw a pissy fit and hope somebody big as the president notices?" That is definitely Francis. He's got the chiseled chin and wavy hair of someone who hates how freakishly large his nose is.
Sen says, "Well..."
Francis says, "No, what you guys need is a media monster. Guy that just eats media up all the frickin' way home., then gets home, and just vomits that media up all over the Internet."
Theresa says, "Oh, God. Greenfin? You wanna bring in Greenfin?"
Sen says, "Wait, are we talking about..."
Francis says, "The guy's an ass basket, yeah, but he also owns channel 12."
Theresa says, "Half the reason I come here is to have just one meetup he doesn't flounce in on and weirdify."
Sen says, "Wait. He owns channel 12?!"
Francis says, "Yeah, built it from the ground up."
Theresa says, "Like it's hard to own a kid's network."
Sen says, "He founded channel 12?!"
Francis says, "It's the most popular local kids network in town. It's more popular than Disney, PBS, the whole lot."
Theresa says, "You throw up a couple of puppets and a dufus with a guitar."
Sen says, "All right. Let's go!"
Francis says, "Well, Wednesdays, I hear he goes to Cut Down Trees!"
Theresa says, "Doesn't even have to know how to play the guitar. Hell, throw me up there."
Sen says, "All right. Let's go!"
Francis says, "Bunch of posers wanting to be anti-environmentalists, then running home to Mommy and her energy-saving light bulbs and super comfy hybrid."
Theresa says, "I'll dance around and tell all the kids they're special." She does a chicken dance. She says, "Ten million viewers right there."
Thomas says, "All right, anyway..."
Gully leans in to me and whispers, "Boy, meetup people are weirdos."
Francis turns to Theresa and says, "Then why don't you do it instead of complaining so much, Geez!"
Theresa turns to Francis and says, "I don't want to deal with a bunch of God damn kids! Francis. Geez!"
Francis says, "Yeah, big surprise there."
Thomas says, "Enough!"
There's a pause.
Thomas says, "We have some more Meetup Meetup business, so how about you four go cut down some trees as official Meetup Meetup delegates?"
Sen says, "Doesn't it... start in like three hours?"
Francis says, "Oh, and be careful. Don't drink the juice."
Sen says, "Yeah, great. Thanks..."
Thomas says, "No, seriously. It's laced with a sedative that makes you more amenable to deforestation."
Theresa says, "It's got that one anti-environment chemical in it..."
Thomas says, "Anyway, yeah, just... don't eat or drink anything."
Sen says, "Uhh... Okay. Thanks. Once we talk to him, should we...?"
Thomas says, "Come back here. We'll still be around, and then the lot of us can have our little shindig, figure everything out."
Sen says, "Great. Thanks... You'll... you'll still be around?"
Thomas says, "Oh, you know how it is. Bureaucracy kills all things." He rolls his yes
Sen says, "Ah... Right..."
She turns around and starts walking out, and the rest of us go with her. As the door closes behind us, we hear Theresa say, "Hey... I could be dressed up in a fish costume..." and Francis yell, "You don't even eat fish!"
Cut Down Trees! is held on the other side of town, so we grab dinner in a restaurant on the way first (Gully claims that "it's the best Lo Mein in the city," which is clearly a bold-faced lie). When we arrive (10:36, baby!), it's a wooden house with a wooden front porch, a xeriscaped lawn filled with wooden structures, and... a wooden driveway.
We knock on the wooden door with the wooden door hanger, and a woman opens the door... wearing a wooden coat.
She says, "Greetings, fellow consumptors! Come in, come in!"
We come in, and she clangs away into the other room, where there's lots more clanging and general ruckus.
Sen follows, with the rest of us behind her.
Just about all of the people here are wearing wooden jackets, wooden pants, wooden shoes, wooden hats. There's one guy, he's got wooden suspenders with a wooden hat, a wooden feather in it, and he's carrying a wooden tuba around. (Really, at that point, why not just go for a wind instrument? Freak pants.)
The woman who let us in calls back, "Would you all like some juice?"
Greenfin is sitting in a corner, wearing his usual greeniness and tail and antennae. He's carrying a big, wooden stick (to fit in?). He's talking animatedly to about five people in wooden shirts. I nudge Sen and point at him. She shudders, and we start walking up to him.
Greenfin is saying, "... did not invent the algorithm, okay, GGgkk? But, anyway, aagggkkgg, it's an algorithm that consistently finds Jesus. When we were first uncovering it, us Magnifarians, aaahhhhkkgg, we assigned a guy to it, Jeeves-aaahh, our chief cleaner, and after two months, the algorithm killed Jeeves-aaahhh. That got the algorithm banned in China (our fourth moon), kkaahh. Anyway, it turns out the algorithm is from Jersey, so a few of us... how do you say? aahhhggg, 'hitched a ride', khakhakha, to Earth to look into it. After all, this is, aaggkk, this is an algorithm that constantly finds Jesus. But, this," he's pointing to a paper on a footstool in front of him, "this is what we found, ppssssssshhhh, and this is not the algorithm." He spits. "This is close, but..." He looks up at us. "Oh, hello, new friends, hhhkk!"
Sen says, "Hello, Greenfin. Mind if we have a word?"
One of the wooden dudes says, "This gentleman was just tellin' us why he came to... hey, hold it up righ' there! I know you! Ain't you suppose' to be a dinosaur?"
Oh, for fucking balls crap!Nov. 28, 2009 →