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The Octopus is gonna get you sooner or later.
-- El Snatcher


LOSCON, or, Travels with Rick Moen -- Reported 1998-01-11 23:07 by CrackMonkey

So, with only a day left to pack up and move out, and some early-morning admin work to do at SuSE, I sit here bleary-eyed and try to make some sense out of the past week or so.

I had agreed to ride sanity with Rick Moen down I-5 (the most hypnotic stretch of nothing in the whole of California) to attend LOSCON XXV. Thursday evening I set out from my grass hut in the Richmond in order to BART over to Dublin, only to find that the whole damn city was deserted for the holiday. Even the bums were all shored up in mercy shelters and volunteer dinner huts (which seem to invite them in based on media potential of a day, rather than the weather).

So, without a single soul on the street, I shuffled beneath the glowing navy-blue sky to the BART station and hopped aboard. I was the only one on the train, but there seemed to be several people at the Dublin station. I phoned Rick and stepped outside the gates, only to briefly glance over the reciprocating gaze of a scruffy, buck-toothed straggler.

He perked up as if to say "Oh, I know you!" and lumbered over to me. He asked if I had had a good Thanksgiving dinner.

"Oh yes." I mumbled.

"Was your turkey this big?" He made a gesture with his hands indicating the size.

"Something like that."

"My mother wanted me to sleep with her, but that wouldn't be right--she's not really my mother, but it wouldn't be right, you know?"

His every mumble seemed to demand feedback. He barely let the breath escape his lips as he talked about his drug addictions and his incest history. It was only through intense lipreading that I was able to deduce that the man was barely able to complete a thought, never mind hold a conversation.

Unfortunately, my instincts had failed me miserably. The opressive throng at the Dublin station had taken me off-guard, and my citydweller's nature had deserted me for a moment. I had managed to position myself with my back up against a wall, and the man was leaning into my face and jibbering rather psychotically.

"Excuse me, but I have to make a phone call." I informed the man, directing my eyes at another person in the station. He followed my gaze, and shifted target instantly. I punched buttons on the phone for a few minutes, but the damn thing wouldn't accept coins--and that seemed to be phone company policy. I can't imagine why these phones were even at the station. They may as well just put a sign up that says "Phone does not complete outgoing calls. Phone does not accept incoming calls."

Soon, however, Rick Moen arrived with the getaway car, and we were on our way.

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