We're not like the others.  We really hate you.

     

 

 

I am geeked, hear my freaked.
-- Sween

 

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

I don't know if any of you have ever driven the stretch of I-5 from the East Bay to Burbank, but it is miles and miles of just...more miles and miles. The scenery is static, unchanging for hours on end. The most excitement we had was an oil fire at the junction of 5 and 46, which glowed with an eerie orange ball of wet flame while the creepy voice on 1610AM repeated over and over "Please do not report the fire West of I-5 and North of 46. It is an oil fire and will take several days to extinguish. The authorities are attempting to put it out. Message repeats...".

Of course, Rick Moen was suffering from sore muscles brought on by intense shaking the previous morning. After rescuing a rather frazzled Mae Ling Mak from the inner airlock of the CoffeeNet building, she had volunteered to administer a flu shot to him.

"I give myself shots all the time," She had told me as we rode to Stinson Beach just hours after the injection. "I know how not to make them hurt."

What was missing from the equation seems to have been Mae Ling's taste in barbituates. Given a bad case of the shakes, she'd probably just toss down a few muscle relaxants and go back to sleep. Rick, however, had no warning or remedy. He wasn't even sure that it wasn't a heart attack. His only clue was that his chest hurt, while a heart attack mostly hurts in the area of the arm.

What was the poor man to tell his mother? "I'm sorry mother, but before my quixotic young friend took our intoxicated bipolar associate to the beach to calm her down, I decided to have her inject foreign substances into my body. This seems to have paralyzed me, and I won't be eating any solids this Thanksgiving. Pass the potatoes, please."

To be fair to all parties, the injection was an act of kindness on Mae Ling's part in order to look after Rick's best interests, and she did take the necessary precautions to prevent shock. Still, I listened to Rick grunt and creak loudly as I unpacked the alertness kit and set to distribution. At the last gas station before nowhere, I had picked up the following supplies:

  • Six power bars (two apple, two wild berry, and two oatmeal)
  • One bottle ibuprofen (for the inflammation in my wrists)
  • One liter diet coke (easy to digest--just water and caffeine. Helps the ibuprofen go down)
  • One pair sunglasses
  • Two Red Bulls

The Red Bull is for emergencies only. It's a gimmick drink from Austria or something. It's got the latest hype-vitamin, and lots of caffeine. The trick, as I explained to Rick, is "If you have to drink the stuff, for GOD's sake don't let it touch the sides on the way down!"

The getaway car made it to Burbank in record time. We checked in and went looking for some beer to take the edge off the caffeine and powerbars we had been consuming all night. Wheeling around Burbank on Thanksgiving at 1am looking for booze isn't the easiest task on Earth. After hastily pulling out of a parking lot, Rick spotted the local constabulary, and nearly ran us off the road trying to fasten his safety belt in time.

"Maybe we should ask him where we can get beer." I muttered, half serious.

"I'm sorry occifer!" Rick blurted out.

"We're looking for trouble!"

"In all the wrong places!"

"Do you know where to find some?"

We drifted through the quaint part of town--nothing a good backhoe couldn't fix. We did find beer, and fairly decent stuff, in a local Frank's. (Ask about franchise opportunities in your area!)

Skating back to the hotel, we investigated the TV's potential as a display mechanism for Rick's VCR, so that I could get caught up on the epic Babylon 5 series as I went to sleep. It turned out that the damn thing was fully tamper-proof, right down to the inability to plug your Commodore 64 into the damn thing. What kind of proprietary backwater world do we live in, anyhow? If I bring a C64 into a hotel room, I damn well expect it to work with the local TV!

So I sipped a few Anchor Steams as I read about BSD4.4 and drifted off to sleep.

What will happen next?!

 

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

backdraft@pigdog.org


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