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Manchester 2.0: Report

From: Darrell Ottery <>
Subject: [FAN] Manchester 2.0 Report (*F*)
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 1996 08:23:02 GMT
Message-ID: <>

(Mod. note: Approved actually _before_ being written, but why do we
bother with charters anyway? Sheesh... --MPK.)

X-posted to asr for information purposes, as previously with the Warwick
report from last week.

Despite this coming from a different address than the norm, let it be
known that Mark had very little to do with this write-up, bar for maybe
providing a lot of the material...

The day started unusually, with a lie-in by myself til about 8am. A
not-so swift trip to Warwick to collect Mike and Rob, delayed by both
the weather and the lusers out on the road.

On arrival at Mike's house, I found him lying on the floor LARTing the
boiler. The first time it had gone out in years, presumably since it
knew I was arriving.

Shortly down the road, AFP M40 0.1 was convened (Codename RAC), where
the subjects discussed included rain, Linux, more rain, the road, the
length of time it takes to get RAC vans out, and a game of I-Spy. The
first and last letter was 'R'...

I nominate the 'very nice man' as a BMFH as all he did was threaten the
distributor with a screwdriver and the car behaved after that. But
enough of this. Arrival in Manchester took place some time afterwards,
via Safeways in Newcastle-under-Lyme, where note was taken of areas
designated 'Pick-up points'. Say no more.

A pre-meet in Leigh ensued, details of which are best ignored, but
conversation revolved around things technical. And 'Sex for Dummies'.

The concrete cows of MK fame made an appearance, as did the methods of
supplementing one's income by sperm donation. Best not to ask, but it
was rumoured to be cash in hand, and 'indoor work with no heavy lifting'
I suppose that depends... Milking machines managed to link these two
apparently distinct conversations.

But to cut to the chase:

Manchester 2.0 was attended by considerably more folk than I was
expecting. Those present included yhn, Mark Lowes, the fair Angela,
the unimaginative Robert Collier, the ever-moderate Mike Knell, Lee
'Goatee' Staniforth, the irresponsible Dave Le Good (more of this
later), Andy 'Spam King' Fawcett, Bjorn 'Icelandic' Bjornsson, Mark
'Rat-arsed' Burbidge and the delightful Monica, Martin 'Used your LART
today?' O'Nions, and a few others whose names escape me at the moment.
Tough. :)

Things started badly, and got worse. It tailed off a bit towards the
end. This was probably due to someone (who should probably have known
better) providing both words and music to both the Hedgehog song, and 'A
Wizard's Staff'. You know who you are, and your name has already been
suggested for the one to be in charge of the filkers at the con...

More "evil bastard chocolate things" were produced by yhn and devoured
rapidly by everyone else. Hmmm. And they never noticed I didn't eat any
myself... They seemed to meet with approval. The recipe for 'Death by
Caffeine' will be available shortly from the afp recipe server.

Marks 2 and 3 of said items made an appearance over the course of the
evening, with similar effects. These were less large, but probably
contained a similar OD since they were made with crushed coffee beans
with just enough chocolate to hold them together. Mark 3 was similar,
but contained honey and ginger as well. Comments included 'different'.

Topics of discussion meandered almost as much as afp threads, but
included, in no particular order, driving tests, writing off cars,
roundabouts, surveys, and Doom. Oh, and at a rough guess bread products,
beer, Marmite, and other obligatory subjects too.

Tap proved he knew far too much about Merkia than could possibly be
healthy, as well as spamming the meet in his usual manner.

Dave Le Good made the (once-only) mistake of mentioning the I-word
within earshot of Bjorn. When I checked again an hour later neither of
them had moved...

Bjorn mentioned Iceland and central European time, no doubt for his own
nefarious purposes.

Many photos were taken, some by yhn to be used for potential blackmail
purposes. Photos of people taking photos were taken. I need say no more.

A duel between Mark B and Mike took place over the claimed insult 'You
look like Leo Sayer'. We were able to diplomatically defuse the
situation without resort to cabbages though.

Even more singing (and I use the term in its loosest possible sense) was
inflicted upon the residents of the pub. MP songs featured heavily.
Sadly earplugs didn't. "Lots of sad buggers" seems a fitting, if
unattributed quote.

Irrelevance was discussed and the net conclusion was that they are large
grey mammals.

Surveys were also mentioned, and the idea that maybe Leo might like to
hold one was mooted, possibly on the futility of holding surveys...

One wonders just why Rob took his camera to the toilet...

We wrapped up in the pub around closing time and moved about 30 yards up
the road to a 'dodgy' Greek resteraunt to continue. Quite why, nobody
here can recall, but there was no doubt a good reason at the time. I
believe we quite suprised the staff by wandering in and asking for a
table for 20, despite the fact there were only 15 of us. So much so, in
fact, that afp had its natural effect on the other diners and shortly we
had the place pretty much to ourselves...

Mark B showed us just how much alcohol it *is* possible to consume. Nuff
said. But photos have been taken. >:)

And just *why* our humble moderator was seen crawling under the table
has yet to be discovered.

Conversation at the civilised end of the table revolved scarily about
asr matters. The 'Towers of Hanoi' in reduced Martin to
tears. Much note was taken of the use of a mineral water bottle as a
potential LART, and I believe depleted uranium got mentioned somewhere.
Cutlery was decided to be largely inefficient, except perhaps the
skewers. Right, Rob? Fencing proved a brief sport.

Despite several proto-arsonists plying their trade, no-one was set
alight. Well, not badly, anyway.

The music was considered to be of a lower quality than even France could
produce, but perhaps not as low as that of Belgium. "There's only one
famous Belgian. And he's fictional." - yhn.

A game of 'pass the menu' degenerated rapidly into one of violence,
though just how much damage can actually be caused with a plastic folder
seems to be somewhat minimal.

Angela explained the horrible truth behind Flossy. Further details at

Angela proved to be as camera-shy as ever, but very little escapes the
BPFH. A quick flash and evidence was procured.

And on the subject of cameras Tap showed his potential to become the
next Lichfield by taking snaps without a wound-on film present. Mike
tried to take incriminating evidence of yhn, but sadly left the lens cap
on. Bugger.

I was accused at some point of being bitter and twisted. Fair comment, I

Whilst waiting for the food to be served absolutely no report-writing
was taking place on Mark's Psion. And rumours to the contrary will be
vigourously denied.

Mark B left the building seeking fresh air. I don't think he found it.

And the now-obligatory out-of context quote file:

"I'm allowed to. I'm a science teacher." - Mark B, on playing with fire.

"Ow! It's hot!" - Mark B once again, on touching the candle flame. One
for the Journal of the Bleeding Obvious there, I feel.

"I can't pronounce that!" "Chicken kebab." - Martin and waitress.

"Are you sure you're not pregnant?" - Mike to Angela.

"I've got a large flash." - Mark L.

"I suggest you fork me." "It's already in." Tap to Mark L.

"Light up and you'll have to spend 24h in the same room as Darrell." -
to Tap.

"I had a fork in one of these." Mark L.

"I don't know quite what I did last week, but I put my jaw out." -Mark
L, again.

"I was going to lie down in front of Mark [L] and lick his shoes." -

"I wish I'd brought my calculator. Then I could have taken notes as
well." - Rob.

"Would you pass this to the gentleman?" - the waitress referring to
Mike. but the lighting was poor, I suppose.

"We don't need 70 columns. One's enough." - Mark L.

"It's raining outside." Yet another entry for the JBO.

"Rob's got a skewer through his neck. But I suppose this is normal
behaviour for someone from Warwick." - Martin.

"Do you want to repeat that, just for the record?" "No!" - yhn and
someone else.

"I *am* a four way strip." - Mark L.

"It's bent at the end." - yhn.

On hearing that Mark's car was fixed by a woman - "All I need now is a
woman to fix my life." -yhn.

"However, I can be bought out." - Mike, on moderation. Photos have been

"The bill's 164.20. So, who can claim this back against VAT?" - Mike.

Darrell [INTJ]  Was I tempted by an angel? Only once.

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