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Newsgroups: alt.fan.pratchett
From: eaobrien@ebi.ac.uk (Emmet O'Brien)
Subject: *F*[F]#F# and so on - report from Oxford meet Friday
Message-ID: <Dnp89H.HMG@ebi.ac.uk>
Date: Sun, 3 Mar 1996 15:56:05 GMT

   It was my good fortune, on last Friday, the second of March in the one 
 thousand nine hundred and ninety sixth year of the Marine Pedestrian, just 
 as I was finishing up at work for the day, to be contacted by Andrew Mobbs,
 offering a lift to, and indeed from, said meet. Never being one to look a 
 gift horse in the mouth, for fear it be full of angry Greeks with swords if
 nothing else, I took him up on said offer.

  Yhn, Dr^H McGregor and the aforementioned Master Mobbs made our way to 
 Oxford, with several exciting detours as the navigational duties unfortunately
 devolved to yhn, with more than an hour to go before the pubs closed. En 
 route, the two cam.ac.ukkers received their first exposure to the Leningrad 
 Cowboys. The reaction was generally favourable. Also, we experienced a magic
 roundabout, which did not do the driver's nerves any good. I cannot now recall
 which of the towns we passed through seemed to have a policy of putting zebra
 crossings directly adjacent to roundabouts, but speculation was raised as to
 whether this was an intentional population control measure. Arrival in Oxford
 occurred eventually, and after much driving back and forth the afpropriate pub
 was found. _Then_ we realised that there was after all a street map of Oxford
 in the back of the atlas.

  In this pub, The Eagle and Child, notable for having floors canted in a
 manner giving the impression that one had been drinking significantly more
 than one in fact had, we found awaiting us Ben Hutchings, Thomas Down, the
 Damerell, and the LNR, who promptly parked herself on yhn's lap and said 
 hello. Some alcohol was consumed, and discussion commenced. Elder Sign being
 the principal topic. Shortly thereafter, we departed, examined the mechanics 
 of walking in line abreast, made an abortive attempt to sing "We're off to See
 the Wizard" and discovered none of us knew the lyrics, and ended up at a
 pizza place, where we had pizza. LNR took the head of the table and placed
 the Damerell on her right hand and yhn on her left, [ ObGroucho: "How ya gonna
 eat ? Through a tube ?" ] with an alleged weirdness gradient down the table 
 to the young Oxfnordians. Much petty bickering between the representatives of
 the two ac.uk towns was dispersed during the night[ as was the B5 thread ],
 from which yhn maintained a stately and dignified aloofness. Apart from a long
 game of Mornington Crescent, struggled to the bitter end, conversation over 
 dinner tended toward the geeky. As the only non-compsci present, yhn made 
 efforts to change the topic, but retirement to cultivate his garden 
 [ metaphorically speaking ] proved the only respite. 

  Following the meal, a retreat was beaten to the lodgings of Ms Blair, whose
 hospitality cannot be faulted. Discussion resumed, centring occasionally on 
 various authors, the mechanics of punting, and various other social events
 attended by the Cantabrigians, but mostly on compsci stuff. Yhn told several 
 really old jokes, which seemed new to our lady host but don't bear repetition.
 And was disconcerted to find he was the eldest of those there present. 

  Eventually, the young quiet Oxfnordians and the party with which yhn 
 travelled took their leave. The return to the Cambridge area was facilitated 
 by taking the M25. As three afpers were still deemd a quorate meet, and it 
 was past 4 am, it was deemed afpropriate to spend the remainder of the night
 watching videos - the Sisters of Mercy, _Hardware_, and _The Crow_. Taking
 a break at 0710 or so to watch _Ulysses 31_ on Channel 4. For all the 
 cultural significance of this cartoon, we had all forgotten how astoundingly
 crap it could be at times. A desultory breakfast of sausages marked the 
 long-delayed arrival of a bread thread, and discussion of whether a true
 afper should be prepared to stay up all night in order to get to a baker
 early.

  Quotes that stuck in yhn's moldering brain:

  "Who'll do _Lucretia_ ?" - " It depends how drunk she is."
      - The Damerell seeking percussion vocalists, yhn as ever confused.

  "I have some red ones and lots of black ones."
      - Dr^Huncan, context unknown.

  "Emmet, the reason you like the double helix is because it reminds you
   of a screw."
      - Ibid, psychoanalysing yhn's choice of a career in molecular biology.

  "My, it's hot in here."
      - LNR on getting back to her room, while taking off her coat. Only yhn
       found this hysterical.

  "Anyone have any preferences ?"
      - Ibid, endeavouring to carry out a survey. Nothing new was learned.

  "Don't eat my hat."
      - Ibid, to yhn, who was only nibbling, honest..

  "Getting it up again is the difficult part."
      - The Damerell on one-handed punting. With appropriate gestures.

  "Wow ! Nice bridge !"
      - Andrew Mobbs, c. 3 am, driving along a foggy stretch of motorway.

                                 
   As ever, errors and omissions excepted.

                                           Emmet
--
 The orc fires a warning shot through your chest.

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