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Oxford Mini Ice Cream Meet 0.1: Report

From: Rachel Walmsley <>
Subject: [F] Oxford Mini Ice-Cream-Meet 0.1 Report
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 1999 16:48:07 +0100
Message-ID: <>
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Oxford Mini Ice-Cream-Meet 0.1

Date: 09/10/99 (or 10/09/99 for Merkins)
Time: 1:30pm

Attenders (and yes I do know that attendees is also a word but I just
can't bring myself to use it. To me it will always carry with it the
connotation of one who is attended </rant>):

John "J" Barberio
Corinne Pritchard
Robert something-or-other-that-I-don't-think-I've-ever-heard (sorry if I
should know your surname but I'm afraid I don't)

I seem to have an inability to get to meets without mishap. Fortunately
though, I didn't have to take a train to this one so I got off fairly
lightly. To start with I walked a good way past the street I was meant
to be turning into before I realised that I'd gone too far and turning
back. And then when I *did* manage to find the right street and found
the ice-cream cafe we were meeting in I managed to walk straight past
John, despite the copy of TSoD he had in front of him and only spotted
him as I came back from the far end of the shop wondering where everyone
was (I was a little late due to my unscheduled detour). But find him I
did. I seem to have been the last one to arrive as well. At this stage
introductions were made and then ice-cream eaten. The ice-cream itself
was good, even if the names of some of them were a bit silly (I had a
"super chocolate" iirc, which was just a chocolate ice-cream, albeit a
nice one).

At 2:30 (an hour after the start of the meet) we decided that it was
very unlikely that anyone else was going to come, so we let John lead us
to the Turf Tavern and, as the other three of us had only come down
(well, strictly speaking two of us came down, and one came up. Even more
strictly speaking two of us came in a broadly southerly direction and
one in a broadly northenly direction) to Oxford last Tuesday as
freshers, act as our tour guide along the way. One of the places he
stopped us at was a shop that sold CCCBs and Maya Gold chocolate. As
neither Robert, Corinne nor myself had ever had Maya Gold before we were
convinced to try some (which wasn't hard as John had bought a bar and
offered us each a piece. Let it never be said I turn down free
chocolate). I have to say that I don't see what all the fuss was about.
Certainly it was okay, but I think I'll stick with my Cadbury's Dairy
Milk if it's all the same. I believe that Corinne and Robert thought
much the same (/me runs for the hills as a large mob of angry afpers
throws various sticks, stones, pointy objects and sausages-in-a-bun in
her general direction). He had us convinced that he knew what he was
talking about until he was reduced to pointing out stones to us, at
which point he lost some of^W^W his credibility. He did manage to guide
us to the pub without any seeming difficulty though, although whether
this says anything about him as a person or not I couldn't quite
ascertain. The pub itself was quite interesting though, especially the
noticeable slant of the table we were sat at which was quite
disconcerting at first. It was at this point also that I realised that
by taking down the quote file on my little electronic organiser thing
(not a Psion unfortunately) that I was also volunteering myself for the
task of writing up the meet report (so if I've misrepresented anyone or
left out any details, then Ha!).

After a solitary drink apiece (only two of them alcoholic) we decided
that it was once again time to depart for pastures new. This time we
went, despite my strong objections, to Waterstones. Last time I was in a
Waterstones I ended up buying 5 books when I hadn't meant to buy any,
and I really didn't have the money this time. John *claimed* that there
was a comic book that he wanted to buy but I think he only took us there
to torment me. This theory was further supported when immediately upon
arriving we gravitated towards the SF&F section. I decided I wouldn't
actually pick up any books on the grounds that I might not be able to
put them down again. I did break this rule once, but it was only with a
Star Trek book so I had no problem in relinquishing my hold on that. It
was also at this point that a random passing stranger criticised us as
heretics as one of us (who shall remain nameless) admitted to never
having read LotR, and another of us (who shall also remain nameless)
admitted that they had found it boring. It turned out that this fellow
was also a Pratchett reader, and appeared to have even heard of afp, but
as he didn't seem to have any idea what newsgroups were, we didn't spend
too long trying to convert him. It was much to my relief when we left
Waterstones, and I do remember noticing that John didn't buy any book at

Our next stop was Burger King, which, for a change, I thoroughly
enjoyed. This was because I didn't actually buy anything and could feel
all smug and superior as the others ate their way through cardboard
flavour approximations to chips, or threw away what was apparently meant
to be milk-shake. This was also the place where we got the biggest dirty
look of an unfortunate random onlooker who was there when we started
singing along to YMCA which was playing there at the time, complete with
actions (by some of us at least). John and I also managed to go through
pretty much the entire of particle man much to the bemusement of Robert
who had never heard of TMBG, and Corinne whose only previous contact
with them had been Birdhouse in your Soul.

After that we had another little wonder around Oxford before finally
finding some seats outside at some pub or something, and sitting down
for a while (without buying anything) before finally going our separate
ways at about 6:00.

Topics of conversation throughout the day included the teletubbies
(which at least three of us knew more about than can possibly be
healthy), comics (no prizes for guessing who generally knew the most
about them), the recent oxford university freshers' fair (and whether
we'd been asked whether we liked killing people or mindless violence),
Star Wars, the obligatory session of computer geeking (including a nice
detour into incompetent sys-admins), street entertainers (why do all the
really worst buskers play Oasis songs?), music (is it sad to know all
the words to songs by Take That, ABBA and the Village People?),
alt.devilbunnies (again, no prizes for guessing who that was), Star Trek
(which is the worst pseudo science in star trek, the de-evolving or
various time travel type things?), I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue (and
whether we could possibly play any of the games from it then and there)
and geeking (John and I were both claiming to be the geekiest person
present, and although no definite conclusion was reached I claim the
moral victory on the grounds that he wouldn't let me recite the first
seventy (ish) elements of the periodic table in order).

Quote File:

I'm hip - John
This is a pointy thing. Oxford has lots of pointy things - John
Stop it - Corinne
It could be just a very deformed her. It's just a very odd place for one
- Corinne
Where does it insert on this? - Rachel
Yes, we have *indoor* toilets - John
That and 69, but we won't go into that - Corinne
It probably has underwear in unsavoury places - Corinne
"" - Robert

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