And emanix is stranger than most.
As long-term readers of this blog will no doubt remember, I first met her at Frolicon in Atlanta in years gone by (well, three of them, at least). Frolicon, for those unfortunate enough never to have been there, is one of the high points of the year; a weekend-long festival of depraved, kinky debauchery the likes of which to make the Marquis de Sade blush and the Pope kick a hole in a plate-glass window. It is also one of the relatively few times of the year when I can count on seeing my sweetie joreth and the various members of my Tampa family.
Lon-term readers of this blog are also no doubt aware that I generally chronicle the various goings-on in my life weeks, or even months, after the fact. So it is with this post.
I didn't expect to make it to this year's Frolicon, truth be told. My finances have been a bit of a shambles lately, and it's rather more expensive to get there from Orlando than from Tampa. However, a certain bunny named emanix, who as I may have mentioned before is rather strange and also has rather good candy, stepped in at the last moment like a leporid angel from on high and volunteered to fly me out there, in exchange for (ahem) certain services to be negotiated later (ahem). Best still, she had opted to arrive Stateside from the distant and exotic land of London-town early, and would be staying with my Florida peeps while enjoying all the hospitality that the United States has to offer (which, this being a declining late-stage civilization, means rather a lot, hospitality being one of the few things that declining late-stage civilizations in general have left to offer), and so offered to bring me out early as well.
Tales of my various exploits concerning mad science with modified EEG toys and sexual stimulation having preceded me, it was decided by joreth (with, I believe, some input from datan0de and emanix and perhaps others) that rigging up an EEG for Frolicon was in order.
So, once I arrived in Florida, I was tasked with soldering...
No, wait, I take that back. Once I arrived in Florida, I was kidnapped from the airport, blindfolded, bound, and tossed in the back of a car by emanix with driving assistance from datan0de, and brought in a severely sleep-deprived and jetlagged state to an undisclosed location, whereupon I was subjected to the most appalling of sexual torments which I shall not disturb you with, Gentle Readers, on account of the fact that they might...disturb you.
I was then transported, also with emanix, to joreth's place, whereupon I was tasked with soldering together another Arduino/MindFlex toy EEG setup for doing a bit of Mad Science.
Having had the experience of doing this once before, I opted to make some changes to the hardware, by rigging up a switch which could be given to the
I have, as a side note, now made exactly two Arduino projects myself, the first of which has an orgasm switch and the second of which has a sexual torment LED. That probably says something about me...but I digress.
When the Mad Science rig was tested and known to be working, it was time to be off to Frolicon.
There is a Christian group in the United States which has several times in the past predicted the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus. The destruction of all creation in the final battle at Armageddon have thus far failed to materialize, though that has not prevented that particular group from continuing to predict its exact date.
This time around, they were certain enough of their predictions--which, as near as I can tell, are based in equal parts Bronze Age mythology, numerology, marketing hucksterism, paranoid schizophrenia, and interpretation of Sarah Palin's fame as one of the signs of the End Times (that last of which, I do have to admit, is hard to argue with)--to spend a huge bundle of money on a billboard campaign advertising the end of the world, though what one is supposed to do with the information is a mystery which escapes your humble scribe.
One of the billboards in question was located in Orlando, near to joreth's house, so I snapped a picture of it for the lulz.
I have no doubt that it will keep getting funnier and funnier as time goes on. zaiah and I actually hosted a party on May 21, which is in fact the second end-of-the-world party I've hosted (the first in 1988), and it just never gets old.
Picture taken, we were well and truly on our way.
The drive up to Atlanta is pretty grueling under the best of circumstances.
The best of circumstances don't generally involve a high-speed blowout on interstate 75 in the rural north of Florida. This particular trip, which emphatically was not the best of circumstances, did.
We replaced it with the little Go_kart thing that automotive manufacturers laughingly refer to as a "limited service spare" and were soon back on our way, searching for a service station that was still open and staffed with folks who wouldn't kill and eat sexual deviants such as ourselves.
We found such a place without a great deal of fuss and with no casualties...
...whereupon we learned something new and unfortunate. Well, two new and unfortunate things...no, wait, three new and unfortunate things, now that I think about it.
The first was that another tire was quite frayed and ready to explode with little provocation, rather like any Middle Eastern country with Internet access these days.
The second of those three things was that the size of tire on joreth's car was exotic and not easily available in the backwoods of rural Florida.
The third of those three things was that such tires, which could be procured in a few hours' time from a nearby town which had such newfangled amenities as electricity and running water, were hella fucking expensive.
The fourth of those three things was that small service stations in rural Florida are not generally the normal habitat of the European carnivorous candy-bunny.
But such ordinary garden-variety trials are not to stand between a gang of seasoned, veteran perverts and debaucheries the likes of which to make a Roman emperor weep, so we bucked up, walked to a local fast-food establishment, and waited.
The fast-food establishment in question, whose name is now long forgotten by your humble scribe, offered tea, which evidently is a beverage quite popular in London-town, so the bunny was soon in (moderately) better spirits.
It was also connected to a small store where one could buy a wide range of goods of dubious merit, such as police radar detectors, small plastic novelty items designed to be affixed to one's dashboard, and inexpensive DVDs of movies that came and went in the theaters in less time than it takes a B meson to decay into J/ψ mesons in the Large Hadron Collider.
The store also sells Southern Pride stickers, which I was quite amused to note are made in China. Guangdong province, I reckon.
There is a rule of the Internet, called Rule 34, which says that if anyone anywhere is interested in something, there exists porn of that thing on the Internet. (There is another, lesser-known rule, Rule 36, which states that if anyone anywhere is interested in something, there exists a knitting pattern for it on the Internet.)
Rule 34 has let me down, though, for it would seem that there is in fact no Viking kazoo porn on the Internet.
However, datan0de and femetal own both a Viking hat and quite a startling number of kazoos, and I own a camera, so we resolved that we would make use of the London candy-distributing carnivorous rabbit and these things to fill this much-needed gap.
Alas, this photograph is the closest thing that exists to Viking kazoo porn, as we simply did not have time to do as we had planned to do. We arrived at the convention rather later than we had expected, and scarcely had time to settle ourselves before it was time for joreth and emanix to put Operation Wifebeater into effect...
...but more on that later. I would write more of Operation Wifebeater, a carefully-choreographed conspiracy of obscenity the like of which would make a Greek god shudder, but I have four-week-old kittens to play with.