Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Hysterics Imagemap
EricElissonDaxJimboDennyJohnGeorgiaFionaOddyboboEricaBou and SWMBOMorriganJerryTommyRedneckTeresaSissy-Morrigan-BouRichmond
[Click on any of the thumbnails above to see a full-size image.]

I’ve been remiss about posting my impressions and commentary on this year’s Hysterics at Eric’s. Chalk it up to a case of the Pre-Election Heebie-Jeebies, or simply accuse me (justly, I might add) of being supernally lazy.

Normally, I would write a piece of Epic Poetry to commemorate the occasion. Think of it: a Horde of Chipmunks Happy Bloggers descending upon the Straight White House in bucolic McMinn County, Tennessee in order to drink a Mississippian flood of alcohol; make loud noises; eat themselves silly; amuse themselves with pool, idle conversation, and the playing of guitars, bongos, and the estimable kazoo; and (not incidentally) to celebrate the birthday of Tennessee Jed hizzownself. But my Poetry Muse is on holiday, so you will needs be content with a Prose Debrief.

Where to begin? So many things happen during the course of a Weekend at Eric’s that it becomes hard to keep track of it all.

The Missus and I arrived sometime around eight o’clock Friday evening, accompanied the whole way by a light (but annoying) rain. We missed the Adventure of the Black Widow Spider (recounted elsewhere), alas...but were greeted warmly by most of the Usual Suspects. Almost immediately, plates of hot baked ziti (courtesy of Bou, Morrigan, and Sissy) were thrust into our hands. This is an Annual Tradition, but one that we missed last time owing to our having arrived Saturday afternoon.

Morrigan, I should point out, is seriously With Child - yet somehow, she manages to look petite. How does that work?

I should also mention that Oddybobo is a dab hand at baking. That apple pie was Off Da Hook, as the youngins like to say.

Zonker, who, alas, no longer keeps his own Online Web-Log, was there, an early arrival. He and John Cox (the Cox half of Cox and Forkum) had driven up from Atlanta together.

Jimbo and Kenny the Bodyguard were there, which meant that there would be Musical Entertainment. It would not be a blogmeet without Denny and Jimbo (the Elderly Brothers) pickin’ some tunes...ably assisted by Dax and - a first! - John Cox on the bongos. (Suggested band name: Cox, Dax, and the Nutsacks.) Another first: Eric managed to stick the correct end of the kazoo into Denny’s mouth during the ceremonial playing of “Rocky Raccoon.”

When Jimbo stuck that duck-beak gadget in his face, though, I almost lost it completely.

Thelma and Joo-Ese (AKA Teresa and Erica) arrived shortly after we did. Their drive was a little longer and wetter than ours, as they had to come up from the Atlanta Airport With The Insufferably Long Name.

There were a few new (to us, anyway) faces, too. Jerry and Richmond both had long drives down from the Upper Midwest. A real pleasure to finally see both of them in Meatworld (as opposed to Blogworld) - and it turns out Jerry’s Corporate Salt Mine is in the same business as mine!

Saturday morning, we all dragged ourselves out of bed and headed off to the Tellico Cafe for a traditional Tennessee-style breakfast. Tommy met up with us there and rejoined us later that afternoon.

After a brief interval of Breakfastly Digestion, we all went out to perforate various objects with high-velocity chunks of metal. Shootin’! Now, I am not especially experienced in the world of firearms - the only gun I ever shot was a CO2 pellet gun back in day camp 45 years ago - but by the end of the afternoon I had tried my skill with a Taurus 9mm pistol (not so good); a Beretta .45 pistol (deadly accurate); a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, and a shotgun. They don’t call them things “boomsticks” for nothing...

Redneck (no link - his site has a virus) was extremely helpful, draining cans of Bud every few minutes in order to provide us with plenty of targets. With the .45, I ventilated one of them cans pretty good.

When we arrived back at the house, we saw that Johnnie Oh and Jennifer had shown up, along with the legendary Recondo32 and Georgia, without whom no blogger gathering is complete. The birthday gifts they brought for Eric and Denny were truly a wonder to see. I’ll leave the description to someone with better writing skills, for I cannot do it justice. I will, however, say that titties were involved.

The evening saw us gathered in the house or in Eric’s garage, while beans simmered on the stove and ribs cooked slowly on the grill. Richmond handed out a killer appetizer, just in case one needed to be appetized...and we all sat down to gnaw on those fine, fine ribs.

SWMBO and I missed the real excitement. The folks staying out at the Sleep Inn were treated to an early wake-up call Sunday morning, thanks to a Fahr in the Drahr. Good grief. Happily, things were brought under control without Denny having to jump out of his second-story window. [Memo to Sleep Inn: Guests who are paralyzed from the waist down should be given first-floor rooms, you dipshits.]

Everyone congregated back at the Casa de Straight White for breakfast, an ecumenical affair that included eggs and whomp biscuits (by Yours Truly), apricot kugel (by SWMBO), bacon (by Eric), and Taylor Pork Roll (by Kenny and Jimbo). And then, faces stuffed, everyone took their reluctant leave...while looking forward to the next gathering.

Oh, you wanted a poem anyway? OK, here it is:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sissy and Morrigan,
Oddybobo and Bou

Richmond and Jerry
From up by the farm
Came to the Soufland
So at least they’d be warm

Jimbo and Kenny
Piled into the car
Equipped with Three Olives,
A real Rolling Bar

Teresa and Erica
The latter from Brooklyn
Stepped into the kitchen
To see what was cooklin’

Recondo and Georgia
They came bearing gifts
An elegant photo
Of a Poan-Stah with “tifts”

Johnnie and Jennie
Came to shoot pool
Give the cue to John Cox -
He will take you to school

Plums, they are purple
Yellow means a banana
Asleep by the fire
Is our own Dax Montana

Denny came rolling up
In his Movable Chair
Oh, thanks, Mister Desk Clerk -
My hotel room is where?

Chitlins are kishkes,
And grits are from hominy
Let’s all give a shout-out
To Big Stupid Tominy

Eyeballs are “peepers”
A nose is a “honker”
No meet is complete
Without Ex-Blogger Zonker

How does Eric put up with
This yearly invasion?
All the booze people bring
Factors in the equation

And Fiona? Watch out:
Lions can’t match her roar
When she sees Mr. Smart-Brains
Has tracked mud on the floor

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