So last night I was invited to attend a board meeting for LARP alliance. I have to admit that I was looking forward to it, but a bit sketchy as well. I would be the 'new guy', and sometimes that is not the best place to be, even more so when you are join a group of people with alpha personalities. IT can be like walking into a shooting gallery, from the wrong end. None the less from what I have read, they have heard of me (I'm still not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing) and invited me to join their meetings. I was excited.
As there was a bit of a gap in the timezones, it meant that the 6:00 PM meeting would be held at 9:00 PM for me. As my days normally start at 5:00 AM this was going to prove a challenge. Thankfully the fridge was stocked with Coke, so I would be ready. At about 8:30 I was buzzing as about 3 liters of caffeine coursed through my body, replacing every bit of blood I had. To say I was wide awake was a bit of an understatement. On a personal note I am NEVER going to drink THAT much soda in a single day EVER again.
So there I was sitting at my computer, getting several programs up and running for the meeting. I had a note pad (both on the computer as well as pen and paper) ready to go. I had what information I had about the others in this group up on the screen and had occupied the wife with several downloaded TV shows and brownies. I was ready.
Then the phone rang. For the first 2 or 3 rings I could only look at it in puzzlement. I thought I had to call them, and I needed to enter access codes and the like to get to the party line they has set up. This was something all together new. And how did they get THIS number? It was a line that only a few people knew. It was also a new 'Magic Jack' line which meant even less then the normal number of people even knew it existed, much less knew the number yet.
I picked up the line and chimed in with a friendly hello. The voice on the other end sounded familiar. Odd, I don't think I have ever met any of these people in person before. I believe I would have remembered. I listened and after a few seconds I recognized the voice. This wasn't a person from CA, this was a friend from here in Pittsburgh.
He started with the two words that invoke the exact opposite of what was said. He said "Don't Panic". As a side note that phrase does nothing to calm anyone down, even more so when it is before the greeting. He started to explain that he was in the ER and his car was totaled. I listened as he told me about how he was out with some friends and (his own words here) 'one thing lead to another'. This is another phrase that never ends well.
The long and the short of it is they were not paying attention to where they were going, namely because of people in another car (a car full of ladies I discovered later, and they were showing off). They drove into a road that was under construction. This meant that somewhere along this roadway, the road part of it suddenly ended, where as they did not.
This is where I should explain that the Pittsburgh area has over 2800 bridges, and it seems that at least %25 of then are under construction at one time or another. Well my friend found one. Or more to the point where one SHOULD have been. The car drove off the end and dropped a good 15 to 20 feet onto another road. Thankfully there was no traffic on that road as it was a small back road that no one hardly ever used. The car is shot all to hell. The 'car of fools' (thankfully) walked away with only minor bumps & cuts, some major shattered egos and one broken bone.
So after spending a few hours in the ER (which ER operations and how they treat people is another rant altogether) I finally took my friend home. Made sure he was all set and finally (around 2:00 AM) left for my bed, which was calling for me like a long lost love. I crawl into bed, ready to fall asleep, but forgot one thing. I was still buzzing with caffeine. I laid there in bed watching the ceiling fan spin for a good 20 minutes, but there was no sand man visiting me, at least for a little while.
I thought that I may have missed the meeting but I could still dial in and listen in to what happened. So I head to the office, pick up the home hone (the one the is hooked up to the 'Magic Jack' and dial the number. That is when I get the message that 'Magic Jack' and that party line do not work together, and if I wanted to start one I could. This is not what I was expecting. So the next meeting means using a cell phone, OR try talking everyone to using Yahoo messenger or something of the like.
Talk about a night from hell...