Snapshot of a Get-Together

Last night I went downtown and met with some fellow bloggers at a pub. We chatted aimiably for several hours and I took some pictures. I won't post them here because I draw my pictures with words. (Translation: I'm too cheap to pay for image hosting.)

There will be no shortage of photos, though. The event demonstrated that the digital camera has made shutterbuggery socially acceptable again. Every few seconds, a flash was going off, often followed by exclamations such as, "I look like that?" or "Don't you dare post that on your web site!" Ah, the wonders of LCD screens, which let you view your photographic masterpieces mere seconds after you ambushed somebody in a compromising position.

This blog entry is my penance for failing to mention somebody in an early article. When I reviewed the (purportedly) scary move "The Ring", I identified one shakey movie-goer as "Blogger To Remain Nameless". I figured, "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't leave yourself open to a libel suit."

I found out at last night's rendezvous that Liz (a.k.a. Blogger To Remain Nameless) was miffed that I hadn't besmirched her name. I offered to make up for this by including some of her words of wisdom here. Accordingly, then, I present four choice quotes, used with her permission...

"Trolls on horses give me nightmares."
"I don't care if you say I'm a [freaking] loser!"
"I want to [snuggle with] Eminem."
"[Fooey on] you all!"

(Some quotes have been edited for clarity.)

Now that Liz has had her say (and who can deny that trolls on horses are unsettling?), I will close by recounting a curious incident that occured when I was entering the subway on the way home.

A fellow walked up to me and asked, "Do you have ninety cents?" I was reaching into my pocket when it suddenly struck me how odd it was for him to ask for such a specific amount. Not wanting to waste time, I shrugged, tapped my head to indicate either that I didn't understand or that I was nuts, and strode on by.

It was only later that I realized what his game was. If he asked people for a whole dollar (upping the ante on the traditional request for "spare change"), they'd tell him to [move] off. But by asking for 90 cents, I'm sure he baffled many people into handing him a one-dollar coin.

What marketing genius! People who give him a dollar probably think, "Well, it's only an extra dime" – never realizing that they've been [finessed] out of a buck. Moreover, he demonstrated a shrewd grasp of consumer psychology: if he'd asked for ninety-nine cents, people with even a smidgen of cynicism would have caught on to the trick immediately. (I have several smidgens of cynicism, so I held on to my cash.)

Why is this guy wasting his talent begging in subway stations? Maybe Liz would be able to explain it to us. I expect she'd say something like, "Most people have [oatmeal] for brains. He has more [freaky] fun [playing] with some [person]'s [messed]-up mind than getting a [gosh-darned] job. He's totally [very unusual]."

I could hardly argue with that.

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