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March 22nd, 2005


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01:08 am - Consequences
It's been a case of "another week, another funeral" for Dad, as he went out to pay his last respects to a work colleague of 20 years. This particular ceremony had no songs but the body was sent out to the sounds of skiffle ("jug-band") star Lonnie Donegan's 1960 novelty #1 My Old Man's A Dustman. Truly a class act to the last. At this point I would instigate a meme of "do you have plans for your funeral?", but who needs that? The question we should really be asking ourselves is: do your loved ones know how you would like to go?

Things here are broadly OK in the single-parent era. I've been back at work for the last four days and trying to concentrate on going forward rather than looking back. There have been some bad times, but I've drawn upon the resources of my wonderful and tirelessly, cheerfully ever-remotely-present girlfriend who makes things better. I have also been tidying, which reminds me of her and makes me happy. A tidy room would be a fine Meggity!legacy indeed.

Anyone here have good or bad word to say about http://www.1899.com/ ? It offers calls to landline telephones in the UK and the US for a connection charge of 3p plus a rate of zero pence per minute; There's apparently no maximum call duration, so a single call to a US fixed line would cost thruppence. Call rates to US and UK mobiles are less competitive: 3p connection fee plus 3p/minute to US mobiles and 2p/minute (weekends) or 10p/minute (weekdays) to UK mobiles. Telediscount may have stopped advertising their 08452 442 442 local-rate number to the US, but it still works for me and reigns supreme for off-peak calls to US mobiles.

I have discovered some souvenirs of passing interest during recent clearing. One of them is a speech written by addedentry at 2am on Valentine's Day 1997 for me to read at the subsequent Members' Papers Evening held by the Invariant Society, Oxford's semi-recreational mathematics club. As a Z to A of mathematicians, it was rather a fine speech, even if the I was for imc who "has been at every Invariant speaker meeting since Pythagoras gave a talk on 'A Nifty Result with Triangles'"; alas, I can recall delivering it particularly poorly and attracting (almost?) nary a laugh. Ah well.

One other artefact discovered were some records of the parlour game Consequences played by a similar but slightly different crowd; my annotations suggest the players would have been jvvw, tkb, David Wallace, Tim Ricketts, myself, truecatachresis and beingjdc. Trying to back-solve to produce an occasion upon which the latter two hip cats would have been hanging out with us squares is a tricky one; perhaps it was the non-Worms half of a zorac Arco Building party? (I might guess at Election Night, but I'm sure beingjdc would've had better places to spend his Election Night than 008.)

Consequences is a gentle pencil-and-paper parlour game which is a co-operative anonymised attempt at somewhere between communal storywriting and Mad Libs. Players contribute nouns and phrases to an ongoing story, not knowing what has preceded their contribution to each story, hoping to be amused by the way in which they interact with each other.

To give an example, each of the eight italicised phrases below was contributed by a different player, producing this story: Henry Braun (*) met Mother Theresa of Calcutta at the Invariant Society annual dinner. He said to her, "Why are you so full of jelly?" She said to him, "If only all men could be as cultured and refined as you, the world would ultimately be a far more pleasant place for women like me." The world said "Why did this come to pass?", the consequence was that there was a new series of Father Ted on Channel 4 and the moral of the story is that Life is like a sewer: you get out what you put in.

This has direct applications for LiveJournal. Let's play darts! Consequences! You fill in the boxes (all of them, mind you, else it goes wrong) and later this week I shall diagonally slice through the storyspace into fractured fables. Might be a laugh. Style guide for the unfamiliar: flirty is good, raunchy is bad. Your entries need not make a story with each other. All players' identities will remain anonymous. Improvements via improper gameplay welcome if sufficiently funny; for instance, one person inserting a man into the "woman's name" box to create a male/male story would amuse, for many people to do so might start to tire. My Friends list is international and fandom-independent so please don't be too obscure in your cultural references, except if it's good obscure. Each box has a 250 character maximum, but brevity is the soul of wit (so I'm screwed). If you would horribly object to having someone else name you as a protagonist in one of these stories, with fictional consequences outwith your control, mail me privately.
Poll #458877 Consequences

Man's name:

Woman's name:

Where they met:

He said to her:

She said to him:

The world said:

The consequence was:

The moral of the story is:


Current Mood: creativeplayful!

(28 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:fruufoo
Date:March 21st, 2005 05:46 pm (UTC)
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That has to be the coolest poll I've ever seen anyone post! I can't wait to see the results. :D
[User Picture]
From:quiz_master_man
Date:March 21st, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
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There's nothing quite like little things that remind you of the one you love, is there?

-M
Ever the romantic.
[User Picture]
From:meggitymeg
Date:March 21st, 2005 07:08 pm (UTC)
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You forgot to mention that lovely little artifact from one sir_gareth.... ;)
[User Picture]
From:sir_gareth
Date:March 21st, 2005 08:22 pm (UTC)
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I'm incredibly fearful of what that artefact could be. Why is my memory so bad with reagrd to all things beyond third year college that have anything to do with you?

Secondly... I recall you making phone posts in the past. But recent UK flisters have been bemoaning a lack of advertized UK or Ireland number to dial for posting access. Did you dial the US on a phone card to make those posts?
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 22nd, 2005 05:24 am (UTC)
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Worry not; the souvenir in question is entirely benign, but will now come as slightly less of a surprise.

I used (and use, but soon may no longer be loyal to) Telediscount to call the US for a gnat's pfennig per minute.
[User Picture]
From:addedentry
Date:March 22nd, 2005 01:57 am (UTC)
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Splendid! I still have the text of the Z to A countdown (read-down?) of mathematicians and I remember it going down better than you remember, despite my cowardly insistence that you deliver it instead of me.

At least, I have a draft, without the letters we left unfinished even at 2 a.m. Is yours more complete?
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 22nd, 2005 05:26 am (UTC)
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I suspect mine is no more complete than yours. Mail of 020353, blanks for Ulam, Russell, Lovelace et al. (Who's al?) It was found alongside some gags cribbed from Sharon Curtis' page.

If nobody claims them in the next 24 hours, and you get first refusal, then they're being recycled.
[User Picture]
From:addedentry
Date:March 22nd, 2005 05:51 am (UTC)
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That's the one (020353? Which base are you belong to?) But I won't stand in the way of your clearing, so recycle it and let us know what you uncover next!
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 22nd, 2005 07:26 am (UTC)

WHAT YOU SAY?

(Link)
Sent at 020353 GMT.
[User Picture]
From:huskyteer
Date:March 22nd, 2005 02:29 am (UTC)
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cybersofa has an iPod playlist for his funeral, which is admirable yet disturbing.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 22nd, 2005 07:27 am (UTC)
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This is the point where I would implement *sidles sideways slowly away from cybersofa* were it not for the fact that I fear it may be rude to do it to someone's Dad when the child is watching.
[User Picture]
From:beingjdc
Date:March 22nd, 2005 07:12 am (UTC)
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I think it was in Arco. It certainly wasn't election night 1997 because I was at Donnington WMC that night. I think jelly was eaten that day and hence the sentence you have - could it have been the night we were playing sheepgobaa?
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 22nd, 2005 07:25 am (UTC)
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I have no clue as to what you refer, but that does not stop me from approving of it wholeheartedly. (Wonder if it might've been an OxNomic social? You didn't play, but you lurked in the group. I think.)

Unless I miss my guess, I think your contribution to that particular story was Mother Theresa of Calcutta and I would ascribe the jelly comment to jvvw. (Ah! Handwriting!)

Me? Playing consequences? After eating jelly? In room 008 of the Arco building at 2 o'clock in the morning? With my reputation?

What would the world say?
[User Picture]
From:beingjdc
Date:March 22nd, 2005 07:49 am (UTC)
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I have no clue as to what you refer

Settlers?

Me? Playing consequences? After eating jelly? .. What would the world say?

Wobble.
[User Picture]
From:jvvw
Date:March 22nd, 2005 09:58 am (UTC)
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I feel I should know who you are in real life...
[User Picture]
From:beingjdc
Date:March 22nd, 2005 02:06 pm (UTC)
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Yes, yes you should, but if jdc doesn't help then I'm not sure my real name will do any good either! To me you are (in the nicest possible way) 'the one who isn't julietk'.
[User Picture]
From:tkb
Date:March 22nd, 2005 07:44 am (UTC)
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One other artefact discovered were some records of the parlour game Consequences played by a similar but slightly different crowd.... Trying to back-solve to produce an occasion upon which the latter two hip cats would have been hanging out with us squares is a tricky one...

Email records and online sources suggest that it may have been the evening of Saturday 10 May 1997, following the Invariant Society dinner at Worcester College.

[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 22nd, 2005 09:20 am (UTC)
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Entirely plausible, not least as another meeting venue suggested (in red, quite possibly by truecatachresis) is "A random location in Worcester".

My e-mail records reveal nothing pertinent to the presence of said two hip cats, but an interesting glance into the life of today's LJ chumz at the time. LJ! It's the new Invariants Reunited! (And also the new Wanted fandom Reunited if only we could get Ben Tritle on...)
[User Picture]
From:tkb
Date:March 22nd, 2005 12:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I found an email to a sable address which I believe was beingjdc the following day discussing Consequences, which seemed to fit.

The question was one which may be of interest (although somewhat frivolously) now, in fact, so I'll pose it here. Can someone be defamed by a Consequences story -- and, if so, which of the game-players would be liable?
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 22nd, 2005 01:06 pm (UTC)
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Don't tell anyone, but if someone were to sic the Freedom of Information Act on me for the identity of who said what then I'd squeal like a piglet.

Quoting myself:

an interesting glance into the life of today's LJ chumz at the time

That ought to be lives plural, obviously. I don't know; I must've written a quarter of a million words on this here LiveJournal and I find myself less literate than I was in 1997. It's all going downhill, I tell you.

Unrelatedly, would anyone here be interested in the other Consequences that were produced by the group of the day, or may they be recycled too?
[User Picture]
From:beingjdc
Date:March 22nd, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC)
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kebl0613 calling univ0118
[User Picture]
From:tkb
Date:March 22nd, 2005 02:26 pm (UTC)
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Yes, that would be the one.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 22nd, 2005 03:48 pm (UTC)
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Geordies calling Houston, can you send us up some drinks?
There's no McEwan's best and the local beer stinks.
The bars are packed tighter than tins of sardines,
There's no room for barmaids with all the machines.
Bye bye mission control, ha' us out of here,
The moon? Nice place, shame about the beer.


-- misremembered beer commercial from approximately 1989 to 1993
[User Picture]
From:jvvw
Date:March 22nd, 2005 09:56 am (UTC)
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Did I organise that? I must have done, but I don't remember doing so.
[User Picture]
From:tkb
Date:March 22nd, 2005 12:50 pm (UTC)
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Well, a July 1997 email from the the archives (by which I mean a combination of some old oddly-formatted mailbox files and judicious use of grep -- I really should sort out my mail collection from those days) told me that "according to Juliette she isn't owed any money for the Annual Dinner" which suggests that you were involved in its organisation (otherwise I probably wouldn't have asked the question in the first place).
[User Picture]
From:imc
Date:March 22nd, 2005 08:26 am (UTC)
(Link)
As a Z to A of mathematicians, it was rather a fine speech, even if the I was for imc who "has been at every Invariant speaker meeting since Pythagoras gave a talk on 'A Nifty Result with Triangles'"

Heh. I don't actually remember that (and it's sadly no longer true, since I think the last meeting I went to was the one with Ian Stewart in MT 2003 — a three-month-old smallclanger also attended, and is presumably the youngest person ever to have gone to an Invariant speaker meeting). Actually it wasn't true then, either, as I had one term off round about 1990.

Watch this space for another Invariant-related news item.

perhaps it was the non-Worms half of a zorac Arco Building party? (I might guess at Election Night, but I'm sure beingjdc would've had better places to spend his Election Night than 008.)

Ah, Worms… I have the PC version (must be several years now since I've played it, which is something of an omission) but it was never really quite as good as WormsDC.

I am still irritated that I slept through Portillo's defeat speech. :-)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:March 22nd, 2005 09:31 am (UTC)
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Ian Stewart

For old time's sake: allegedly a bastard. (Ian S, not Ian C.)

Watching that space! Well, the feed derived therefrom, but it works the same in practice. :-)

Happy memories indeed!
[User Picture]
From:bopeepsheep
Date:April 3rd, 2005 04:57 am (UTC)
(Link)
(Coming to this bit of the post late, since I seem to read everything before everyone else comments)

We also have Worms on GC. Not that either of us has yet played it. And I was at that Invariant evening too, not that you've bothered mentioning me. :-) I believe smallclanger briefly reviewed the evening himself - ah yes, here.

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