The Suspension Of Disbelief Personified

My hotel bed is a King. It is enormous. In Seattle a plot of land this big would cost $300,000. At one point last night I woke up to discover that I had shifted around so much that I was sleeping parallel to the headboard without discomfort.

In the first session of my convention, one of the speakers gave an example of how his software could be used. Before he began he gave a lengthy and belabored disclaimer, assuring us that the scenario he was about to describe and enact was completely hypothetical. In it he used the word “fictitious,” like, a dozen time. Then, as he walked through the example, he paused every three minutes to remind us that everything we were seeing was wholly invented, and had absolutely no connection to reality whatsoever. Someone should totally hire that guy to stand next to Bush and do the same thing whenever the President gives a speech.


I’m in Washington D.C. this week for a conference, though not one of those fun ones where “convention” is shortened to “con” and prefixed with “Comi” or “Manimal.”

I took the laid-back approach to travel, this go-round. Sometimes before a trip I will agonize for days before my departure, making lists of everything I need to bring, packing three days in advance, and spending the hour before my departure doublechecking to ensure I haven’t forgotten anything. Other times I drag out my suitcase the morning of my flight and just leave it on the dinning room table in the hopes that it will, epiphyticly, absorb clothes and toiletries from the atmosphere. Whenever I happen to walk by the luggage carrying a clean pair of socks or whatever, in it goes. Several hours later the taxi arrives, and I close the luggage without a review of its contents and hope for the best. Remarkably, this system tends to work for me more often than not, although I always run the risk of suddenly realizing — halfway through my flight, at an altitude of 30,000 feet — that I have not only neglected to pack any pants, but that I’m not even wearing any at the moment.

When I arrived at the Sea-Tac I marvelled, as I always do in the airport, that such an enormous building can eb entirely populated by people who don’t want to be there. People waiting for their flight to depart so they can get out of there, people waiting for a loved one to arrive so they can get out of there, people waiting for their shift at The Six-Dollar Cheese Sandwich Emporium to end so they can get out of there, etc. I think airports are the closest earthly approximation of purgatory, a huge holding cell for the unhappy. And why are people always dressed so nice? I don’t even bother to comb my hair before travel, but the airport is always packed full of men in suits and women enveloped by make up and Wonderbras. Is everyone flying to some prom that I was not invited to? Or perhaps the airport is just one of the few places in Seattle where you can see large groups of people who are not from Seattle, i.e., people not perpetually dressed like they are an extra in a 90’s-era Mudhoney video.

My flight was uneventful. As as was boarding I could see, hovering over the space next to my assigned seat, a black leather cap festooned with shiny steel buttons. I expected it to be atop a stereotypical gay man straight out of the Village People, but when I arrived at my seat I discovered it actually contained an ancient woman, ninety years if she was a day, sitting by the window and clutching a copy of “The Christian Traveller’s Journal.” We exchanged some pleasantries before the twenty-something girl who got stuck with the middle seat arrived and filled the space between us. At several points during the trip the old woman, in a quavering stage whisper, told the girl that I was delightful young man and she was lucky to be married to me, while I stared at my book and pretended not to hear. The third time this happened the girl stopped correcting the woman and instead said, yes, married life is grand.

After we arrived at Dulles and had taxied to our gate, everyone leapt to their feet and began wrestling bison-sized carry-on items out of the overhead bins. Suddenly the entire vessel lost power and we were plunged into complete darkness. “Better now than ten minutes ago,” someone observed. After a minute or so the captain came on the intercom, assured us that the problem would be solved momentarily, and suggested that we “not go anywhere.” As they hadn’t yet opened the doors to the plane “going anywhere” wasn’t really an option in the first place, unless someone was planning to crawl into their luggage for a quite jaunt to Narnia. When the lights came back on I was nearly overcome by an urge to give out the piercing, womanly scream and shout “My pearls! Someone has stolen my pearls!!”

The shuttle from the airport to my hotel was entirely too crowded, though this seemingly worked to my advantage. All the back benches in the shuttle were full when I arrived, so I took the shotgun seat up front. That was pretty sweet, until I later realized that being next to the driver allowed me to watch in horror as he simultaneously exceeded the speed limit, tailgated, and devoted both his thumb and his attention to punching text messages into his cell phone for the duration of the trip. For most of the journey I felt the way was I did during the final 20 minuets of The Blair Witch Project.

Anyway, that’s how I wound up in D.C. Technically speaking, I’m actually in a small town called “Church Falls,” although, judging from what I saw on the ride out here, I’d estimate that for every church that fell at least four rose to take its place. (Aw shit — I just looked at the hotel stationary and discovered that I’m actually in “Falls Church.” Joke = ruined!)

Anyhow, if my posting is sporatic this week, that’s why. Although, to be honest, for my posting to become any more desultory than it has been in recent weeks I think I’d have to post on Leap Days only. So if you don’t notice any difference, I’ll understand.

$eason$ Greeting$!!

I’m really looking forward to the upcoming holiday season. In the past I always dreaded the whole Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s troika. But ever since I signed up to be a Conversational Spammer back in August, every party is a chance for me to pull in the big bucks. I can’t believe how much money I made in October, what with Halloween-related events nearly every weekend day. Everytime I spam a conversation: two cents, ka-ching! Do it enough an it really adds up!

Girl dressed as sexy nurse: That’s a great costume. How did you make the arms?

Guy dressed as a robot: I bought some of that flexible culvert tubing from the hardware store and just spray-painted it silver. I came out a lot better than I expected, to be honest.

Me: Great conversation! Keep up the good work! Enlarge your penis. penis pills emporium dot net.”

{I wander over to another conversation.}

Guy dressed as zombie: … was a big fan of Firefly, but, I dunno. It seemed kinda boring to me.

Guy dressed as Mexican wrestler: But the special effects were so much better. And they finally answered some questions about the characters.

Guy dressed as zombie: I guess. Maybe I’m just so used to seeing 40-minute episodes that the two hour movie felt too long to me.

Me: You can’t win if you don’t play! online hyphen poker hyphen parties dot us!

{I wander over to another conversation.}

Girl dressed as a cat: … being a total bitch, and I’m not going to —

Me: lowest mortgage rates dot com. lowest mortgage rates dot com. lowest mortgage rates dot com. lowest mortgage rates dot com. lowest mortgage rates dot com. lowest mortgage rates dot com. lowest mortgage rates dot com.

{I wander off.}

Oh course, these were all parties with complete strangers, so who knows if they actually went to the URLS. Thanksgiving and Christmas are full of gatherings with families, and I bet my potential for earning will really go up in that environment.

Uncle Aldo: [Taking the bowl of stuffing] Well, this is for me. What are the rest of you going to eat?


Grandma Sharon: Oops, I forgot the cranberries. I’ll just run into the kitchen ….

Uncle Don: No no, I’m already up. You stay put and I’ll go grab them.

Me: Want to see me naked? X x x hyphen nude hyphen webcams dot net.

{Awkward silence.}

Salon of Shame

Lovely Ariel of Electrolicious and the fine folks at A Guide To Visitors and putting on an event so excruciating that you won’t be able to look right at it — the only way to avoid being blinded by awkwardness will be to to view the spectacle through a tiny hole poked in a piece of paper.

Yes, inspired by the lovely Sarah Brown (it’s “Lovely Monday,” here at the yeti), they will be transplanting New York’s Cringe to the left-coast and stymying Sarah. B’s legion of trademark lawyer’s by rechristening it “The Salon of Shame.” This Wednesday, November 9th at 7 o’clock, watch in horror as folks take the stage to recite the most unbearably embarrassing poems, prose, and diary entries ever put on paper — abominations of literatures that the readers themselves penned in their carefree days of youth and dumbness.

Read more about it at Hope to see you there!

P.s. I neglected to mention that the folks at A Guide To Visitors are also lovely. I apologize for the oversight.


I saw two neohippies with dreadlocks strolling down the sidewalk and holding hands. If they live together I bet they are very compatible housemates. No chance of getting hair-care products mixed up, at any rate.