Ok now that all the unter-pundits have held forth on the Milbogger Conference, I will clear away the smoke and mirrors.
UPDATE: I retract my previous BS statement, I have been well and truly smoked and mirrored by Rachelle. I told the tale of buying this shirt and my wife later seeing the ad here, giving me the look that said "You bought it 'cuz of the cute butt", and well...but I don't figger I qualify as a t-shirt babe.
So, Jimbo offers to be Mr. Blackfive's t-shirt babe. Mr. Blackfive declined the offer, thinking it was simply a bad idea based on the "audience" of Blackfive. So Uncle Jimbo offered to be my t-shirt babe.
That's not quite how I remember it, butt.
Now a public service announcement. On our return flight Kev announced to me, "Jimbo, we need to host this thing in Madison next year". And since I already promised Andi I would handle shaking down the corporate weasels for goodies, I humbly invite one and all to one of the best cities for a party on earth. State St. in the Mad City is world famous and Kev might as well be Mayor of it. Come to Butthead people, trust me. On to the post game:
First of all the panel discussions seem to have gone extremely well, and there has been ample coverage of them which is good since I missed all of them. Well I did spend about 5 minutes in the In Theater panel, but then COL Hunt pissed me off, and I had promised Matty I wouldn't heckle in there. I obviously gave no such promise about heckling during the luncheon, when CDR Squiddly Carroll decided that what we really needed was a PowerPoint slide show.
I mean c'mon, like I was gonna let that slide, nope and fittingly first shot I took was the ever popular "Next Slide". Now I want to apologize to Andi , who was right behind me and torn between mortification and laughter. Her compadre Rachelle was not torn at all as she was gigglin', and there were plenty other fellow violators in the crowd. He meandered through a lengthy expose about some obscure sport at the Nasal Academy, and then mentioned how Military.com was a useful tool, which prompted "You're a useful tool". We progressed to his intro of the boy Lieutenants Sparky and Lumpy , and their affiliation with Military.com, and my branding them "Sell Outs!".
Now it's fair to say that I am three for three cliche-wise, but you would undervalue the beauty of an excellent heckle.
First- Be on the same team as the rest of the audience, but have the stones to say what everyone else is thinking.
Second- Timing, you have to anticipate a lull, and yet be quick enough with a good rip
Third- Volume, at best the speaker should never hear a thing you say, but should be nervous about all the laughter since he knows he is fresh out of funny.
Fourth- Follow Up, which was even tougher because Matt was threatening me with a steak knife and a fork. But he kept withdrawing his veto because it is hard to stab when you are laughing.
The first night at Fran's was a wonderful blur, where I got to shoot the breeze with a ton of my favorite writers including The Donavan and his boss Beth. We plotted abuse of Jonah G from NRO for failing to show. The fun part was introducing my buddy Kev, who got back from the sand box last November after a tour w/ 1/128 INF of the WI National Guard, where I was First Sergeant (a crap one) for a couple years after active duty. Kev is one of a kind, and if you start at nihilist, but don't restrict yourself you may get a feel for him. He decided his theme was F the troops, and he had at with a number of folks who couldn't believe their ears. Kit and Heidi got the full treatment. I can vouch that he is not kidding.
That evening was great, and I liked Fuzzy Bear's take on the toast to the owners muchly, although Kev said he wanted to kick my ass, when I called "At Ease!" but what's new.
Now proper rest is an essential part of an plan, so Kev and I ensured we would be prepped for the free luncheon, graciously provided by Military.com and my heckling partner. This meant a 1030 wake up and a stint in the hot tub to shake the kinks out. A taxi ride dropping us off more than a mile from the event in the rain ensures that a certain Hindu gentleman will meet Shiva the Destroyer, but we got there. Lunch was yummy and fun, and so on to the panels, or wait Grim, Kev, Matty, Wind Rider and the War Tapes chicas stopped in the cantina for a cold one. Wind Rider's coin check, provided a second round, but then we remembered this panel was In Theater bloggers and we really ought to be there.
So we trooped in and I sat through about eight too many smart ass remarks from Dave Hunt, especially to Bill Roggio, so I self-censored and left. Then LT Noonan (miss) asked me if I wanted to play podcast, like I need an offer to run my lips. So the MOAP was spawned, and I even viddied it, but Lumpy says his Mom doesn't want his pie hole on TV so I will embargo it for now. That was fun and I think Chuck and I might go into syndication, Smash is probably pissed, but hey man you come up with lines like "Iran wants to join the nuclear club, fine. They can be number three, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tehran" and you can have the gig.
After the show ended, there was milling about and all of a sudden I heard a yipping like a puppy trying to get up the steps to the porch where the big dogs were. Grim recalls:
"Heh. You can't give it to them worse than Jimbo did. After the last panel, John at OpFor challenged him to a drinking contest at the pub crawl. Jimbo just laughed at him, and then said, "Why don't you just wear a nice skirt so I can take you dancing instead?"
Now once again using my priorities of work, a little rest was called for. Then to 8th &I to start the pub crawl, another taxi and this time a poor Nigerian shall walk the earth forever with his entrails dragging, as reward for a 45 minute tour of every part of DC not downtown. But we arrive and Andi remarks on a tale of a MAJ with a photo album showing him with three hookers, she recalls Kev and I informing that while two hookers was perfectly fine, three was overkill and tacky. This led to a tutorial on how to identify katoys (trannys) in Thailand, Adam's Apples (like Ann Coulter), big hands and feet FYI. There also a moment where I thought Kev & Princess Cat were either gonna throw down or get down, I'm just sayin'.
I have been informed there are photographs that I should be worried about, that ignores my inability to be embarrassed. You have to have feelings to get them hurt. So bring 'em on.
I welcome any other recollections of the festivities, and I appreciate all the surrogates who attended the panels and wrote so eloquently on them, freeing me up to do the valuable work I do.
So set your calendar for next year Earth Day weekend in Madison, and I can even arrange protestors to be outraged by us.