The ONE AND ONLY OFFICIAL Bay Area Get-Together Report

Posted to Fumbling-Towards-Ecstasy on April 26, 1997 by Josh Burnett. Reprinted by permission.

First of all, the Fumblers involved in this latest instalment of the great tradition of Bay Area Get-Togethers (In Order of Appearance)

Joshua C. Burnett
Teresa (whose last name I don't know)
Esther A. Harlow
Debbie (whose last name I also don't know)
Tracy (do we see a patern here?)
Chris (guess)

Also briefly involved with the get-together was a shady character known as Jonathon Bair, who was once briefly subscribed to FTE but does not deserve the honor of being called a Fumbler.

I arrived at Berkeley Bart at about 4:00 PM. I went to The Other Change of Hobbit, an excellant sci-fi/fantasy bookstore on Shattuck Ave., near Bart. I then went to a drug store with the intention of purchasing a soda. I ended up instead purchasing a Mango Madness Snapple and a bag of Kiwi Gummi snacks, manufactured in an Oriental nation and with excessive packaging. I then returned to Bart, sat down, ate my food and drnk my Snapple (although I graciously saved a gummi kiwi for Esther & Teresa). I read a couple chapters of my book, wandered around, read a couple chapters of my book, and wandered around. Some highlights included a smoker hopping the turnstyle (figurativly, as he acctually went over a steel guardrail), Bart police harrasing a Hispanic teenager for using a red card (rec cards are for kids only), and this old guy playing a clarinet-like instrument by the stairs.

A couple minutes after 5:00 PM, Teresa arrived, and recognized me instantly. Was it my rugged good looks, my snazzy cloathes, that aura I emenate? Perhaps we will never know. I let her look at the cds I had with me (_Living in Clip_ by Ani, _Greatest Hits_ by Joan Baez, _Living With Ghosts) by Patty Griffin, _New Moon Daughter_ by Cassandra Wilson, and _Magic Box_ by Bel Canto). She dropped the cds, breaking the caseon the Patty Griffin. However, being the nice guy that I am I didn't brutally attack her or threaten serious legal action at this point. I read a selection of her poetry which she had with her.

Around 5:30, Esther arrived at the Bart station. She also noticed me immeaditly, as she knows my trademarked sexy appearance well. After a group hug, we headed up the stairs. I gave Esther and Teresa their complimentary gummy kiwis. At this point we proceeded to the henna tatoo place of which Esther has been speaking. There were people waiting, so we were told to come back in an hour. We decided to get dinner at this time. My reccomendation of Blondie's Pizza was coldly rejected, and instead we proceeded to Crepes-A-Go-Go. Esther purchased a crepe with choclate and banannas, which lead me to wonder why one would wish to waste choclate on something with *banannas* in it. Obviously, Esther is an uncultured Philistine. I do not recall what type of crepe Teresa purchased. I stuck to my guns and refused to eat at Crepes-A-Go-Go, however, again proving my moral and intellectual superiority. Esther provided the conversational material for this phase of the get-together, showing us pictures of her freaky friends, including the lovely Katrina and the decidedly un-lovely Jon. Esther also provided us with reading material, namely what appeared to be health class handbooks from the 1950's. One was entitled, "The Truth About Narcotics," another was, "Your Behavior Problems." We learned many pearls of wisdom, including: Cigarettes are habit forming, not addictive; blaming your parents for your all your problems will not help; and, if you don't have many friends, practice telling funny stories well.

After eating, we went back to the aforementioned drug store and purchased some more gummi kiwis, of which I shared the cost and the taste of with Teresa and Esther. We then walked back to the henna tatoo place. While we passed by The Other Change of Hobbit, we ran into Esther's friend Jon, whom Esther is currently mad at. He accompinied us to the henna place, informed us that cameras are phallic, and told me of his school's midget wrestling fund-raiser. At one point I called him the world's biggest flamer. Esther took offense to this remark. However, for me to call soemone a flamer is a compliment. I love flamers. Shortly after we left the henna place, Jon departed for his bus and his cushy home in the Oakland Hills.

Finially, after Esther got her phat-ass tatoo, we proceeded to Telegraph Ave. so that I could get my dinenr at Blondie's. I purchased a slice of peperoni pizza, and was forced to eat it while we walked to the theater. When we arrived at the theater, we were phatly dissed by the man, represented in this case by a woman. She informed us that, sicne Kissed is a Non-Rated movie, people under 18 would not be addmitted without parents, guardians, or a fake ID. We decided to stage a strike by sitting on teh sidewalk in front of the theater and badmouth them. While we were doing this, two more fumblers arrived - Debbie, a fumbler from UC Davis and Tracy, a lurker from the City. However, these two esteemed fumblers chose nto to stay for long. While they were there we did take a few pissed off pictures, including one of the group with its thumbs down in front of the theater, one of teh group looking angry in front of the Kissed sign while I punched the Kissed sign, and one other one of the group glowering.

After taking these pictures, Esther looked at my copy of _Living in Clip_, and disagreed with me that Ani looks *beautiful* in the picture from the photo album where she is sitting with the shaved-head girl. She implied that I only thought that because of the visibility of Ani's breasts. However, what I truly liked about the picture was the way her face looked at the angle of the picture, the lovely partially-visible tatoo above her breasts, and her hairstyle of the time. After all this, Tracy and Debbie returned to their respective homes. Not long after, Chris arrived. With Chris, we searched for lemon slices to keep Esther's henna tatoo from cracking, and went to Yougart Park for some of the world's best frozen yougart. Now, you all know about Esther and her girlfriend Katrina, but I'll bet you didn't know that I am largely responsible for their relationship. You see, Esther was pining over Katrina for some time, and eventually I decided to lay the smack down. I told her to tell her already, damnit. When this highly persuasive argument failed, I offered to buy Esther ice cream if she told Katrina about her feelings. This did work. So, Estehr decided to purchase frozen yougart instead. I bought Choclate Fudgesickle with gummi bears, Esther bought some flavour I don't recall with York Peppermint bits, Chris got ice cream in a structurally unstable waffle cone. Again, I don't recall just what Teresa got.

We started to eat our lovely dessert on Berkeley's Zellerbach Square. After a while, we decided to head off - I, however, was finished by this time. We walked through the Berkeley campus while Chris got ice cream all over his fingers and chin.

We then walked to Chris's car. I was prepared to leave via Bart, but Chris kindly offered me a ride. We drove up to the Lawerence Hall of Science, home of the famous get-together with myself, Xochitl, and Esther, and proceeded to illegally trespass onto UC Berkeley property, as the area is supposed to be closed between 10 PM and 6 AM. I thought of a brillianty excuse - we were Australian and our schools had never taught us about time zones, so we thought it was mid-afternoon. We admired the beautiful view of the east bay, Marin headlands, and the pennensula, blisfully unaware that the same conspiricy which had kept us out of "Kissed" had sent agents to follow us!

There we were, innocently and illegally sitting on the lawn, talking about Esther's Senior Boat Cruise, when the sprinkler system suddenly came on! Our reactions varied - I thought Berkeley employees were attacking us with a hose, while Esther believed it to be something else which I do not recall.

We then moved to a bench, wet but none the worse for ware. Shortly thereafer we moved to another bench, which proved to be a blessing since the bench was soaked by yet more sprinklers seconds later. There was another group there, and they at first refused to give us refuge. However, they left not long after and gave us not only their bench up their chips - Cooler Ranch Doritos, none the less! After a while of sitting, talking, and admiring the view we realized the conspiricy had trapped us - we were surrounded by sprinklers, and the only way out involved a long and very steep hillside. Obviously, the people from the theater are good at what they do. However, we braved these adverse conditions. Let me tell you, it was hell. Esther was so bad off after the sprinkler attacks that Chris had to carry her and I had to hold her hand, and Teresa lost a flower. But we made it, and we'll always be proud of our strength in this tough time.

Just as we were about to pull out from the parking lot, another car, obviously a puppet of the theater, followed us. But they didn't just follow us - they were clever enough to leave BEFORE us. That really throws people you're tracking off your trail, but we were jsut to smart for them. A high speed chase ensued, which involved Esther screaming a lot and my allergies acting up a lot. Religion was also discussed during this emotionally charged high-speed chase.

We dropped Teresa off at her dorm and headed for Orinda. We travelled through the Caldecot Tunnel, although unfortunatly not the same one which exploded some years back. I showed Esther and Chris all the Orindan sites, including the house where the rich peopel with buffalo live, my friend Lauren's house, and Glorietta Elementary School. Chris was obviously emotionally drained from the above mentioned experiences, because he missed the turn AND my house.

I will probably post part 2 of this OFFICIAL Bay Area FTE Get-Together Report tommorow, as I have not yet discussed the search for a lemon, the beer-dropping incident, or the official thing of the Get-Together.

Au revoir,

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