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Russian GoobNet

SUN 29 OCT 2006

02:48 UTC: Reg and I arrive at our highly secure facility in the area surrounding Palm Springs, CA, USA, where GoobNet’s annual Halloween party is due to commence in a bit over an hour.

“So who’s coming this year?” Reg asks me.

“Let me see,” I say as I prepare to mark them off on my fingers. “Janet Love 1 and Ali Liminisi 2. The Olsen twins. Angela and Renee.”

“Who are they?”

“Those two cheerleaders from last year?”

He’s thinking.

I continue, “Used to be Carolina Panthers cheerleaders?”

He points a finger at me. “The ones who were making out in a bathroom stall?”

“Yeah, that’s them. No surprise that that’s what you remember about them. The Beckhams. Mary Carey.”

“She dropped out of the race, didn’t she?”

“Yeah, she did. Tony Parker and Eva Longoria. Sara Foster.”

“Sara Foster?” he asks.

“Don’t know her?”

He shakes his head.

“You will when you see her. Um... who else? Ségolène Royal.”

“What about Sheryl Swoopes and her girlfriend?”

I say, “They said no.”

“That’s too bad,” he replies. “Seemed like they had a lot of fun last year.”

“Not as much fun as some of our other guests.”

03:22 UTC: A horn blasts outside our walls. I go out to see that it’s Edvard in a rented moving van, with Janet 1 and Ali 2 in the cab with him.

“Hey, y’all,” I say. “You got your equipment?”

“Yeah, it’s all in the back,” Ali 2 says.

“How much time are you going to need to set up?”

Edvard tells me, “We should be done in about an hour or so.”

“So what time do you want to start it?”

“I was thinking we should wait,” Edvard says. “Like, until midnight?”

“That’s good. Is Debbie going to be here by then?”

“No, I think she’s coming later. You know, she’d have been good to host this. Why didn’t I think of that?”

“Because you’re an idiot,” Janet 1 says to him.

“Must be,” Edvard answers. “Come on, let’s set up.”

03:39 UTC: There is occasional clattering coming from the back room, where Edvard, Janet 1, and Ali 2 are setting up this year’s event. It’s not a repeat of last year’s legendary danceoff. It’s more interesting, and admittedly less visceral, and hopefully it’ll be a winner in its own right.

As I’m deep in thought about that, I drop a light fixture onto my hand.


03:58 UTC: I start up the music, and Reg begins to place the candy out. Our decorations are in the theme of the Disaster Area stuntship from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, in which everything is black.

We spend a moment looking around at what we’ve completed.

“I hope at least one person smushes their nose on one of the columns,” Reg finally says.

04:04 UTC: Reg and I are discussing what everyone else might dress as. He doesn’t know what Edvard, Janet 1, and Ali 2 are going as either, but he says he hopes for not as many sports themed outfits as last year.

“Really?” I ask. “Not even Sheryl Swoopes and her partner?”

“Okay, that one was funny,” he admits.

04:20 UTC: Ségolène Royal, deputy for Deux-Sèvres, France, arrives first. “Hello Deb. Wonderful to finally meet you.”

Bon soir, Madame Député,” I respond. “This is your partner?”

Her partner says, “Yes. I’m François Hollande.”

“A pleasure, Monsieur Hollande,” I say, shaking his hand. “So what are you two supposed to be?”

“Well, you remember the paparazzi who photographed me in a bikini this summer?” Ségolène asks.


“We’re paparazzi repellent.”

“I don’t follow. I mean, you look like two big grey boxes to me.”

“Well, what do paparazzi photograph?” François asks. “Sex. Violence. Anything at all will get published. So, this is the only way to ensure you are never photographed. Just be nothing.”

I sigh, “All right, I guess that’s kind of humourous.”

04:51 UTC: Mary Carey walks in, a very short step at a time. “Hey there! Did I miss anything?”

“Not really,” I say. “This is a late arriving California crowd.”

“Ah, of course.”

I ask her, “How’s your mother?”

“Not that bad. It goes kind of up and down, you know.”

“We’re pulling for her.”

“Thanks. Like my costume?”

“You’re a sub,” I guess. Her elbows are tied together behind her back, her hands are cuffed, her ankles are shackled to opposite ends of a half-metre long bar, her feet are in high heels, and her crotch is in a chastity belt with a large padlock on the front.

“Close,” she says. “I’m what fundamentalists, Christian and Muslim alike, want to make women into.”

“Um... okay then.”

Nervously, she asks, “You don’t like it?”

“Not really. I don’t think anybody else is going to get it. Especially if you wear that ball gag all night.”

“Speaking of which, can you be a dear and put that in for me?”

“You’re sure? I mean, people might get the wrong idea.”

“Well, I’m putting myself in your hands,” she tells me.

Against my better judgement, I fasten the gag in her mouth.

“Mmph,” she says.

I say, hesitantly, “You’re welcome?”

She nods. Then she steps closer to me, carefully, and tugs at my costume, as best she can, with her hand. She attempts a smile around the gag and holds her thumb up.

“You like it?”

She nods.

“It rocks?”

She shrugs and waggles her hand a bit.

“‘Rocks’ would be too strong a word?”

She nods.

“Good. Have some fun tonight. Let me know if you want some candy.”

05:09 UTC: Edvard, Janet 1, and Ali 2 enter. Janet 1 and Ali 2 have their arms around one another and are putting bits of candy into one another’s mouths.

“Hey,” I say. “Everything ready to go?”

Edvard answers, “I think so. We’ve tested everything, and I think we’re okay. I think we’re going to want the players to come over fifteen minutes early.”

“Okay. By the way, why are you dressed as a judge?” He is wearing a black judge’s robe.

“No, no. I’m what the White House is afraid of most.”

“An independent judiciary?”


“Someone who actually understands the Constitution?”

Edvard says, “Well, I was thinking of ‘activist judge’, so I’ll give you points for that.”

“Good enough,” I say. “And what are you two?”

Janet 1 and Ali 2 are each wearing white clothing. They each have a painted face and dyed hair: Janet 1’s are red, and Ali 2’s are purple.

“Wanna have a guess?” Janet 1 asks.

I say, “No clue.”

She licks Ali 2’s cheek, and then turns to me and raises an eyebrow.

I shake my head.

With a wild grin, Ali 2 says, “We’re Tootsie Roll Pops. We’re going to ask everyone if they want to see how many licks it takes to get to the centre of us.”

“Yeah. Good luck with that,” I say. “By the way, what do you think of mine?”

“Yeah, yours is funny,” Ali 2 says.

“Meh,” Janet 1 responds.

“What, don’t you get it?” Edvard asks her.

“I get it just fine. It just isn’t... I don’t know. It just creeps me, that’s all.”

05:13 UTC: Dave and Vickie Beckham arrive. No, wait. This is Tony Parker and Eva Longoria.

“Oi!” Eva shouts, in a British accent. “Where’s the fookin’ alcohol?”

I point her in the right direction and then say to Tony, “Hey, good to see you. I like it.”

“Thanks,” he says.

He has on an England jersey with the number 7 on it, but crossed out. I point to the big X in black marker over the 7 and ask him, “So what’s that for?”

“Beckham probably isn’t going to play for England again.”

“Really? Interesting. Anyway, Eva seems to be getting into her character. What about you? Can you do Dave?”

He shakes his head and looks away.

I start to laugh. “I think you’ve got it down, Tony. That’s it.”

05:19 UTC: Tony Parker and Eva Longoria arrive. No, wait. This is Dave and Vickie Beckham.

Dave, in a Spurs jersey with the number 9, walks up to Tony. They stare at one another, bemused, for a moment.

Vickie, who’s wearing a matching Spurs jersey, tight pants, and a Spurs cap, looks at her real husband and his imitation, and then at her imitation, who is just walking up from the bar and looks as though she’s having an out of body experience.

Finally she says to me, “Is anyone else thinking of The Prince and the Pauper?”

I say, “Did you guys plan it?”

She shrugs. “If Dave knew they were doing that, he didn’t tell me. Pretty funny coincidence, innit?”

05:43 UTC: “Mister Sandman!”


“Bring me a dream! Make him the cutest that I’ve ever seen!”

This squealing is coming from the four girls who just entered. Their hairstyles make me think of the 1950s, but their matching white dresses make me think of Deal or No Deal.

I go to the leftmost one, Ashley, and say, “Explain?”

“Okay, follow along,” she says. “This one’s a little complicated.”

I groan. “Another complicated costume? What the hell’s going on this year?”

“We’re the Chordettes, but if their career began today instead of the 1940s.”

“You lost me,” I say. “The whos?”

Renee Thomas comes up and says, “The Chordettes! ‘Mr Sandman’? ‘Lollipop’? ‘Lay Down Your Arms’?”

“It was her idea,” Ashley says.

“Yeah, the Chordettes were on the very first nationally televised edition of American Bandstand,” Renee tells me. “They were one of the first big all-female groups.”

I respond, “So... you’re what they would look like if they were trying to make it big in 2006.”


“Aren’t you wearing too much clothing for that?”

She answers, “Well, if you watch the rest of the night, we’ll gradually become more and more desperate to be noticed, if you catch my drift. Anyway, let me introduce you around. I’m Janet Ertel, Ashley is Carol Bushman, Mary Kate is Lynn Evans, and Angela is Jinny Osborn.”

I shake hands with Renee, and with Angela Ellen Keathley. “Hey, good to finally meet you two. Candy over there. Drinks down there. Bathroom down that way, if that’s what you two need.”

Angela sighs, “Okay, okay. We’re very familiar with that joke by now, thanks.”

“Sorry,” I say. “Reflex.”

05:50 UTC: Ségolène is kicking ass at DDR. She has already defeated Eva twice, Janet 1, Vickie, and François. Mary Kate has just taken up position next to her, and Ségolène is stepping on the correct arrows much more frequently than is Mary Kate.

Vickie, watching in the crowd, says to Edvard, “She’s going to run for the presidency in France, yeah?”

“Sure looks it.”

“Think she’ll win?”

“I think she has a chance.”

“Well, if the French public could see this, I bet they’d love her.”

“Really? They aren’t going to see it as American video game imperialism?”

“I think they’ll love that a French woman is beating their arses at their own game.”

06:03 UTC: I’m talking to Eva, who is also creeped out by my costume, when I am suddenly glomped from behind.

“What?” I ask. “When did the Piggyback Round start?”

“Hey hey!” comes the shout in my ear.

I make her dismount and turn around to see that it is actress Sara Foster, in red body paint with horns, fake fangs, and a tail.

“A succubus?” I say. “Just stay away from Reg. If he’s found dead out here, they’re going to think I wanted to take over the business.”

“No, no, I’m something else that fucks guys to death and destroys their souls, leaving them withered husks of their former manhood.”

She presents a handbag with a Pound Puppy in it.

I say, “Don’t tell me you’re Paris Hilton.”

“Exactly. Actually, it was –” She looks around for something, and finally says, “Hang on.”

She walks outside.

06:06 UTC: “Sorry about that,” she says as she returns with a guy in a pinstriped suit, glasses, and a fedora. More accurately, she’s leading the guy by the hand. The guy seems like he’s ready to jump up and hightail it out of here.

Sara pushes the guy up to me, and I finally get a close look.

“Holy shit!” I shout. “Reese Witherspoon? Is that you?”

“Yeah. Hi.”


Reg comes up and says, “I heard Reese Witherspoon was here! Heh-heh-heh-heh!”

Sara asks him, “Wait, what are you supposed to be?”

“I’m Jon Stewart as George W Bush! Can’t you tell by the way I’m crouching over and holding out my hands?”

“Actually, that is pretty good,” Sara says. “When Jon does it, you still can’t tell who it’s supposed to be.”

I say, “Wait. Reese. How?”

I finally notice that the others are laughing at me.

“Sorry, I’m just stunned into monosyllabic words at this point.”

Sara says, “Well, the dirty little secret is that it’s easy for women to look like men. See, her hair is stowed underneath the hat here, and she doesn’t have any makeup. Between that and the suit, it’s easy.”

“Okay. Anyway, good to meet you, Reese. Did Sara invite you along?”

“Yeah. This was her idea.”

“Yeah, but this was hers,” Sara says. “Soon’s she said it, I was laughing my ass off. I had to do it. Anyway, Reese is in need of a good time. See, she and her husband... things aren’t going so well between them.”

“Who’s your husband?”

She says, “Ryan Philippe.”

”Oh. He’s okay, I guess. Anyway, the usual stuff. Candy. Drinks. The game gets started in about... fifty minutes. In the meantime, there’s DDR.”

Reese looks up and says, “DDR?”

She rushes off toward the corner, where Ségolène has been destroying the competition.

06:38 UTC: Edvard says to me, “It’s time to set up the game. I’m gonna get the contestants, and then we’ll open the curtains when it’s time, okay?”

“Sure. Who’s playing?”

“Sara, Angela, Ségolène, and Tony.”

“Who do you think will win?”

He shrugs. “Dunno. We’ll find out soon enough.”

06:51 UTC: Eva says, “Tony’s playing the game, right?”


“What game is it?”

“You’ll see.”

“Is he gonna win?”

“Only one way to find out.”

Eva starts to walk away. Then she says, “Well, if he doesn’t, I’m calling David Stern.”

07:00 UTC: The curtains open, and we all file into the auditorium that Edvard, Janet 1, and Ali 2 built prior to the party.

It’s a theatre in the round. The stage has six circles, each a couple of metres wide, spaced around the perimeter. Four of them have some sort of handle next to them.

I wave to Janet 1 and Ali 2, who are sitting in front of computers below us. They wave back as the contestants enter from a catwalk to the back rooms. Each is standing on one of the circles.

07:03 UTC: Ali 2 clicks on something that starts up a theme song.

Janet 1 says into a microphone, “Four strangers. One goal: To knock out the others for a chance at a half million Silly Bucks! This is Russian GoobNet!”

There is laughter from around me.

Janet 1 continues, “Previously known as Sara Foster, Paris Hilton! Previously known as Angela Ellen Keathley, Jinny Osborn! Previously known as Tony Parker, Dave Beckham! Previously known as Ségolène Royal, a box of paparazzi repellent! And now, here’s our host, previously known as Edvard van de Kamp, Justice David Souter!”

Edvard makes his way down the catwalk and says, “Hi. Thank you, previously known as Janet Love 1. Welcome one and all to Russian GoobNet, where correct answers earn you GoobNet Silly Bucks, but wrong answers mean you could drop right out of here. In fact, in this round, right answers are worth 256 Silly Bucks, and we’re going to give you each that much to start off. Well, on this question there’s one drop zone. There it is. But we’ll be increasing the threat by adding more as we go along. Jinny, you’ve been randomly selected to be the first challenger.”

Angela nods and examines the other players.

“Here’s the question,” Edvard says. “Hot dog eating champ Takeru Kobayashi is also known by what nickname: the Typhoon, the Tempest, or the Tsunami? Jinny, you get to select who answers. Whom do you want to challenge?”

“I’m going to challenge Tony. I mean Dave.”

“Okay. Dave, is it the Typhoon, the Tempest, or the Tsunami?”

“Shit, I don’t know,” Tony says. “The Typhoon?”

“Is it the Typhoon?”

Ali 2 clicks something that makes a big buzzer noise.

“No, it’s the Tsunami,” Edvard says. “Well, Dave, Jinny gets all your Silly Bucks, and you have to play Russian GoobNet. The good news is, there’s only one drop zone. Unlock Dave’s zone.”

Ali 2 clicks something else, and a click is heard. One of the six circles is illuminated in red.

“You can hold that handle down longer to spin it up more, so give it a spin, Dave.”

Tony pulls the handle. The red light moves around in sequence, slowing down until it finally comes to a stop... under Tony’s feet.

“Waauugh!” he says as the circle opens up and he falls through the floor.

07:23 UTC: We’re now in the third round, with Angela and Ségolène still in the game. Questions are worth 1,024 Silly Bucks in this round, and Ségolène leads ¤3,584–¤2,048.

“Which of these months spans two seasons: January, February, March, or April? Jinny, do you want to take this question or challenge the paparazzi repellent?”

“I’ll answer,” Angela says.

“Okay. Is it January, February, March, or April?”

“It’s March.”

“Is it?... Yes, it is! That’s 3,072 Silly Bucks for you, and you’re getting closer.”

07:40 UTC: I hear a whisper in my ear, “Hey. What’s the score?”

“Hey Debbie,” I respond. “Ségolène is leading by 1,536. It’s going really great. They’ve gotten, like, the last twelve in a row right.”

“Wow. Let me see your costume.”

I turn to face her.

She giggles and says, “That’s brilliant. I’ve got to get a photo later.”

“You just land?” I ask her.

“Yeah. Interaction was a bore today.”

“I know. I saw it. For a show about irony, it wasn’t very interesting. So let me see you. What’s that supposed to be?”

“Come on, you can figure it out.”

“No, no, I’ve had it with costumes I have to figure out.”

Debbie is wearing blue body paint, blue horns, a blue tail, and a button reading CA 8. She stares at me impatiently.

Finally, I shrug and say, “Hell froze over?”

“Pretty much,” she replies. “I’m what Republicans see when they look at Nancy Pelosi. Shit! She got that wrong!”

Sure enough, Ségolène just got a question wrong whilst we were talking. She drops, which isn’t much of a surprise since there had been the maximum five drop zones for some time.

Edvard says, “Well, congratulations, Jinny! You’re our champion with 18,944 Silly Bucks!”

07:59 UTC: Angela walks out onto the dance floor to applause from us. She won the game and added 6,144 Silly Bucks more in the bonus round before she dropped.

Angela, Renee, Mary Kate, and Ashley walk up to each other and tear away parts of their dresses. They are now showing much more leg and some of their sides. I start to think that those dresses won’t stay on for long like that, but then I recall that won’t be a problem for much longer.

Meanwhile, over in the corner, Ségolène has just started up DDR again, and she is resuming her contest against Reese, which began before Russian GoobNet.

08:22 UTC: Ségolène has won twice, Reese twice.

09:09 UTC: Reese is continuing the battle. They are still playing to a stalemate.

09:44 UTC: Nobody else is doing anything other than watching Ségolène and Reese.

10:03 UTC: “Aren’t y’all going to do anything else?” Reese asks.

“Nope,” Dave says.

I say, “Dave, did Real Madrid play today?”

“Yeah, we beat Tarragona 3-1.”

“Did you play?”

“No, I’m injured,” he says, rolling up his pants and pointing to the bandage on his thigh.

“Well, I hope you get back onto the field soon.”

“Me too.”

11:19 UTC: Over the last hour or so, Reese and Ségolène have decided to take on the rest of us, apparently to see if any of us were secretly better than them. We weren’t.

Of those remaining, the two each defeated all of us handily. Except for Mary, who refused to let us unlock her feet. That was impossible anyway, since none of us had the key.

Tony, Eva, Dave, and Vickie left a while ago. That leaves Mary Kate and Ashley, Angela and Renee, Janet 1 and Ali 2, Ségolène and François, Sara and Reese, Mary, Edvard, Reg, Debbie, and me. Mary Kate was slightly better than the rest of us, but Reese and Ségolène both destroyed her with little trouble.

Reese says to Ségolène, “You ready to finish what we started?”

“Bring it!”

11:33 UTC: Each has won one round so far.

Meanwhile, I hear tearing behind me. The Chordettes’ dresses now look more like bikinis.

11:40 UTC: There is still no separating the two DDR stars.

A hand pulls me away. “Come on, Deb. Let’s go.”

“What?” I ask. “Where are we going?”

Ashley pulls me onto the dance floor and says, “Remember last year? I said you and I would dance this time?”

I remember.

With Tiësto’s “Olympic Flame” playing, Ashley holds me close and begins to dance. I follow along.

12:56 UTC: I collapse into a chair, exhausted. I’ve danced with just about everyone who’s still here, except for Reg, Edvard, and Mary.

There is faint jingling from behind me, and then a pair of hands rub my shoulders.

“God, that feels good,” I murmur.

“Mmm mgg.”

I look up to see the back of Mary’s head, with the strap from the ball gag wrapping beneath her ears. Her hands are still cuffed together.

I ask, “You want me to undo those?”

“Mm-mm!” she says, shaking her head vigorously. She suddenly climbs backward over the chair until she is straddling my lap and looking into my eyes. “Mm mggg mm.”

“You like it?”

She nods, then nudges her shoulder against mine and says, “Mggy mmg mm.”

I should try it?”

She nods again.

“I don’t think that’s for me,” I reply.

She stares back, an eyebrow raised.

“What?” I ask her.

She shrugs and steps back over the chair, resuming my massage.

13:02 UTC: Reese comes over to us and asks Mary, “Hey, can you get me when you’re done?”

I say, “You can get her now if you want.”

“Mm mmg?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Go and do her. Thanks a lot, Mary.”

“Mg mmmmg,” she says, rubbing the top of my head as she walks away.

I roll my neck side to side. I can feel how much looser the tendons are.

Then I sit up and call out, “Hey, Reese?”


“Who won DDR?”

“I did. Well, sort of.”

“Sort of?” I ask.

“Well, François wanted to leave, and so Ségolène said she’d forfeit.”

“That’s still good. You outlasted her.”

“I outlasted her husband, though. Not her.”

“They’re not married. They’re civil partners.”

“Well, whatever. The point is, if François wasn’t here, we’d have a fair competition. Look, I really need a massage. I’ll talk to you later.”

They walk into a back room.

13:09 UTC: I get up and walk back down to the dance floor. Sara immediately grabs me and starts dancing with me. Within moments, Debbie joins us.

With iiO’s “Rapture (Tastes So Sweet)” playing around us, I say to Sara and Debbie, “You know, I always knew things in Washington were a mess. Both parties are dealing with the devil.”

As they’re laughing, I see Mary Kate, Ashley, Angela, and Renee go past.

I say to Debbie, “So did they tell you what they’re supposed to be?”

“Yeah, they did. I suppose this is the logical endpoint.”

The four neo-Chordettes are now completely naked, except for their high heeled shoes.

13:38 UTC: Mary Kate pulls me away from Sara and Debbie. She says, “Hey, thanks a lot for the invite, Deb. It was awesome, just like always.”

“Thanks, sugar. We always like having you around.”

“We’ll see you next year, okay?”

“We’ll be looking forward to it,” I say.

Mary Kate answers, “So will we.”

She grabs Ashley’s hand, and they walk out into the early morning – in the nude.

13:50 UTC: Angela and Renee say, “Bye!”

“This was so great!” Renee adds. “Can we come back next year?”

“As long as you’ve got that costume!” Reg says.

We laugh.

The two of them open the door, and almost immediately, they shut it and come back in.

“It is fucking cold out there!” Angela declares.

“Do you want coats?” Reg asks them.

“Have you got some?”

“No, I’m just fucking with you.”

Renee glares at him for a moment. Then Angela says to her, “Well, how do you want to do it?”

Renee thinks for a moment and then holds Angela in a tight hug. Angela embraces her in return, and then the two turn and wave before they dash out the door.

“Are they just going to drive around completely naked?” I ask Reg.

He says, “They’re going to cause a wreck.”

“More than one, I figure.”

Sara and Debbie walk up to us. Debbie asks, “Hey, where are the others?”

Reg points to the back and says, “Eddie, J-One, and A-Two are taking the set apart.”

I add, “Angela and Renee just left. Mary Kate and Ashley left a little before them.”

Sara says, “What about Reese?”

I say, “She and Mary went to the back. But that was a while ago.”

“What are they doing back there?” Sara asks.

“Reese needed a massage.”

“I can understand that,” responds Sara. “How long was she playing DDR over there? Hours, right?”

The four of us sit in the chairs by the dance floor. Debbie asks, “What’s the time?”

“Damn,” Sara says. “About seven in the morning.”

“It’s six,” I say.


“It’s five fifty eight. Pacific Standard Time.”

Sara stares at me for a moment before she figures it out. “Aw, dammit.” She starts to adjust her watch. The fake claws make it a bit more difficult for her.

I get up and say, “I’m headed for the bathroom.”

14:02 UTC: As I leave the bathroom, I almost run into Reese.

“Hey, there you are,” I say. “How was your massage?”

“Shit,” she says. “Unbelieveable. She rubbed me down all over.”

Reese walks back toward the main room, looking a bit bowlegged.

Mary then passes me in the corridor, squeezing my hand.

“Hey, Mary. How’d it go?”

She nods. “Mmg, mmmm mmmg,” she says as she walks into the bathroom.

14:05 UTC: Back in the main room, the lights have been brought up. Sara asks me, “Hey, do you guys need a hand?”

Reg says, “Over here, guys.” He assigns Debbie and me to dismantling the lights and sound. Sara volunteers to sweep, and Reese offers to help Reg pack up the bar.

As we carry the amp back to the truck, I ask Debbie, “Well, what do you think? Better than last year, or no?”

“I don’t know. Remember, I had to leave early.”

“And this time you arrived late.”

“Well, did I miss the best part this time?”

“No, I think you saw all the good stuff.”

“Like that?”

She points behind me to Mary, who is straddling a broom. She’s holding the handle behind her back and sweeps by walking forward with it, though it looks more like riding the broom.

I call out, “Mary, you don’t have to do that.”

“Mg mmmm mmmh!”

“You want to?”

She nods.

“Yeah, she practically stole the broom from me,” Sara adds.

14:18 UTC: Edvard, Janet 1, and Ali 2 enter. Janet 1 shouts, “What? This hardly looks like the same place!”

Edvard says, “Need anything else?”

We say no.

“Okay. Laters.”

Reg says, “Have fun, you folks.”

Ali 2 says, “Hey Reese, Sara, Mary, good to meet you. See you next year?”




14:29 UTC: We’ve finished everything up. Sara and Reese are talking to Debbie and Reg. Mary pulls me aside and says, “Mg mmmh mmh mmmmg mmg?”

“Want the gag off?” I ask.

She nods.

I release it, and saliva drips from her lips as she begins to move her mouth freely. She spits out some more saliva and says to me, “Oh, fuck. That feels good. How long have I had that in?”

I remember it was around 22:00 PDT when I first put it in for her, so I say, “More than nine hours.”

“Really? You oughta try it.”

I shake my head.

“Next year?” she asks. “I’ll get it for you and everything.”

I shake my head.

“I’m sure I’ll change your mind.” I hear metal clicking, and then she holds her hands out behind her back, the cuffs dangling from her fingers. She reaches behind her again before the rope around her elbows falls to the floor. Then she bends down and removes the bar on her legs, and finally the chastity belt.

I stare at her for a few moments before I finally say, “How did you manage to unlock yourself? Actually, how did you lock yourself in the first place? No, you know what, I don’t want to go there at all.”

Rubbing her jaw, she says, “Well, anyway. I’m about to get going, but there is something you could do for my mouth, if you don’t mind.”

“Sure, no problem. What?”

She grabs the back of my neck and pulls me into an open mouthed kiss. I’m too tired to fight her off. I do, however, try to make my mind fight off the whistles and catcalls from the others.

Eventually, she lets go and walks away, turning to wave one last time before she disappears out the door.

I join the others, and Debbie shows me her camera. The display shows us kissing, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d say I look like I’m enjoying it.

I look up at Debbie and start to say something, but she must have been reading my expression.

“Calm down,” she says. “I’m not going to post it.”

“You’d better not.”

14:41 UTC: Everything is done. Sara and Reese have said their goodbyes already. Reg loaded everything in his truck, but due to some packing oddities, he ended up having to fill up the passenger seat. So, I’m riding back with Debbie.

As she pulls into the lot at the restaurant where Reg is meeting us for breakfast, she says, “Well, I think I know what your costume is.”


“A colourblind Elaine Benes as a goth.”

We get out of the vehicle and walk into the restaurant, paying no mind to the bewildered stares.

“That’s close enough,” I say.