EDITOR'S NOTE: A very funny picture of James Lileks has been omitted from this photo narrative, because the author has no desire to be a featured subject in the Screedblog. Thank you.
The semiannual MOB party is where we go to catch a glimpse of ourselves, to find out how we're doing, to look in the mirror and check the mood of the MOB. No one person can take it all in, and not even the combined effort of every newspaper and TV station in town can quite capture the mood. But after a first stroll around the Town Hall Brewery Sunday, I say: The mood is not good.
This time, there was an edge to the party; a throbbing anxiety; an actual undercurrent of discord.
You've read the bombshell news; exposed yesterday here. This is the rest of the story.
The evening began innocently enough. Bill and I found a table on the patio at the Town Hall Brewery and ordered some drinks. We didn't notice any bloggers, so we sat and waited. Eventually the Night Writer joined us (no photo of Night Writer is available; here's a file photo), and we all got our drinks on, and engaged in smalltalk.
Soon thereafter, David Strom arrived with -
(sorry, that startled me)
Anyway, Strommie arrived with Margaret.
A few minutes later, Mitch emerged from the belly of THB, and beckoned us inside.
When we arrived in the back room, we saw that several bloggers were there. Among them were the Nihilist and Chad and Brian. They told us that it was time to get our marching orders from our Maximum Leader. Just then Maximum Leader, in cognito, emerged from the kitchen:
The Maximum Leader gave his usual exhortations and marching orders for about 5 minutes before he dismissed the meeting. The Nihilist excused himself and left for the bathroom. When maximum leader was sure Nihilist was out of earshot, he called us back together and warned us in his usual, cryptic way:
"Beware the traitor that walks amongst you."
He then disappeared in a cloud of vapor.
At the time, nobody made the connection between Nihilist's absence and the timing of Maximum Leader's announcement. How foolish we were.
To say that Maximum Leader's admonishment killed the festive atmosphere would be a gross understatement. The gathered MOBsters returned to the patio. You could smell the paranoia in the air.
Not wanting to be in the presence of some faceless "lickspittle f***ing moonbat Fifth Columnist," Swiftee and Mrs. Swiftee hopped on the Harley, and fled the scene.
Some tried to take their minds off the revelation with conversation of interesting topics. Pictured here, Marcus wows V-toed-Bill with his encyclopedic knowledge on the subject of smoking bans:
Others, like Stommie, tried to quell their nerves through the use of tobacco, beer and -
Bill finally got around to talking to the Nihilist.
Being an expert at fabric analysis, Bill became suspicious of the Nihilist when he felt Nihilist's shirt. Bill noticed that this shirt was made out of a purely organic Egyptian cotton that is only grown with sustainable farming methods. He also noted by its stitching that the shirt was made with union, rather than sweatshop, labor. He also knew immediately that Wal Mart does not sell this particular type of shirt.
Bill excitedly reported his suspicions to me while I was engaged in a conversation with a suprisingly facial-hairless (as I'd always pictured him with a goatee for some reason) Brother Gigl. Soon the theory that the Nihilist was the commie in our midst spread across the patio like the ubiquitous cigar smoke.
Jo grabbed a knife to commit some vigilante justice,
but Dr. Jonz and Mark Yost were able to talk her down.
Triple-a and KAR Wannabe tried to act cool, to no avail.
Mitch tried to look tough, to no avail:
Doug tried to blend into the darkness (after he met EVERY SINGLE PERSON at the bar first, of course):
Obviously depressed, Chad mulled the possibility that his best buddy was actually a Wellstonian, while Brian tried to occupy his mind by contemplating a crotch in a mural:
The revelation was taking a toll on the MOB. I knew that we had to get Sisyphus to the party. Sis wasn't planning on coming since he was in a funk that was no doubt fueled by his own suspicions of his blog partner's loyalty. After much cajoling and a threat from Mark Yost to write an op-ed entitled "Why Sisyphus Hates Us," Sis finally agreed to come to the bar and diffuse the situation.
Sisyphus soon arrived. His presence distracted many of the gathered MOBsters, who were eager to ask him questions to gain insight into his comedic genius. We all pretended to like Nihilist, though we remained ready to pull out the knives, should evidence more probative than shirt fabric become available.
And unfortunately, that evidence arrived the very next day. That tense, acrimonious night finally ended. but our darkest days are yet ahead of us.
Meanwhile, somewhere South of the River, LittleFoot#1
slept, unaware that the world that bears them on its back was slowly coming apart.