Day 30. 23 pages, 11,232 words.
Completely ran out of time and energy today, after crashing hard last night and feeling utterly unrecovered this morning. But hey, looks like I managed to ramp up enough to write a solid Chucky Report. Yay me.
Anyway, it was a brilliant weekend with excellent, excellent company. We were celebrating, belatedly, the release of Human. This actually happened in January, after actually being published in December 2016, but I put the party off to give people a chance to read the series to the end.
[pause for laughter]
Anyway, much fun was had and I regret only that I ran out of steam so early. But let’s do this more or less in order.
First, I have to make boastful mention of Mrs. Hatboy who wore a gorgeous custom-made corset to the celebration. She purchased it from a former student (I think) who lives in Australia and, well, makes corsets I suppose. And due to a larger-than-usual Amazon windfall last month, I’m proud to say I was able to pay the credit card hit out of my book royalties.
Result: Mrs. Hatboy gets to have nice things. Also, a big red forearm tattoo by Toop.
So the evening progressed nicely. Mr. BRKN turned up early … well actually that would be an understatement, he turned up for Wump’s ballet recital in the morning and bought her flowers, then drove me around so I could do last-minute catering purchases, then stayed at our place to make scotch eggs for us all in his new deep fryer.
He was even thoughtful enough to wrap a couple of eggs in beef mince just for me, and damn they were tasty.
Mr. Fahrenheit also arrived early, having been blasted out of his Magic the Gathering tournament a bit ahead of schedule. He commenced to drinking and together we peeled a bunch of eggs for Mr. BRKN’s scotching purposes. We peeled eggs very badly.
Other guests began to arrive, and I retreated behind the bar to make drinks.
I have my usual fuzzy recollections, including but not limited to:
- Heikki and Kristiina turning up with a couple of bags of puffy-corn packing material snack things, and Mr. Fahrenheit allowing himself to be challenged to eat first 6, then 8 of them in a single mouthful, which is an extremely dehydrating experience (I have a video of this, but won’t share it on YouTube. Sorry)
- Mr. dreameling and The Virk showing up, and a bunch of us laughing heartily at an Amazon list of recent Chuck Tingle book titles (#TingleForHugos2017)
- An increasingly stupid number of failed attempts to restock the bar, whereby I would tell a generous guest we were out of something and said guest would buy a bottle of it, only for me to find several bottles of the aforementioned something; by this method we wound up with 3 bottles of Cointreau, at least a couple of bottles of Kahlúa (and a couple of bottles of coffee liqueur, one of which was actually nicer than Kahlúa and one of which was worse), and we legitimately did run out of Amaretto and chocolate liqueur
- The Pas drinking a small glass of red wine from the barrel-mounted bag I had received for my 30th birthday party (unfortunately the pictures from that blog post were lost in the Great WordPress Fuckananny of 2010), declaring it “pretty good”, then being a bit sad when Mr. BRKN finally took away the barrel, opened it, took out the bag of red vinegar, carried it around the side of the house and stabbed it with a knife
- Linza drinking at least two or three glasses of white wine with honey, and getting the Linza equivalent of drunk and rowdy
At some point, The Pas arrived (I think he was there for The Tingling, and he was certainly here for the part where The Pas drank that terrible wine), and declared that he had a surprise he was going to make for me. Everybody was immediately suspicious, especially when he went inside for an extended period of time. Apparently during this absence from the bar he was also helping to work on Mrs. Hatboy’s Rosetta Stone jigsaw puzzle, but don’t worry – she managed to pry out all the forced-together pieces the next morning and there was no lasting damage.
The Pas then returned to the bar with a Mariskooli (because he had wanted a goblet) and began assembling my surprise.
First came the goblet.
Then came a fancy little bottle of Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin, and … a blister pack?
Ah. The blister pack contained laurel leaves.
These The Pas assembled into a Galician Gin and Tonic with laurels (upon which I could rest, or into which I could – and did – later craft a wreath), based upon instructions given to him by … a Portuguese sailor? Did that part of the conversation actually happen?
Anyway, it was delicious.
And looked surprisingly hardcore when you put a Toledo steel knife next to it. But then, most things do.
Jarmo, Jean and Kate, and a wonderful range of friends of the ex-Lionbride and non-Lionbride variety showed up to wish me well on the next thing.
Kate was later outraged – insistently and repeatedly – by the lack of music. We tried to remedy this situation with two broken old CD players, a busted wall socket and a blu-ray player without a LAN, but to no avail. She for some reason took this as meaning that we didn’t agree that music was necessary. I can only promise that we did agree, and that Kate isn’t weird.
Well, okay, but not in a bad way.
Hanna and Juho joined us, and we held a quiz of dastardly cunning and also it had a Time Wasters’ section for the solid 80% of the guests who hadn’t read past about Book 2.
“I swear, there was absolutely no playing fast and loose with the scoring system and everyone was graded fairly. Hic.”
The winner of the fabulous Bring a Human prize (hardcover copies of Eejit and Drednanth, and a special sneak preview edition of Bad Cow, Part One), in an absolute non-upset and utterly unsurprising victory, was Kristiina. I believe, but I could be wrong, that this means Mr. Fahrenheit has won once, Mr. BRKN has won once or twice, and Kristiina has won five or six times. Not sure. Anyway, well played. And well played to the non-Editors, who were toiling away down there below the 40-points mark and many of whom did surprisingly well on the weight of Monty Python knowledge alone.
 Yeah … all of a couple of months before she and the other Editors get copies of the whole book anyway. I know, shut up. Someone else could have won it. People other than my Editors have read these books! I said shut up!
We had run out of Mozart chocolate liqueur, as mentioned, and my disastrous attempts to get someone to bring more had resulted in a gift of a bottle of Kissan Minttu choc-mint liqueur, which I then attempted to use in a round of Dagobahs. This did not go well because I had not been expecting the Kissan Minttu to be green, so the result was what I called “An Extreme Close-Up Dagobah”, or “A Yoda”.
Tasty though. Ignore Mr. Fahrenheit’s suspicious look, he’s just thinking of stuffing ten of something into his mouth.
The evening progressed. Linza and Mr. Bloom departed and I foolishly put Linza’s half-glass of honey into the Bar Äijä’s washing up bucket, thus creating a significant mortal risk to Heikki who is fatally allergic to honey. As such, I decided to curtail my drinking, switch to fruit juice and soft drinks, and pay close attention to which glass I was making Heikki’s drinks with for the rest of the night. Understandably, since he has learned I’m completely untrustworthy and he was the one who was going to die, Heikki put in more than enough effort to keep track of this himself, and in the end just had all his drinks out of a single fresh glass that I had taken from the cabinet for him.
Anyway, he didn’t die. Although I think I still managed to smash his knee (from two metres away! Yay me again!).
I continued to be sort of responsible, which was actually rather refreshing even though I still got tired. The Pas and Jean separately accused me of not drinking, which was demonstrably untrue even if I wasn’t drinking quite as many alcoholic drinks at once as I normally did. The true heroes, however, were the Next Generation.
Wump, Toop, Wally and to a lesser degree Bella’s Nacho Belly (nickname in progress but I think we’re refining it nicely with “Nacho Belly”) were up late into the night and indeed Wump was one of the last people standing; it all started to close down after she went to bed. I feel quite safe in attributing their amazing energy to the cake made out of marshmallows (also some Styrofoam and plastic pins) that they ate.
However, as two o’clock rolled around and Wump was forced to turn in, Mr. BRKN headed off and the last Helsinki Folk started to worry about how they were going to get home, I too decided I’d had enough.
I want to apologise again for my abrupt decision that I wasn’t going to serve anymore drinks. Of course I could have left the remaining champions in the bar and gone to bed myself. Next time I will do that. This time around, Kate was asleep on the couch and Jean was happy to continue drinking until the last nuclear particle in the universe reached absolute entropy point, and Ville made the mistake of going to the bathroom right as Hanna declared that she was going to make a run for the bus, and that we were all holding her back. Also that if she didn’t leave soon she was going to sing. The Pas thought this sounded wonderful, and tried to get her to sing by singing himself. This was hilarious, but did not work.
Juho and The Pas decided to go with Hanna into the forest for the bus out of Nissas, because they didn’t want to go in a taxi. I volunteered to navigate them through the forest because they were worried about getting lost, and Jean decided to come with us because, and I quote, “Hell yeah, walk in the forest man.”
For reference, this is the patch of forest they were worried about getting lost in. And The Pas was with them. I could weep.
This happened with the urgency of people suddenly realising the last bus was probably not going to wait for them, so it was all I could do to pull on my shoes and we were off.
Ville had enjoyed a scotch egg, and when he came back from his scotch poo I can only assume he found an empty bar. Sorry about that.
Jean and I walked back through the forest after seeing the others safely to their bus stop, and we sat for a little while longer while we both attempted to navigate the Internet to find a way of ordering a taxi that didn’t go through Lähitaksi. The reason being that Lähitaksi (literally, A Nearby Goddamn Motherfucking Taxi) had a Vantaa branch that you should be able to reach from their central number, but when we called it they told us to call a taxi company that operated somewhere closer to, uh, Vantaa.
So we did. Fuck you, Lähitaksi. Fuck you so hard.
Mr. dreameling’s closing shots as he made his own way out of Sotunki were quite pretty too.
And so it was that by about half-past two or three o’clock in the morning, everyone was gone and I was in bed. Well, in Wump’s bed. Because when I arrived in the bedroom I found Wump, Toop and Mrs. Hatboy splayed out across the mattress and I didn’t want to push Toop aside and risk her starting to cough (since she’d been doing that a few nights in a row already), so I went to Wump’s room and slept there for a few hours. I told Wump about this the next day and she looked surprised and said, “That was good thinking, papa.”
I know, right??
I took a brief break from sleeping at about 05:00am to have a severe leg-cramp from the tiny bed and unexpected early-morning forest-hike, which sort of worked its way into a weird alcohol-and-fried-food-and-marshmallow-cake nightmare about me having some sort of muscle-atrophying disease … anyway we won’t go into that. I finally got back into a real bed and had another couple of hours’ sleep, then the cleaning up began.
Thank you all again for a wonderful night, and my apologies for the abrupt end. Next time, I will be a better host.