| \
                                   |  \
                                   | | \
                            __     | |\ \             __
      _____________       _/_/     | | \ \          _/_/     _____________
     |  ___________     _/_/       | |  \ \       _/_/       ___________  |
     | |              _/_/_____    | |   > >    _/_/_____               | |
     | |             /________/    | |  / /    /________/               | |
     | |                           | | / /                              | |
     | |                           | |/ /                               | |
     | |                           | | /                                | |
     | |                           |  /                                 | |
     | |                           |_/                                  | |
     | |                                                                | |
     | |      c   o   m   m   u   n   i   c   a   t   i   o   n   s     | |
     | |________________________________________________________________| |

  ...presents...        HoHoCon 1994: Tremendous Damage
                                                         by Count Zero

             __///////\ -cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc- /\\\\\\\__
               \\\\\\\/  Everything You Need Since 1986  \///////
  ___    _   _    ___     _   _    ___       _   _      ___    _   _      ___

     Yep, grab hold of yer brainstem cuz here comes another mind-numbing,
alcohol-soaked, synapse-shakin', reality-bendin' review of HOHOCON!  W00z.
Direct from the keyboard of Count "Funk-Master of L0\/3 and Mayhem" Zero/cDc.

     What follows is my subjective, self-centered, quasi-chronological tour of
HoHo '94.  If you're not mentioned in it, then you obviously didn't buy me a


Thursday 12/29/94, it starts:
     Logan Airport.  Boston, Massachusetts.  6:29 AM.

     Our flight leaves in one hour.  Decided to pull an all-niter from the day
before.  Rather than beating my body out of REM sleep at this unholy hour, I
opt for the familiar slow death of sleep deprivation.  No matter.  The tablets
of ephedrine pulled me through, and now I sit in an airport restaurant smoking
Camels and waiting for something to happen.

     As usual, it does.

     Deth Veggie, Iskra, and Basil arrive, ready for action.  We board the
plane and jump into the sky.  "I like this airline, Delta.  It's not just an
airline, it's a Greek letter, a symbol of change...." I remark.

     "Uh, yeah," comments Veggie.  "I wonder if we'll finally discover the
Meaning of Life at this con."  He strains his massive legs against the seat in
front of him, weak airline plastic buckling under the force.

     "Fuck metaphysics," I say, flipping through a wad of cash in my pocket.
"I'll tell you, Veggie... the cDc t-shirts you made are fabulous.  You will
surely make heaps of cash.  *That's* the most important thing!"

     Veggie grins widely.  We give each other the sekrit cDc handshake and rub
our silver cow-skull talismans.

     Always temper metaphysics with materialism.


Thursday afternoon, arrival:
     We belly-down in Austin and grab a cab to the wonderful Ramada.  Outside,
there is a major highway under construction.  Huge vehicles of construction and
destruction mull over piles of dirt and concrete.  Signs of human life are

     "The Ramada at the End of the Universe... Drunkfux always chooses such
scenic locations" I note.  "We can witness the creation of a mass transit
system *and* celebrate our hacker brotherhood simultaneously."  The entire
landscape appears desolate and hostile to organic life.  Nervously biting my
lip, I immediately spot a Dunkin Donuts over the horizon... as does Basil.  We
both have keen survival instincts.

     The nearby location of the 24-hour House of Caffeine and Baked Goods
marked in our minds, we enter the hotel.

     "The room is $70 a nite," the woman behind the front desk offers.

     "We're with the HoHoCon," says Veggie.  "Don't we get special rates?"

     "Heh... HoHoCon... yes, that means our rooms must cost twice as much," I
joke.  The woman behind the front desk looks blankly at me... unaware.  "Like a
deer in the headlights," I tell Veggie as we collect our keys and walk to our
room.  "And soon, Bambi will be eating a chrome grille."

     A "Suite of the El33tE" sign is hastily drawn up and hung outside our
door.  Veggie unpacks his 17-lb solid concrete Mr. T head and places it on a
table.  The concrete bust's rough base immediately gouges deep scratches in it
with a low grating noise.  "The 'T' approves," says Veggie.  I have no reason
to doubt him, so I remain silent in awe.

     We find that Joe630 and Novocain are also here early.  They invite us into
their room to read a large sample of "alternative zines."  The eclectic
magazines are fascinating, and I promptly spill a glass of water on their couch
to show my appreciation.  "Uh, just don't trash the place," Novocain tells me.

     "Of course not," I reply.  "I'm just in a high entropy state right now."
I immediately spill my ashtray to prove it.  It always helps to follow up
thermodynamic theory with physical proof... I am a true Scientist.

     At some point, we flee after Joe630 demands "hugs" from us... something he
continues throughout the conference.  "Touch me not, boy... I will not submit
to your fondling," I tell him behind clenched teeth as I back out of the room.
"I'll only hug a man if he's buying me drinks or I'm trying to lift his

     Later that night, we hook up with Ixom and Nicodaemus.  We invite them
into our room for drinks and a philosophical discussion.  Ixom's new beard is
long and flowing red like the fire of a Duraflame log.  I proceed to take notes
on our conversation as Ixom and Nic begin to debate.  Soon, I begin to suspect
they have been drinking a bit beforehand.

     "I like these lights when they're off."

     "Are we in the Information Age?"

     "Dude, shut up."

     "She was like 14, 15, you know, 11, 12..."

     "He's always in the bathroom... y'know, he has rabies... diabetes?  You

     "I don't need Valium, I'm down on life," spouted Veggie.

     "Heady stuff," I think, jotting notes furiously.  Nic begins a photo shoot
of the Mr. T bust, and we are all fascinated at his skills in capturing the
inanimate object's true nature.  "His true calling is film," I think as Nic
rolls painfully on the floor to capture Mr. T's pout from a novel angle.  "I
must see these prints."  Nic promises to give us copies, as soon as he figures
out how to remove the exposed film from the camera.  I suddenly feel the need
to drink more.


     We awake and plan to head into Austin proper.  Basil finds an ad for a
store in town called "The Corner Shoppe."  "They'll give us a free pair of
sunglasses with this coupon!" she exclaims.

     "They will give us sunglasses, and much much more... oh yes." I think.
Rodney, our journalist companion from Canada, joins us in our trek to the city.
"The Corner Shoppe" turns out to be a small shack-like store with a large tent
structure in front.  Animal skulls, exotic hides, trophy mounts, blankets,
arrowheads, Indian mandellas, silver jewelry, rugs, pottery, and plaster
sculptures abound.  We wander over to the tent and begin to browse.  "Look,
they have plaster busts of Elvis and Beethoven on the same shelf," Basil

     "This is truly a Store of Symmetry," I reply, as I run my fingers over a
large, bleached cow skull.  The papery-smooth bone is cool and dry on my hands,
and I wonder about the fate of the rest of the mighty beast.  I imagine the
live cow roaming fields, chewing cud.  Powerful flanks driving it up and down
verdant hills of grass.  A skull is more than an object, it is a link to the
once-living creature.  "To this favor, she must come" I mumble to myself, lost
in introspection.

     All the native creatures of Texas are inside the store... albeit, dead.
Stuffed, desiccated, mounted, and all available for purchase.  "Do you
have a scorpion mounted in a bolo?" I ask the proprietor.

     "No, well, we did, but you know, Christmas... we were cleaned out," she
sullenly replies.

     "No problem," I grin back at her.  "I am disappointed, but not dejected.
You have a fine establishment here."  She smiles back and begins to show me an
assortment of desiccated rattlesnakes.  "Of all creatures, reptiles remain the
most lifelike in death," I affirm.  She smiles nervously and points me towards
the stuffed frogs.  "Silly woman, these are mere amphibians," I think to
myself, but I follow her anyway.

     Veggie offers the other employee a sacred cDc silver cow skull talisman as
a gift.  "Say, this is nice... never seen anything like it.  I rope steer, and
was going to put a silver cross on my baseball cap.  But I think I'll put this
on it instead," he says excitedly.

     "Zero, this *proves* that cDc is more popular than Jesus!" Veggie whispers
to me in private. 

     "Undoubtedly.  More popular than The Beatles," I respond.  We bask in the

     Iskra finds an elephant skull lurking on a cabinet.  We are amazed at
the cranial capacity.  I purchase a fine cow skull (complete with hanging hook,
which we later give to Swamp Ratte').  After a few hours, Basil finally selects
a pair of sunglasses (free) and we begin to walk aimlessly around the fringes
of the city.  Entering a Salvation Army store, Rodney begins to film us as we
pick through the remnants of other people's lives.  "Are you guys in a rock
band?" another customer asks me.

     "Yes, I play Extended Keyboards," I answer back, my attention lost in a
milk crate full of used '80s cassette tapes.  Memories for sale... wholesale.
We buy some toy plastic guns and leave.

     Later, we stop for food at an Indian restaurant.  "Inexpensive buffet...
cool," I think.  However, the curry chicken is full of bones.  "I am not
pleased... these bones anger me."

     "But the vegetables are pretty good," comments Veggie.

     "I need meat... I need to tear and rend," I snap back, on the verge of
making an ugly scene.  Leaving the restaurant, we immediately purchase hard
liquor for the trip back to the hotel.  Basil buys some Goldschlager.  Veggie,
some Everclear and V8 juice.  Rodney and Iskra, a large assortment of beer.
I buy a pint of Southern Comfort out of spite.

     Friday night, many people arrive.  "Rambone!  Crimson Death!  Holistic
Hacker!" I exclaim as I see my old, dear friends.  Rambone's hair is much
longer, Holistic is noticeably more hirsute, and Crimson Death looks remarkably
the same as last year.  We begin to drink heartily, and I promptly pass out on
the foot of my bed.  "Damn, Zero is *out*," says Veggie.

     "Let's cover his body and fill his arms with crap and film him,"
someone suggests.  Drunkfux captures my body on display for the video archives.
An hour later, I awake refreshed and only mildly humiliated.

     "I was merely recharging," I tell everyone.  "The mark of a professional
alcoholic is the ability to *pace* oneself."  Noticing that I have finished the
Southern Comfort, I decide to forage for more liquor.  My hunt is successful to
the point that I cannot remember the rest of the evening.


Saturday, the "official" conference:
     "Ugh," my brain tells me as I wake.  "Stay out of this," I tell my
malfunctioning organ.  "We must attend the conference and discuss hacker
things."  Rolling down to the conference room, we find dozens of people waiting
in line.  Flashing our cow skull talismans, Veggie and I part the masses and
proceed unhindered to the front row of the room.  Iskra, Veggie, Basil and I
seat ourselves directly behind a video projector.

     "Here, amuse yourselves," Drunkfux remarks and hands us a Super Nintendo.
Several games of Mortal Kombat ][ later, I realize I have forgotten all the
fatalities.  "Damn, I need to rip out some spines," I think.  We notice the
long tables at the end of the room filled with people selling things.
Fringeware has a large assortment of T-shirts, jewelry, and books.  Other
people are selling DTMF decoders and cable-box hacks.  "Merchandising... cDc
needs more merchandising," I tell Veggie.  He responds by pulling out a large
box of cDc T-shirts and hawking them to the conference attenders.  Naturally,
they sell like cold bottles of Evian in the middle of the Sahara.

     Feeling a need for nicotine, I head out to the lobby area for a quick
smoke.  "Rambone!" I yell as I spot him smoking in a corner.  "How ya doin this

     "How do you think?" he replies from behind dark sunglasses.

     "Oh, yeah," I respond.  We stand together in a post-alcoholic haze for a
few minutes before saying anything.  "Where's Crimson Death?" I ask.

     "Where do you think?" Rambone replies.

     "Oh, yeah," I answer numbly.  Same as it ever was.

     Crimson Death pokes his head into the lobby sometime later... "Hey, hi,"
then disappears back to his room for more sleep therapy.

     Erik Bloodaxe shows up and starts selling LoD shirts.  "I'm staying outta
there," he replies when I ask if he's going inside the main conference room.  A
man is fruitlessly trying to feed the Coke machine a dollar bill.  The machine
keeps spitting out his crumpled bill like a regurgitated leaf of soft lettuce.
Feeling slightly ill, I re-enter the conference room.

     First speaker is the main guy from Fringeware, Inc.  He apologizes for
rambling, then proceeds to ramble for an hour or so.  I cannot focus on his
talk, and try to count the ceiling tiles.  Joe630 approaches us and says,
"You're in my seats... I reserved them!"  We glare at him.  He wanders off.
Basil and I amuse ourselves by playing with the plugs in the back of the
stacked VCRs and the video projector.  Plug and play, all the way.

     Next speaker... some guys from the Prometheus Project.  They are damn
intelligent and have a lot to say, all presented very professionally (a bit
*too* professional for this crowd... they could have mixed in some cartoons or
something with their textual overheads).  Most of the conference attenders seem
to have the attention spans of gnats, and many appear to nod off.  Too bad...
the future of digital cash, encryption, and Underground Networks over
conventional TCP/IP... very rad stuff (http://www.io.com/user/mccoy/unternet
for more info).  I plan to investigate more, definitely.

     Another speaker.  Some guy talking about computer security.  I don't catch
his name, since I begin to have a slight nic fit and bolt for the lobby and my
smokes.  Isn't this moment-by-moment review fascinating and oh-so-true to life?

     Damien Thorn comes up and talks about his current cellular articles
and projects.  He's apparently releasing a video on "cellular hacking"
(Cellular Hacking: A Training Video for Technical Investigators).  He shows a
clip of it, and it's damn hilarious.  More like "MTV and _Cops_ meet Cellular
Hackers."  Tech info mixed with funky music and hands-on demos/skits.  I gotta
have it (mail to Phoenix Rising Communications, 3422 W. Hammer Lane, Suite
C-110, Stockton, CA, 95219 for info).  Although he says he is nervous about
talking in front of everyone, he is very articulate.  Good show, man.  He demos
some DDI hardware for snarfing reverse-channel data.  Nothing really new, but
nice to see.  Veggie starts playing with his cow skull talisman on the overhead
projector, while Basil begins to make twist-tie sculptures of cows and other
animals.  I attempt to make a twist-tie bird.  "What is that, a dog?" she

     "My art is wasted on you," I growl, teeth bared.

     Veggie gets up and talks about Canadians blowing themselves up after
reading an old file of his on how to make pipe bombs.  After he sits down, I
suggest he release a new file.  "Veg, man, you can call it 'An Addendum on How
to Make Gasoline Bombs'... tell everyone it is a supplemental file to something
you released years ago... include in it the note, 'I forgot this safety circuit
in my FIRST release of 'How to Make Gasoline Bombs' and you MUST include this
crucial safety on the bomb or it just might go off prematurely in your LAP.
Like, on a bumpy subway in New York.'  It'll be a riot, dontcha think?"

     Veggie just glares at me and cracks his knuckles.  It sounds like a heavy
dog padding on thin, brittle plastic.  "I don't think so," he mutters.  Oh
well, it was just an idea.  I ponder my own dark, sick sense of humor.  Perhaps
I need therapy.

     Finally, Steve Ryan gets up and speaks about some new computer crime laws
passed in Texas.  A lawyer working with the Austin EFF, he's always got
something funny and informative to say.  The new laws define "approaching" a
restricted computer system as being illegal, as well as defining a "biochemical
computational device" as a computer system.  In other words, if someone comes
up to you and talks to you, they have "approached" your personal "biochemical
computational device" (read: brain), and are technically prosecutable for
"hacking" under Texas law.  Hoo yeah!  Steve's whole speech is very cool, and I
am only disappointed in the fact that he is the last person to speak.  It's
running very late and I have the attention span of a *hyperactive* gnat at this
point.  But had it been anyone else up there, most of the conference attenders
probably would have nodded off or wandered out of the room.

     After Steve, the conference fragments as people leave or buy last minute
items from the "vendor tables."  I buy a neat piece of jewelry, a little
plastic doll arm tightly wrapped in twisted wire and metal.  I pin it to the
lapel of my jacket.  We leave in search of alcohol and assorted

     In the hotel restaurant, we gather to plan our New Year's Eve excursion.
All of our synapses are jammin' to various biochemical beats, and I order a
chicken-fried steak to fuel the fire in my skull.  "Veggie, your pupils are the
size of dinner plates," I tell him from behind a mouthful of steak and gravy.

     "Let me touch your jacket... is it blue or green?" he replies.

     "It is both... yet neither," I respond, pulling my arm out of his
clutches.  Later, we secure a ride with Ixom and Nicadaemos into Austin...
destination: Sixth Street.  "Say Nic, you know in that movie _Heavy Metal_...
y'know, when the aliens are trying to land their spacecraft in the huge space
station?" I yell above the whine of the engine, digging my nails into the
passenger seat.

     "Nope," he replies, and we suddenly veer across 4 lanes of traffic.

     "Perhaps it is better this way," I think.  Life imitates art, then you

     Holistic and I find Ohms.  We queue up and wait to enter the house of
techno-funk.  "I know this place... I feel at peace," I tell a middle-age
drunken woman in front of me.  She stares back with glassy eyes and feebly
blows on her party horn.  "Yes, I know," I reply and look at my watch.
11:55PM.  Five minutes later, I walk into Ohms.  A flyer on the wall has a
graphic depiction of a man screwing a woman with a CRT for her head, the title
"Dance to the Sounds of Machines Fucking."  Everyone begins to cheer and yell
as I step through the inner doorway.  "Either it is now 1995, or I appear to
have fans," I think.  Ya, right.

     I order Holistic and I some screwdrivers.  As the waitress is pouring the
vodka, she suddenly look distracted and our glasses overflow with booze.
Grinning at me meekly, she squirts just a dash of orange juice in each glass
and hands them to me.  "Sorry, they're a bit strong," she apologizes.

     "No burden," I reply warmly.

     "Wow, that was weird... but bonus for us!" Holistic says as he sips his
drink with a wince.

     "No, that was a sign of the cow," I smirk, fingering my silver cow skull
talisman on my neck.  "You'll get used to it."

     Ohms is filled with smoke, sweat, flashing lights, and the funkiest
techno music I have ever heard.  There are several robotic arms on the stage
clutching strobe lights, occasionally twisting around and pointing into the
crowd.  Holistic, Basil, Crimson Death, and I begin to dance with insane
purpose.  Four hours later, we are still dancing.  Holistic eventually leaves
for the hotel.  The remaining three of us dance until we have no more body 
fluids to exude.  "I love you guys," Crimson Death smiles as he grabs both me
and Basil in a bearhug and kisses us on the forehead.  Suddenly we see Rambone
at the bar... he is wide-eyed and sweating more than a human should be.  He
leaves the club.  Later, we find Bill and ride safely back to the hotel.  It is

     We find Veggie and Iskra in our room.  They have been staring at Veggie's
"Hello Kitty" blinky lights and writing stories all night long.  "Read this,
it's good!  Read it NOW!" Veggie exclaims.

     "If it's good now, it will still be good in the morning... I'm going to
sleep now," I answer through a haze of exhaustion.  Several minutes later, my 
remaining higher cortical functions shut down and I am enveloped in sleep.


Sunday, early afternoon:
     Crimson Death stops by our room to say goodbye.  "Here is my new address
and such... I've written it on this paper and folded it into an origami bird
for you," he tells me.

     "Functional art... I dig it, man," I reply and shake his hand.  Swamp
Ratte' arrives in the suite soon thereafter, having had to attend a wedding in
Lubbock, TX last night.  The rest of the day passes lazily, until that evening
when we pile into Drunkfux's van and head for Chuck-E-Cheeze for dinner.  "God
in Heaven, they serve BEER here!" I exclaim, quickly ordering a pint.  Several
slices of pizza and glasses of beer later, we are all playing skee-ball, video
games, and air hockey.  Basil is deftly beating everyone at air hockey,
including myself.

     "I'm into more intellectual games," I grumble.  "Say Ratte', let us play a
stimulating game of 'Whack-a-Mole.'"  A real thinkin' man's game, by gum... He
whips my ass.  "Damn moles," I grumble again.

     Many "spring echo" plastic microphones are purchased... when yelled into,
one's voice is given an echo effect, and Drunkfux begins to announce the
play-by-play of the air hockey games in his best Howard Cosell voice.  I see
Damien Thorn, Carol (the journalist), and a dozen other HoHo attenders
cavorting around Chuck-E-Cheeze... yet the restaurant has technically closed 30
minutes ago.  No one is attempting to make us leave.  Deciding it's a good time
to cash in my tickets won from skee-ball, I walk over to the ticket cash-in
counter.  I notice the man behind the counter is counting them by weighing them
on a scale.  "Hrmmm... I wonder if I dipped them in beer, the increased weight
would increase my..." but my thoughts are stopped short.  Too late, the
restaurant is surely closing now, and everyone is leaving.  "Next time,
muahahahaha."  I plot and scheme.  The giant plastic monkey (costing 500
tickets) will surely be mine... next time.

     Back at the hotel, we all parade through the lobby heralding our entrance
with a rousing octet peformance on the Chuck-E-Cheese Microphones of Doom.  The
hotel desk workers are not amused and tell us, in no uncertain terms, to shut
the hell up.  Oops.  Our merriment throttled, I glance at a local newspaper in
the lobby.  On the front page is a story of 2 people shot and killed in Planned
Parenthood clinics in Brookline by some sick "right-to-lifer."  "Goddamn,
that's in my home city... Boston!" I think.  Quickly reading the story, I feel
sickened that someone could kill like that.  I entertain a brief fantasy.  Me
sitting in the clinic in the waiting room... me seeing the sicko pull a rifle
out of a bag and pointing it at the defenseless receptionist... me swinging my
shotgun out from under my long coat... and me walking six rifled deer slugs up
the scumbag's spine.  Doom on you, sucker.  Violence is nasty, but it is a
final resort sometimes.  If all those clinic workers could pack heat, people
would think twice about trying to threaten them.  People have the right to
choose how they live their own fucking lives and control their own damn
bodies... they shouldn't have to die for it.  I read how the police are
planning to increase "officer visibility" around the clinics.  "Ya sure, us
poor citizens are too meek to defend ourselves... let's let big bro' handle
it," I think.  I file the entire incident in my mind under "yet another reason
to watch your ass and carry a big stick."

     I go back to the room and drown my reality-dosed anger by reading the
ultra-violent comic book _Milk and Cheese_ (most highly recommended  Buy it,
now!).  I ponder one of Cheese's most memorable quotes: "I wish I had a
baseball bat the size of Rhode Island, so I could beat the shit out of this
stupid-ass planet."

     Later that night, Rika (the Japanese correspondent) gives us a private
viewing of Torquie's video on hacking.  We all agree it is very good  It has a
great deal of coverage of the international scene... Germany, the Netherlands,
even a clip of someone boxing in Malaysia.  I fall asleep feeling content.


     Monday arrives like a lamb... we wake late and hang around our room.
Swamp Ratte' decides to take a shower.  "I'm just trying this concept out...
if I like it, I might do it again!" he says.  After the shower, he gives the
process a big "thumbs up" and tells us of his plans to incorporate it into his
regular personal hygiene routine.  "This shower deal could be The Next Big
Thing," he says ominously.

     "Change is good... and so is conditioner," I comment, combing the snarls
out of my own hair.  We call downstairs to check on the jacuzzi suite we had
reserved for tonight.  We are curtly informed that they are all booked.  "What,
you promised us," I gasp.  "Damn you, then we shall check out of this
pit....siyonara!"  Two hours later, we receive notice that all HoHo attenders
still in the hotel are being kicked out "due to the *tremendous damage*
incurred on the hotel this past weekend."

     "What 'tremendous damage'?!  I'll show them 'tremendous damage'!" Veggie
vows, leaping for the door.  The rest of us manage to convince Veggie that his
plans to drive to the closest hardware store and buy a box of crowbars and
sledgehammers is probably not the best thing to do.

     "Don't worry, Veg, " I say, comforting him.  "We shall find another
jacuzzi, no doubt."

     We pile into Drunkfux's van and search for a new hotel in the center of
the city.  On the way, we swing back into The Corner Shoppe, where Rodney films
some more of our antics amongst the dead critters.  Rambone buys a long
bullwhip (it's a hobby, he says), and Swamp Ratte' gives an impassioned speech
for the camera on the joys of electronic publishing and cDc.  We finally drop
off Rodney at the airport and bid him farewell on his voyage back to the Great
White North.

     The downtown Marriott ends up being our final destination.  After visually
checking out the jacuzzi and pool facilities (no jacuzzi in the room, sigh, but
a very nice public one open until 11:00PM), Drunkfux, Basil, and I head out in
search of swimwear.  Veggie, Iskra, Swamp Ratte', and Rambone remain in the
room and eventually head for the bar.  We return ready for aquatics.  The three
of us soak in the jacuzzi and swim in the pool, and finally we all retire to
our hotel room.  "Damn, everyone looks like beached squid... let's go out to
Emo's tonight!" I exclaim, trying to win them over.  Veggie, Iskra, Basil, and
Rambone appear dead to the world.  "Here, I have some ephedrine left over from
the other night... it's over-the-counter and will make your toes tap."
Reluctantly, they agree to partake.  A few minutes later, Rambone and Veggie
are wrestling on the bed, and I am experimenting on Drunkfux with Rambone's

     "Gosh, I think these pills are stimulating," remarks Rambone.

     "Yes, and let us not waste it... to Emo's!" I cry.  We arrive at Emo's and
spend the evening playing pinball and listening to the jukebox.

     Returning to the Marriott, we are all still wired.  "Let's watch 'The
Crow' on the TV," I suggest.  "Mayhem and love at its best!"  Most agree, and I
sit riveted for the entire film.  "I am morphine for a wooden leg," I quote
mentally from the original graphic novel.  That line never got into the movie,
but I think it is one of O'Barr's best.


     Not much happens.  We wander the city, bid farewell to Rambone at the
airport, check out the Fringeware store at 5015 1/2 Duval Street in Austin, and
generally chill.  Erik Bloodaxe shows up, and Drunkfux wires the hotel room for
a video interview with him and the rest of us as we all lounge on the two twin
beds.  At one point, Drunkfux, Basil, and I are alone in the room when I call
downstairs for room service (I sometimes have a need for funked-up potato
skins, pronto).  A knock at the door... Drunkfux answers it wearing nothing but
a towel around his waist and a towel on his head (having just showered).
Ushering in the room service guy, I tell him "just put the tray on the table,
please."  I absentmindedly push aside Rambone's coiled bullwhip.  Suddenly
realizing the potential misinterpretation of my situation, I glance behind me
to see the video camera on tripod pointed at the beds, video equipment,
monitors,  and Basil wearing her leather pants, curled up on one of the many
tousled blankets, dead asleep.  "Uh, huh... thanks," I stammer as I slip the
guy a fiver.  I try to think of something funny to say like, "Oh, we're making
a DOCUMENTARY," but the glazed look in his eyes tells me we are beyond the
point of no return.  "Well, these are the rumors that legends are made of," I
think as I close the door behind him and wolf down my skins.  They are teeming
with toppings.

     That evening, I take a late-nite swim by myself in the pool.  The water is
heated, and by swimming under a small ledge, one is able to actually swim to
the outside section of the pool under the open sky.  Steam rises in thick curls
into the crisp night air, and as I float on my back I am able to see the stars.
Never have I felt so relaxed.  "Like an amoeba in the primordial soup, I live
in the gutter yet strive for the stars," I paraphrase softly to myself.  Only
the stars hear me.


Wednesday (last day, YES, we EVENTUALLY go back home):
     Waking at the ungodly hour of 5 AM so we can make our early flight back to
Boston.  Swamp Ratte' and I sit in the hotel lobby, blurry-eyed, waiting for
the shuttle to the airport.

     "I'm going to write about this HoHoCon again... you can put it out through
cDc," I tell him.

     "Rad," he replies.  "What's it gonna be like?"

     "I dunno... the same as last time, maybe I'll mix in some weird dream

     "How 'bout cDc wrasslin' the Power Rangers and beatin' their sissy-soft-
sorry asses?" Ratte' drawls.

     "Yeah, that sounds surreal enough!"

     We make our goodbyes, leaving Drunkfux and Swamp Ratte' in Texas.  On the
way to the airport, the shuttle bus driver from the hotel asks us, "So are you
with the team?"

     "Uh, what team?"

     "You know... the Power Rangers team... the ones putting on the show.
They're staying in our hotel.  I thought you were with them.  They're actors
putting on a live Power Rangers show across the country."

     "No, no, we're not with them."

     My mind is pulled apart by this lattice of coincidence.  I decide to leave
the dream sequence out of my phile.  This, THIS... is a sign.

     I don't talk to the others much during the flight home.  Perhaps it is
because I know the adventure is over and I am saddened slightly.  Perhaps I am
merely tired.  Most probably, it is a combination of the two.  I quickly depart
from the airport and, without goodbyes, grab a cab for the L0pht.  I spend that
evening alone at the L0pht, surrounded by Machines of Loving Grace and the
solitude of blinking electronic devices.  I am a bit happier.

     Woop de doe, dat's the show.
     .-.                             _   _                             .-.
    /   \           .-.             ((___))             .-.           /   \
   /     \         /   \       .-.  [ x x ]  .-.       /   \         /     \
 -/-------\-------/-----\-----/---\--\   /--/---\-----/-----\-------/-------\-
 /         \     /       \   /     `-(' ')-'     \   /       \     /         \
  WORLDWIDE \   /         `-'         (U)         `-'         \   / WORLDWIDE
             `-'                     .ooM                      `-'     _
      Oooo                                                            / )   __
 /)(\ (   \           Copyright (c)1996 cDc communications.          /  (  /  \
 \__/  )  / All rights reserved.  Award-winning CULT OF THE DEAD COW \   ) \)(/
       (_/     is published by cDc communications, P.O. Box 53011,    oooO  _
  oooO         Lubbock, TX, 79453, US of A.  Edited by Swamp Ratte'.  __   ( \
 /   ) /)(\                                                          /  \  )  \
 \  (  \__/        Save yourself!  Go outside!  Do something!        \)(/ (   /
  \_)                      "THE COW WALKS AMONGST US"                     Oooo