The Meetup

xkcd readers successfully overran a park in Cambridge a week ago, and it’s taken me this long to fully recover. But boy, was it fun. Here’s a wrap-up:

Back in the spring, when I lived in Virginia, I drew this comic. The date was in the future, the coordinates were a park in Cambridge. When the date came last weekend, hundreds of people showed up.

How it went:

People were camped out there starting the night before. Without any obvious organization, they brought altered signs for the park, raptor costumes, signs, red spiders, and a tent full of xkcd-related memorabilia. They climbed the octahedral structure in the middle of the park and did their best to collapse it. Afterward, at the nearby Danahey Park, there was a trebouchet.

I had made a point of staying quiet about my plans for the coordinates. I just directed people back to the comic, which suggested that no one showed up. And, indeed, when I have dreams like that and go to the place or look for the person, there’s no one there. Dreams don’t work like that. So if they’re just your own desires whispering to you, of what use are they? As Haroun would ask, what’s the use of stories that aren’t even true? The answer was obvious. Dreams are where messages start, not where they arrive.

I realized roughly what would happen if I drew up the coordinates in a comic. And people came. It couldn’t happen exactly like it did in the comic, obviously, but it was a gathering of lovely people all brought together by their shared interest in adventure, puzzles, and people, and dreams. And it was a wonderful party.

I hung out nearby, with some friends and relatives, and put together my contribution to the gathering. Since the comic had created a counter to its own conclusion, clearly it needed to be corrected. I got 40 feet of whiteboard in 4×8 segments. I drew up the Dream Girl comic on the first one, but left out the concluding line. Instead, I left the next 35 feet for people to fill in what had happened.

I said a few words explaining this, passed out Sharpies, and then was swept to the center of a crowd of autograph-seekers. For a couple hours, I signed every blank surface anyone showed to me. This included playpen balls, shirts, breasts, a mattress, a picture of two monkeys having sex, and, at one point, the side of a Mobius strip. Afterward, we went to a trebouchet demonstration, had food, and (in a complicated string of events) reenacted the couch affair from Dirk Gently. After hanging out with some folks from Kansas and having a lovely hour-long conversation about the Animorphs, I fell asleep at 6:00 AM and slept for a full day — 25 hours — waking up briefly to eat.

Here’s an article in the Phoenix about the meetup.

Click here for a page with high-res images of all five whiteboards:

A few selections:

There were far too many pictures taken for me to wade through them all, but here are a few I pulled from the Flickr pool:

Goodness, there were a lot of people.

All the park signs were helpfully rewritten.

There were several gallant protesters insisting that all assertions be fully backed-up.

There are no words that can improve this picture.

I have not forgotten about the red spiders, by the way. The final two episodes will appear eventually.

There’s a giant structure in the middle of the park — an octahedron with a network of ropes inside. It was covered with people for the entire day, and — for no clear reason — they crowd-surfed a mattress to the top.

The structure, enveloped in people.

Isn’t CD Cambodia?

There was a mighty trebouchet.

Buckles were swashed.

Love was sought.

And thank you to all the people who picked up trash.

This was fun. Let’s do it again next year. Keep an eye out for coordinates.

212 thoughts on “The Meetup

  1. Pingback: 9da77c1bc0c5

  2. Pingback: (b)logophile › Holy crap how cool

  3. Pingback: how to make ephedrine

  4. Now THESE are the people that should be running the planet!!!!!!

    Non-zoob city.

    Responsibility, without the rules.

  5. That time of year is coming again…I can feel it on the late summer air. That and apple picking and pumpkin carving. ::breaths is deep:: ahhh!

  6. Pingback: >> RightShift » Hivemind - A Case Study

  7. Pingback: Quezi » What is meant by “Life Imitates Art”?

  8. Pingback: Fleen: Enjoy Our Semi-Abusive Opinion Mongering » The Full Snidely

  9. Pingback: We are the internet « Laidy Mondegreen

  10. Pingback: Geek Will Travel » Technology & MSG » Blog Archive

  11. Pingback: Action Comics | Diversions and Soup

  12. Carpet Cleaning is something everyone needs at some point and time. Eryaman halı yıkama Find the best local carpet cleaners in our . We have many carpet cleaning articles as well to keep you informed as to how to choose a good carpet cleaner and great tips on removing urine and tough stains from your carpet. Be sure to check out our new Eryaman halı yıkama Carpet Cleaning Machines Page as well for the latest carpet cleaners.

    At the bottom of this page is were most of our carpet cleaning articles are located. Over a thousand unqiue visitors use this site each day to find local carpet cleaners and for the tips we provide. If you have your own eryaman halı yıkama carpet cleaning tip then please contact us about it above

  13. Carpet Cleaning is something everyone needs at some point and time. Eryaman halı yıkama Find the best local carpet cleaners in our . We have many carpet cleaning articles as well to keep you informed as to how to choose a good carpet cleaner and great tips on removing urine and tough stains from your carpet. Be sure to check out our new Eryaman halı yıkama Carpet Cleaning Machines Page as well for the latest carpet cleaners.

  14. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your weblog? My blog site is in the exact same niche as yours and my users would definitely benefit from a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Thanks a lot!

  15. It is appropriate time to make a few plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy. I have learn this put up and if I may I wish to counsel you few interesting issues or advice. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles regarding this article. I desire to learn even more issues approximately it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>