My Brother’s BLAND
My brother, Andrew, will be getting married in less than two weeks. In honor of this momentous occasion a band of geeks, roughly twenty in number, converged in celebration. They played computer games together over a LAN (Local Area Network). Jason termed this particular form of get-together the “BLAN” (Bachelor LAN) many years ago when one of the first BLANs was held for him.
I only dared enter the den of geeks, located in the basement of my sister’s house, momentarily during this event but in that brief time here is what I witnessed. Many tables were set up in a somewhat haphazard manner throughout the main basement area. The tables were occupied by a variety of geeks and their precious computers.
Masses of cords of all sizes and colors crisscrossed the floor in a hectic fashion and lay in piles here and there. Much sugar, caffeine, and grease had obviously been consumed. The air was rank with geek sweat, the soda cans were piled high, and the candy wrappers were proliferate. The lights in half the space were turned off leaving the glow of monitors the only light source in these areas. This gave the impression that one had stumbled across the cavernous dwelling of strange, tech-savvy, nocturnal creatures. This perception was furthered by the fact that many of the geeks appeared to have entered some sort of catatonic state. They were only aware of the screen in front of them and the sole indication that they were actually alive was the occasional twitching of their fingers. Other geeks were very animated. They uttered many obscenities in the heat of battle; during their infrequent periods of silence the faint whirl of CPU fans could be heard. While this was not the first time I had witnessed a BLAN firsthand, I still could not stomach it for more than a few minutes.
The geeks played until 2:30 AM or so. I suspect they would have played longer if Andrew had not poorly planned his transportation arrangements. He and Simone rode over together. She entertained herself elsewhere for quite a while, but in the end she still needed to drive him home. Common sense is not a Nelson trait, nor a geek one for that matter. But, despite the BLAN’s relatively early termination, the geeks seemed to have enjoyed themselves.