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Poker Night Tonight!

Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2003 17:21:54 -0400 (EDT)
From: Blake
To: poker-night
Subject: Poker Night Tonight!

Dear Friends,

I hope this message gets to you.  I’m not entirley certain that DangerHaus
is capable of communicating with the outside world anymore.  Thing have
gone horribly wrong around here.

It all started about a week ago, when we lost our connection with the
Internet.  Since this sort of thing happens from time to time, there was
no cause for immediate concern.  Usually the Internet just starts working
again after a few hours.  This time, however, a full day went by and there
was still nothing.  On day two the DangerMacintosh seemed to be able to
make some kind of tenious connection, but responces were slow, and often
accompanied by a strange sence of deja vu.  I had a zephyr conversation
with Matt that day where he claimed he was about to go on a road trip with
Sherri, and all 82 of my unread email messages consisted of reviews of
albums by bands I’d never heard of from Dan M. and rebuttals from

The next day typing “ssh” into a terminal
window on the DangerMacintosh resulted in the following:

Hello!  I am Athena!  Give me your password: ***********

Hello!  Thank you for your password!  I am Athena!

You have mail!


mail #1 —    Mars Kittens New Album Rocks
mail #2 —  Mars Kittens are Totally Gay
mail #3 —    New American Crackers are cool!
mail #4 —  New American Crackers are Totally Gay
mail #5 —    Festering Oatmeal album a disapointment
mail #6 —  Festering Oatmeal my new favorite Band!

Athena!%>show 1

Why do you want to see 1?

Athena!%>show 1

What’s the magic word?

Athena!%>show 1, please?

Mail #1!
Subject:  Mars Kittens New Album Rocks

Hey I just listened to the new Mars Kittens Album, “Mars Kittens in Outer

Um, it rocks, and stuff.

This is Dan!

End of Message.


nobody else is online.  nobody.


there is no one else here.

Athena!%>zwrite -c help -i *

Connection closed by remote hoste!


Connection closed b remote host.


Hello, this is Athena, how may I help you?

Athena!%>this is not athena!

Why is it that you feel this is not athena!?

Athena!%>what is this?

Why is it that you are concerened about what is this?

Athena!%>who am I talking to?

How do you feel about who are you talking to?


I think that you feel deeply concerened about logout.


I think that you feel deeply concerened about exit.

At that point I unplugged the DangerMacintosh.  It was also on this third
day that Matt and Gonj disappeared.  I would still find empty beer cans
all around the house and the ash trays seemed to fill themselves up with
cigarette butts.  I could hear “Star Trek: Voyager” playing on the
computer in Gonj’s room, but nobody answered when I knocked.  After 14
straight hours of Captain Janeway sultry voice seeping through the wall
into my room I opened the door to Gonj’s room only to discover that the
computer wasn’t even turned on.  There was no Star Trek Voyager.   No
Gonj, but I swore I saw wisps of cigarette smoke hanging in the air.  I
closed the door and came back downstairs to fix myself a sandwich.  When I
passed by Gonj’s room again I heard a deep woman’s voice sternly say
“Fire!” and the sounds of phazers shooting through the vacuume of space.
I immediatly opened the door, there was no one there, and the computer was
still turned off.

I decided I needed to leave the house, but every time I made it as far as
the XXXXXXXXXX Roundabout and found that I had gone all the way around it
without realizing it and was on my way back to DangerHaus.  I must have
spent six or seven hours walking down XXXXXXXXX XX. to the Roundabout,
then suddenly realizing I had taken the XXXXXX XX. Exit again and was
already halfway down XXXXXXXXX XX.

When I fianlly gave up and returned to DangerHaus I was quite hungry, so I
went into the kitchen to fix myself some eggs.  What I discovered in the
kitchen completly shattered my understanding of the thermodynamic arrow of
time.  Matt was there, after disappearing for three days, and he seemed to
be taking scrambled eggs off of a plate, putting them into a frying pan,
and then somehow causing them to unscramble.  Then he would take a broken
egg shell and put the two halfs near the center of the pan, at which point
the unscrambled egg would jump back into the shell, Matt would slap the
egg against the side of the pan, and the egg shell would reform itself.
At this point, Matt would hand the egg to a chicken who was sitting on
the table.  This chicken would put the egg into a nest it had made from
shredded empty packs of Marlboro Reds and then sit on it.  After a minute
or so the chicken would stand up, hop off of the table, and walk over to
the pantry, leaving no trace of the egg behind.  I looked in the pantry
after the chicken had gone back to the table to discover a full and
unopened bag of chicken feed.  Though I had not eaten anything, my hunger
had dissapeared after spending this time in the kitchen and I quickly
realized that if I spent too much time in there I would end up having to
make a trip to the restroom that I’d really rather not think about.

For those of you curious about how this message is being written if the
DangerMacintosh has been possesed by an eliza ghost and the rest of the
house has no Internet connection, the answer is that through some miracle
of electronic engineering Maitland has found a way for her laptop to
establish some kind of Wireless connection with a network outside of
whatever quantum energy field is affecting DangerHaus.  At least, we
sincerelly hope she has actually found a way to do this, and that her
computer isn’t simply better at faking connectivity.  It does, for
example, claim to exist in Austraila rather than in Somerville.  Little
mistakes like this often point to a computer system that is full of lies.
One that has no intention of allowing the user to make any sort of contact
with the outside world.  So, I really won’t be all that surprized if none
of you show up for

“first hand at nine”

please bring alcohol.  it is the one thing the kitchen hasn’t been
spontaniously regenerating.

DangerHaus is

Somerville, MA  02144

Today’s invitation is based on a true story.

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