(TBC) (TBC) (TBC) Dinnerwas extremely IT-reminiscent, although rather sillier and with fewer nasty things crawling out of fortune cookies (probably due to a lack of fortune cookies). The food was finger-lickin' good, as Carol and Nigel demonstrated.
Sarah, whose appearance was unfortunately brief (possibly mercifully in terms of jaw-ache from laughter), managed to put both fist and foot in "it": after displaying her skills at shoving her fist in her mouth (and persuading certain other members of the party to attempt similar feats), she came up with loud but winning line of, "Why is everyone staring at that man over there?" while the party was visibly concerned with the fate of a man who appeared to be choking. Fortunately, the Heimlich manoeuvre was unnecessary and no Plymouth Furies were in attendance.
Most of the amusement seemed to revolve around Sarah (although this may be partly due to my being next to her with no obvious escape route): she'd thoughtfully brought a couple of masks, which will no doubt cause great confusion when a web page appears with everyone on it, either looking like Frankenstein's Monster or the Devil. Sarah's own performance with the mask was less convincing than most, including trying to eat with her chin and putting her glasses on her mouth. However, she had better luck with mussels as ears... but I'll clam up about that one for now.
Somewhere around this stage, we discovered helium. Scattered around the restaurant were various helium balloons, which we promptly appropriated and swallowed (well, not the balloon parts). Renditions of "Hi-ho, hi-ho", the Munchkins' Song, and various other classics soon followed, with a full orchestra of laughing abskers.
At the end of the meal, Carol was presented with a copy of Desperation/Regulators + night light, which Kevin had procured whilst in Texas. So, now we know what the US covers are like. Opinion is mixed as to which pair of covers is better (translation: I like the UK ones better, and said so loudly over anyone claiming the contrary) but all agreed it was a lovely and thoroughly deserved present.
Nigel decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to investigate how Total Recall was filmed, and stuck the night light up his nose. Sure enough, a generally orange glow lit up his face, and he just about managed to get the light out without burning his nose off.
A three page bill followed the meal, but miraculously there were no unclaimed items, and the bill was paid without World War 3 breaking out. I can only guess as to whether things would have been the same if we'd gone for a curry...
We retired to the hotel lounge, where we were extremely silly for a while, with people heading off to bed at various intervals. Once again, balloons played a major part in the frivolity, once Sarah had nicked another set of them (having waited for the manageress to leave her post - Mission Impossible music accompanied this daring raid). In the comfort of the lounge, we discovered that there's more fun to be had from balloons than mere squeaky voices. A whole range of ridiculous noises could be overheard as we investigated The High Pitched Drawn Out Wail, The Variable Frequency Wail, and that old favourite The Fart. Not content with audio effects, we attempted some visual ones by letting the balloons off. I think it was a tie between Nigel, Sarah, and Jo for most impressive display; most of my own efforts failed miserably, I regret to report.
The following morning, bright and early (except for Kevin and Bev, almost needless to say) we were rejoined by Darren. Sarah had to leave due to a dodgy engine (or so I think I was told - this was relatively early and I was still half asleep), but Darren was determined to take her place as Silliest Person despite an apparently long IRC session the previous night, and having been beaten fiercely by a fellow actor.
(TBC) (TBC) (TBC)