A few months ago, blogger and all-around nice person Hippie Cahier had a great idea: she wanted to create a video in honor of fellow blogger Omawarison, who’d recently retired from his day job. Her plan was ambitious: gather a couple dozen bloggers in one place and create a video in a single weekend. I was up for the challenge. I just had one concern: I’ve seen enough movies to know that if a group this size gathers in one place for a weekend, one of two things will happen: they’ll either pull off an intricately-plotted heist or be murdered one by one. I mentioned this to Hippie and told her I strongly preferred the heist scenario. She agreed.
I generally travel pretty light, so I packed only a carry-on for this trip. My bag was a little heavier than usual, but I didn’t think much of it until I got to the airport and the bag started meowing. I called Hippie and asked her to pick up some supplies for a last-minute addition to the cast: my cat, Thunder.
During the flight, I read the plans for the heist. Hippie had emailed them the previous night. I was impressed. She’d planned out every detail, including exactly what each person would say at each point throughout the operation. That seemed like overkill, really, and I was a little worried she’d turn out to be a micromanager, but the plan itself seemed sound.
Hippie was a very gracious hostess. Her house is bigger than I’d expected; each blogger got a private room. My room (which was next to one painted plaid, for some reason) had all kinds of personal touches. She’d set up the cat food dishes and litter box that I’d asked for, installed a new cat tree for Thunder, and left the traditional five pounds of dark chocolate on my pillow. Most of the rest of the gang had already arrived, so I dropped off my bag, left Thunder to get acclimated, and headed down to the living room to join them.
Hippie introduced me to everyone, but I’m really bad at names, so I was never quite sure who was who. I poured myself a glass of wine (other available beverages included coffee, tea, gin, and lemonade) and bumped into a woman with bright yellow hair who was helping herself to a Reese’s peanut butter cup. I started to apologize.
“Sorry, I’m — oh, hey, did you paint that?” On the end of the table, there was a watercolor of two dogs frolicking with wild abandon.
“No. I’m not sure who did.”
We both looked around for a minute. The artist failed to materialize. The dogs, however, had been there all along: a collie who looked just like Lassie, and a little black and white dog that I thought was adorable until it began savagely attacking a stuffed sheep, callously ignoring its squeaky cries of distress. I was glad I’d left my cat upstairs.
“Okay,” Hippie said, loud enough for everyone to hear, “I think that’s all of us. Did everyone get a chance to look at the script?”
Everyone nodded except me. “No, sorry — I didn’t get the script. When did you send it?”
“Last night, around 8-ish, I think.”
“Oh, that’s weird. I got some mail from you then, but it just had the plans for the actual heist, not the script for the movie.”
There was a long, awkward pause. I heard a few nervous giggles. Finally, Hippie spoke.
“Um, that was the script. There is no actual heist.”
“What? Are you trying to get us all killed?”
“She’s right,” said a pregnant woman, gesturing with a half-eaten Pop-Tart, “movies teach us that in this situation, if we’re not involved in a heist, we’ll be attacked by a serial killer or some kind of supernatural entity.”
People began to take sides. One guy rattled off ten reasons why we should just make the movie. Another walked around with a clipboard taking a poll about whether we should do the heist: the four possible answers were “yes”, “no”, “other”, and something about brains. In the end, we decided to [Note: one blogger who was present for the events described here is also a lawyer. At her request, I've redacted some text that was in the original version of this post.]
[redacted text] and a goat. So of course [redacted text]
[redacted text] just a bridal shower. But [redacted text]
[redacted text] hostage situation. They said they used to have a guy who was really good at that sort of thing, but he retired last year. So then we [redacted text]
[redacted text] which is how we wound up spending the night in jail. We got out on bail with just enough time to go back to Hippie’s place, pack our things, and catch our flights home. And we still hadn’t shot any footage.
The story has a happy ending, though. Hippie filed a FOIA request and eventually got copies of all our mug shots, which she stitched together into an amazing video. As the old saying goes: when life gives you lemons, make a patchwork quilt. I think she’s done an excellent job.