upon a time there was a perfectly normal seeming writer named
Pauline Schwen who was a regular participant in the WRITING echo. Now the WRITING echo might seem like an echo to deal with the art
and craft of writing to the normal, but to writers and participants
it is familiarly known as the Tavern and is a place where strange
beings converse and strange things occur.
Now in the days
of yore yon Tavern was being crowded off the etherwaves by a
plethora of posts from poets and general off-topic chatter. In order
to keep the Tavern alive serious pruning was necessary, if
regrettable and somewhat painful.
entity of the time was the Great Hossie whose enforcer was a Guido.
Aside from creating a large gaping hole in the back wall of the
Tavern when someone invited him to shoot pool and he did so with
heavy weaponry, Guido was becoming overworked in the crowded
conditions of the Tavern and had even been known to go missing.
The aforementioned participant, Pauline, decided to start her own
echo to draw off some of the overflow by creating an area for the
off topic chatter, just as Claire created a place for poets of proper
perspective by creating MUSE. Where MUSE can be reached by a
separate entrance from the Tavern, and is in fact a room in Claire's
house, Pauline decided that her echo would be what we found if we
ventured through the hole in the wall that Guido had accidentally
brought into being.
What those who
were brave enough to venture through the hole in the wall found on
the other side was a Beach. Rose arbors were built and patio
furniture was produced, but it was discovered that those prosaic
activities did not fully activate the ambiance of a virtual reality
that had come into being through a virtual happenstance of another
virtual reality. There was another dimension away from Real
Life that needed to be addressed.
beings able to obtain the Beach in the heady far off days before
backboning elicited the assistance of the Star Trek virtual reality
and were able to construct this window in the spacetime continuum
that you don't see before you today. Once the atmospheric
controls were established and the barrier between reality and
virtuality was erected, it was found that the folk who had
previously been human in the Tavern morphed into the alterbeings
they had secretly been all their lives.
Fang, the Boa
Constructor, perpetually builds and rebuilds aspects of the Beach to
accommodate the needs of the incoming virtual beings. The
seemingly normal Pauline had tapped into magnificent wells of
silliness previously unsuspected, and a totally other virtual
reality had been created and took on a life of its own.
lovingly as Ma Ducks, our founder and foremother, Pauline led us
into a world of joy and offtopicness previously unknown in the
universe. Backboning followed, whereby others like myself who
had been unable to get through the hole in the wall were able to log
on and become Bardies for life.
The one, the
only, the much loved Ma Ducks fell ill and was absent from The Beach
for a prolonged time. The Gumbie Cat was proclaimed Momderator
Pro-Tem to keep the twits at bay during the absence of the Ducky.
When the Ducky returned and was to retake the holobeach controls,
she suddenly and unexpectedly vanished in the middle of the
transition period, leaving the Momderator unexpectedly alone in the
control room. Even the Weasel Patrol couldn't find the missing
The Gumbie Cat
became a Gumbie Tigress, but was still alone in the control room. When the Gumbie Tiger found the Real World intruding on her virtual
availability, she elicited the assistance of the Captain of the
Weasel patrol to keep the Beach patrolled pending the return of Ma
Ducks. The Ducky has yet to be seen, and as assistant to the
Moderator Captain, the Phoenix continues the ceaseless seeking of
the missing Duck, inventor of the Beach, founder of Bardroom,
creator of this lovely non-place of friendship and joy.
*) Laurie lucky to be here Phoenix
23 June 96