|Detail from the awful mob scene pictured below|
Over a decade ago, at a singularly infamous, unnameable Necon event in Bristol, Rhode Island, our good friend, the well-known hack writer Elizabeth Massie, stumbled over this particularly fascinating, very sad, and very mean artist named Cortney Skinner. The two of them caught each other's interest and apparently wound up rolling through a darkened duct tape factory because it wasn't long before they had become quite inseparable. Before anyone understood what was actually happening, this nefarious pair was cohabitating, living in sin, doing devilish deeds by day and by night. Based on their frequent, frightening appearances together in public, whispers began to circulate that the two of them had murdered each other in their sleep. Then, back in June, all these years of abominable abnormality culminated, when the perverted pair, in full silly hat regalia, tied the marital knot — in the common vernacular, up and got hitched.
Finally, unable to limit the practicing of their devilish whims to only themselves, the despicable duo decided to throw a big-ass bash to showcase their disgusting deviance, even inviting people they actually knew and disrespected — including the lovely Ms. B. and me. Unable to overcome our fascination with public perversion, we accepted. So, just this weekend, yesterday through today, we found ourselves subjected to a degree of depravity that, until now, we never could have guessed existed on this planet.
It started out innocently enough. Kimberly and I visited the beautiful Barren Ridge winery just outside of Waynesboro, enjoyed some wine, grabbed a few geocaches, and then — admittedly with some trepidation — headed over to the hellish homestead. There were reunions with old friends, such as Jeff Osier; his wife, Cathy Van Patten; and her brother, John, with whom I had attended college a few years back. But these fair moments were not to last, for then the games began. Hideous, horrendous games, based on torture and humiliation. Things like "Pants-Down Races," in which even Ms. Massie's own daughter participated. To my shock, Kimberly was drawn into the evil circle, and I could only watch in despair as she, and numerous other inductees into this Satanic coven, raced around a blazing fire, pants down, tripping and falling and screaming and wailing. Never was there a more apt time for Jesus to appear and set things right. But he didn't, and so the heathens frollicked on.
|Brugger was forced to walk the plank.|
Next up, there were songs. And they drew me into it — me! Before I knew it, we were in a songwriting/singing competition, in which we had to compose canticles actually commemorating this demon pair's unholy union. I found myself singing along on a tune called "Bugle Whoo!" right smack in front of the couple, who looked down upon us from their camping chairs on high, nodding their heads in approval. And Lord, if that didn't sting. Except that... in a weird way... I almost enjoyed it!
Somehow, sometime later, Kimberly and I managed to escape. I'll never forget the sounds of agonized screaming, which — fortunately — receded quickly as we made our way into the night, seeking the nearest geocache with my trusty GPS.
The story would have ended there, except that, to our chagrin, we also accepted an invitation to breakfast with a select few of the coven, including the married couple. I should describe the beastly behavior during this smaller but no less traumatic event, but I doubt that repeating it would do my sanity — or yours — any favors. Suffice it to say that I am home now, writing this little missive, and constantly looking over my shoulder.
Should something happen to me, at least you know the truth.
|A perfectly pastoral scene at Barren Ridge Vineyards, offering no hint of the trauma soon to follow.|
|Ms. B. and ye old writer, drinking away our cares before we even realized we had any.|
|Let the games begin. Grand marshall Cortney instructs participants in the rules of "Pants-Down Races."|
|Many celebrants, including this corrupt conquistador, crowded into the house to escape a brief rainstorm.|
|Hapless subjects serenade the vicious vizier and his bride, who look on with approval|
|After the party: Destined to walk the land of the dead.|