C & O-a five star restaurant near the east end of the Downtown Mall, on Water Street. This place has been the traditional place of employment for the majority of the boys in black, though Ray has quit working there and Jessika has taken his five-day a week dish-washing job. The restaurant has a seedy bar in the basement and a hoity-toity dining room upstairs. Connecting the kitchen in the basement to the upstairs is a simple ladder, and Raphæl and Morgan have jobs taking stuff up and down this ladder during their shifts; their occupation is that of "ladder runner." Additionally, Morgan has been working as lunch chef of late. Also working at the C & O is a UVA student and bozART member named Dimitra, and she is disgusted by the fact that the Gus dyed his hair black in early January, 1996.
Just about everyone at Big Fun has worked at the C & O at one time or another. Some Scottsville punks have even worked there for free, seeing the place as an opportunity for yet more socialization with punk rock friends who they see every day.
To place your reservation at the C & O, call (804) 971-7044. Damn! I just gave away free advertising!
C-ville-a free weekly tabloid magazine focusing on the arts, performance, gossip, and culture in the Charlottesville area. The most interesting part of the C-ville is its personals section. The Gus at one time delighted in writing fake personals in which he claimed he was ugly, mildly retarded and lacking in social skill but seeking a rich beautiful single female with handcuffs and Sepultura bootlegs.
Cancer-the 4th sign of the zodiac. The sun passes through this sign in late June through mid July. This sign is a cardinal water sign and people born with heavenly bodies, the horizon, or most particularly the sun in it tend to be maternal, protective, family oriented, homebound, overly attached, imaginative, and full of fantasies and emotions such as sadness, nostalgia and devotion. The sign is typical of people who make for good parents, artists, poets, and musicians who apply themselves locally. It has been the experience of the members of the Grand Air Trine that Cancers are appealing in that they have something that is lacking in their own airy personalities. In the end, though, Cancers drive air signs crazy; they inevitably flee. Famous people who have Cancer for a sun sign include Gerald Ford, Calvin Coolidge, Ringo Starr, the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, and Bill Cosby. Cancerians associated with or known to Big Fun include Ray Snabley, Phil Ginini, Bad Tractor, Nathan VanHooser and Theresa Venesian.
Capricorn-the 10th sign of the zodiac. The sun passes through this sign in late December through mid January. This sign is a cardinal earth sign and people born with heavenly bodies, the horizon, or most particularly the sun in it tend to be industrious, practical, disciplined, conservative and selfish. The sign is typical of people who actually get things done and take command when the going gets tough. Capricorns are necessary in any community in that they provide a reality check when everyone else is too busy having fun to notice they are in danger of something terrible happening. Capricorns, with the possible exception of Aquarians, are unique in their ability to both start and finish projects, since they have the practicality of earth married to the initiative that being a cardinal sign brings. Famous people who have Capricorn for a sun sign include David Bowie, Richard Nixon, John Denver, Martin Luther King and Cab Calloway. Capricorns known to or part of Big Fun include the Pegger, Brandon of Two Point Five Children, Hoagie, Justin and Burrita.
cardinal-an astrological term referring to an ability to initiate things, coupled with a measure of arrogance. Astrological signs that are cardinal are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. The sun enters these signs at the beginning of each of the four seasons.
Carlo Rossi Paisano-at $7.69 for three litres at Food Lion, this is one of the best vinos that one can purchase for the money. Carlo Rossi Paisano is a light chianti (for you Philistines out there, that is a variety of red vino). It is so popular at Big Fun that the empty three litre bottles can be found everywhere. To some extent Matthew Hart and the Gus have graduated to four litre bottles, which cost $10 each. Not everyone at Big Fun appreciates Paisano; Zachary and the Pegger will drink it only in desperation.
car wash-during the Summer of 1995 when Sara and Jessika despaired for want of steady employment, their friend Jon Hormone introduced them to the concept of entering the world of the saleslady. Jon's family had made a fortune from a product called "dry wash" which washes cars without water. Jon told the girls that if they wished to, they could help sell this product on the streets of Charlottesville. Such an idea excited them greatly.
When the Gus met Sara and Jessika on the Downtown Mall one June day, they gushed endlessly about how they would soon be selling "car wash." Sara was the most enthusiastic, holding up one of the bottles and flashing a synthetic smile just as though she was part of a 50s television commercial.
Needless to say, the Malvern Girls did not make for great sales ladies. They never managed to sell any car wash. For several months in the winter of 1995/96, a bucket full of containers of car wash could be found collecting dust in the hallway of Big Fun. Periodically Sara would look at the bucket and say she really should return it to Jon for a refund. But she was angry at Jon in those days, so she forgot about it.
cat crack-catnip. This term, introduced to Big Fun by Deya, refers to the insane behaviour cats manifest while eating and smelling catnip. Sara and Shira smoke catnip on occasion to help both them and their uteri feel mellow.
chain boy-a boy who wears a wallet chain. It bears noting that girls almost never wear wallet chains. Example of chain boys include: Bad Beef, Josh Mustin (one of the guitarists for Nerve No Pain) and most of the punkish mall rats. Examples of boys who are not chain boys: the boys in black, Johnny Boom Boom Mancini, Zachary, Matthew Hart and the Gus. Not that chains are without an æsthetic purpose; many at Big Fun wear chains around their waists, necks, or wrists and have done so for years. Morgan Anarchy has a chain that he found attached to a deceased pig at an abandoned farm near Big Fun, but he has no intention of connecting this chain to his wallet. Of late there has been a sort of parodied chain boy fashion going on at Big Fun, featuring big rusty chains or chains hanging between the legs.
Chaps-an icecream parlour on the Downtown Mall run by a friendly guy named Toni who looks to be of Italian descent (he's probably a Cancer with everything but the Sun in Libra). Toni is very tolerant of the mall rats who hang out in the booths on cold and dreary days. But the eight year old black boys full of piss and vinegar have to be driven out when they bounce around too energetically. Located strategically near the center of the Downtown Mall in the north storefront, Chaps is a meeting place for people wanting to know who is out and about and what is going on. In front of Chaps is the Java Hut's coffee cart, a good source of quick and relatively inexpensive caffeine.
Charlottesville-this town is like an island of progressivity and interesting things to do in a sea of redneck stupidity and hopeless entertainment (i.e. tractor pulls). Some of us, such as Matthew Hart and the Gus, who come from much worse places, know how lucky the residents of Charlottesville are, but most of the Charlottesville natives, the mall rats especially, take the town for granted.
Without Thomas Jefferson as its hero, Charlottesville would probably struggle along just fine; these days they have Dave Matthews after all. And no one with any money has an excuse to starve; Charlottesville has the largest per capita concentration of restaurants of any town in America. The only major problem is parking: a skating rink is being built on the principle free parking lot that used to abut the Downtown Mall, and most people drive Volvos, so all the parking lots must be big enough to accommodate them, curtailing the number of them that can be created.
Charter-a private hospital franchise for people who are abnormal psychologically, particularly abusers of drugs and alcohol. Its financial health is fostered by the inclusion of mental health coverage in medical insurance policies. Bad Beef offered to drive the Gus to Charter when he learned that the Gus is a child molester (see "hurl").
Matthew Hart ended up at Charter in handcuffs following the infamous Wertland Party. This demonstration of chutzpah impressed his fellow patients even if it was responsible for some concern on the part of his parents and his then-girlfriend, Leah (a fellow Aquarian). Not wanting to spend a drug and alcohol-free month in the well-meaning and expensive clutches of Charter, Matthew set out directly to show the world what a fine fellow he is. He organized Charter's first-ever recycling program and perhaps even set up a system of arrows painted on the floor in various places such that Charter's devout Muslims would know in which direction Mecca lies.
Cheap Wheels-the name of Shira's car, a blue boxy American model, which she purchased in the Philadelphia area just prior to moving to Big Fun. The dealer's windshield writing is still there, with the words "Cheap Wheels" followed by its price, $1095.
chicken experiment story, the-a tale the Gus tells about how, his senior year in high school back in early 1986, he made up all the data for a science fair experiment concerning the reaction time of hens responding to the ærial alarm calls of roosters. The tale ends with his "scientific" paper on the subject winning first prize in the psychology division in the state of Virginia and $50 from Phillip Morris (perhaps not the first bogus experiment funded by that tobacco manufacturer).
chill-to stay in one place and waste time in a manner acceptable to ones peers. Most socially acceptable ways to waste time require the use of consumable props such as cigarettes, coffee, or alcohol. To add to the acceptability of chilling, one should involve as many others in the process of chilling as possible. Good places to chill include: The Downtown Mall in front of Chaps or the Paramount, in front of Higher Grounds on the Corner, Jerusalem inside or out, and, back when the Gus was still a member, inside the bozART Gallery.
chinese-the same thing as "cool," with the additional meaning of "good." For example, food is rarely described as "cool," but food, such as a very tasty burrito, can be described as "chinese" in this sense meaning "tasty." Used this way, "chinese" is not necessarily a reference to China, its languages, foods or people. The Gus came up with the idea of "chinese" meaning "cool" as an experiment to see how rapidly such a term would catch on.
chutzpah-courage, balls, guts, and all such things lacked by the lion in the Wizard of Oz. This is a Yiddish term that the Gus is fond of using.
cicadas-known to scientists as Magicicada spp., Cicadas are large non-hopping cousins of grasshoppers who spend most of their lives feeding on the sap of the roots of trees. The periodical cicadas take 13 or 17 years to grow to sufficient size, then they emerge from the ground in the millions, shed their skins to become adults and then do that most adult of things, mate. Their group emergence is designed to swamp any possible predation. Various regions have different broods of cicadas that emerge during different years, but in any one region, all the periodical cicadas are in the same life cycle at the same time. (The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders by Lorus and Margery Milne, Chanticleer Press, ©1980, pages 490-491).
In 1996, along with such weird natural performances as the Comet Hyakutake and the Storm of the Century, came the emergence of the periodical cicadas in the Scottsville area in the mid-Spring. Their beady-red-eyed adult forms were always seen crawling under foot or flying clumsily through the air. Ground perforated by the holes that mark their emergence resembled a judgment-day graveyard. So common were they that even the cats grew bored with them. Their party lasted until the Summer solstice.
The cicadas started up their mating noises at around five each morning; this whining roar has been described by some at Big Fun as resembling the auditory hallucinations that result from the use of nitrous oxide.
Nothing much bad can be said about the cicadas. Their calls were mysterious and eerie, but that's a good thing. Their numbers and peculiar appearance made one think of an alien invasion, true. But what did they think of the changes we've brought about since they were last above ground as fragile little hatchlings some seventeen years ago?
Deya, by the way, calls cicadas "chicadas."
classic rock-straight ahead rock and roll from the good old days (normally within the years 1965-1990). Usually such music, like breakfast cereal and beer, contains a predictable list of ingredients that includes a chorus, guitar solo, a major or blues scale, and 4/4 rhythm. But it isn't rap, funk, soul, disco, heavy metal, Michæl Jackson, Prince (or the artist formally known thereas), Madonna, Cindy Lauper, Cool and the Gang, Men Without Hats, Alternative nor Punk (except the Clash- I recall when I first heard "Rock the Casbah" on WWWV; at least the Sex Pistols aren't classic rock, not yet anyway).
This is a list of rock and roll that everyone considers classic rock: Jimi Hendrix, Golden Earring, Van Halen (trying to sound like Pantera these days, notice?), the Grateful Dead, George Thoroughgood and the Delaware Destroyers, Mot the Hoople, Blondie, the Byrds, Grand Funk Railroad, Billy Squier, the Guess Who, Alice Cooper, Kiss, David Bowie, the Alan Parsons Project, Bad Company, Ted Nugent, America, Dire Straits, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Judas Priest, Three Dog Night, Van Morrison, Bruce Springstein and the E Street Band, Tin Lizzy, the Doobie Brothers, the Beatles, ZZ Top, Fog Hat, Super Tramp, Styx, the Allman Brothers, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Santana, Toto, Elton John, the Steve Miller Band, the Moody Blues, Billy Joel, Little Feat, Rush, the Hooters, James Taylor, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Meat Loaf, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, the Band, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Genesis ("Abacab" anyway), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Yes, Jefferson Airplane, Emerson Lake & Palmer, the Eagles, Pink Floyd, REM, AC/DC, Bob Seeger and the Silver Bullet Band, the Animals, Rod Stewart (Matthew Hart especially loves "Maggie May") Pat Benatar, 38 Special, Bob Dylan, Donny Iris, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Kansas, Simon and Garfunkle (I read somewhere that Art Garfunkle's name used to be "Fartimus Garfunkle" until record producers freaked out.), Poison, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Beach Boys (most Big Fun people think of them more as "oldies" though), U2, Bryan Adams, the Outlaws, ærosmith (the world's worst band), Cream, the Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Guns 'n' Roses, Blue Öyster Cult, the Who, Journey, the Fix, the Talking Heads, Heart, Chicago, Foreigner, John Cougar Mellencamp, Traffic, the Cars, the Police, Queen, the Rolling Stones, Boston, Leonard Skynard, Molly Hatchet, Led Zepplin, Janis Joplin, the Black Crowes, and even some INXS.
What exactly constitutes classic rock changes over the years. I can remember the days when WWWV used to play Huey Lewis and the News, Survivor, Rick Springfield, REO Speedwagon and Flock of Seagulls (a pretty good but largely forgotten band). But they would never admit that today, despite the fact that at the time classic rock stations were justifying Huey Lewis and the News by including it in the category of "tomorrow's classics today." While having conveniently forgotten some music, classic rock stations also have "discovered" music that they never actually played years ago when it came out, stuff like the Velvet Underground and Black Sabbath. Just think, all those times in the mid 80s that I had to suffer through Huey Lewis and the News assuring me, "The heart of rock and roll is still beating, and from what I've heard I believe 'em," I could have been hearing Ozzy observing "finished with my woman 'cause she couldn't help me with my mind/people think I'm insane because I am frowning all the time."
There is much vintage Rock and Roll music out there that would meet the definition but has yet to be discovered by Classic Rock, for example King Crimson and a hell of a lot of early Grateful Dead that was recently uncovered in an Egyptian Pyramid.
At Big Fun, classic rock is regarded mostly as a dinosaur best kept in a museum. True, there are plenty of classic rock songs that make for enjoyable listening, but these are not the songs you hear all the time on WWWV. Does anyone really need to hear "Sweet Home Alabama" one more time? Is there anyone with lips in America who can't whistle the guitar solo at the end of "Stairway to Heaven?" Is there still any meaning to be found in "This is the End"?
cock ring-a ring inserted in an artificial perforation made through the penis. I didn't want to have to write this definition, but Morgan Anarchy forced my hand when he went to Philadelphia the weekend of June 14th 1996 (along with Jessika, Jesse, Jasio and the Pegger) and attended another installment of the Nomadic Festival there. As a sort of Jack Kevorkian to topological normality, Mutt the professional piercing poet was there to poke holes in people in any way they could imagine and in some ways they couldn't hope to. What Morgan had pierced was the end of the ventral (lower) surface of his penis such that a large stainless hoop could go down his uretha for a distance and emerge through the bottom. Estimates for how long this new piercing will take to heal range from two weeks to four months. In the mean time, there are some functions which mORGAN's organ cannot perform. Even urinating is uncomfortable. And he'll never be able to pee a neat little stream again.
For all the discomfort resulting from his altered genitalia, Morgan is pleased with the results. Having spent $20 for the procedure and ring (a very reasonable price according to Jessika), Morgan is not content to keep it hidden in his pants. No, he insists on showing everyone!
Opinions on Morgan's cock ring are varied. Most of the guys who see it grimace at the juxtaposition of sensitive flesh and cold hard steel. But they have to give Morgan credit for having the balls to go through with it. Jessika (who broke the news with "Morgan got his stuff pierced.") is especially pleased. She'll never admit it, but she hates for her male friends to have sex, and there's no way Morgan can for the time being.
cold chillin'-yet another term from rap culture, cold chillin' means performing the ultimate waste of time. To cold chill requires ample quantities of alcohol, santa clause, and usually the presence of those from whom meaningless sex might be obtained.
Explaining "cold chillin'" to the younger of the Brazilian Girls, Nada, was a translational adventure for Matthew Hart and the Gus one Sunday on a Naugahyde® couch then incongruously located in the Howard Johnson Parking Garage on the Corner.
come with the wind-romantically appear out of nowhere, especially for the purposes of whisking Sara Poiron off her feet. Particularly when one has been forcibly abstinent in prison awhile, romantic assertiveness is frequently bold and sudden in this manner.
Comet Dot Net-an upstart Internet provider for Charlottesville that grew out of Arnette's, a retail clothing store on the Corner. Things are still in the "cobbled together" phase at Comet, as additional phone lines are threaded in, modems are added and new web servers put on line while such basics as sweeping the floor are neglected. Such an exciting, informal atmosphere is the perfect scene for the Gus. Following Jamie Dyer's advice, the Gus got a job there in June 1996, serving mainly as a night watchman, but free to play with the computer equipment and watch as much cable tee vee as he chooses. The only thing that he gives of himself in exchange for six dollars an hour is staying awake. But that isn't always easy, especially given the comfiness of the couch.
The place where the Gus works is on Elliewood Avenue, though Comet is gradually moving to a roomier, better planned home above the Greenskeeper on Main Street.
computes-a personal computer, particularly the Macintosh SE that is used to perform astrological calculations and give the Meyers-Briggs personality test at Big Fun. The Big Fun computes is normally located in Sara's room and almost completely obstructs the mirror that Sara uses when she applies eyeliner.
conjunct-two astrologic entities that lie within ten or so degrees of each other. At Big Fun, the definition of the term "conjunct" has been modified slightly and refers to two astrological bodies lying within the same astrologic sign while also lying within the same house. A person can have conjunctions in his own chart or two or more people can have conjunctions between astrological entities in each others charts. Examples are: Deya has a Mars-Mercury-Ascendant conjunction in Capricorn in the first house, and this conjuncts the Gus' Venus and the Pegger's Sun. The Gus has a Moon-Jupiter-Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo in the 5th house and this conjuncts Jessika's 5th house Venus and the Pegger's ascendant. Shira has a Mars-Venus conjunction in Aries in the 5th house which conjuncts the 2nd house Mars-Jupiter conjunction of Sara, Deya's 2nd house Venus, the Jupiter of Jessika and the Pegger, Morgan's Moon and the Saturn of the Gus. Astrologic entities in conjunction are said to reinforce one another.
consciousness-a state of awareness about the world and ones place in it. To say that humans are, as a rule, possessors of consciousness is a bit of a stretch when one figures that the ultimate mystery of life, where we came from, was only understood in the late 19th century through the research of Charles Darwin, and is understood now by only a slim minority of even the "educated" American population. Similarly, the number of people who can point to their home on a map of the world is equally low. Finally, very few people have a sense of history: how our ideals, theories, languages, nations and accouterments evolved from basic wants, questions, regions, sticks and stones.
Consciousness may well be more basic than such "intellectual consciousness" it may relate more to thoughts about where food can be obtained, possible future pitfalls, ones social status and the degree to which the biological imperative of reproduction is being accomplished (ie "love," "jealousy" and "heartbreak"). This sort of consciousness is no doubt to be found in most organisms, from lobsters to dogs. It is probably the highest form of consciousness manifested in humans for the vast majority of their awake state.
Questions about "where are we going?" and "what comes after death?" are just predictable versions of basic animal forethought, only with the addition of a knowledge (requiring language) of the inevitability of death. One might protest that clearly humans are the only ones with a true conscious given that they are the only organisms who have built hospitals and casinos. But these great works of Man are not really the works of the rank and file; they are conceived and orchestrated by a very small minority while the rest of us muck about mainly at the level of goldfish, serving as robots, slaves, cattle and horses in the service of the whim of the Man.
Speaking of robots, in the wake of the close match between Kasparov (the human chess master) and Deep Blue (a specialized chess-playing machine), there has been much written of late of the possibility that computers can be programmed to have consciousness. There was an especially annoying Newsweek article some months ago which included a supposedly serious hypothesis that consciousness may be a force like gravity that is associated with certain complex biologic organisms. Such a hypothesis is mystical mumbo-jumbo. A computer program possessing "consciousness" would not be too difficult to code. After all, what are you doing when you are most conscious? Mostly you are doing nothing, sitting there thinking. Consciousness is an attribute of an idle mind. When, to use computer jargon, the interrupts of our senses are few and far between, we send an eagle sailing over our memories to snatch up bits of wisdom here and there to assemble into a working view of the world. No doubt all animals do this to some extent. This idle thinking is consciousness. It results in sadness as we grieve for reproductive opportunities missed, embarrassment as we see errors in our social performance, and pleasure in our successes. These feelings of "awareness" are really the brain reprogramming itself for a greater likelihood of success in the future. One has to expect such reprogramming to have a profound emotional effect. A computer "consciousness" program that finds itself not too busy might similarly send an agent into memory, perhaps based partly on the results of a random number and partly based on the current usefulness of certain information. This agent could form logical connections between data and either place these connections back into memory or act on them immediately (maybe even resulting in the composition of poetry or the generation of graphic art). The effect of all of this would be indistinguishable from consciousness, with the exception that the programmer could tap at will into the data chain at any point in the process.
It isn't really any surprise that we are so impressed with our consciousness that we feel the need to come up with preposterous mysticisms to account for it all. You see, our consciousness is really all we have and in any case it is the highest result of the gestalt of our brain's billions of processes, while our brains themselves are enormously complicated devices that result from billions of years of successful blunders accumulated generation after generation.
constant state of depression-this is a typical Sara Poiron concept; it is borne mostly out of sheer boredom, which seems to afflict her more than it does other Big Fun personalities. Sara states that a "constant state of depression" is a condition in which "one believes everything is pointless and worthless" such that one "does not want to do anything for an extended period." The possible consequence, according to Sara is that this "may ultimately result in the sudden and untimely death of the depressed person."
At Big Fun, Geminis are well understood, and suicidal talk by Sara is not nearly as much cause for concern as it would be coming from, say, a Cardinal Water Sign such as Ray.
cool-acceptable or admirable to ones peers. This is a word that simply will not die, even though it developed this meaning among urban blacks in the 20s or before. When someone wants to be something like "post-cool" or "trans-cool" or "uncool" and they give acceptable reasons for it, his friends are impressed and say, "that's cool" which destroys the rebellion against cool in an instant. The thing is, the word cool floats on top of the culture. No matter how you rebel, if you are respected you will be imitated no matter how uncool you try to be. If you do something that has never been done, that is wonderful because it is an innovation, but if you do something that was done in another era or by dorks, that's wonderful too; that's retro and retro is cool!
cool ass-essentially the same thing as "bad ass." This term is often used by Matthew Hart.
cop a feel-without being granted permission or context, to use ones hands to sexually explore someone whom one is interested in sexually. The use of this term usually gives an onus of sliminess to the person doing the copping and victim status to the person from whom the feel is copped.
cop a tude-to demonstrate a surprising amount of chutzpah in the face of ones enemies. Matthew Hart frequently cops tudes when intoxicated. Michæl Nace was the one who first brought this term to my attention.
Corner, the-the stretch of stores and restaurants on the NE side of US 250 as it curves around the University of Virginia. Some of the places on the Corner familiar to the Big Fun community include Hot Tomatoes, a pizza place where Matthew Hart used to work; Higher Grounds where Bad Bumpersticker works and Zachary worked; the Rising Sun Bakery (aka Jerusalem), the land of the $1 bottomless cup of coffee; and Macadoos, a sort of McDonalds of the bizzarely-decorated college-scene restaurants-this is where the Pegger and Sara Poiron worked as waitresses until they were fired.
crack pipe-any one of the pieces of chemistry glassware that the Gus obtains from UVA that ends up being used as paraphernalia for the smoking of santa clause at Big Fun.
crash-to go to sleep, particularly in a house where you do not pay the rent.
cross-the same thing as a grand square. This term draws attention to the fact that opposite corners in a grand square oppose one another, thus creating a set of two oppositions 90 degrees from one another.
crows feet-tiny lines that radiate from the outside corners of the eyes. These lines form as people grow older. On the Gus they are one of the things that demonstrate that he is 28, not 16 years old.
crunchy-someone who has a Jimi Hendrix and/or Bob Marley Poster, more than four tie dye tee shirts that are not currently clean, more than four varieties of essential oils, dread locks either on his/her head or in a box in the closet, at least six Phish or Grateful Dead bootleg tapes in the room where he/she spends most of his/her time, and who could not hope to pass a drug test if it were given a week from tomorrow.
cusp-the border between two astrological signs ("the cusp of Leo and Virgo") or the border between two houses in an astrological chart. It is very rare for a heavenly body to be situated perfectly on a cusp between two signs, but in the case of Jατασyα, her Mercury is bisected by the most extreme cusp of all, the one between Pisces and Aries.
da bomb-the very best, often used by non-Big Fun people to describe good LSD.
dank-rich with THC (the psycho-active component of santa clause) and resultant odours. Proud owners of "dank nugs" keep their precious loot not in bags but in small jars. They smoke their nugs only through glassware that has never been contaminated with schwag.
Dan Reitman-one of the Gus' Oberlin associates who lacks in social skills. Tales about Dan so piqued the curiosity of the members of Big Fun that many of his mannerisms were absorbed into Big Fun culture. Furthermore, Dan's phone number was discovered (as was his Internet address, DREITMAN@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU) and he was harassed electronically as well. He is now studying to be a lawyer at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
darkest, most mysterious sign of the zodiac, the-this is what Sara Poiron reflexively says whenever the topic of Scorpio crops up.
dart in the back of the head, a-a metaphor used to describe the point at which the effects of a drug earnestly kick in. The first use of this phrase was during the Gus' experience with datura after a night of tussing back in early December, 1995.
Das Dafino-this guy's journal was found in a junk pile in the fields behind Big Fun. The journal detailed Das Dafino's self-empowerment as a homosexual still dealing with the shock of his parents. At first a cause for humour, the journal later became an object of fascination kicking around Big Fun. Plans to actually meet Das Dafino where he works at the Brasa restaurant in downtown Charlottesville never materialized, but Das Dafino lives on in that his name is still connected to the part of the field where his diary was found.
datura-also known by its common name, Jimpson Weed, datura contains a powerful delirient called daturine. Daturine is frequently given to women in childbirth so that they forget the pain and are more willing to have another child (they still experience the pain, however). The problem with daturine is that there is a small difference between an active dose and a lethal dose.
The Huffanator, true to his intellect, one day ate many pods worth of seeds and was rendered psychotic for months; the Thorazine that brought him back to his paranoid version of reality allegedly permanently shrunk his penis.
The Gus, coming down off Tussin one day, was looking for another drug and tried smoking datura seeds. These apparently had a synergistic reaction with the DM still in his system and he had a terrible experience of anxiety and a racing heart, which seemed to amuse the members of Big Fun.
Dave Matthews-the local Charlottesville celebrity pop musician. His band, imaginatively named "the Dave Matthews Band" records CDs that sell millions of copies. The violinist for the Dave Matthews Band, Boyd, is friends with Zachary and through this connection Matthew Hart and Zachary found themselves on the guest list at the Dave Matthews Band CD release party at Trax on April 28, 1996. After this party, Matthew Hart told the tale of how "the Sam Adams were on Dave" and of the obsequious Trax employees who Matthew magnanimously forgave when they made him get an over-21 hand stamp prior to his purchase of a pitcher of Bass Ale.
day old-at the Rising Sun bakery, food that is no longer completely fresh is placed on a special shelf labeled "day old." "Day old" bakery stuff is always perfectly good, but since it has been deeply discounted, it is not expensive. "Day old" (this term is used as a noun) is a favourite of those who stop by the bakery from Big Fun.
death metal-a genré of music typified by moderate to slow measures punctuated by fast measures, heavily distorted guitars, double-bass drums, and deep, hoarse vocals made to sound as though they come from the very mouth of Satan. The lyrics normally concern death, decay, accepting Satan as a personal saviour, and, among intellectual bands such as Skin Chamber, existential emptiness. Death metal appears to have evolved from speed metal such as Slayer early Metallica, as well as from such straightforward metal bands as Mötorhead and Black Sabbath. The style of the vocals in death metal seems to be in part a rebellion against the wailing high-pitch vocals of glam metal bands in the tradition of Led Zeppelin and Guns 'n' Roses. Examples of death metal bands: Cannibal Corpse, Godflesh, and some Sepultura. Not much metal gets played at Big Fun, though there is growing appreciation there for death metal, especially Sepultura, whose fans include Morgan Anarchy, the Brazilian Girls, Josh Mustin, the Gus, and possibly Shira.
decoct-in Big Fun, this word means to extract the solid useful essence from a liquid compound containing that essence as well as substances that are distateful or otherwise annoying. The exact procedure of extraction varies depending on what is extracted. Should, for example, Dextromethorphan be extracted from Tussin DM to make Dextromethorphan Hydroxide (a free base), Red Devil Lye and lighter fluid are used in the process.
Defecating Woman of Charlottesville, the-Jessika once told an amusing tale of a woman she saw on the Downtown Mall who was dribbling a yellowish substance out of her shorts into a sparse trail down the walk. When asked by a good Samaritan if there was a problem, the woman only wanted to know if perhaps the bank would still be open when she got there.
Hydrobromide-the active substance in Tussin
DM and a number of other cough remedies, similar both to LSD and PCP
in structure. When taken in sufficient quantity, Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide
brings about tussin euphoria. At right is the
molecular structure of Dextromethorphan.
Deya-this Aquarian girl, a Tandem graduate, is actually a neighbour of Big Fun in that she grew up and lives only a few miles away. She is very good friends with Matthew Hart and has been visiting him at Big Fun with increased frequency of late. Always detached in a typically Aquarian fashion, she manages to avoid being indifferent while at the same time being rather understated and refreshingly unflamboyant (her astrological chart has an unpopulated 5th house). She could be described as scene-neutral; she does not appear to be a part of any particular scene such as the crunchy or punk rock scene, nor is she anywhere near the mainstream. Her musical tastes are eclectic and hard to categorize.
Whenever she is not otherwise occupied, Deya is given to manufacturing bizarre craft objects out of ordinary household materials that happen to be within arm's length. She doesn't draw attention to herself as she makes perforated gowns from garbage bags and sculptures from Dixie cups. But if she's been quiet for awhile, when you next check up on her she is sure to have some such project well underway.
Deya is extremely skeptical and will abide no bravado from anyone, least of all Matthew Hart. Her curt and subtle remarks have a weight perhaps unequaled in Big Fun dialogue. And no one can persuade her to do or believe stupid stuff she doesn't want to. There was, however, the time that Matthew Hart somehow convinced Deya to let him carve his name on her arm in a series of permanent scars. And the Gus once convinced Deya that sticks should be included under the definition of worm. But within the guarded confines of the Nation of Aquarius, one can always find exceptions to the rules that apply on the outside. For the record it should be noted that Matthew Hart has stated that he can think of no one cooler than Deya.
Deya's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diana the Redhead-this tall, provocatively constructed assertion of Libran supremacy is not a subtle presence wherever she turns up. With her flaming orange hair, flamboyant early-80s clothes, and her matter-of-fact extrovertism, she can be counted upon to profoundly flavour any social scene she is a part of.
Diana frequently attracts the attention of horny guys, who, for some reason, feel comfortable bluntly informing her about their fantasies and intentions. Diana normally handles such situations by "avoiding eye contact for the rest of the day." Since she finds herself having to do this with a fair fraction of the male population, she is pragmatically forgiving about such things. Thus, while she doesn't really hate anyone, she's full of damning stories.
Diana doesn't shoehorn herself into any of the current popular fashions. By and large, she exists as much as possible in the early 80s both in terms of clothing and with regard to musical interests. Naturally, though, she does this with the perspective of someone living in the late nineties, knowing enough to avoid such early 80s pitfalls as bad-bone-structure-simulating make-up and winged-back hair.
During weekends in Jατασyα Season, Diana was frequently seen on the Downtown Mall, barefoot, smoking huge cigars, and enthusiastically greeting long lost friends. In late June, 1996, Diana left for New York City and a tour of Europe, "never to return."
Dinosaur Bog-in the woods behind Big Fun, at the bottom of a cove, there is a mucky area replete with washed out beaver dams and trees killed by the furry little flat tailed bastards both directly (being gnawed or felled) or indirectly (being drowned). When the Gus and Matthew Hart visited the region on mountain bikes, the Gus thought it looked like prime dinosaur habitat.
diss-this is a term from rap culture that entered the greater American lexicon in 1989 and has persisted there as a useful word. It is a short form of the word "dismiss" and means to rebuke, ignore or refuse involvement in a humiliating way, either in public or in front of friends. People are dissed when they make sexual advances towards, offer unwanted gifts to, ask favours of, or attempt to accompany someone who has no interest and isn't afraid to say so. People can also be dissed when they say or do stupid things.
Doctor Lewis-one of the names of Steve Weiner.
Don Mueller-the psychotic older brother of the Gus. His tirades, jargon, and manner of speaking were appreciated and imitated by the Malvern Girls until one day he spoke with Sara and Jessika on the phone and revealed that he'd seen Sara on a videotape and wanted to go on a date with her. Jessika, playing Sara at the time, agreed to go. But like the Malvern Girls', Don's interests soon moved elsewhere.
Don Mueller collects a steady pension from the federal government in return for his crazy behaviour, which includes jumping and screaming at the top of his lungs to the galloping rhythms of Slayer. Every Thursday, Don gets $25 to spend any way he chooses; normally he walks into Staunton and blows it all on cheeseburgers and Coca-Cola, spending the remaining nickels and dimes on gum balls.
Don Mueller, a painting (1994), left, and a photo (1995), right, by the Gus
doo dee doo-and so forth. This is the conversational equivalent of the written ellipsis. If doo dee doo has been said very recently, then "doo dee dah" is substituted in its place should the idea of "and so forth" need to be expressed again. Sometimes "doo dee doo" is lengthened into "doo dee doo, doo dee dah." This term has become firmly integrated into the vocabularies of both Shira and Sara.
dork-someone who has no or few social skills and who acts in an awkward manner as a result. Such people are often the unfortunate victims of home schooling. Christian Fundamentalists beware, you may be raising a generation of dorks!
Downtown Mall, The-a street that used to be the main drag in Charlottesville was long ago closed down over the length of perhaps ten blocks and paved with bricks. The bricks are red, though there are some associated with Big Fun who would prefer the Downtown Mall if its bricks were the same yellow colour as the ones on the yellow brick road in the Wizard of Oz. The Downtown Mall constitutes the principle public space in Charlottesville, and has become an important social scene for a variety of people, including musicians, gang-banger wanna-bes, bums, teenagers, waifs, rogues and members of the wet brain contingency.
Dragon, the-a very well behaved and intelligent dog met by tussing members of the Big Fun community in the labyrinth in December of 1995 appeared to them to be, in fact, a dragon. The Dragon followed the tussers back to Big Fun and didn't even attempt to humiliate the cats. Later it was learned that the Dragon lives with Peirce and Nelly in the slave quarters behind the mansion on Fairview Farms. (Peirce and Nelly call the Dragon "Shelia.") The Dragon has become a regular at Big Fun, where she does things like eat the cats' food and sleep in Matthew Hart's bed. Despite his samurai sword, Matthew Hart has not yet slain the Dragon for such infractions as of yet.
In mid-May, 1996, Althia Hurt returned from her college stint at James Madison University in Harrisonburg. Being a tyrannical landlord and a Wizard of Oz-style wicked witch, she naturally focused her wrath on the most defenseless of Fairview Farm's residents: the Dragon. Like a scene from the Wizard of Oz, she told Nelly that the Dragon could no longer stay with her and Peirce. Then, without telling anyone, Althia Hurt, perhaps piloting a broom, took the Dragon to the SPCA. Her signature was later found on all the paperwork when Pierce went to bail the dog out. Peirce offered to pay Althia $10 more each month to keep the dragon, and since money talks where witches are concerned, Althia agreed, but she then went on to say, "...I haven't seen [the Dragon] in quite awhile" as though she had no idea what had become of her. This confirms all the rumours circulating that Althia Hurt is an evil liar of Biblical proportions.
Such evil has its compensations, however. On June 2, 1996, Deya, Jessika and a tussing the Gus hosted a "Dragon appreciation day." Events included the Dragon getting a Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Bath in the James River (she ended up smelling like Mint Chocolate Chip Icecream instead of her normal eau de funky dog), a tour of the Scottsville IGA strip mall, and climaxing with a tour of the Downtown Mall and a visit to Nelly, then working as a waitress at Miller's. During Dragon appreciation day, the Dragon was very popular with everyone she met except for a nervous child in Scottsville and an uptight waitress at Miller's.
dread lock-a lump, a tangle, perhaps a malignancy, that can be found in the hair of some people. While most people do all in their power to prevent these from forming, others encourage and adorn them, feeling proud of them, seeing them as flags identifying the wearer as a member of a culture of fellow dread lock wearers.
Drill for Absentee-a very loud, atonal, and rhythmically nonstandard band performing music something like that of the Nation of Ulysses. Michæl Nace, a good Catholic boy, is the singer/guitarist for this what otherwise might be mistaken for band-spawned-by-Satan. By far the closest thing to redeeming value to be found in the infamous house warming party was the performance of Drill for Absentee.
Jennn was the person who introduced the Malvern Girls to Michæl Nace and Drill for Absentee; they had been a part of her emo world.
drum circle-a group of crunchy people, sitting around, smoking santa clause, beating out simple rhythms on expensive African Drums. Drum circles and the people who attend them are a source of constant humour for the members of the Grand Air Trine, who jokingly pound out rhythms while saying things like, "Hey man, those were some DANK nugs."
dryer that caught on fire, the-Matthew Hart's well-meaning mother donated an electric dryer to Big Fun in mid April, and all the unwashed rabble living there rejoiced. But then Jessika did Matthew Hart the favour of putting his clothes in the dryer followed shortly by her going to bed. All that night the dryer dried Matthew's clothes. After the clothes were dry, the dryer kept drying them. Finding it could no longer make the clothes any drier, the dryer decided to set Matthew's clothes on fire. The whole first floor was filled with smoke before anyone did anything to remedy the situation. Needless to say, the dryer was ruined and all of Matthew's clothes in that particular load were transformed into shriveled blackened lumps. The only good that came from all of this was the high-gauge wire that had once connected the dryer that caught on fire to a wall outlet. This wire was cut into short pieces and used in a late-April manifestation of Taurus rising.
dumb ass-someone who has given Matthew Hart a reason to hold him in contempt.
dumpster dive-to rummage around in dumpsters for free stuff. The hard core amongst dumpster divers get all of life's necessities, even food and shelter, from dumpsters. One should be careful to avoid nasty stuff like dirty diapers and bags of bathroom trash; these are not infrequently found right next to cool stuff like working computers, good cheese, and clothes from The Gap.
Dumpster diving is most particularly enjoyed by people with Taurus rising. Dumpster diving as a term has grown to include any sort of trash picking, even some forms of theft that could conceivably be explained away ("Honest officer, I thought he was just throwing this motorcycle away and I didn't want to see it clogging the nation's landfills.").
dweeb rally-a rally for the rights of the socially inept, planned by the Gus to occur in front of the Paramount on the Downtown Mall and advertised in flyers put up in many places. As expected, no one actually turned up for the rally. If the rally had occurred on someones homepage on the World Wide Web, the turn-out certainly would have measured in the millions.
eagle has landed, the-drugs have arrived from out of town and are available for purchase. This was overheard once on the streets of Charlottesville.
ear ring-a piece of metal inserted in a perforation made through the ear. Ears are the most easily pierced part of the body. Piercing ears produces almost no pain and rarely any blood. A pierced ear takes roughly a week and a half to heal enough that the piercing object can be removed without danger of the piercing healing itself closed immediately. Piercing objects should be made either of gold or stainless steel; otherwise the body will react badly to the intrusion and fall prey to infection.
Ear rings have been part of human fashions since the dawn of time. For the last dozen or more centuries, Westerners have abandoned ear piercing among men (this is easily demonstrated by a cursory examination of any art history book) while it has generally been acceptable for women to pierce both ears symmetrically. If one looks through an Oberlin College yearbook for the year 1977, one will note that none of the boys have pierced ears, whereas almost all of the girls do. Oberlin is one of the few places in the country where people try out new fashions before they catch on in the country generally. Thus it would be safe to conclude that very few men pierced their ears until some time in the 80s. During this period the androgynous influences from such sources as glam metal and David Bowie gradually made ear piercing in men more acceptable, even in macho Hispanic and redneck cultures. When the Gus entered Oberlin College in 1986, there was a sizable minority of men with pierced ears. But in Oberlin as elsewhere, with but one exception, men pierced only their left ear. For a man to pierce his right ear was, according to many, a sign that he had homosexual tendencies. This thinking does not make much sense given the fact that even homosexual men refrained from piercing their right ears. The aversion to piercing the right ear has largely broken down during the nineties, though a taboo still exists against anyone piercing only his right ear.
earth-one of the four ancient elements. In astrology, earth implies practicality, honesty and conservatism. Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. At Big Fun, Capricorn is considered to be the least of these three evils. While the Sun in an earth sign is relatively uncommon at Big Fun, earth signs are the most common ascendants there.
eats-food, usually of a substantiality in excess of candy and desserts.
Eighties-the decade that fills the ten-year gap between the 1970s and the 1990s. Characteristic of the 80s was a pleasant optimism that put a smile on everyones faces. The president of the United States was Ronald Reagan, and he was so content that he dozed off during important meetings. The economy grew robustly as the rich were given tax breaks, weapons received welfare once given to the poor and the future was handed the bill in the form of record deficits. People thought complex problems could be remedied with simple solutions: "welfare queens" could be required to get jobs; Russian nuclear missiles could be "shot down" by a system of orbiting defenses; bad guys could be "locked up and the key thrown away" or, better still, executed; and children needed only to know to "just say no" when offered drugs.
America flexed her muscles to show that Vietnam was an unrepeatable anomaly. The tiny island nation of Grenada was invaded to wipe out the commies and success was bombastically declared only hours later. But a truck bomb that killed hundreds of American troops caused the US to withdraw from Beruit with her tail between her legs. Even a superpower as mighty as the United States has her limits. As bad as things ever became for America, things were always much worse for the Russians, though through their propaganda, they managed to fool even our most savvy "intelligence" agencies. The communists were gradually isolated externally and defeated internally; the Berlin Wall finally fell in late 1989.
Systematically, politicians and their appointed judges managed roll back the rights of women to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Protests were held outside abortion clinics as well-meaning and heavily deodorized Christians sentimentalized and wept over the loss of lumps of tissue that would not look out of place in a box of Chinese food. Supposedly rational politicians spoke highly of prayer in the schools and "creation science" while television evangelists were systematically exposed as well-funded lustful hedonists.
Music was generated by machines; it was upbeat and danceable and concerned pleasant love dilemmas (fans of such music include Redheaded Diana and Jessika, to an extent) Authenticity was not an important issue because superficial image was everything. Rick Springfield could appear on American Bandstand and lip-sync all his singing and even finger-sync a guitar solo and everyone thought he was great. Rock and Roll was still going strong and people filled stadiums to see it performed live by the tiny people down on the stage. People thought that such impersonal exposure to the Great Ones was the most one could ever expect in a generic mortality.
Boys and girls had to reign in their hormones since now the consequence of a sexually transmitted disease was death if the disease was AIDS, which it increasingly was.
emmmmm-the way Dan Reitman begins any of his statements, often used by members of the Big Fun community for humourous effect.
emo-an east-coast (particularly Philadelphian) social and music scene characterized by black hair, black-rimmed glasses (even when not necessary to correct vision), tight pants, and a history of specific sexual liaisons with certain important emo people, the particulars of which I do not recall.
To an outsider, emo dress code seems to borrow from a number of other scenes such as goth, punk rock, gay culture and mid-70s fashion. Typically the clique that runs the campus radio station at any university or liberal arts college is comprised largely of people resembling emo in most respects.
Emo music sounds like particularly experimental hard core in its stronger forms (such as Nation of Ulysses) or else like a bunch of retarded Huns who have recently waylaid a shipment of expensive music equipment.
Emo is short for "emotional" although for the most part the emotions that emo people demonstrate are superficial or artificial. As it happens, members of the emo scene are haughty, cliquish, cold and emotionless by their very nature, more likely to snub you for your working class clothes than to cry over the injustice of mortality. Emo people are almost always air signs, unless they play guitar. The Gus thinks the only saving grace of emo is its exclusivity. Shira, on the other hand, likes everything about emo except its exclusivity.
Emo is nothing if not superficial. The worst insult one emo girl can give another emo girl is to imitate her style of dress. To wear similar clothes, even vaguely similar clothes, is considered a gross affront worthy of social sanctions. When, for example, the girl bass player for the Make Up, Michelle May, suspected that Jennn had been wearing clothes similar to hers, she declined an invitation to Jennn's apartment and made a number of nasty comments about Jennn to her friends, including "She's trying to steal my style." And for her part Jennn is forever complaining, whining, bitching, moaning, and otherwise being an unmitigated bore on the uninteresting subject of other girls wearing clothes that are like her own.
In the course of constantly groping for a new style to sidestep the imitation of peers, emo girls dig deeper and deeper into the past, usually mining into the most unattractive stylistic dead ends of the 50s, 60s and 70s. For example, Jennn was seen at the June 7th, 1996 Emo Show in Philadelphia with her hair done up in a ridiculous anachronistic $104 custom beehive hairdo. Sara Poiron could scarcely contain herself; she said it looked like a "big blond helmet!"
In emo culture, like the rest of mainstream American culture, there is no taboo against boys wearing similar outfits. Thus in the emo world, the boys all wear a uniform that consists of tight black pants, gaudy button-up shirts, dyed-black hair, and black-rimmed glasses.
Clearly, emo is an example of the dreadful results of rich urban parents spoiling their kids with money while starving them of human kindness. As evidenced by the emergence of emo, our society is definitely in decline. A few family values are in order here. But hold on! These emo kids are for the most part the children of rich Republicans! I thought the Republicans were the ones who knew how to raise patriotic apple pie eating Americans. What's wrong with this picture?
emote-to express emotion, especially sadness, disappointment, awe, or love. Sara uses this verb when describing the rare instances in which her air sign friends demonstrate water sign FEELINGS. She seems to especially delight in citing cases where Jessika or the Gus have gotten drunk and expressed love or remorse, since they normally project an air of cold emotionlessness. Sara herself has surprised her friends with her occasional manifestation of sappy FEELINGS of love.
energy-a spiritual force that acts independent of intervening distance and time. This is obviously not the physicist's definition of energy; such energy is not bound to travel at the mere speed of light, and it can issue forth endlessly in complete violation of the First Law of Thermodynamics. It is precisely this "energy" that radiates from the positions of the heavenly bodies to the plastic personality of a newborn child, making the baby ever so much different when, for example, Mars is in Pisces (Jατασyα, the Gus) than when Mars is in Aries ( Shira, Sara Poiron, Allie Vining). This is also the "energy" that travels between the shuffler and the Tarot card deck prior to a Tarot reading. The Gus, by the way, does not believe in "energy." But he's probably been deluded by those college physics classes he's taken.
ENFP-a Meyers-Briggs personality profile for people who are extroverted, intuitive, feeling and perceptive. Such people are said to be "Warmly enthusiastic, high-spirited, ingenious, imaginative. Able to do almost anything that interests them. Quick with a solution for any difficulty and ready to help anyone with a problem. Often rely on their ability to improvise instead of preparing in advance. Can usually find compelling reasons for whatever they want." There is no one in the Big Fun community with this profile. However, a blond girl named Rebecca who started living with Farrell and hanging out with Matthew came by with the latter one evening and, after a pasta dinner, took the Meyers-Briggs and ended up with this rare profile.
ENTP-a Meyers-Briggs personality profile for people who are extroverted, intuitive, thinking and perceptive. Such people are said to be "Quick, ingenious, good at many things. Stimulating company, alert and outspoken. May argue for fun on either side of a question. Resourceful in solving new and challenging problems, but may neglect routine assignments. Apt to turn to one new interest after another. Skillful in finding logical reasons for what they want." In the Big Fun community, people with the ENTP profile include Ray Snabley, Sara Poiron, Matthew Hart and the Gus. Jamie Dyer also has the ENTP personality.
entropy-disorder, chaos, and the results of Big Funsters fucking shit up. Some people prefer to call Morgan Anarchy "Morgan Entropy." According to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, the Universe continues on a path of ever-increasing entropy. One of the entities in the Universe that is most compatible with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is Big Fun.
Espresso Corner-this coffee shop on the Corner (at the corner of Main and 14th Street) tries so hard to be the center of a Charlottesville bohemian revival, yet it falls flat for a number of reasons. One such reason is that nearly all the customers are Wahoos. True, these are not exactly Fratville Wahoos, but they seem a little too well provided for and serious about the schoolwork they are doing to pass for anything like bohemians. The poetry readings are uniformly bad (of course I'm saying this without having ever gone to one) and the music is always Wendy Repast, who unfortunately seems to delight in showing the world how shrill she can sing covers of Indigo Girls songs. You can imagine what the people of Big Fun think of all this! They think the place is ridiculous. The Gus and Matthew, however, see opportunity in the existence of Espresso Corner. More than once they have taken their paper Higher Grounds cups of vino from the cold cruel world into the pleasant warmth of the Espresso Corner and proceeded to play various kinds of checkers, challenging some of Matthew Hart's fellow Tandem friends (Deya, Hailey, etc.) to games. Yes, Espresso Corner is a big Tandem School hang out. Matthew Hart is proud to be seen playing checkers as opposed to chess. Asks he, "Who needs chess when there is checkers?"
In early March 1996, the Gus took a bunch of his vino-equipped non-Big Fun friends (Autumn, KC, Bad Tractor, etc.) into Espresso Corner and was kicked out for the first time ever by the guy who runs the place, despite the fact that he'd thought ahead enough to divide his group into two parts. The sheer number of red-stained Higher Grounds cups had been simply too egregious to tolerate.
even death-one of the more frightening symptoms of a drug used to excess.
evil munchkin-following his semi-successful theft of beer from the Jehu End of the World Party, the Gus was known informally around Big Fun as "the evil munchkin." This was due to the fact that during the dramatic revelation of the cult's knowledge of his theft, the Gus had said, "of course I'm cute, I'm a little munchkin!" and because after the Gus left, the cult members gathered the Malvern Girls together to tell them how evil the Gus is.
exclusivity-the tendency of a cohesive group to reject those who do not meet certain standards. At Big Fun, these standards concern the presence of social skills, intelligence, independence, and chutzpah. Those who do not measure up find themselves being excluded. The process of exclusion seems to happen at a slightly subconscious level, though it usually is accompanied by innuendo and backstabbing conversations in the third person. Sara Poiron and the Gus, for example, seem to delight in the mechanisms of exclusion.
There has been talk at Big Fun of astrological exclusion, that is, exclusion of someone because he has "inferiour" things in his astrological chart. But people who manifest positive personality traits are accepted regardless of their astrology. Air signs can be excluded like anyone else, although they seem to be accepted a little faster than other signs.
Exclusivity is one of the hallmarks of fascism, and perhaps not surprisingly, there are other similarities between the culture of Big Fun and the culture of fascism. For example, "life is war" and "the weak must perish" are common sentiments at Big Fun. Egregious racist and especially anti-Semitic statements are not considered entirely cool, but they usually go unchallenged. For these reasons, it is not surprising that Eric the Huffanator Huffman, Yayson and perhaps other outspoken racists have at times been accepted into Big Fun society.
eyebrow ring-once it was realized that nose rings had completely lost their shock value, the hunt was on for a new place to pierce that was both safe and noticeable. That's when eyebrows became the trendy region for topologic reform. At Big Fun, eyebrow rings are still rare. There are several UVA students, however, who proudly flaunt this avante-garde form of body alteration, including Erin the Libra.