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Massive thanks to everyone who made the very first AAD convention in Ormskirk such a rip-roaring success! Here’s a selection of unforgettable pix:

Pete Andrews, Zen Clown and Aimless enjoying a pint.

Weebleman makes his entrance.

Sue Denim being her unobtrusive self.

Lynskey, Jarl’rmai, Robin and Matt lowering the tone again.

Celeste takes care of Mark Corrin after an unfortunate shrinking-machine accident.

Me celebrating a successful convention (Mike Morris in background).

Lynskey’s dad takes a good long look at Ask A Drunk.

A typical AAD lurker.

See you all again next year in Portland, Oregon!!!

-- Rex (rex@waitrose.com), September 15, 2002


On September 16th 2001, for my own paltry reasons, I was Googling away with the name of a certain British Conservative politician. One of my hits was a list of twenty-eight such people, against all of whom the writer (so he said) had a personal vendetta. It was hard to imagine when he found time to sleep or eat.

His list formed part of a thread entitled A Personal Vendetta (indulge me). This thread appeared on a forum named I Love Everything, of which I had never before heard. On the forum’s top level I discovered the words, ‘You might find some of the other discussions running on this server interesting.’

Clicking on this link took me to the front page of LUSENET, from which I reached a mysterious thing called All Public Forums: a yards-long list of hundreds of boards, some appealingly named, some rather less so.

One of them instantly caught my eye. Its title was Ask A Drunk.


Rushing straight into it with boozy abandon, I found – nothing. Not one posting. Nary a dickie bird. Nada.

I was still very young (in geological terms). I had only been online for a year. Call me naïve, but I’d never encountered an unused forum before. Incredulously I asked the inaugural question, Can this be real?

They say that when a butterfly flaps its wings, it shows a pitiful neurotic need for attention. But unwittingly I had lit the fuse for the biggest explosion of drunken folly and shameless futility the World Wide Web had ever seen.

And now, after twelve months, three thousand postings, and divers strange adventures, Ask A Drunk celebrates its first birthday: its 366th day as an (all too hideously) Active Forum.


It’s hard to believe, but we’re currently number forty-six on the LUSENET list of Active Discussions. We’ve even achieved the longed- for triumph of overtaking that unwholesome bunch at Marin Urology, with their shameless chatter of things best left to the confessional box and the pathologist’s slab.

But is Ask A Drunk the same today as it was in those first hesitant autumn weeks when a shivering gaggle of social inadequates set out to write they knew not what?

Is it heck.

Back in those days, Ask A Drunk was a charming cottage industry, in which etiolated, clapped-out fops honed their glinting aphorisms on treadle-driven, thatched computers, and everyone in the village would down tools to help bring in the pork scratchings harvest.

Today Ask A Drunk is a ruthless, go-getting, ultra-motivated, dog-eat- dog statistics machine. Its has no purpose beyond self-preservation – except to advance– to expand– to set new records – to rise ever higher up every known table – and to trample on the fingers of any rat fink unwise enough to stand in its way.


Is this essentially Eighties approach sustainable? Especially when most of the grafting has to be done by a clutch of blissed-out hippies in Ormskirk?

Time will tell. But this is a moment to breathe deeply, adjust our shoulderpads, straighten our red braces and mumble a lot of guff about being WINNERS – in WINNER CITY – drinking WINCARNIS – with MICHAEL WINNER – and THE LATE CARDINAL WINNING!!!

It is also a moment to salute our unsung hero. No, not Jacob Beardsley, who cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered unsung after twelve months of unstinted hagiography here; not Philip Greenspun, who surely qualifies for the Si monumentum requiris treatment; nor yet Alistair Whitty, who is perfectly capable of doing his own singing.


Not Lynskey, who last week overtook me as our most prolific contributor; not Aimless, not Matt, not Pete, not Jarl’rmai, not Sue, not me, not any of the rest of the gang; we are but warriors for the working day – grubby old hacks plodding resignedly on.

No, I’m thinking of the angry young man who wrote that posting about his twenty-eight personal vendettas; a young man who has never asked for glory or honour or anything else from Ask A Drunk; the young man who lured me into LUSENET and was thus personally responsible for unleashing the 3XXX previous postings, unrivalled in their passion, their pointlessness, their alcohol-by-volume.

Step forward, ROBIN CARMODY!! Feel the wind in your hair, my son, sense the pulse of destiny, and plot your course for greatness. Old Albion shall not fail while she yet brings forth such yeomen. For he’s a jolly good fellow! Huzzah!

-- Rex (rex@waitrose.com), September 15, 2002.

* on our Serious nasal situation thread

-- Rex (rex@waitrose.com), October 03, 2002.

* on our Serious nasal situation thread

-- Rex (rex@waitrose.com), October 03, 2002.

erm, thanks for the praise!

I am indeed the sainted Robin, and yes I still hold a grudge against all those Tories, but I don't bang on about it so often these days.

-- Robin Carmody (robin@elidor.freeserve.co.uk), October 18, 2002.

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