The Night Before Chattacon

A late night story from 1997

The Cleveland Contingent

[Reprinted from Chattacon’s 1997 program book.]

‘Twas the night before Chattacon
When all through the hotel
Every director was screaming,
“It’s all gone to hell.”
David and K.C. held their mugs with care
In hopes that Carter Bheer soon would be there.
Yeager was nestled all snug in his bed
While vision of dealers danced in his head.
And Zanny in her office and Lani in her wake,
Had just settled down for a long coffee break.
When over in consuite there arose such a clatter,
Staff sprang to their feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the door they flew in a flash,
Tore down the ramps and out in a dash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Gave a luster of midday to trucks down below,
When what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But a refrigerated truck with eighty kegs of bheer,
With an armload of taps, so quick and handy,
We knew in a moment it must be our Andy.
More rapid than dragons the directors they came.
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Mark! Now, Jeff! Now Leon and Lee!
On, Ann! On, Wayne! On David and K.C.!
To the top of the ramp, to the end of the hall!
Now, drink away! Drink away! Drink away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane soar,
When they meet with an obstacle, fall to the floor,
So up to the bar the staff they flew,
With arms full of mugs, and pitchers, too.
And then in a twinkling, I heard over a headset
“Operations wants to know if pizza’s been ordered yet.”
As pegboard went up with a grunt and a groan,
Charles connected cables and lights came on.
Down from Operations Ann came with a bound,
She surveyed their progress without uttering a sound.
When the last screws were in and the bulbs were lit,
She grabbed a radio and OK’ed the pizza trip.
Dealers chased after Bryan who running in fear
Said over his shoulder, “It’s not me this year!”
Cindy assigned radios for each team member to use,
“Now cut the chatter–remember the rules.”
Charlie showed up with badges for some,
Guests, directors and staff without one.
Security teams planned how to comb the college,
Hotel stairs, hallways, and especially room parties.
Program Book done and now “at large,”
Dee hid in the fear of Cindy in charge.
The hub connected and power applied,
Mike’s laptops were up but the server had died.
He cussed it and kicked it and dropped it too,
But it really worked–he had pulled the cord with his shoe.
Holly introduced the guests that arrived,
Harry and Esther and Charlie who sighed.
Frozen drinks were passed out quick,
In fear the machine would make it too thick.
Robert sat quietly with a knowing grin,
Watching other directors nervous and grim.
Once the pizza was gone and the machine was dry,
They left Operations for beds on the fly.
As one mass, they staggered out in the hall,
Towards their rooms bouncing wall to wall,
But they exclaimed before the elevator closed,
“We’re ready, we think–let them come on in droves.”


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