Multiverse meet version 2 …

From: (Jim Richards)
Subject: Multiverse meet version 2 ...
Date: 10 Jan 1996 14:03:35 +1100

   'We came, we saw and we were disgusted'
   'Welcome to hell'
           Comments from watching Red Dwarf USA ...

   Anyway, here is the report to end all reports ... version 2

               M U L T I V E R S E
           25th November, 1995, Gazpacho Soup Day ...
           Melbourne, land of soy milk and honey ...

   The following report has been modified to exaggerate the funny bits.
   The real names of the characters have been changed, except for the
   really embarrassing bits, especially you James. And anyone else the
   authors could think of to pick on.. :-)

   But first, some warnings.  Some of this is written in strine. Some
   footnotes have been added when the authors think the phrasing could be
   incomprehensible. here are also some instances of use of legal drugs.
   All those under age, avert thine eyes..

Friday, 23rd of November ...


   Hmm, well Mr Grumpy got on a plane and flew to Melbourne. The flight
took 1 hour and 9 minutes which was interesting because the flight back took
52 minutes. And the flight down was running late, which is interesting
because the flight back was running late as well. Perhaps there must have
been a time hole effect or a while hole spewing out time to cause this.

Once he arrived, he did find that neither Alsion or Miffy were waiting with
anticipation for him to get off the plane. Nor where they at the luggage
collection point.

This was due to several reasons.
   1. A lab meeting that went _40 minutes_ overtime (like how much can
 you talk about PCR??[1])
   2. People who kept phoning Alsion in the morning (Mr Grumpy, Miffy)
when Alsion was trying to work so she _wouldn't_ be late.. :-)
   3. Alsion forgot that 5pm Friday is peak hour traffic, specially when 
you're driving out of Melbourne towards Geelong.. oops.. 

Still, Miffy and Alsion did the maximum possible speed (about 40kph for a
Datsun 200) and got there finally.. :-)

   They were in fact about 45 minutes late. So the stressed little Mr
Grumpy searched all through his luggage to find Alsion's home and work
number. It was in fact discovered sitting on his desk when he returned to work
on the Monday. Anyway, Alsion was finally spotted and they went out to find
Miffy, not knowing what she had gone to do ... that is, park the car or
drive around endlessly waiting for Mr Grumpy and Alsion to return ...
The bit I liked was Jim mixing up my street and suburb name when trying 
to look it up.. :-)  

From the airport it was to Alsion's home to drop the stuff and return to
the train station to find James. And the last time Alsion saw her house mates
for four days.  Not bad, considering.. :-)

And the journey thereto..
Back through the peak hour smog we went, battling the traffic and 
generally annoying people by doing lots of illegal things.  Amongst the 
most annoying was stopping (while the traffic was moving) to take a 
picture of a broken down Mercedes :-) and doing a highly illegal U-turn 
in front of a tram.  This was also dangerous, but hey, that's the way we 
live.. *tongue out of cheek..*  Mr Grumpy and Alsion then left Miffy to park
the car (a recurring theme this) while we ran off to find James..  
The train carrying James, from it's 10 hour trip rolled onto platform 1 on time.
Sort of.  It was actually 5 minutes late.. :-) Well, close enough.

Which is quite surprising when you think about it. Why can trains
that roll around the Sydney system manage to be 10 minutes late for a 1 1/2
hour trip, but be on time for a 10 hour trip through two states of
Australia and 980 kilometres?
Because (a) they don't have to stop to let other trains go by and (b) the 
announcements for them are comprehensible and don't involve getting 
translators for the crew.. :-)

Anyway, we found him easily enough. He was the one wearing the Red Dwarf
badge. Something he never seemed to remove the whole weekend. A shame
really, some of us wish he had ...

And it was back to Alsion's place to drop more stuff off and then to the
tram[2]. Now trams are a novelty to a Sydney person. But they were fun.
Apparently waiting for a tram can be annoying, so in order to pass the time
Alsion proceeded to inform us that to bring a tram along you just made the
tram mating signal of 'ding, ding' over and over again. Well, Mr Grumpy
did and lo and behold one came. Now the other thing about trams that were
interesting was that a) They stop for you without having to signal for
them, and b) the traffic must wait for them when dropping off or picking up
passengers. Mr Grumpy was quite surprised at this ...


Now, since Mr Grumpy doesn't know Melbourne all that well he entrusted his
life and well being to the two tour guides of Alsion and Miffy. Down one
street, around the next until a street corner with a distinctive shop was
found. So distinctive that Mr Grumpy can no longer even remember the name
of it ... It was King and Godfrees, a well known bottle shop on Lygon St.  

First of all, one of Alsion's friends Richard was there.
And very hyper-active he was too.  He'd just finished riding in the PUSH, 
a monthly event where lots of cyclists gang up on peak hour traffic and 
annoy the shit out of cars by making them stop even though the lights are 
green. The cars of course can't take revenge cos there are too many 
cyclists ...

The we waited, and waited and waited ... finally Mr Grumpy noticed a person
of the female sex on the other side of the road looking at the group rather
oddly. It was mentioned to the rest of the group and it was voted upon that
this must be El Skutto. It was also this time the we discovered that Alsion
had never actually me El Skutto IRL before. As she approached she walked up
to us and introduced herself as El Skutto. Which was really good as we would
have been rather embarrassed if it was not her.

It was funny that.  Alsion only realised that she had no idea what Annette 
looked like when we arrived at the corner.  After she came up and 
correctly identified all of us, Alsion realised that we were all (except 
Richard) wearing the same clothes as we had on in the Sydney meet photo.  
Scary - we seriously need to go shopping guys ...


We proceeded to move towards a student food place that was rather full, and so
after 20 minutes or so of waiting it was decided an Indian restaurant would
be a better bet. Since there was one that we could drop into on the way to
the Cinema, this was decided as a safe bet.

Lucky that .. Out tour guide, Alsion had never been there before and only
noticed it the day before..

Luckily it was empty. Well, empty enough for us to have a table. The only
thing of note from dinner was that we sat in boy/girl order as requested by
Mr Grumpy and that we didn't actually buy any booze before hand. So we risked
a giraffe of house white wine.  Or two ...

We had a vindaloo in respect of Dave Lister, last human barely alive. Mind
you it was quite hot and caused severe repercussions the next two days to
Mr Grumpy's internal organs. It was a good vindaloo ... could have been hotter
for some of the other hardy souls like Alsion ...

After this, 4/6 of us were willing to forego the movie in order to go to 
the pub. Mr Grumpy and Richard, on the other hand, were becoming increasingly 
desperate to see the movie (didn't you like the wine, guys?) and so made 
us leave, after first paying of course!  Mr Grumpy, as befits tradition, was 
put in charge of collecting the money and paying the nice guy who was 
running the place.  Then off we headed into the city, only pausing 
briefly to replenish our cash stocks and gaze into the windows of 
MovieWorld and Minotaur..


All of us had to unfill at this point, and sure enough, we all lost each 
other and had to spend part of the ads (almost the best part really) 
finding each other again, and then finding seats..

With out spoiling the film, one comment that was made was that Kenau Reves
was good only up to the part where he opens his mouth. That is because in the
first scene he is mostly naked.  mm..Keanu..mmm :-)  

Anyway, Mr Grumpy made sure nether Alsion or El Skutto drooled too much during
the movie, which of course had several fish references ...
Although Alsion insists that both she and El Skutto were extremely restrained
in their drooling..


The bar we settled on, after walking for what seemed like an eternity
through Melbourne was the one that the Melbourne dwarfers usually hang out
at. Why, I don't know ... they just do ...
Well, it's called the Charles Dickens, it has an english theme (funny 
that) and english type stuff.  Fortunately it also has Bundaberg Rum..

Mr Grumpy and Alsion went to the bar to get some drinks. Now being a Sydney
person, he did what he usually does and order 2 reds, one for James and one
for himself. The bar maid goes to the end of the bar, and returns with two
red wines[3]. Hmm, this thing called Victoria was going to take some 
getting used to. The other thing about drinking in Victoria is that they
only have Midi's to drink from. None of these 425 mLs that everyone else can
use.  Sad, sad, sad is all Mr Grumpy can say ...
Well what's even sadder is that Mr Grumpy was _still_ a Cadbury[4] even on 
the Midis!!


After the booze, we went back to Alsion's place. By this time the trams
that went past her place had stopped running so we decided that we would
cat one that went almost all the way, and we would only have two blocks to
walk. Well, two blocks is what Alsion told us ... what she really meant was
two tram stops. Which equates to about 5 blocks. And we are not talking about
the small blocks you sometimes find around, but bloody huge ones ...
anyway, we eventually made it back to Rennie street alive ...
Although Alsion's comment about it was "Wimps.. they weren't _that_ big!!"


Once settling down in front of the idiot box all of us, for this included Mr
Grumpy, Alsion, El Skutto, Richard, Miffy and James ... we watched an
episode of Red Dwarf ...

We then watched El Skutto's new purchase of Smeg Outs which cost her $50,
which was probably more then what the video player we were using cost[5]. It 
required a cooling fan in order to function properly[5]. To which El Skutto was
rather concerned about her new purchase. It survived, well at least we think it
did ... and then we watched Spitting Images which had Grant Naylor as writers
and Chris Barrie doing voices. The most memorable part to come out of this
was of course the Chicken Song. Which will not, and the author stresses
this, repeat no matter how many chickens are held hold in the air or stuff deck
chairs up our noses will it be repeated here ...

At about 3am, it was decided that sleep would be a good idea, especially 
for Richard (who had already fallen asleep during SmegOuts - no mean feat 
considering how loudly we were laughing), for Miffy who had to pick up 
Daniel from Adelaide at some ungodly time in the morning, and of course 
for Skutto who was meant to be organising Multiverse in the morning.. so, 
at about 4.30am, after listening to all the nice birdies begin their 
days, we drifted off into slumberland..

Saturday 25th November, Gazpacho Soup Day


6am ... now, we are talking early here ... considering Mr Grumpy didn't
get to sleep until the birds started chirping for the new day, the alarm
Miffy had set decided it was a good time to go off. And it did. In order to
make sure Miffy was *really* awake, Mr Grumpy want over to where she was
sleep and shook her a few times, well okay ... violently shook her until
she pleaded for him to stop ... 

She then left to pick up Shu, her friend form Adelaide.

He then went back to sleep. And of course Alsion, who was sleeping in a
different room, was totally oblivious to this ...

At around 8.30 Alsion woke up.  When she managed next to focus her eyes enough
to see the clock clearly it was 9am.  Funny how it does that.. 9am!! that 
was when Multiverse started!!! We were missing it!!! She leapt from her bed, 
ran out and woke up Mr Grumpy and James.  In record time we were 
dressed and standing at the tram stop.. 


Another tram trip into Melbourne Uni. Nothing interesting here. Not at all.
Discussed SmegOuts.  Still reckon there's someone in the DJ section who 
was in the photo.. please own up, Skutto and Alsion would really like to know..


Well, we watched videos, like Red Dwarf USA (which was interesting) and
some X-Files and Babylon 5. 

For quotes see above..
James and Miffy got up and were tongue tied.  It was won by a guy named 
Ben.  He was dressed in a nice green Rimmer costume that his Gran had 
made.  Way cool.  His mum and a south African exchange student were there 

We spent money. (The most being by Mr Grumpy who paid $125 for the Red Dwarf
mystery box) ... James bought all the Red Dwarf club badges and wore them ...
all of them ... we heard jokes like:

Klingon Stand Up Comedy
"My dog has no nose. I bit it off. You _will_ laugh. Now."

And that Start Trek:Voyager is really a large toilet seat in space.

Merchandise was bought. James bought a Red Dwarf t-shirt, and admitted to
the rest of us that it was the first item of clothing he had ever bought.
James, you have a lot of living still to do ...
Alsion got a Darth Vader T-shirt (there wasn't a heap of RD t-shirts, the ship 
didn't make it on time..).  Men in leather[6].. how could she resist..

We had lunch at a pizza place on Lygon St (again), which is the main
Italian eating street in Melbourne. It's also close to Melbourne Uni.
So as expected it was a pizza place, which irked My Grumpy because
Lactose (as in cheese) makes his head explode and cleaning up the mess
isn't all that fun. For a better description have a look at

Like what were we going to have, Vietnamese?


We went home. In Miffy's car, which was quite nice after a day of walking
around and looking and eating and spending.

Alsion went to work to look at her forskins in a  petri dish ...
Her experiment hadn't worked (The one about cloning?).  D'oh!!![7]


We went out for dinner to the pub we went to the night before where all the
Dwarfers were eating. Upon which we ate some of the best pub food Mr
Grumpy has had for a while ... well, since the last time he ate in a pub
which was about 10 years ago ... which makes it when he was 13, which
supposes he had rather good ID then ...

The pub was fun.  Unfortunately, owing to us having arrived so late 
(round 9pm) there were no seats left at the main table. This led to us 
forming our own little table, and being described as the Tasmanians..  
Tom was nice to us and came over and talked lots.  This was good, cos he 
and Skutto were the only two people we knew... at least by name, anyway..  
Alsion suggested a pub crawl around the walls of the pub, which Ben's mum 
thought was an OK idea.  Unfortunately, everyone else wanted to leave, so 
we just drank some more instead..


We then proceeded on a very short pub crawl, consisting of about 2 pubs
after the first ... although we did play some air hockey on rather sad
looking air hockey tables ... and a car game as usual. But this time Mr
Grumpy almost won both games except for the dastardly cheats who rammed him
from behind and caused him to crash ...

And his Blood Alcohol content had nothing to do with it!!  Mr Grumpy lost both 
times, James won 2 races and Miffy won one.. In the pub (a Uni one) many 
deep and meaningful things were discussed  the size of the beers in 
SA - "so in South Australia they have two sizes, large and larger..?" - you
were referring to _beer glasses_ there weren't you Miffy?


We went home, just on the last tram ... and seemed to walk a lot more then
the 2 block that Alsion promised.

We also went via a bottle shop, and somehow managed to acquire 2 bottles 
of wine.  Everybody whinged about the 2 tram stop stag..err walk.  


What did we watch here, my memory is very vague ...

We watched Backwards.  At this point, Daniel, who had only seen 
a limited amount of RD, went to sleep (probably due to 2hrs sleep on an 
all night bus the night before).  He dreamt we were all speaking 
backwards.  When he woke up (during Marooned) he couldn't talk to us cos 
we were 'talking funny'.  Hm.  The night ended at around 3am for most of 
us, with the two older members of the group finishing off the wine... :-)

Sunday, 26th of November


Well, after having read all that previous stuff, I'll condense this into a
few, brief sentences ... *grin* nah..

We went to St Kilda. We had breakfast, walked around the market,
had some more food, and shopped a bit more.

Alsion thought showing extremely tired people around was fun. Sort of like
"tourism for the brain dead". Most of us ate breakfast (Daniel was feeling a
little seedy). We went up the 35th floor of the Rialto building to look out the 
toilet windows (due to a construction error they have one of the best 
views of Melbourne).  We then phoned Skutto, who'd finally woken up and
got directions on how to get to her place.  Naturally then, having been 
provided with clear and concise directions, we all got lost.  This led to 
the discovery that Pizza shops are a great directional aid - they know 
where streets are.  After talking to people in 3 of them we finally made it..

We then went to El Skutto's place to watch some Bottom (the show, not
Alsion's)[8] and then we ran out of time. So Miffy, James and Shu caught a
Taxi back to Alsion's place and Alsion and Mr Grumpy caught the tram. Or
something like that ... any way, we got James on the Train and Shu on the
bus, eventually ...

It was more of a comedy caper getting everyone in the right place at the
right time ... like when Miffy, James and Shu raced off in a Taxi to Alsion
place to get their stuff, Alsion realised that they didn't have a house
key, not were her house mates home to meet them. Let alone the fact that Mr
Grumpy had James' and Shu's camera and other stuff in his bag. Any way,
that was solved by a stroke of luck when Miffy directed the Taxi driver
back to where Mr Grumpy and Alsion were, which was a few blocks from where
they started ...

While Mr Grumpy and Alsion were walking off to get another taxi, we met Ben,
his cool mum and the Exchange Student.  Hi guys![9]

Anyway, Mr Grumpy and Alsion arrived at the station literally as the train was
beginning to pull out.  Bye James..

Alsion, Mr Grumpy and Miffy then spent 30 minutes waiting for Daniel's coach
to leave, while signing[10] at him through the windows.  Some people (notably
the guy sitting in front of Daniel) thought we were strange.  Can't think why.

Once Miffy, Mr Grumpy and Alsion got to the Airport ... about 3 minutes
after the final check in time, it was discovered the plane was in fact
about 20 minutes late. He also had his rather huge Mystery Box, which was a
problem as it he was only allowed to carry one piece of luggage onto the
plane and on in the Cargo. But the attendant was nice to him and let him
put it on ...

Thank God.  Alsion didn't want to have to lug it to a post office.  The plane 
ended up being around 40 minutes late.. so we got Maccas.  had to happen 
sometime.. shame really ...

   Hmm, well Mr Grumpy got on a plane and flew to Sydney. The flight
took 52 minutes minutes which was interesting because the flight down took
1 hour and 9 minutes. And the flight back was running late, which is
interesting because the flight down was running late as well. Perhaps there
must have been a time hole effect or a while hole spewing out time to cause

Well, anyway ... he got back safely, which was also lucky since if he had
been delayed any more he would have had to stay at Melbourne due to the
Sydney Curfew. And he knows, the Melbourne Travelodge 'aint that much fun
to stay in ...

Alsion and Miffy watched the aeroplane fly away and then drove back to 
Alsion's place along the strangely deserted (10pm on a Sunday) freeway.  
Trip went much quicker (120kph..oops, I meant 100kph, really I did..:-))  
Got home and watched the end of 4 Weddings and a Funeral.  

So that was Multiverse.  We slept little, drank amounts which Alsion and
most of the others are sure are over the recommended limit, and spent money
like we had it.  All in all it was fun, and for anyone who'll be around next
year, come along!


Alsion's footnotes 
[1] the answer to that is 2 hours and 10 minutes.  PCR is polymerase 
chain reaction.  It's a sciency thing, ignore it.  I do.
[2] Trams, for those of you who don't have them, are green and gold 
things which move in distinct directions along tracks.  They usually hunt 
in packs (at least 3 going along in single file) and have several 
distinctive calls: ding ding (greeting/mating call), ding (are you aware 
that I am here/get out of the way you stupid pedestrian) and 
dingdingdingdingding (move _now_ cos I am gunna hit you/the light is 
green why aren't you moving?)
[3] In NSW, 'reds' means Tooheys Red, a kind of beer.  Here, no one 
drinks it cos it's disgusting (and from NSW:-))
[4] Cadburys make chocolate.  They use the advertising slogan "with a 
glass and a half of full cream milk.."  You can probably work out what I 
meant now, can't you? :-)
[5] It's not my video.  It's my house mates..
[6] Well, OK, vinyl.  But he does have a gorgeous voice..:-)
[7] Anyone thinking of doing a PhD, don't.  Unless of course, you are a 
[8] OI!! Jim, do you have a fetish or something? :-) 
[9] Now you know why I mentioned them.  They came down from Dubbo (about 
1200km I think).  Way cool family..
[10] As in making faces, trying to communicate, that kind of thing..