It's me again, loveable ol' Bill, your cuddly Man of Chair for the alleged committee for They Came and Shaved Us, the convention that understands the concepts of "ethics" and "fair play" but doesn't necessarily believe in them!

Well, it's May now, which means that Summer is officially here at last! (At least, according to some people - others seem to think that Summer begins sometime in June). The summer brings with it the usual bugs, heatwaves, water shortages, pale arms and peeling skin. It also brings, I'm sorry to say, some bad news. Not bad for you, you lucky people, but bad for me. Fear not, though: I'm not going to dump more of my problems on to you! Life's too short for you to be worried about some guy in a far-off land whom most of you have never even met. You all have far too much going on in your own lives to be concerned that poor old Bill just discovered a truly horrible secret about his past. So! Enough with that: let's get on with the latest convention news!

My Irish colleagues tell me that the convention hotel can only accommodate about one hundred seventy attendees, and already we've got a hundred thirty! This means that we've only got about forty places left to fill. Of course, that one hundred seventy doesn't include our guests. I'm not allowed to tell you too much about the guests, but I will say this: we're making excellent progress in our efforts to get the Dallas Cowboy Cheerlenders to come along! Pretty cool, eh?

All right, so it's not as cool as it should have been... Allow me to elaborate: a certain committee member who shall remain unnamed knows someone who knows someone, et cetera (you all know how this sort of thing works), and at the end of this chain of people he managed to get in touch with the manager of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerlenders. After many e-mails to and fro, it was agreed that the entire squad would be invited to Ireland to participate in the con... It's just a shame that our committee member didn't read his e-mails a lot more carefully. I mean, what the hell is a "Cheerlender"? What do they do exactly? Whatever it is, I'm pretty sure it's nothing to do with short skirts and pop-poms. I have a horrible suspicion that it might have something to do with praying and / or loan sharking.

But aside from them, we really do have some interesting guests lined up. Since I'm not allowed to directly say who they are, I've decided to present the name of one of our top guests in a sort of riddle thing:

    My first is in "prison", but not in "jail"
    My second is in "boat", but never in "sail"
    My third is the last, and always near fire
    My fourth is the one you'll always require
    Next there's a blank, but before that a clue
    And here it is now: "That thing that likes you"
    My next is the same as one we had before
    The next is in "lion", and also in "roar"

    Oh, that one's too easy! I hear you cry!
    But the next one is hard: let me tell you why:
    If you take all these letters, one by one
    Convert them to numbers, then when you're done
    You get all the numbers and add them together
    Go through the alphabet to find the next letter
    The next is in "film" and also in "movie"
    Which is very easy and also quite groovy

    Next up is a vowel, but it's not "U" or "I"
    And to make it simpler, it's not even "Y"
    Next is a rare one, worth six points in Scrabble
    It's followed by one that appears in "dabble"
    Up next is hardest, and also the best:
    Think of the thing that you need for a rest
    It's not "bed", it's not "sleep", it's not even "pillow"
    It's not "blanket" or "mattress" or Buffy or Willow

    It's not Spike, it's not Dawn, it's not even Xander
    It's not Angel or Cordy, or Wesley or Anya
    But we've seen it on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
    And you need it to sleep, yes, you, the player
    Guess what it is, and you'll know the right letter
    And as a reward, I'll do you one better:
    For the next is an "E" - how's that for a clue?
    Don't tell me I don't make it easy for you!

    And following that, well, you know what comes last
    (See line three above) Now, wasn't that fast?
    Remember these clues, for this is his name
    Oh, wait, no it isn't, because Bill is insane
    Now hold on a second, you're saying he's mad?
    Yes, he's made it all up! Isn't that sad?
    Well, damn him to hell, and all the way back!
    He really had me fooled there for a minute
    And now he's not even trying to make it rhyme
    The lazy bastard.

Bill Tyler, Chairman
2nd May 2003

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