Friday, July 20, 2018

Scenes From The "Raze The Relay" Party

By Bixyl Shuftan

Since 2010, the "Flood Party" has been a tradition at the Relay track, the "last hurrah" before the campsites are taken down. The first one in July 2010 was completely unplanned, a sim manager raising the water ten meters and people flocking over spontaneously. Since then, the Flood Party has been a part of the Relay, at least in one form or another. In 2014 with some sims underwater, there was a twist with one of those sims having the water level lowered or a "Drain Party." One or two were a mild disappointment to some with the water only coming up a few inches. So while the one last year was a happy one for all, I myself was asking about this one, "should we bring a swimsuit and inner tube, or just rubber boots and an umbrella?" The response I got was more or less "wait and see."

The twist this year was the name. Those in the Committee weren't calling it the Flood Party but the "Raze The Relay Sim Party." Why the name change, I didn't hear (or ask). But by whatever name, people were looking forward to one last party on the sims.

         Raze The Relay Sim  Party
Music Get Down As You Tear Down
                Wednesday, July 18
                        4 - 7pm slt
(PS:   Bring your inner tube)

The event was being held in the south-central part of the track on the piers of the RFL Activities 1 sim, close to the border with RFL Activities 2. Presumably they were preparing for a heavy response and didn't want lag issues like on Saturday. So I showed up as the crowd started gathering. But as I was without my usual overcoat and fedora, my short stature combined with someone's lag got someone confused, "from a distance Bix looks like a garden gnome." My response, "Sorry, foxes are not gnomes. I think you fell for a 'mis-gnomer.'"

With the party on the pier, it was brought up that while there was water around already, we were a few feet over it at the start, "I get the impression we'll all be in the water by the time it's over, though." A few apologized for being quiet. Others however, "Sting just standing there, all quiet. We may need to throw him in the water to wake him up." Of some people having stayed up the whole Relay, Bain Finch asked, "So everyone start getting caught up on sleep?" "Hahha! I am totally turned around my nights are now my days (laughing out loud). I used to be in bed by midnight EST. Now I am having diner then." "But that is ice cream time." "Who needs ice cream? Cuddly left these Christmas lights to munch on." Trader remarked, "My nights are too short and days too long and I can NOT catch up."

I wasn't the only nonhuman around. Strifeclaw (Gager) stood out in his huge feline avatar.  Madonna commented, "with Strifeclaw's size? If she says 'I can haz cheeseburger', the answer is definitely 'Yes. A million times yes!'" Oldesoul was in a dinky with swimwear that looked like something out of the movie "Borat." There was a tiny in a snorkel and flippers with a fish on his head, and a couple small dinos. There was also a "Minkie" tiny from the Fantasy Faire this spring.

Eventually, it started to rain, at one point the raindrops developing a purple shade. There was no song by the singer "Prince" though. Bain commented, "It's raining Relayers! Prettykitty Gumbo mused, "It's raining's pouring... the old man is snoring!" Madonna with her rubber suit commented, "As far as the rising water? That's why I came in waterproof clothing today." Aryon Dagger remarked, "I hope this water is cleaner than the Mississippi River was at NOLA" Someone had one of the "Purple Tears" kites up, probably to take advantage of the wind"

Eventually, the water slowly came up. First to just below the pier's edge. Then a couple inches onto the pier, just enough to make our feet wet. But as the moments ticked by, it was soon past our feet, then up to my knees, then past my waist. People had been placing boats in the water and they were drifting around a little, "where did that airboat come from?" One of the mini-dinos was floating around on his back in the water as well.

People looked back at the season, one saying, "Let's rewind to the Fantasy Faire. We busted out and broke 100,000 lindens in one night." Vickie (Vickie Maidstone) talked about trying to explain Second Life to her real-life friends, "I have YET won an argument explaining to people SL is NOT a game, the stuff we do especially with RFL is REAL." It was brought up that Sting had done one of the designer sims, which got Madonna commenting, "Sting building and terraforming... Be afraid. Be VERY afraid!"

There was plenty of joking around, at one point Nikki Mathieson remarked, "I said, 'You need to be quiet. I"m going to talk to Sting for a bit.'  He gave me the funniest face and said, 'his .. name ... is Stink?!'" After some chuckles, Random Darrow (Random Padar) tried to reassure her, "It's ok Nikki. I just sent and IM that said 'I stalked Sting today.'  'I MEANT TALKED TO!'" There were much chuckles, Madonna commenting, "Stinky's mom named our favorite skunk Stinky, so, there is that." Softpaw Sommer commented of the joke, "That's gonna stick around for a while." Someone kidded, "You mean stink around for a while Softpaw." After more chuckles, Madonna remarked, "Right, like we have never before taken a joke and made it old."

Sara Llewellyn (Sarandel Llewellyn) had some reassuring news for the group about their efforts, "Just saw this at - The death rate from cancer in the US has declined steadily over the past 2 decades, according to annual statistics reporting from the American Cancer Society. As of 2015, the cancer death rate for men and women combined had fallen 26% from its peak in 1991. This decline translates to nearly 2.4 million deaths averted during this time period."

There were numerous comments about the Relay Weekend lag, Sara saying, "Think back to 2009, campsites were so darn tiny and tucked behind each other and people crashed every single sim all night long." "The bridge on ACS was a PITA this year but I only crashed twice." "I crashed a LOT more than last year." "In 2009 we felt accomplished - we crashed SL's servers almost." "If you weren't crashing, you weren't trying." "I crashed 30 times in an hour." "Hey. Relay is   crashing, rubber banding, lag pull, and losing your hair and boots or shoes." "Like it was dial-up Internet." "Gotta love crashing on the Honor lap, if I didn't crash like ten times at least I would feel cheated!" "I had to take DD down to 32, and I still crashed!"

There was more joking around, Tindallia Soothsayer of the Giant Snail Racing team being called, "our lady of snails." Tindallia remarked, "Great, instead of a crazy cat lady, I'm the crazy snail lady." Oldesoul reassured her, "As long as you crazy - you good." Tindallia responded, "I'm not crazy, I'm mad, but we're all mad here." Another commented, "We're all crazy. Just in varying degrees." Still another went, "I'll have you know that I am NOT crazy... I'm NUTS!"

Eventually, the water began to recede again, going back down under my waist, then knees, and soon the deck was over the water again. People began heading out, either to take down their team campsites or other business on the grid or real-life. "I would love to stay, but if I do, I'll end up with 'Trader forehead.' Thank you, each and every one of you for all you do!" "Till we see each other again, when the Faire lands return." "Smile, Be Happy, and do pawsum things." Sara did have some song lyrics to say which she thought were appropriate.

Never say goodbye, never say goodbye
You and me and my old friends
Hoping it would never end
Never say goodbye, never say goodbye
Holdin' on, we got to try
Holdin' on to never say goodbye.

And so the "Raze the Relay" party, or the Flood Party, wound down. One last chance to have a little fun on the Relay track before the sad task of taking it down. While a few Relay teams would have one more team event, for most this would be the last event until the Relay Wrap-Up on Saturday July 28.

Bixyl Shuftan

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