The plotting started well before I got to Science Online. I mentioned to Scicurious that we’d be flying in on my husband’s birthday. She insisted we needed to do cake. I countered with cupcakes and found some nearby. There was still a problem, though, since we wouldn’t be landing until after the cupcake shop closed and Sci wouldn’t have a car.
Scicurious was on the job. She recruited Princess. By coincidence (not a requirement for procuring cupcakes) Ben and Princess share a birthday. This presented Sci with her own problem. Princess doesn’t usually make a big deal of her birthday, but Sci didn’t want it going unnoticed in all the furious meeting and greeting of SciO Day One. I suggested letting Bora and Karyn know, as they’d make sure it didn’t stay a secret.
As you can see, the cupcakes part of the mission was a success. So was making sure Princess was included in the birthday celebrations. Cupcakes in a hotel lobby bar attract attention. Everyone wanted to know why they were there. It might even have been more attention than she wanted, or maybe she just slipped away to say, “Hi,” as people came in.
The cupcakes were a success in an unexpected way as well. I had ordered a bunch, not sure who would be at the hotel the first night. Several of the people I’d mentally counted were either absent or stuffed from what I hear was epic BBQ. That left cupcakes to share.
I’m not huge on initiating social contact, but now I had an excuse. I flagged down people I slightly recognized from Twitter avatars and others who merely looked wistfully curious as they walked passed a table of people eating and laughing. Introductions were made, birthday wishes given. Then the litany began.
“Black forest, bourbon pecan pie, ‘hot’ chocolate (with pepper), coconut, banana, maple, chocolate, an–”
“You mean chocolate chocolate chocolate. What? That’s how you’ve been saying it.”
“Chocolate chocolate chocolate, and raspberry.”
Cupcakes make an excellent ice breaker.One of the bar staff was later heard to say, “Those scientists.. really know how to throw it down. They were here until 3am. With cupcakes.”
That was only the first of the Science Online plots in which I took part. [Read more…]