Tuesday, April 03, 2007

HyperForce 3000 Reunited!

About a week ago, Fluffy sent out an email to the Singles saying that she and Li'l Dill had been talking about trying to get everyone together for dinner last night at On the Border, since we hadn't had a chance to do that for a while. She then concluded the invitation with the statement that Li'l Dill had promised a big surprise, so everyone should do their best to attend, because there was never any telling what Li'l Dill might have up his sleeve.

Now, while the attributing of uncontrollable randomness to Li'l Dill is quite appropriate (so many stories, so little blogging about them), as soon as I finished the email I knew there was only one thing the surprise could be; after consulting with PigPen, I discovered that he had had the exact same thought as I did: the return of Shack-Fu.

Some of you may recall that back in February I mentioned that there was a possibility that Shack-Fu could be deployed to New Orleans for a couple of months to help out with disaster relief efforts. Within a few days of posting that, I got the news that Shack-Fu was indeed getting shipped off. So, for about 5 weeks HyperForce 3000 has been bereft of one of our prime instigators, which has been tough on us, but nearly as tough as it's been on Shack-Fu, who was basically stuck working12 hour days, 7 days a week in one of the worst sections of post-Katrina New Orleans, far removed from all of his friends and family. We did our best to keep his spirits up through phone calls, emails, and care packages,* but we all knew the only thing that would do the trick would be for his deployment to be cut short so that he could come home early. And now, reading between the lines of the not-so-sneaky-email, quite a few of us were pretty sure that was coming to pass.

Unfortunately, PigPen had a church league softball game last night, and so wasn't able to make it to dinner; before I headed out, I got out my cell phone and asked if he wanted to record a video message for Shack-Fu saying he was sorry he wouldn't be there to be surprised. He did so, and then I was off to see if our guess was right. Before dinner, we had our monthly outreach program at church; Li'l Dill was there, and we had a conversation that went something like this:

Li'l Dill: So, you have any guesses about what the surprise is?
Me: Oh, I'm pretty sure I know.
Li'l Dill: Really?
Me: Yeah.
Li'l Dill: Now, the surprise isn't about me.
Me: Oh, I know that; I'm pretty sure the surprise is about someone else who's going to be there
Li'l Dill: [pause] Man, does everybody know?

We soon confirmed that there were a few people at outreach who were clueless, but out of the group who showed up to On the Border, only one person hadn't guessed or been told beforehand, so the surprise portion of the evening was a bit of a bust. But the important thing was that Shack-Fu was back among us. We had a great dinner -- despite having some of the worst service ever -- and I learned something very important during the meal: both Shack-Fu and one of the recent additions to the Singles are full-fledged CAP'NS.** So, everyone say hi to Cap'n Shack-Fu and Cap'n Bubbles.*** Since PigPen wasn't able to make it out to dinner, Cap'n Shack-Fu swung by our place after dinner; after all, a homecoming party for Cap'n Shack-Fu wouldn't be complete without a reunion of the HyperTwins.

Welcome back, Cap'n Shack-Fu; if they try to ship you off again, tell them they're not getting you without a fight.

HyperForce 3000 unite!

*One evening a group of us got together and took pictures of ourselves holding up signs emblazoned with HyperForce 3000 catch-phrases and other foolishness
**That's the Coalition Against Puttin' Nuts in Stuff for those who don't know; if you hate having tasty cookies, brownies, and the like ruined by the inclusion of nuts, then you be a Cap'n
***Not to be confused with my old college roomie Bubbles