Blaze: Super confident, large orange tabby. I describe him as an Alpha-male because he seems to know that he is Reno's favorite.
Boo: Kitten sized adult black cat. Mischief maker, hyper active, hates being restrained to a lap. Siro cat.
Jericho: Incredibly fuzzy, has a constant confused expression. Enjoys being knocked around. Likes being held like a baby. Goofy and oblivious. Wiggy cat. Also has a bizarre and irrational hatred for the cat Baby.
Footie: An old man. Bone-y black cat with extra toes on each paw. Two extra in the front and one in the back. Meows in a raspy whisper, but sweet. Has become a food thief in his old age. Mewd cat.
Dottie: Chubby older white and black cat with all her teeth surgically removed. Eats dried food with hardened gums anyway. Hyper affectionate, like, I am not even joking, you had better be serious about petting this cat if you start. Sarah cat.
Charlie: Obese orange tabby who has very anxious eyes. Very neurotic. Whines a bit. If you pet him a way he doesn't like, he will run away and attack another cat to make up for it. If he lays on you, he might easily smother you. Nervous, jealous and temperamental. He has this bizzare tendency to get all hot and bothered when people call him a pretty kitty and make huffing noises at him. He's a strange one.
Baby: Reclusive mixed brown cat female that spends most of her time hiding from Jericho. Sheds like crazy. Very nervous.
Angel: Ancient white female. Feral. Does not interact with people. You forget about her, but then you see her standing in a doorway staring like death, an omen of your impending demise. A whisper of the end. Then she vanishes and you do not see her again.
Reno shows me around, though apart from the living room being severely altered, the place seems mostly unchanged. The dining room floorboards still creak loud enough to put the fear of God in a burglar. He has me stow my bag in the computer room, which is kept closed to prevent cats (whose curiosity is only excited by being forbidden) from shedding all over our things. We scope out the kitchen, where we stand around talking long enough to find a need to dub the kitchen the 'standing foyer' as we keep gravitating towards it in spite of all the seating and air conditioning being in the living room.
Reno and I kill a few minutes checking the steam sales. Something that we will be doing as a group frequently. 3 dollar video game flash sales are incredibly crucial even though we own virtually everything significant on the service.
Based on how long it took to pick me up, we head out to pick up Wiggy as soon as we see that his plane has landed. We underestimate Wiggy's travel agent jeans though and he calls demanding to know where we are before we get there. Demonstrating that I really don't know what I'm doing at airports.
Wiggy hops into the car and we instantly burst into hailing him as King Wiggy. Ahead of us, a billboard announces that 'The Legend has Arrived'
Reno takes us to the restaurant that he goes to with Jessie every week as a tradition. It's The Place to Be. On the way there, we're thrown off as a police officer stands in the middle of the road, but it's not clear WHY as he isn't even waving us off or anything. Reno attempts to turn into the restaurant the way he does every week and is flagged down by the police officer who demands to know WHAT YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING. We apologize, trying to avoid starting the trip with an arrest, and Reno's restaurant rhythm is thrown out of whack. We find another entrance and park, and see that the reason that for the roadblock is a parade. We decide that it is in honor of King Wiggy.
King Wiggy offers a token smile in response.
The parade is distant, and there are tents and corndogs and possibly funnel cake, but we do not partake. We enter the restaurant and it is busy. Reno is disconcerted when he fails to get his usual table and a different waitress than he is accustomed. This is Bizarro world and it is not pleasant for him. We chat, I have a giant roastbeef sandwich, and Reno tells us how happy he is to be here in person with his two favorite people and not Siro.
On the way out, we get stuck holding the door open for approximately a million people, each who thank us individually and form a gratitude train. We climb into the car and drive home, noting that the weather seems fair. Down the highway, we notice that on the otherside of an overpass, rain appears to be falling heavily while the other side is completely dry. We pass over into the rain dimension, where it is absolutely pouring buckets.
Reno introduces Wiggy to himself in cat form. Jericho makes a point to stick his paw up Reno's nose.
This little side room had its linoleum redone in a hurry on the insistence of Reno's relatives even though we spend absolutely zero time in the room over the course of the trip. Reno makes a point of introducing us to the room individually and demanding that we appreciate it. We did this for you, King Wiggy.
We get caught in the standing foyer again after the tour. This happens every, single, time.
Now that Wiggy is here we can finally unveil an important aspect of the visit: David Lynch coffee. A special treat that Reno has been saving for his fellow coffee/Lynch connoisseur.
We proceeded to unbox David Lynch coffee. There is a large gap in everyone's memory here. Something happened, but we aren't sure what. All Wiggy or Reno could remember was the deep dark roasted flavor with a hint of chocolate aftertaste. After the blackout, regular coffee seemed flavorless.
To kill time until Siro arrives, we decided to play a game of Civilization 5. Which is a terrible idea because we demonstrate that Wiggy becomes completely transfixed by the game. He acts as Reno's tiny, shoulder military adviser as he goads him to conquer his neighbors immediately. The game becomes so engrossing that we begin to joke that we shouldn't even bother picking up Siro. Haha. Jokes?
Siro is arriving at the Akron airport, which is 45 minutes away. I whip out my GPS system to help navigate there but it has stopped working for whatever reason and Reno's iphone upstages me. This will be a running theme of all attempts at navigation.
We arrive, circling the world's tiniest airport for Siro. He tells us he is wearing a purple shirt and red shoes, and I am outraged that he is wearing his purple shirt like a jacket, which confuses and bewilders me.
As soon as Siro is in the car, Reno sticks in his mix CD and Eastbound and Down starts up and is only the first tune to start this jam party. Siro describes the mix tape as so romantic. It contains such classics as Roy Orbison's In Dreams, and the Best of David Bowie. The CD lasts exactly long enough to make the return trip. Perfect. (Admitably, I am rather quiet whenever there is a lot of noise from wind and the music and I don't participate much on the car ride home, but Siro's charming personality saves me the effort)
In Dreams is more or less the unofficial song for this trip. It is nostalgic and seems to fit emotionally with meeting up with long distance friends and melancholy of inevitable separation.
On the ride back, Siro comments on how there are SO MANY GIANT AMERICAN FLAGS, that there is a bridge that says AKRON AKRON AKRON AKRON AKRON, and he reads various signs out loud and this is funny for no good reason. THE EMBASSY
We order pizza, pay Reno back for tickets for pre-ordered tickets for Dark Knight Rises. We boot up Sam and Max: Hit the Road and I play through it pitch perfectly as every single puzzle is ingrained in my memory inseparably.
We play DK returns, which is excruciatingly hard, just the way I like it. That gameover screen is a constant companion. Reno and Siro, having played the game plenty before, get to feel smug as me and Wiggy flail miserably to progress. We unlock the first temple level and Reno cuts me a deal. If I can beat it in one shot without dying, I don't have to drink any David Lynch coffee. I get a good run of beginner's luck but ultimately fail.
Reno is always there to set the mood for our triumphs and failings through impromptu sagas and jam tunes.
Siro and Dottie share a deeply rooted spiritual connection.
At one point, Wiggy abruptly decides to stop having fun. There is no talking him out of it.
WOW. ALL THESE PIZZAS, JUST FOR ME? BETTER HAND OVER THAT PLATE BUSTER!
Reno makes the comment at one point that Siro is so animated in person. It's true. It's a lot like Bill Cosby's stand up career. He's funny if you're listening to just the audio, but you miss out if you can't see all the facial expressions.
We play Kirby: Return to Dreamland for a while and settle into rolls instantly. Reno is Kirby, I am Meta Knight, Siro is King Dedede, and Wiggy is Waddle Dee. Any attempts we made to break this pattern eventually led to failure. We decided fairly quickly that the alien character we are helping, Magalor, will eventually turn out to be the final boss. We do not finish the game to verify this but have already decided.
In preparation to watch Blue Velvet, we all brew up a cup of David Lynch coffee and inbide.
BOY YOU SURE CAN TASTE THAT FLAVOR, CAN'T YA MR. STERNHEART.
Verified: I still don't like coffee.
We watch Blue Velvet, as creepily and uncomfortably as the film itself.
Blue Velvet is what you expect from a David Lynch film. Full of strange, iconic moments and surreal images and situations. Blue Velvet is a very offputting movie that juxtapositions itself against funny and incredibly wholesome scenes and moments. I don't think I like it as much as some of his other films, as the movie seems to lead the uninitiated to expect a more coherent story than it is. But really, the whole movie could be a vehicle for Frank Booth and it would still be worth watching.
The last dregs of our night are spent playing awful NES games on Reno's homebrew wii channel. We discover just how bad every single Robocop game is on the NES to the point that I have to beg everyone to stop playing it. The consequence of this is that once we established that Robocop is awful and we should never play it again, I seize every opportunity to boot it up to outraged and anguished screams.
I finish Sam and Max Hit the Road, asking every so often if we should just go to bed. Reno has this thing where he will insist that he is fine, perfectly alert and awake and that we should keep doing something even though he is falling down tired and falling in and out of consciousness. People wake up in time for the ending cut scene, but then it's time to call it a night and pass out.