Getting to the Panggung Anniversary was easy. My chauffeur a.k.a. Papa, knew the place like the back of his hand. He actually walked me to the gazebo where Spar was. After some,"I'll be here at 4 o'clock, wait there blah blah blah.." he was off.
Perry and Bats had left before I had arrived to put up the signs Bats made. Spar showed me the haul - 25 year old Scotch, Chiggy von Rootbeer, Leathal Lethe [pronounced "Lay~tea" (I think)] and a packet of Green Meanies, all skillfully relabeled and repacked by Bats. The relabeled bottles of softdrinks were so cute that I just had to arrange them for the whole world to see! That might be the reason why passerbys seemed to be so interested in our "affairs". :D
From left: Falcon and Kingfisher
with Lethal Lethe and Chiggy von Rootbeers
Spar and I then sat and did small talk about the other Firebirds, Joel the Great, and yes, the weather!
We were jokin' and laughin' 'till this guy, a total wacko who was quiet all this while started to mutter to himself loudly. Spar and I began giving funny looks when Spar's mobile phone rang. It was Falcon! They talked and suddenly Spar's phone went dead. Spar cleverly decided to go out to look for the missing FBs leaving me behind to hold down the fort. Keep in mind that this particular fort had a fruitcake in it's midst, and I don't mean the eating kind.
So, there I was, sitting beside a large ice box trying not to stare at the cuckoo (not a FB) who was now talking and chuckling to himself. I looked up, right, down, straight ahead praying to dear God that Mr Bonkers wasn't a demented pervert.
Luckily, Spar returned, with three other people with her! Garry, Bats and Falcon. I was going to ask who was who but a,"HOOYAH!!!" from Bats explained it clearly. :)
And it gets Louder:
Bats lost no time ordering Private Falk around. Personalized Dog Tags with the US Marine logo on it were handed out with the name tags. A round of CvRs was poured. Falcon was seemingly dissapointed that I didn't turn out to be the Fat Medic that he pictured.
Garuda was a little hard to figure out at first. She spoke little in her own accent. One couldn't know if she would pounce at you with her hidden kris and disembowel you there and then but all that "coolness" vanished when Per made us blow up the remaining balloons. Hard to be cool when your cheeks are all red and puffed out!
We yakked until around 12 noon and Spar made more signs to put up. That wasn't needed as the KF, Blacky, Eagle and Kes met us coming out.
The gang introduced one another.
"Hey, you don't look like what you said!"
"Wah, you DO look like a Kes!"
KF did not resemble the macho, big, well built guy everyone had supposed. Hopefully the friendly teasing wasn't the reason he was so quiet that day.
The spread was just the opposite. It was screaming,"I'm delicious!! Eat me!!"
We had pizzas (vegetarian and non. Trust Blacky to be so toughtful ) chicken, kebabs, pringles, M&Ms, biscuits, buns, cheeze cake and the highlight food of the day - Potato salad swimming in mayo!
The conversation was never-ending! We went from Star Wars to Captain Powers to Starship Troopers to Star Trek to Sea Quest. We discussed about all things Malaysian- TMnet, Commonwealth, IT songs and the mailing list. We nattered on about musical instruments and told of our favourite S:AAB scene. Again, Topic "Joel de la Fuente" did not escape the Firebirds! Horoscope and Chinese Zodiac animals of the FBs were analysed. Confusion aroused when E referred to the horror writer as Stephen Hawkings!
Blacky was begining to repent starting the Music Thread. Everything from names used by Stephen Gately (Boyzone) to Gary Barlow's fashion sense was dissected. When the conversation led to favourite actors and crushes, I think the three boys wanted to knock themself out cold! There came a point where G-strings and Burgi was mentioned in the same sentence, and maybe it was my imagination, but I could swear KF, Blacky and Falcon turned a deep shade of purple.
Slowly, the Firebirds began talking and noticing things about themselves and each other. Blackys horrific experience on the mailing list where he was yelled at by Bats; KF giggles; Eagle is attracted to guys like KF; Garuda's opinion that the kerengga here is larger than those from East Malaysia; Perry's hidden talent in modelling; Falk runs like Forest Gump....
Of course, the FBs don't sit around all day just talking! We excercised a lot. Well, Falk and Bats at the most! Bats chased poor Falk up the hill and back, doing the Seargent routine.
We took pictures in front of amused picnicers, shouting "Semper Fi!" No Firebird is a shy Firebird. :) "Tak tau Malu"
As luck would have it, a figure 8 reflexology foot massage was nearby. We posed in our most menancing Marine pose.... With the occasional,"Is anyone smilling?" "Look fierce!" and "Can I put James Morrison's face in the pictures?" every now and then.
Ack! By this time, it was already 3:18 p.m. We made plans for the future, agreed on a Logo and gave the last of the pizzas to the mad guy.
4'O clock and we had to leave. It was nice to finally meet (almost) everyone in person.