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Night 4: Mac the Knife

By Michael Gowan

I'm strapped to a gurney in Macworld's testing lab, wires and electrodes attached to various parts of my body. People in white coats keep walking around me, solemnly nodding and writing comments on a clipboard. Someone just shook his head ruefully. I think I'm in bad shape. It's been a long, hard week of socializing, and after last night's Mac the Knife party, I'm in need of some serious time at Calistoga Springs.

The Knife party will do that to you. Probably the most anticipated party of Expo week, the Knife throws a good one, and people beg, lie, and steal to get an invitation. If that doesn't work, they just show up and try to bluff their way in. It never works. Big, muscular guys at the door with stern expressions make sure of that.

The white coats are currently running MacBench 5.0 on me. My results are not pretty. Versus testing at the beginning of the week, my processor speed is down 50 percent, my graphics capabilities have declined 62.5 percent, and it turns out I don't have a floating point or CD-ROM drive. No wonder I feel so drained.

This year's Knife party was held at The Stud, a quaint and reserved leather bar in San Francisco. While I didn't get an exact count, I'm guessing occupancy limits were exceeded as you actually had to crawl on people's heads to get the bar. The party happens toward the end of the week for a reason--people are ready to blow off some steam and get a little crazy. As one person put it, this party would never work on Monday. It just wouldn't have the same energy. And generally you have to work much harder on an Expo Tuesday than you do on an Expo Friday.

I've been given some square blocks and round pegs, and I'm supposed to make them fit into the proper whole in front of me. For some reason, I actually can get a square block to fit in a round whole. The white coats are stumped.

After a couple of hours, the Knife party got pretty primal. Blood alcohol levels ran high and the dancing began. A running theme through out the night was to find a Mac Publishing employee (like me) and try to find out who Mac the Knife really is. One fellow suggested he was "like Aunt Jemima." In other words, he doesn't exist. Others picked various writers and editors for MacWEEK. Don't ask me. I know nothing.

With fluids now being fed intravenously, I'm beginning to feel better. The test results indicate I should be careful with my remaining brain cells, as I have very few left to give. The white coats gave me a Zip drive to back up whatever data I have left, in case the metal decay continues, and told me to call them in the morning. Next, I'm off to see Macworld's resident psychologist to help me get over seeing Mac the Knife's intern Brett wearing leather chaps without any pants.

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