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...or how Iwhosawtheface restored my faith in Americans, Everything2 and humanity.

On a pleasant afternoon in May, the best girlfriend and I were sitting in the bar of a lovely hotel on the east coast of the United States of America when a good looking gentleman arrived and introduced himself as the abovementioned noder. When he met us that evening he didn't know yet that 3 years later it will be very likely that he will be 100 dollars poorer, but let's start from the beginning:

Shortly after the election of Barack Hussein Obama it was clear to me that I should visit the U.S. again after refusing to do so for the last eight years. A nation that had turned into one of the most despised countries on earth was suddenly awash again with the planet's goodwill, and I wanted to check out how the natives were coping with it all. So on a beautiful day in April, the best girlfriend and I boarded a rickety old 747 and let British Airways fly us all the way to Boston, MA to start our expedition of the East Coast and its inhabitants. After spending some lovely days in Provincetown, Ma and Madison, CT we finally arrived in a moderately sized town further South to meet that most mysterious of noders, Iwhosawtheface. Shortly after the best girlfriend ever and myself parked our humble heinies on the soft furnishings of our amazing abode, an attractive, silver locked and well dressed gentleman arrived and introduced himself to us as indeed the noder we were waiting for. I was impressed: not only was he erudite, charming and cultured, but also very well dressed for an American (and a Noder). He transported us to a lovely restaurant using a rather nice and spacious Bavaria-built automobile and extracted from us all the information he needed, was a knowledgeable and well informed observer of European politics and all in all an impressive specimen of a bloke. Unbelievably, before he met us he had made arrangements to take us to one of his best friends, to sit with her and her friends on a balcony under the stars to enjoy banter, a nice Merlot and the odd Davidoff. This was certainly a gamble, as we just as well could have turned out to be two loudmouthed slobs with tourettes', but fortunately the best girlfriend ever made me wash and wear more than my usual loincloth and fat-stained apron and stepped forcefully on my foot every time I was about to swear, so everything went moderately well and I think we managed for good IWSTF not to lose too much face in front of his friends for bringing us.

It was certainly a lovely evening: IWSTF's friends were wonderful human beings, and there was a palpable sense of hope in the air that after eight years in the world's sin bin the U.S. was finally becoming a member of the human race again (metaphorically speaking, of course). Hell, even I cried during Obama's inauguration speech, so I can only imagine how these guys felt. We then ventured into a little period of stargazing, and that's when I said that I can't see the Republican Party elect another fiscal conservative but socially enlightened presidential nominee, and that this is Sarah Palin's nomination to lose. IWSTF's cigar almost exploded in midair, but his mutterings that the Republican's wouldn't be THAT stupid didn't sway me from my opinion, so we made a bet: if Mrs. Palin gets the nomination, I get 100 bucks. If not, the money is his.

Easy money.

We of course also talked about E2 and the reasons for my hiatus and he was quite successful in convincing me (quite rightly so) that E2 is probably more than the sum of its current administration and that I should rather focus on the more positive aspects of the nodegel and that it continues to be an amazing social experiment.

All in all another amazing evening thanks to E2. IWSTF's friends couldn't believe that we only met the first time ca 90 minutes prior, as we were already as comfortable as buddies who had known each other for years. Only E2 manages this, and I was glad to be reminded of it.

Thanks, IWSTF, for a lovely evening.

Edit 1.12.2011: Yes, I have paid.