The Cafe

MILIEU A peek inside the Cafe

The O*W*C seems to have a life beyond that of a mere chat room. Our members seem to have a very good idea of its milieu, and can describe it in some detail. We once asked the O*W*C gang to post their visions of the Cafe; below are the results, neatly compiled and arranged by Gandalara.

Contributors included: Araiused, BATLEMASTR, BLRWIZ, ChrisEason, ChrisJFle, DreamMindr, Gandalara, GreyLenser, HCana81931, ISHTAKOTA9, Jazn2, JMACGMAC, Lizstrata, MtnMoon, PatBurnett, Patterner, Shell0607, SpleenVent, T83BIRD, and Techyo.

The front door, framed with wood-cut squid and a red leather insert, has no side hinges -- it revolves. Immediately upon entering the room, you will see a chalkboard written with the night's topic. You are expected to erase these messages, so the host has to trot over and write it again. On each side of the door are two large windows -- when the host gets tired of trying to stay on topic, the chalkboard gets thrown out the window.

Watch where you step when you first come into the room sometimes there are puddles of ink or other unknown substances on the floor that can slide you right back out again.

Looking over the room you will see a large gymnasium-size room. The ceiling height is staggered, depending on where you are standing. The two highest points are over the bar and bookshelves, much lower over the private areas.

The lighting is low in most areas. If you need illumination in particular area, speak your need out loud. The lighting nano-bots understand all languages.

Several wallscreens act as dividers, but there are no set hallways or rooms. The screens show a variety of real-time views -- the construction crew on the moon, an undersea city, close ups from the Hubble, an unpopulated planet being bombarded by meteorites.

The floor is covered with thick comfortable throw rugs. Watch out, because some have been known to fly you right back out the door.

Dispersed all through the room are small private groupings of 2 or 3 overstuffed chairs -- for those people who prefer to IM during the scheduled chat. Plants, with individual gravity controls, float above the floor. Aquariums are scattered throughout the room, filled with the flight-loving squid, also known as ammunition .

One long wall is a seemingly endless bookcase. Floor to ceiling books, with an attached rolling ladder so you can check the top shelves. Small scuttling things, friendly but shy, make their homes on these shelves. They subsist on dust and grime.

On the other three walls are several bump-out alcoves done in different themes a piano alcove, a game alcove for Monopoly, Scrabble and Backgammon, one with water cascading down walls, another with a disco ball and flashing lights, a further unit filled with SF art. A particular alcove is filled with rafters and chandeliers to hang from, and there's even one with padded walls. Most of the calm and serene alcoves have a fireplace and a food replicator. The lone undecorated alcove is just for the age/sex checkers, that transports them immediately to a People Connection room.

Also between the alcoves are doors: The required closet with a supply of ink remover and clean mops, restrooms and shower rooms (Gentlemen, Ladies, and All Other Forms), and the message board room that has become quite dusty. Other doors, which are not marked, can lead you to our Jacuzzi and sauna, or places like Milliway's, Ringworld, Dune or Pern. The destinations change weekly and you take your chances by opening an unlabeled door.

If you look at the ceiling, you will see a large planetarium-shaped glass dome above the center of the room. Immediately below is a circular bar. The wood gleams, the glasses shimmer. This bar contains an inventory of every liquid and edible known to Earth, and some not known on Earth. The orbicular shape makes it ergonomically correct for Iggy, our efficient Giant Squid barkeep. No, he's not a Superconducting QUantum Interference Device - he's a cephalopod. Near the floor of the bar are strategically placed openings for us to crawl through, so we have places to hide during flying squid fights.

On the far side of the bar away from the door, are chairs, couches, booths, beanbags, recliners and footstools. Some chairs are personalized with names, a select few are all leather. Some have strips of Velcro on the seats to foil the AOL punt monster.

Attached to the side of the host's chair -- a coiled hose for cooling people off and a king-size salmon for thwapping. The host's chair also has a sound-proof helmet that descends on command, to muffle occasional screams of frustration.

The occasional tables scattered among the chairs have programmable tops -- some of the options available include a drink and food replicator, aromatherapy programs, smoke-eating ashtrays, music or privacy domes.

So come on in. Sit for a while. Make yourself at home.

Note from Chip:

Gandalara did a wonderful job arranging everyone's contributions. There were a few other "Milieu Bits" which didn't really fit into the narrative, but which I felt bore inclusion. They're below.

  • The bookshelves comprise a lending library. With every drink from the bar you get a bottle of ink-be-gone. - Jazn2

  • A skylight ceiling, so we can see the stars and whatever comet happens to be in the neighborhood. A nice telescope for stargazing. - Lizstrata

  • A giant squid-shaped chandelier done in lead crystal with gold trim with a lightbulb in each tentacle. Anyone standing directly underneath gets doused with ink. - SpleenVent

  • Punt pillows with Patterners' beads and Chips' embroidery of squids. - Gandalara

  • Throne for the host of the night, equipped with a small tangent alarm to warn them when the room is hopelessly off-topic. - MtnMoon

  • Other alcoves: One is a planetarum. One is an undersquid motif. One is all Chrome. One is a ball room ala the one in Baron Munchausen where he danced on air with the goddess Venus. Also a time discombobulator at the door so that if you get here late then you can still be on time. - BLR WIZ

  • "I enter a foyer ringed by doors. Doors? Of course, Other *Worlds* Cafe that leads to many realms through doors (windows no good here). There are strange symbols above the doors. Can't see very well, it's so misty. Wait, there is a fountain in the centre and it sings! o/~ Welcome, Welcome o/~. Sounds very much like that AOL guy - should take singing lessons. I wave aside the smoke and I can see a little better. Oh, those symbols are depictions of squid in various sinuous and sensuous(!) postures. That door over there has a mermaid riding a squid - how quaint! Don't like that symbol of squid paired with an anaconda. So, I take squid and little mermaid and enter a long hallway. It's chilly in here, sort of creepy, I hear water everywhere and the lights are so dim, kind of violetish. Courage, there is light at the end of the tunnel and I enter a salon. This is our cafe! (Well, one of many scattered on other *Worlds*). And what a worthwhile journey! Persian carpets, murals on the walls portraying long-bearded travelling wizards, starships hovering on the edge of the universe, strange red mountains on a golden world, many-headed creatures revering a goddess perched on a piano ... And a grand piano graces the floor! Sea creatures cruise along the floor-to-ceiling glass windows; this cafe, it appears, lies in the ocean of some world. A plentiful snack bard, palmettos in corners, divans, cushions and bean bags galore. Soft music in the background. I'm going to like it here, but look! The waters (of this cyber ocean) through that one glass window are parting. The guests are arriving or the hosts rather. Oh, look who's coming ..." - Araiused

  • ">>A plentiful snack bard<<

    TTTO Edelweiss

    I sing of snacks, I sing of snacks,
    I offer tasty assortment.
    What you crave, what you want,
    Here's the goal of your hunt.
    Twinkies and Fritos and Lic'rish Sticks,
    Pizza rolls and Milk Duds,
    I sing of snacks, I sing of snacks,
    I offer tasty assortment." - Patterner

  • A morning room with lots of sunshine and Godiva coffee. There are potted palm trees, fragrant flowering plants, white rattan and swaying hammocks, and a tropical ocean breeze wafting through the French doors. Naturally there's a tide pool full of squid, and everyone is blessed with retroactive eidetic memory upon entering. - Shell0607

  • There is lots of SF/Fantasy artwork for ambiance: A Whelan dragon and a Paul Lehr bubblescape; a Maitz amazon, and a DiFate spacecraft... - GreyLenser

  • The cafe is located somewhere in the burbs of the galaxy. Close to the neighborhood and the cosmopolitan areas, but with free parking. (Hate those overpriced lots!) - Jazn2

  • Bo Squidly and the Inkspots are on hand to provide entertainment. - SpleenVent

  • Some light classical music (such as Mozart or Holst) or SF movie soundtrack (ID4, Star Wars or Star Trek VI) playing in the background. - The13thDr

  • "Just out of curiosity, is it an open Bar or a cash bar? If it is a cash bar, what currency is used? British Pounds? Francs? Gold-pressed latinum? Federation credits? American Dollars? Canadian Dollars?

    I'd like to know so I can pay the squid when I leave each nite!" - The13thDr

    You pay with your O*W*C Card. "Haven't you applied for one yet? Accepted throughout the Milky Way and automatically converts all charges to your planet of origin/habitation's currency. " - Jazn2

    "Actually, it's accepted throughout the Local Group and we've got a deal in the works to expand into the Virgo Cluster, too. Don't leave your solar system without it." - JNRChip

  • The Mystdoors lead to other worlds, in which you can get lost and come back with new tales to tell. - USF Winger

  • Various chairs of all varieties: Beanbag, levitating carpets, lawnchairs, 19th century antique mingle throughout the room. A curtain covers one entire wall. This is the entrance. Behind the curtain is a doorway to all places and times. The guests arrive in every way possible. But when you arrive and leave, you only see your particular door... - DreamMndr


    "Ok lets see. Yeah, here's the first crossroads."
    "Ok what comes first? The cafe is back there so this sign goes up now"
    "Ok what next?" Lets see, ok, this one goes on the main crossroad directly across the main road.
    "THE OUTER LIMITS 15light years/HAVEN 30light years"
    "Ok up the road to THE TWILIGHT ZONE 500 feet and this one goes up."
    "NARNIA 75 miles/VALDEMERE 150miles" Oh yeah those roads are each at a 45 degree angle from the main road so I had better get that one right.
    "Next" Ok lets see. "Up the road towards VALDEMERE and this one goes up."
    "RETHWELLEN 400 miles/THE PELLEGIR HILLS 900 miles"
    Up towards HAVEN about 10 light years and up goes this one.
    "THE FEDERATED SENTIENT PLANETS 600 light years/PERN 1000 light years"
    "Ok one left. What do we have here?"
    "STRAITLAND 30 miles/THE CADILLAC RANCH 45 miles"

    Whats that doing here? That should have gone up over in the music community! I distinctly remember finishing that job too. Ok, 2nd star to the right and straight on till morning to go double check.

    Now how did I get that mixed up? This sign really caused confusion over there! KARSE 400 miles/ BOLTHAVEN 1000 miles. That one of course goes on the Rethwellen road 20 miles up." - BGBEAR528

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