I dream of lurker-fans

You know it's bad when you start dreaming about lurker photography fans. It's even worse when your dream ends with you beating the crap out of one. Here's what I remember from my dream...

Norbert Wu, Berkley White and I were at a hotel somewhere on the last few days of one year's Digital Shootout. We had just done the last dive of the day (I only did one of the two dives, for some reason) and had finished the arduous process of rinsing off all of our gear and hauling it back to our rooms. Somehow, this overweight, pasty guy had ended up back in Norb's room and was hanging around, oblivious to the fact that the Shootout was over and that we might need a bit of our own space. I knew that the guy (whose name was Nicholas) was sort of freaky; he for some reason always had an earpiece on. Who knew what he was listening to all the time! After what seemed like an eternity, Berk and I left the room because it was more likely that Norb would be able to get rid of Nick on his own. We walked down the hallway to the other end of the building (where my room was).

"Man, I can't believe that guy." Berkley rolled his eyes with a little half-smirk on his face. "So you want to meet up for dinner? How's 7:30?"

"Yeah. I'm pretty hungry. How about 7:15?"

"Sounds good to me."

Berkley pushed his way through the swinging glass door and walked out of sight to the other building, where his room was.

At the other end of the doorway, I saw Norb talking to Nick in the hallway. Finally, Nick peeled himself away and started walking toward me. I met him halfway down.

"Hey, Eric. So what are you guys doing later?" Nick was totally clueless.

"Um... I'll probably just pack up and relax."

I walked past him without stopping and sat down on one of the couches across from Norb's room. Norb greeted me with what is becoming a pretty standard greeting:

"Can you fucking believe that guy?"

[I forgot most of the conversation here...]

After a couple of minutes of chatter, I looked down the hallway and saw Nick looking at us and pacing around outside the glass doors. He still had that weird earpiece in.

"No way," I said quietly to Norb. "I think he bugged us!"

I remember that Nick had a small metal microphone that could easily be hidden, and started searching around. Sure enough, a glint of light caught my attention from between two of the couch cushions. Reaching in, I felt the cold smoothness of metal (alright -- I had a bit of gear lust for it).

I held it up to my mouth and yelled into it.

"Nicholas! You're a fucking psycho! Nicholas! You're fucking psycho!"

The pacing outside became a bit frantic.

"Nicholas! You're a fucking psycho! Nicholas! You're fucking psycho!"

Nicholas disappeared out of sight, but I knew he was walking around the building to our door. Shortly after, he arrived and paced himself into the hallway.

"What the hell are you doing, Nicholas? You *bugged* us??"

He stammered back. "I'm.. not, uh... sure. I don't know why."

He was pretty fixated on the bug, which was securely located in one of my fists.

"Give it back to me."

There was no way I was going to give the thing back without an answer.

"I'll give it back to you if you tell me why you bugged us."

"Give it back!" He tried to grab it, but I moved out of the way.

"Nick, tell me why, and I'll give it back to you."


At this point, Nick started to become a little pushy. He was an fat dude and had a lot of mass behind him.

Here's where I woke up, but I had some fantasies shortly thereafter about how it might have ended, including a scenario where I punched him twice in the stomach, once in face, and once from above to the back of the neck (the final blow that knocked him down).

I've seen some of Vienna Teng's lurker-fans, and this guy may have been modeled after one of them. Not the best dream to wake up to!