© 1996 Jamie Zawinski <>

I was at a party, leaning against the refrigerator (since, as with all parties, nearly everyone ended up in the kitchen.) There was some sort of power struggle at the CD player in the other room, as the Frank Sinatra song which had been playing was cut off prematurely, and was replaced with the ennui-laden stylings of Depeche Mode's classic Black Celebration album.

There were several people sitting around a table directly across the room from me, and at the end of each line in the song, each person lifted their glass and took a large sip.

A blue-haired girl leaned over towards one of them, and a brief exchange of words occurred. She stood tall, her eyes grew wide, and she let out a shriek as she bolted from the room, hands over her ears.

I laughed aloud, and shook my head.

``What was that all about?''

The question came from a tall, skinny fellow who was now standing next to me. He was wearing a flouncy white shirt, eyeliner, and a puzzled expression.

``Well, they're playing the Depeche Mode drinking game,'' I explained.

``The whaaat??''

``The Depeche Mode drinking game. You play Black Celebration, and take a drink any time you hear the words Black, Tonight, Time, or Question.'' I watched him consider the implications. ``It's not a game for a light drinker,'' I added, nodding.

``But why did it upset her so?''

``Well...'' I began. Should I be telling him this? Oh, why not, it was really funny.

The tall fellow laughed. Our conversation turned to other things, and eventually we drifted apart. Some time later, the blue-haired girl appeared in front of me. Her forehead was furrowed, and her lips twisted off to one side. She was not looking the least bit happy. She said, ``Someone I've never met before just came up to me and said, `I know a story about you!' Do you have to tell everyone about that?''

``Heh heh,'' I chuckled nervously. Oops, I thought. Now she's mad. ``Well, you saw what they were doing, they were playing the game! The subject just... came up. So to speak.'' She tilted her head and sighed. She wasn't buying this. ``I'm sorry, ok? I mean, it's not like I put it on my web page or anything!''

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