Last night at the Gaylord National
hotel across the Potomac from Washington, DC, a strange confluence of events occurred.
In one of the large conference rooms, Family Life
was holding a Christian-centered marriage enrichment conference
. Across the hotel in the main ballroom, a large group of medium- and high-ranking officers and enlisted personnel from all five branches of the military gathered for the annual Wallow of the Military Order of the Carabao
, an organization
apparently dedicated to "fellowship" (i.e., hooch) and the creation of esprit de corps
(mainly, so far as I can tell, by mocking the really
high-ranking brass, military contractors and the usual military and political nonsense).
Taking over the rest of the hotel were the costumed hordes
, an eclectic
convention of anime fans, cosplay enthusiasts and gamers. Folks with seven-foot-long battle-axes
and odd-looking firearms
filled all the nooks and crannies of the hotel's main atrium; the TVs in the sports bar were all showing anime, and the casual spectator was treated to a bizarre crossroads of modern American culture. (Some links mildly NSFW)
Maryland retirees on Rascals scooting past Master Sergeants with sleeves full of chevrons and battalions of costumed, well, I'm not sure what-all
. It was, in short, a total mind-fuck. Great fun.