The Broken Drummers group came about when Jack Hanley had a bad Meet-up experience. He felt he could do better. Well there are plenty of people who think he did.
T’was a hot July night and, full of hope and anticipation, I headed for the first meeting of “The Terry Pratchett Meetup Group” as advertised on the (now infamously profiteering) “Meetup” site. The address, to my surprise, turned out to be an office building, deserted save for one lone and intrepid security guard. It being 18:30 I assumed that the other denizens had decamped to their abodes in suburbia.
My enquiries brought a blank response from the security guard but, being an unusually helpful chap for one of his calling, he informed me that there was a bar in the basement. My spirits rose immediately, surely this would be the place. After all, even at this early stage I realized that there might be a strong correlation between the love of Pratchett and a genius for getting plastered. My new friend offered to guide me to this haven. We set off down the stairs of this labyrinthine and gothic building. After much travelling my guide proved both trustworthy and knowledgeable. Deep in the bowels of the building we came upon a door. Through a window could be seen a bar stocked with liquor. Lo my hopes were quickly dashed. The door was locked! On closer inspection a thick layer of dust lay over all and many chairs were stacked.
My heart felt heavy as I followed my guide back to his sentry post. Looking through the glass door I spotted a hostelry across the road. It was yet ten minutes to the hour of seven when festivities were due to start. Surely it would do no harm to take a libation in that building and perchance I might return to find this vestibule thronging with hoards of Pratchettian merry makers.
This plan I quickly put into action. Returning some 15 minutes later buoyed by the good spirits of two large G&Ts I again entered the foyer which at first appeared devoid of life except for my newly made uniformed friend at the desk. He clearly saw my clouded countenance and pointed to an ill lit corner of his domain.
Before me there appeared a vision. There was a beautiful young woman with a printed sign (as per the instructions on that ignominious “Meetup” site) saying “Meetup”. I rushed to this damsel sure she must be the first of many rabid fans due to arrive! How quickly our early hopes are crushed by the hand of the inevitable. This fair lady explained that in fact she had barely heard of Mr. Pratchett and was in fact an independent journalist doing an article on the typical type of person who attended meetings set up over the “Meetup” site.
We waited and chatted but typical people did not materialize. I suggested that perhaps we could carry on our conversation over a couple of G&Ts whose veracity in the alehouse opposite I had fortunately all ready tested. On my recommendation she readily agreed. Some pleasant hours were spent together discussing topics, which did indeed touch on Mr P and literature at points. The evening was most fine.
As I lay in bed that night however I vowed that no other pilgrim should ever have to suffer the emotional roller coaster, which I had endured that night. The next meeting would be organised... by me. Little was I to know that the final result would be the great and glorious society of “THE BROKEN DRUMMERS” (sometimes nicknamed “The Bog Pointers”. Don't ask why because you really don‘t want to know).