Can't we have a gang sign? January 9, 2011 5:59 AM   Subscribe

Do we have a secret Mefite gang sign or anything? If not, could we get one?

So last night, I'm sitting in this hole in the wall catfish joint in the woods of central Texas, and I can't but overhear the conversation at the next table. A Lady is obviously referencing this thread. She makes references to "this website I read" and mentions several specific comments in the thread, enough that I'm downright sure she's talking about Metafilter. Short of going over to her table and admitting that I was eavesdropping her conversation, I wanted to acknowledge our Mefiteness in some way. Could we make up a secret handshake or a gang sign or something so we can signal each other? And hey, if it was you, "Hi!"
posted by tamitang to Etiquette/Policy at 5:59 AM (101 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I always thought it was "Are you a friend of Matt Haughey's?"

I wait in anticipation for the day when I'll have a reason to say that to someone. What I don't have, yet, is a good response in case they say, "What? Who's That?"
posted by meese at 6:01 AM on January 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


And some kind of colourful bandana.

Make it, sow.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:03 AM on January 9, 2011


Maybe at a restaurant the signal could be ordering a plate of beans. Like ordering a pizza with extra anchovies is a signal at a pizza place.
posted by XMLicious at 6:08 AM on January 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


What I don't have, yet, is a good response in case they say, "What? Who's That?"

Oh, you're one'a them Boingboingers.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 6:09 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I always thought it was "Are you a friend of Matt Haughey's?"

I always do this. It has the main qualification of a secret signal because if they're not part of the Cabalsite they'll just assume you're meeting this guy and some friends, or maybe you thought you recognised them from a party or something.
posted by atrazine at 6:14 AM on January 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


When you pay you say, loudly, "best 5 bucks ever spent."
(or you ask for a Hoppitamoppita, well stirred. Hey. Recipe! How do we mix an awesome moppita anyway?)
posted by Namlit at 6:15 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Alternatively you could give their inner thighs a gentle stroke, that never fails to generate some reaction.
posted by atrazine at 6:15 AM on January 9, 2011 [16 favorites]


"Hey, do you read Metafilter?"
posted by flatluigi at 6:17 AM on January 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


Previously.
posted by John Cohen at 6:17 AM on January 9, 2011


You could ask the waiter if they take this card. When he says no, you can say rather loudly, "OMG, what a mistake! that is my MeFi ID card. I am so silly." And do it kinda loud too.
posted by lampshade at 6:21 AM on January 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Here, practice this.
posted by gman at 6:25 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


You may get shot by a Reddit dawg if you arnt careful with signs
posted by wheelieman at 6:28 AM on January 9, 2011 [12 favorites]


MetaChat has this.
posted by Eideteker at 6:42 AM on January 9, 2011


And some kind of colourful bandana. -- Yeah. I'm afraid you might get more attention than you might desire.
posted by crunchland at 6:45 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Strike that last comment from the record, I wasnt thinking about current events here. Change shot to beat up if you want.
posted by wheelieman at 6:45 AM on January 9, 2011


Cross your index fingers in shape of a plus sign. That's my favorite.
posted by Toekneesan at 6:46 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


T-shirt. No words necessary.

For effect, wear it under your street clothes. Then simply walk up to the table, rip your shirt open Superman-style and wait for the inevitable reaction.

Your mileage may vary.
posted by zarq at 6:48 AM on January 9, 2011 [15 favorites]


You could always order a plate of beans to be sent to the potential MeFite in question. (This would presumably be impractical in a bar.)
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 6:49 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Curses, only just saw that XMLicious beat (beaned?) me to it. :D
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 6:50 AM on January 9, 2011


So last night, I'm sitting in this hole in the wall catfish joint in the woods of central Texas, and I can't but overhear the conversation at the next table. A Lady is obviously referencing this thread. She makes references to "this website I read" and mentions several specific comments in the thread, enough that I'm downright sure she's talking about Metafilter.

She'll show up here in 3, 2, 1...
posted by fixedgear at 7:27 AM on January 9, 2011


nope, not yet
posted by Namlit at 7:31 AM on January 9, 2011


Sign MF in ASL?
posted by benign at 7:45 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


And some kind of colourful bandana. -- Yeah. I'm afraid you might get more attention than you might desire.

You just gotta know the code.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 7:46 AM on January 9, 2011


I suggested one, to only be met with a stony uncomfortable silence.
posted by Danf at 8:26 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought the secret MeFi call sign was to shout, "Christ, what an asshole!" during an uncomfortable silence.
posted by cmyk at 8:40 AM on January 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


Whack someone you're with very hard on the nape of the neck and yell "flagged!"
posted by jtron at 8:41 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I met someone once who had a 'plate of beans' e-mail address. So I asked, of course.
Nope. It had to do with a college prank of some kind, and not MetaFilter at all.
I was very disappointed. But really, there is too much coincidence there to be real.
He is probably an undercover MeFite, in the MeFite Stazi or something.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:46 AM on January 9, 2011


FARTING CONSTANTLY SEEMS TO WORK FOR ME
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:59 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Whack someone you're with very hard on the nape of the neck and yell "flagged!"

Then rapidly move on.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:00 AM on January 9, 2011 [25 favorites]




See, but I could tell that's a MeFi without him flashing any gang sign.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 9:30 AM on January 9, 2011


I suggested one, to only be met with a stony uncomfortable silence.

That's what we all get when we start writing about faving. Never fave a faving comment. Or is it faveing or faveïng...

We think about faving, we don't mention it, and our refresh fingers are all thick and swollen. The secret sign, then, is to show up the refresh finger. So we can identify not only mefites and non-mefites, but also levels of mefiteness.
posted by Namlit at 9:35 AM on January 9, 2011


FARTING CONSTANTLY SEEMS TO WORK FOR ME

I offer you the Mad-Eye Moody badge of the week. "Constant Vigilance"

Wait, does it work constantly or do you...wait, we just said it's spelled FAVING. So confusing.
posted by Namlit at 9:38 AM on January 9, 2011


The sign language of the mysteries. (somewhat hard to get)
has some great stuff. i like the one matt put up.

^&()
posted by clavdivs at 9:40 AM on January 9, 2011


Fish in your pants.
posted by i_cola at 9:49 AM on January 9, 2011


Lack of pants.
posted by fixedgear at 10:32 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


A few meetups ago, I tried the codesign on a guy who knew a Matt Howey, and wanted to know how he was.
posted by zamboni at 10:43 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I would just say "So, you don't know what taters means, either."
posted by ob at 10:52 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


We breathe through our mouths.
posted by Decani at 10:56 AM on January 9, 2011


The official Metafilter gang sign is made as follows:
1. Hand out, palm facing you, fingers towards floor.
2. Cross two middle fingers.
3. Splay out two outer fingers.
4. The result should look like a letter M, the first letter of the Metafilter logo.

You can see the Metafilter gang sign being demonstrated by mefites such as these, these these these and these.

Unfortunately some mefites get the orientation wrong so remember to follow the instructions carefully!
posted by Mike1024 at 11:42 AM on January 9, 2011


I am totally oblivious, so I never notice anyone wearing or overhear them talking about anything (although I was at WordCamp SF last year and spotted someone across the room reading the blue). A few times people have spotted me wearing a MeFi shirt, and they've gone the "Hey, you read Metafilter!" route.
posted by brundlefly at 11:49 AM on January 9, 2011


A pin with a green and yellow M on it.

Though, after this thread, I'm going to have to get over distrusting Western Mefites.
posted by anniecat at 12:15 PM on January 9, 2011


I show up at mefi meetups and ask if this is the Cory Doctorow Appreciation Society meetup.

...no one has ever laughed.
posted by griphus at 12:25 PM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


$20 SAIT
you know who else ordered the blackened catfish?
posted by ctmf at 12:35 PM on January 9, 2011


I always thought it was "Are you a friend of Matt Haughey's?"

I always think of saying this, and then don't, because I figure we'll both feel stupid if it's a Metafilter reader just didn't instantly recognize Matt's name. Like if they're new, or primarily use AskMe, or just not aware that "mathowie" = phonetic "Matt Haughey."
posted by desuetude at 12:43 PM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd never noticed there was only one "t" in Matt's screen name. And my brain parses it now as "math owie", which describes my high school algebra education perfectly.
posted by hippybear at 1:03 PM on January 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


What colour is the boathouse in Hereford? (You must pronounce it Here-ford).
posted by dougrayrankin at 1:18 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just show 'em the tattoo on my dick.

It's a "[+". Wasn't room for the closing bracket. :(
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:18 PM on January 9, 2011 [11 favorites]


Make it, sow.

er, 'sew'? Otherwise that's bizarrely rude or a very odd way of farming.
posted by Sparx at 1:41 PM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah. Sorry everyone.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 1:51 PM on January 9, 2011


What about "friend of Jessamyn West"? There are, after all, not a whole lot of Jessamyn Wests around, and as her screen name is easier to parse, maybe that would lead to less confusion?
posted by Phire at 2:31 PM on January 9, 2011


What about "friend of Jessamyn West"

Yeah, well, isn't that just too pointy outy personal? I mean, I've been toying with my hobby horse all afternoon (in context, I'd phrase it "pronouncer of clav divs"), but that kind of personal thing just won't fly.

I'd vote for green or gray or blue T-shirts or sweatshirts with a yellow [1 favorite +], printed front and back, to be worn at all times in public.
posted by Namlit at 2:50 PM on January 9, 2011


I always think of saying this, and then don't, because I figure we'll both feel stupid if it's a Metafilter reader just didn't instantly recognize Matt's name. Like if they're new, or primarily use AskMe, or just not aware that "mathowie" = phonetic "Matt Haughey."

That would be my reaction since I have a horrible memory for names (and I didn't know that about his user name...). But now I know, and hopefully I'll remember.
posted by patheral at 3:01 PM on January 9, 2011


Metafilter Secret Gang Sign
posted by blue_beetle at 3:12 PM on January 9, 2011


nevermind
posted by blue_beetle at 3:12 PM on January 9, 2011


Apache Server at www.says-it.com Port 80
which links to windows live mail.
posted by clavdivs at 4:13 PM on January 9, 2011


oh but i like it, Metafilter Secret Gang Sign: Forbidden
posted by Namlit at 4:15 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


What about "friend of Jessamyn West"

You're trying to pick up librarians in bars? Ur doin it rong. On second thought -- maybe not.
posted by dhartung at 5:05 PM on January 9, 2011


Just go stand right next to them, pull the mefi shirt of your choosing out of your bag, and put it on. Then clear your throat several times. You may also want to bring a laptop displaying this thread.
posted by routergirl at 5:29 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Oh, are you (guys) from The Internet too?"
posted by ArgentCorvid at 5:38 PM on January 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


I know you asked for a secret handshake, but how about you just say, "oh, do you read Metafilter, too?"
posted by crunchland at 6:07 PM on January 9, 2011


There are, after all, not a whole lot of Jessamyn Wests around

Well, there are at least two.
posted by grouse at 6:15 PM on January 9, 2011


grouse: "Well, there are at least two."

How many other names can you say that about? You could combine my English and Chinese names in any permutations you chose and there would still be at least a couple of hundred hits that aren't me.
posted by Phire at 6:30 PM on January 9, 2011


We are 99.9999% certain I'm the only one with my name. We can only find four other people with my surname, let alone adding the rest of me.
posted by SMPA at 6:34 PM on January 9, 2011


I prefer to walk behind the suspected MeFite, leaning over and whispering "Praise cortex" in their ear. If they cross themselves and mutter "Long may he mod," they are good. I chose this method, after having to eat another plate of beans that a non-MeFite didn't want their free plate of beans.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:55 PM on January 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


How many other names can you say that about?

There are at least two who are notable enough to have Wikipedia articles about them. There are lots of names for which this is not true (for example, Matthew Haughey).
posted by grouse at 6:58 PM on January 9, 2011


I prefer to walk behind the suspected MeFite, leaning over and whispering "Praise cortex" in their ear.

You gave me an ear infection you son of a bitch.
posted by griphus at 7:14 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Over a year after I gave up the username, I still check to see if MeFites are present by saying out loud "This will not wendell".

And this thread has exposed the dirty secret of MetaFilter... we are NOT wearing pants, because we're storing our fish in them.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:29 PM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is a secret Metafilter gang sing.

But it's secret.
posted by lollusc at 7:36 PM on January 9, 2011


Fuckit. SIGN.
posted by lollusc at 7:36 PM on January 9, 2011


"um, excuse me I said EXCUSE ME EVERYBODY." (pause for silence) "IS ANYONE HERE FROM THE INTERNET?"

works pretty well
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:42 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is the secret Metafilter gang sing.
posted by griphus at 7:44 PM on January 9, 2011


I thought there was one, but then I got arrested for indecent exposure. Twice.
posted by MikeMc at 7:46 PM on January 9, 2011


"Are you from the internet?" has yielded positive results for me in the past.
posted by msali at 7:47 PM on January 9, 2011


I usually just punch em in the dick
posted by mannequito at 8:15 PM on January 9, 2011


"I usually just punch em in the dick"

I remember you...
posted by MikeMc at 8:27 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Are those fish in your pants, or is someone fucking a chicken?
posted by Balisong at 9:13 PM on January 9, 2011


No, no, no. You ask "Have you met The Whelk?" That should be enough.

I say this having never met The Whelk.
posted by Minus215Cee at 9:24 PM on January 9, 2011


* Form a letter L with thumb and pointy finger.
* Place on forehead.

...it stands for "Left Wing" :)
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:25 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is irrelevant, but does anyone else read AskMe threads, particularly relationship threads, and have a strong desire to match up answerers with askers (or other answerers)? It's like those movie scenes where a recently dumped character muses that they really want someone warm and loving while another slightly pathetic figure laments the lack of people who appreciate his warmth and lovingness. There should be a flag for that...
posted by doublehappy at 9:30 PM on January 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


> I prefer to walk behind the suspected MeFite, leaning over and whispering "Praise cortex" in their ear.

A note for the other mods, this isn't to belittle you. It's just that cortex is the one with god complex(ion). And if anyone ask if cortex is a god, you say yes. Thus, "Praise cortex."
posted by filthy light thief at 9:52 PM on January 9, 2011


Set matthewchen is spamming as your ringtone, adjust phone volume to high, call self. Should do the trick.

Several other suitable choices exist, too.
posted by empyrean at 10:26 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Am I the only one who thought of Eric Idle asking "Are you a friend of Matt Haughey"?

I bet you are.
posted by arcticseal at 6:02 AM on January 10, 2011


Sticherbeast: "FARTING CONSTANTLY SEEMS TO WORK FOR ME"

You're supposed to think about the plate of beans, not eat it.
posted by pwnguin at 8:06 AM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would just say "So, you don't know what taters means, either."

I totally covered this last time.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:10 AM on January 10, 2011


Is there a Metafilter drink yet?
posted by zennie at 8:27 AM on January 10, 2011


There's the Horse/Pony Metaphor, but there are probably others.
posted by zamboni at 8:56 AM on January 10, 2011


I've been to a couple of meetups, and really never had any trouble recognizing who the MeFites were. There's a certain bright-eyed, bushy-tailed look about them. It's also always the table of people who appear to have nothing whatsoever in common.

But I like "are you a friend of Matt Haughey's?" as a signal outside of meetups. Easy to pass off as just a random guy whose friend you thought you recognized.
posted by rusty at 9:09 AM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


zennie: Is there a Metafilter drink yet?

I'd like to think we could make a series of (colorful/noxious) drinks, based solely on colors. Of course, if you're the kind who likes the professional white background, may I suggest a range of Korova drinks? I'd offer a Korova synthemesc for MeFi, Korova vellocet for AskMe, and Korova drencrom for MeMu (especially when consuming it in the form of a metric buttload of music). And for those who fancy the MeTa, may I suggest the milk with knives in it?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:19 AM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Is there a Metafilter drink yet?"

MetaChat has Dingle. Seriously, you guys need to catch up already.
posted by Eideteker at 10:29 AM on January 10, 2011


Is there a Metafilter drink yet?

You clearly missed this thread.
posted by special-k at 10:29 AM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Drink:
Well, I suggested a well-stirred Hoppitamoppita upthread, but since I have no recipe, I can't argue for it. And I realize now that it needs to be jittered, not stirred.

But I believe I like the Horse/Pony Metaphor more. Maybe also a straight Pony every now and then. Go to the bar with a pony request.
posted by Namlit at 12:01 PM on January 10, 2011


"Is there a Metafilter drink yet?"

MetaChat has Dingle.


I assume the name came from some sort of contest where y'all see who can get punched by a bartender first?
posted by griphus at 12:03 PM on January 10, 2011


Could have used one at the Vivian Maier exhibit last Friday. The last meetup that I was at was the 10 year anniversary so I was trying to remember what eamondaly, verb and readery looked like (if they were there). I would have loved to connect.
posted by zerobyproxy at 12:40 PM on January 10, 2011


I usually shout "GEEEEEEEEEEZ, I have got to piss like a frickin' elephant!"
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:08 PM on January 10, 2011


"Is there a Metafilter drink yet?"

MetaChat has Dingle.


griphus: I assume the name came from some sort of contest where y'all see who can get punched by a bartender first?

Well, not quite. Unless there was a bartender on IRC.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:23 PM on January 10, 2011


No, no, no. You ask "Have you met The Whelk?" That should be enough.

I say this having never met The Whelk.


One doesn't "meet" The Whelk. One experiences him.

I too have never met him.
posted by hippybear at 4:37 PM on January 10, 2011


I guess I've been doing it wrong. I just keep asking " If you killed somebody, how would you dispose of the body without getting caught?" I thought everyone around here knew the answer to that by now.
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:15 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I'll have a pb & j(essamyn), with a side of cortex, please".
posted by lukemeister at 5:43 AM on January 11, 2011


First of all, the gang sign shown above is amazing and I plan to use it all the time.

Secondly: When I went to my first meetup, I didn't see anybody who looked like they might be from The Internet except for one dapper lad in the corner. I asked him if he was a friend of mathowie, and he said he was, and that dapper lad was Iridic and, obviously, that was the beginning of something beautiful, so I wholeheartedly recommend this tactic. YMMV.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:55 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I need consensus on the drink please. That's possible, right?

Actually, probably any blue drink will do. If You ever see me in the bar and don't know if I am a Mefite, just send me a blue drink. I will signal that I am a mefite thusly: I will take a tiny sip, start to write a detailed critique on my napkin, and then ball up the napkin and discard it on my way out, because I will have remembered I should be working.
posted by zennie at 12:25 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


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