What is the MeFite meeting signal? September 2, 2020 2:07 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to meet a(nother) MeFite for the first time in a few days, and there's a possibility I'll meet a few more in the near future. Is there a special signal, hand gesture, code word, performative mime, or some other mechanism used by MeFites when they meet each other, either for the first time or on subsequent occasions? (And if not, should there be one?)
posted by Wordshore to Etiquette/Policy at 2:07 PM (102 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I mostly look for the other people who are also looking around with a kind of hopeful trepidation that says "here I am, despite my social anxiety". Every once in a while I end up making friends with someone who has never heard of MetaFilter.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:08 PM on September 2 [87 favorites]


"Hi, are you from MetaFilter?"

Personally I dislike the ~wAcKy~ narwal/bacon/stairs things that Certain Other Websites do, and would not use such a system if implemented.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:09 PM on September 2 [13 favorites]


One time when we were trying to host a meetup at a park, we took along a can of beans and a plate for it to sit on. (Mbrubeck and I, with our kid.) But as no one turned up, it's hard to say how useful a signal it was. Since then I've generally relied on describing my hats to people I'll meet up with and letting them find me.
posted by Margalo Epps at 2:16 PM on September 2 [15 favorites]


I was just about to suggest someone looking mournfully at a plate of beans!
posted by RandomInconsistencies at 2:18 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]




May I suggest bringing a wheel of Red Leicester cheese as your calling card?
posted by briank at 2:22 PM on September 2 [26 favorites]


do you have access to a phaeton?
posted by clavdivs at 2:25 PM on September 2 [5 favorites]


We used to ask if you're a Friend of Mathowie, the first test is working up the courage to pronounce Mathowie out loud. Maybe it should be Friend of Cortex nowadays.
posted by muddgirl at 2:35 PM on September 2 [11 favorites]


Yeah "Hey are you a friend of Matt?" works pretty well. I remember one time I went into a bar and started talking to some friendly nerd only to find out he was not OUR friendly nerd and the MeFi Meetup was someplace else in the room entirely. Did invite him over to join us though.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:40 PM on September 2 [27 favorites]


The Sydney people are called Friends of Jessamyn West. There’s even a facebook group.
posted by taff at 2:59 PM on September 2 [27 favorites]


You just show up 10 minutes after the start time and look at the IRL thread and someone will usually have said what table they're at. It's always in the back for some reason.
posted by bondcliff at 3:13 PM on September 2 [16 favorites]


Surely someone will have a baseball jersey with their user number on the back.
posted by LionIndex at 3:26 PM on September 2 [7 favorites]


Stand in the doorway of the bar and yell, “hey, who wants to mark me best answer!?”
posted by michaelh at 3:36 PM on September 2 [15 favorites]


Isn't it, "Hi, are you from the internet?"
posted by Kitchen Witch at 3:45 PM on September 2 [45 favorites]


I found that the word "impinge" was very effective when I had a surprise secret meetup at karaoke in Key West...
posted by halfbuckaroo at 3:48 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]


I fly my colors pretty frequently outside the house, but no one's every said hey. I know there's a ton of folks around Portland, but I dunno how many out in my hood: 82nd and Foster reprezeeeennnnnt. You'll certainly get an invite to casa de furnace for a distanced beverage...which these days consists of coffee with booze in it before noon, or booze with coffee in it after.

These days when I wear it, I just get asked "Does a metafilter works on covid?" I laugh a little on the inside, and say, "sort of, it has worked for me."
posted by furnace.heart at 4:08 PM on September 2 [6 favorites]


I've worn a jokey iris pin. I'm trying to imagine the brooch for this situation, but "Wordshore" is more a job for a custom T-shirt.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:10 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]




I usually just look for the flurry of cabal ribbons.
posted by mochapickle at 5:19 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


One thing we used to do a really long time ago (maybe it still happens idk) is someone would print a little table tent or w/e - just a regular sheet of printer paper folded in half works - with the Metafilter logo on it. Towards the end part of the meetup, folks would take a minute to write shout-outs to other MeFites on the inside of the sign. People would take selfies or a group shots with each other and the shout-out sign. After the meetup, we'd post those pics to Flickr and share them in a thread on the Gray.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:43 PM on September 2 [17 favorites]


Wordshore: just walk in with a piece of cake! Everyone here will instantly recognize you.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 5:54 PM on September 2 [11 favorites]


FINE..show it, it's going to leak it's, it's a picture of Matt...needs new GIF of Matt and Cortex.

There is no troika, committee, group, bureau, commission, league, conclave, triumvirate, anthromorphic glade, ad-hoc, hock shop, ring, arena, house, clan, pack, pride, aviary group and equine cabal.
posted by clavdivs at 6:28 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


Clearly the next fundraiser should involve selling secret signet rings.
posted by mstokes650 at 6:35 PM on September 2 [5 favorites]


I was given MeFi buttons at a meetup, which was a bit backwards 😁

Otherwise, I have a seal of the cabal shirt, and my profile art shirt.

I also note in the meetup thread what I'm wearing and generally look like when I'm heading to a meetup with folks I haven't met before.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:16 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


Surely someone will have a baseball blaseball jersey with their user number on the back.

Although honestly people just approach me in my local burger joint and say, "Hey, are you Eyebrows?" and then get to meet all of my kids.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:58 PM on September 2 [7 favorites]


The Look of Hopeful Trepidation has led me to many people I have met online over the past twenty-odd years, and I don't want to give up on it now. Whenever I have made an online reference or shared an online in-joke unprompted, I have been met with a reaction that caused immediate shame and a desire to retract the past few seconds.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:00 PM on September 2 [10 favorites]


omg wordshore doesnt know about the pheromone markers he could be killed
posted by um at 8:09 PM on September 2 [12 favorites]


I always secretly hoped that I’d meet another Mefite when they spotted the MetaFilter bumper sticker on my truck, but alas
posted by not_the_water at 8:27 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


I find that balancing a plate of beans on my head works pretty well.
posted by whir at 9:27 PM on September 2 [3 favorites]


There are t-shirts available. They support the site and are the perfect bat signal.
posted by hippybear at 9:40 PM on September 2 [3 favorites]


> omg wordshore doesnt know about the pheromone markers he could be killed

Yes greet, no kill.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:19 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


Isn't it, "Hi, are you from the internet?"

Is anyone NOT from the internet now?
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:44 PM on September 2 [9 favorites]


the first test is working up the courage to pronounce Mathowie out loud

It's "math-owie" because math is hard, let's go shopping!
posted by hippybear at 10:53 PM on September 2 [7 favorites]


when I've called meetups I've described what I was wearing
posted by brujita at 11:08 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


You didn't get the hat? You know, the...

never mind
posted by From Bklyn at 12:49 AM on September 3 [3 favorites]


I went to a meetup once because Jessamyn was going to be there and I stanned and continue to stan. chrismear, who organised it, sent me a selfie on his way, to help me find them when I got there, and I liked it so much I married him.
posted by greenish at 3:59 AM on September 3 [71 favorites]


The Look of Hopeful Trepidation

I have found my new pub name.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:26 AM on September 3 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I've generally gone with looking around for other people who look like they're looking for other people.

Also, I am disappointed that the gang sign pic linked by Pronoiac is not actually people flipping off ColdChef
posted by rmd1023 at 7:01 AM on September 3 [6 favorites]


Frantic posts in the meetup thread reading "wait what corner?!?" worked for me.

I miss meetups. Hi Tronno pals.
posted by wellred at 7:06 AM on September 3 [3 favorites]


The folded table tent was the best method we used. I used to bring my old mefi mug as a visual aid, until the writing eventually wore off completely. Metaphor in there somewhere.
posted by terrapin at 8:12 AM on September 3 [2 favorites]


bring a declawed cat with a necklace of portabello mushrooms and wave it around the bar.
posted by lalochezia at 8:52 AM on September 3 [6 favorites]


bring joy to all and sundry, strap a giant metal chicken to the roof of your car
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:09 AM on September 3 [2 favorites]


Is there a special signal, hand gesture, code word, performative mime, or some other mechanism used by MeFites when they meet each other, either for the first time or on subsequent occasions?

It's called kindness, and you should do admirably. If anyone suggests a secret handshake, I'm out of here.
posted by Bella Donna at 9:12 AM on September 3 [3 favorites]


I was just about to propose a London meetup when COVID reared its ugly head. Bah.

I tended to ask straight out if people were from MetaFilter or even just arrive first and post it on the IRL thread, and yes, bondcliff, always at the back!
posted by knapah at 10:37 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]


I wore a FPP-blue jacket, it was like a magnet.
posted by missmobtown at 11:05 AM on September 3 [2 favorites]


The times I did attend meetups, and the times the social anxiety won and I turned around and left, it was pretty easy to identify the MeFi table.

A bunch of people who no one would expect to see sitting together having a good time, kind of a breakfast club reunion look.
posted by Dr. Curare at 12:52 PM on September 3 [19 favorites]


If trepador isn't a word, it should be

Trepador - n. Person with a look of hopeful trepidation on their face
posted by Transl3y at 1:02 PM on September 3 [7 favorites]


Trepador is a word in Spanish, it means climber.
posted by Dr. Curare at 1:22 PM on September 3 [7 favorites]


I found this MeFi MeetUp thing (I might have made it? it was on my Google Drive with a 2010 date and memory fails me), suitable for printing as a table sign or whatever.
posted by exogenous at 1:55 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


I seen some meetin's before down in the big city of LA, but I was afeared. I did not go. The walk was too long, but my van is nearly fixed, and the gas lines all replaced a worry passed on to me from Afghan Stan. I might try later, we could all scream across the waves of Malibu, like distraught gulls! Hi...hi...hi....We could feed our beans to the clams.
posted by Oyéah at 5:31 PM on September 3 [4 favorites]


There's no need to be secretive or shame-y about it any more. Like, once it was maybe odd to meet strangers you met on the internet. It's not anymore, and between the swipe apps for dating, Instameets, yadda yadda, you don't need like a secret word. "Is this the Metafilter meetup" will get you there. THey may not know what MeFi is but they'd know it wasn't them.
posted by Miko at 6:26 PM on September 3 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: They knew it wasn't them.
posted by clavdivs at 6:49 PM on September 3 [9 favorites]


There will be pictures, stories, that sort of thing, yes?
posted by theora55 at 7:44 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


I always just wear my underwear on the outside of my pants. Works every time. I've yet to have someone ask me if I'm from Metafilter.
posted by philip-random at 8:42 PM on September 3 [4 favorites]


Yeah "Hey are you a friend of Matt?" works pretty well. I remember one time I went into a bar and started talking to some friendly nerd only to find out he was not OUR friendly nerd and the MeFi Meetup was someplace else in the room entirely. Did invite him over to join us though.

I might have been at this one. Also I think it has happened at multiple meetups. I've been to a few where we just crowded out the whole room and started absorbing innocent bystanders like a sticky, hungry amoeba.

And yes, it's "math-owie" and "Mee-fie", not "meffy". Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is plotting to steal your wallet and/or sell you something or try to convince you that "gif" is pronounced "gyff" and not "jif" like the peanut butter brand.

People are ridiculous sometimes, it's ok.
posted by loquacious at 11:47 PM on September 3 [7 favorites]


> "Mee-fie", not "meffy"

Like in meetafilter, presumably.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:51 PM on September 3 [7 favorites]


Like in meetafilter, presumably.

Look, this is arguments. Disagreements is two doors down.
posted by loquacious at 11:56 PM on September 3 [19 favorites]


loquacious doesn’t make the rules, they are what they are. Sorry, sebastienbailard.

Also, I think Wordshore needs to pony up for chat filter, because he has cleverly figured out how to have his cake and eat it too in this particular thread. (T’were I not on my phone, I would link to the chat filter fundraiser but perhaps a helpful moderator can take care of that.)
posted by Bella Donna at 12:14 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I did some favourite badges for a meet-up many, many years ago. If you memail me your address I'll put one in the post.

(That's to Wordshore. I have about ten left, though.)
posted by Grangousier at 12:17 AM on September 4 [4 favorites]


exogenous: I found this MeFi MeetUp thing (I might have made it? it was on my Google Drive with a 2010 date and memory fails me), suitable for printing as a table sign or whatever.

Looking at it, it looks like something I found on the wiki page I linked upthread, and, well:

exogenous (2011): I made this sign (PDF) in the pre-irl.metafilter days.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:34 AM on September 4 [5 favorites]


The meetup is in, uh, less than twenty minutes so am frantically catching up on this thread.

Having said that, I've sort-of decided on a non-verbal thing because of accents, and I think I know the appropriate thing to flash to obtain a positive response from the MeFite...
posted by Wordshore at 5:55 AM on September 4 [3 favorites]


Is there a special signal, hand gesture, code word, performative mime, or some other mechanism used by MeFites when they meet each other, either for the first time or on subsequent occasions?

Well, actually...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:46 AM on September 4 [4 favorites]


Well one could go for the standard unambiguous signal, hover sort of in the middle of a bustling pub, that trepidation look u know, then when the panic sets in make a dash for a side door, trip and do a pratfall that startles a big guy that pivots and knocks over a waitperson with a large stacked tray of gooey specialty drinks across three tables causing several people to scream and curse. All mifites present will quickly come to your aid.
posted by sammyo at 6:53 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


Well pre covid, now just arrive in a full bunny suit with a large noisy diy air filtration system on a cart you tow behind.
posted by sammyo at 6:56 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


Update! Flashing a tin of mushy peas worked, as I am now sat in the very nice living room of another MeFite, everyone is friendly and lovely, and I am eating splendid chocolate biscuits accompanied by a pot of tea.

Bonus: there is lard in the fridge.
posted by Wordshore at 7:52 AM on September 4 [19 favorites]


Ooooh. Lard. So it’s one of those types of parties.
posted by terrapin at 8:13 AM on September 4 [10 favorites]


It IS NOT one of those types of parties!
posted by RandomInconsistencies at 8:30 AM on September 4 [4 favorites]


Lard in the fridge would a be a location report on Radio 1 in the nineties: Lard in the Fridge, Mark at the Kentish Town Forum, John Peel at King Tut's, Pete Tong at the Ministry of Sound...
posted by Grangousier at 9:20 AM on September 4 [8 favorites]


MetaFilter: I think I know the appropriate thing to flash.
posted by JanetLand at 9:54 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


It's not NOT one of those types of parties. See where the day takes you.
posted by softlord at 10:50 AM on September 4 [5 favorites]


Hi, are you from MetaFilter?

We use IRL to organize meetups, so this should really be "Hi, are you from real life?"
posted by oulipian at 10:52 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


It IS NOT one of those types of parties! RandomInconsistencies, have you read a few of Wordshore's most popular (NSFW) comments? We have no way of knowing yet what kind of party it is. I expect it will be a good one, regardless of the use of lard or its absence. Or what softlord said.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:52 AM on September 4 [3 favorites]


Hi, are you just fantasy? Caught in a landslide?
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 10:58 AM on September 4 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: I expect it will be a good one, regardless of the use of lard or its absence.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:04 AM on September 4 [5 favorites]


omg, the vicars paddock whilst shopping.

Dear Mister Fantasy play us a tune
Something to make us all happy
Do anything take us out of this gloom

posted by clavdivs at 1:16 PM on September 4


A good question for assessing potential MeFites would be Hi, MeFie or Meffy?
posted by theora55 at 2:22 PM on September 4


Oh, it isn’t Meh Fi? Like Wi-Fi but Meh?
posted by Monochrome at 3:31 PM on September 4 [2 favorites]


What is with the mee-fie people. It's meh-tah-fill-tuhr, not mee-tah-file-tuhr! I mean, do you want me to mess with the tah and the tuhr? Do you? Meh-tay-fill-teer??
posted by MiraK at 4:44 PM on September 4 [7 favorites]


May-tay-feel-tair.
posted by biogeo at 4:57 PM on September 4 [3 favorites]


Meffy? Mee-fie? Meh Fi? It has always been meh-fee... At least in my head.
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:24 PM on September 4 [2 favorites]


Ask mee or ask meh?
For me,
Ask mee, so meefite and mee-fi (fi as in wi-fi, or why fye)
Still meh-ta filter and meh-ta talk for me, though.
I came to the site through the green though so this might change how I say things.
posted by freethefeet at 8:33 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I thought of so many ideas to send the signal.

Carry a cast iron pan
Wave a special snowflake cutout
Wish everyone a Happy Quonsmas. Or ask, “Hi! Have you ever Quonsed me?”
Say to people, “Hey, I have an AskMeFi. Are you here IRL?”
Mutter different pronunciations of “Mefite” (examples above) in a barely audible tone.
Don’t just bring a plate of beans. Stare obsessively at them.
Ask those near you if they think your food is safe to eat.
Drop the word “favorite’ with a meaningful intonation indicating its high significance.
Wear your username. Bonus points for adding html code to indicate bold, italics, etc.
Ask others to identify fonts and explain why they are good or terrible.

I’ll stop now.
posted by bearwife at 10:39 PM on September 4 [6 favorites]


Muh-FEE-tay.
posted by biogeo at 10:52 PM on September 4


Wait, now we're talking about how to pronounce MeFi? This has been the best throwback post ever!!
posted by JanetLand at 6:09 AM on September 5 [4 favorites]


Buy everyone a banjo.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:14 AM on September 5 [4 favorites]


Day 16 of this trip: I am wearing the MetaFilter t-shirt. It's somewhat tighter than before, as we have just been on a nice walk and I stopped at a Mr Whippy and bought what transpirted to be a five gallon flake 99 and thankfully no photos were taken while I was eating it because it was horrifically messy and if I attempted to run now then I would resemble the lava lamp in the living room when it is turned on. I was asked by the host MeFite what all of the symbols on the tshirt meant, and can only remember half of them.

We are now discussing various AskMe questions, such as the f*****g owl, and the poo vs gravity dilemma.

It's pronounced MeFi. Didn't iamkimian successfully defend a PhD thesis on this very topic?
posted by Wordshore at 6:18 AM on September 5 [7 favorites]


The f******g owl explains something, because I went for a walk the other evening, and there was loud lengthy repeated hooting coming from the big smoke down the river where you're currently visiting. Could it travel 10 miles? Who know.
posted by ambrosen at 7:26 AM on September 5 [2 favorites]


“HEY Y’ALL! HELLO! I ORDERED THE BIGGEST PLATE OF BEANS, ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS?”
posted by not_on_display at 11:55 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


1) I read the title as 'What is the Mefite meeting, signal?', and was all like, how should I know?

2) The correct pronounciation of 'Mefite' is, obviously, 'maaa-peee-aye-tuh'
posted by signal at 6:08 PM on September 5 [7 favorites]


I think it is traditional to sit under a tree, playing a banjo, looking beautiful
posted by cp311 at 7:41 PM on September 5 [4 favorites]


I've never been to meetup, but the question reminded me of the time I was in the liquor store in Montpelier and the guy behind me looked familiar. After hesitating for a bit, I said "Are you SirStan?"
He looked at me for a while like he was thinking of calling the cops, but then said something like "who wants to know?"
I said my brother took a bunch of pictures at a meetup at Jessamyn's house that he was at.

But I guess that's the opposite of the question asked.
posted by MtDewd at 12:05 PM on September 6 [6 favorites]


2010... how the time has flown.
But I can't view the pictures any more. :(
But Terrapin was there. turtlegirl too, IIRC.
posted by MtDewd at 12:46 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Who is meeting up these days? Aren’t we Mefites disgusting vectors for horrible diseases right now?

I mean even more than we used to be.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:32 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]


Speak for yourself, Slarty Bartfast. I am not a disgusting vector for horrible diseases, I am a delightful opportunity for potential infection to the approximately zero folks with whom I interact at a distance of fewer than six feet.
posted by Bella Donna at 8:12 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]


But I can't view the pictures any more. :(
But Terrapin was there. turtlegirl too, IIRC.


I had no recollection of this event, but terrapin took two photos (one, two) and our dear departed Lelilo is in the second (not_on_display is in both and he tracked them down)
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 11:02 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: sit under a tree, playing a banjo, looking beautiful.

Also, though, white middle-class nerds throwing "gang signs" ironically doesn't land great in 2020, so I vote that we retire that.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 12:40 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]


However, the caveat to beginning all this sort of stuff is the need to buy wedding presents and attend baby showers.
posted by infini at 4:41 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


with all due sincerity, wise wise, best I've read in 6 months.
posted by clavdivs at 12:06 PM on September 8


I went to a meetup in San Francisco and approached a group of fun-looking people and asked them if they were from Metafilter. They weren't but they wanted me to tell them what Metafilter is which I did enthusiastically. I'm not sure they understood.
posted by bendy at 9:36 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Look for someone wearing a fedora.
posted by essexjan at 12:11 PM on September 16


Well, actually, it's a trilby.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:12 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


Jeez, we're still trying to decide how to recognize each other after 18 years?!
posted by nicwolff at 6:09 PM on September 17 [1 favorite]


« Older Help cortex cut his hair, fundraising edition.   |   Happy Birthday, User 292 Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments