With magic in the air and Woot tees on our backs, we celebrated our first birthday last Saturday amid the splendor of The Royale, the finest gin mill in south St. Louis and more congenial hosts than we had any right to expect. We were joined by shirterati from at least seven states, nearly all clad in Woot-birthed finery.
First, thanks to attilathemom for providing many of the pics below. If you want even more, check out our Partaaay Flickr pool.
It's not a birthday party without a cake - and we did it right with this massive exclamation torte from Carondelet Bakery. Not only are they the oldest bakery in St. Louis, they make THE quintessential gooey butter cake. We opted for a more traditional chocolate ourselves - wouldn't want to freak out the tourists.
Attendees were greeted by this impromptu banner on the Royale's patio. Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed fence.
As the eager crowd gathered, they started getting restless, breaking out into sporadic monkey fights. No, eyeslikesugar! Don't shoot!
That meant it was time for Joel, the Rejectorator himself, to cut the cake as ruthlessly and gleefully as he cuts wayward Derby entries.
Hey, who's that rockin' the wheels of steel? Why, it's DJs Mark Early, MC CMC, and Woot's own Barbara Cliffe. Fabulous outfits, kids!
Our St. Louis office is maybe half a mile from the party. At the other extreme, Shirt.Woot user ansharp and an unnamed companion won the Furthest Traveled award, hauling shirt all the way from Washington, DC.
Although they lost that honor by a mere seven miles (Denver is 839 miles away, DC is 846), HashMcAllister and his roommate decidedly took "best-dressed" honors with their modified Shirt.Woot dress shirts.
Of course, the heat got to them as the night went on...
...so they had to make themselves comfortable, right?
Turns out green is the new black. Adjust your wardrobe accordingly.
How come the first people to show up wearing the same shirt were people who see each other in our office five days a week? Woot's Barbara Cliffe and Andrew Chinnici unite in metaldom. (Later, Dave Bug and I both embarassingly turned up in our Sputnik tee. Communication? What's that?)
Wearing your own band's t-shirt is highly gauche. Wearing a shirt you designed is another matter altogether. Get a load of DeManda Tension and her (presumably unpaid) male escort, sporting two of DeManda's marine-biologic couture creations.
While all this revelry was taking place, about 20 intrepid designers were hard at work on their Analog Derby entries. This is Jamie Toon (jamietoon), tattoo artist, creator of Camisa de los Muertos, and younger brother of a certain notorious shill for The Man.
Once all the Derby shirts were completed, the assembled throng voted on the designs by show of hands. Here's Joel taking his turn on the catwalk, modelling an entry for the inspection of the voting public. Yes, it was a very short catwalk.
And third prize goes to Sokowa...
...for this overweight birthday gerbil!
Second prize was won by Gekko...
...for this robo-mantis thing!
And the First Prize in Shirt.Woot's inaugural Analog Derby goes to jamietoon!
Presenting the winning entry, there on the left! Yeah, it would be rejected from an online Derby because of its Woot theme. But in the real world, anything goes. His prize was a Bag of Crap, containing a blender he had already bought from Woot.
The brothers Toon compare beer guts over a victory pint. Yes, we're actual biological brothers, although younger bro Jamie's size and strength advantage has upset the natural order.
Shirt.Woot user PJLime nabbed the Oldest Shirt award, with Threat Level: Doctorow from our very first week. We remember it like it was about a year ago.
OK, this is all fun and stuff, but what about the ultimate test of Shirt.Woot nerdiness: the name-that-design quiz? How many would YOU have gotten right? (Click the image below for an entry form you can actually see.)
Awesomely, two of our party guests scored a jaw-dropping 11 out of 12 - more than anybody on the Woot staff! Here's one of them, attilathemom, with her well-earned Bag of Crap.
And here's the other, blahmcblah. There's a lot of Shirt.Woot trivia crammed into that head you see before you.
We wish this party never had to end. But the evening wound down on the far side of midnight. Here's Shirt.Woot production dude Thomas Williams with the "w" shirt from the banner, asking "Does this shirt make me look awesome?" You know it does, bro.
But wait...isn't that the same shirt that eyeslikesugar's manfriend, wrongidea, was seen wearing earlier in the evening, and later reported "stolen"? And has anybody seen wrongidea? Thomas, what have you done?
We'd better end this before there's any more blood on our hands. Even the Screaming Monkey, who's been getting on everybody's nerves all night, is starting to look a little peaked.
But even if you couldn't be here, we saved you a piece of cake...oh, never mind. Looks like somebody ate it.
The whole affair was such a rip-roaring success that we're thinking we might do this again next year. I vote we have it in Barcelona, Edinburgh, Montreal, or Havana. But I think I'll be outvoted. Thanks to everybody who showed up - we hope you had as much fun meeting us as we did meeting you. Go forth in your Woot shirts and be well. And well-dressed.