This is where we stood as of 6:30 p.m. on Day One of the Nick Rimando hunt. The five stalkers trying to hunt the DCU goalie with water guns have all appeared, although one, Sway the Irishman, has since disappeared, we know not where. Four of the five have stated a willingness to sleep out on the Rimandos' cul de sac in a sleepy Northern Virginia development. Just in case, there are plenty of provisions: I brought some Cool Ranch Doritos and Sausalito cookies, the Rimandos provided beverages, the classily named Col. Bigdix brought six McDonald's hamburgers, Boba Fett has a homemade sandwich, Iceberg brought a turkey sandwich and Two Thirds, a local bar owner, is having his bartenders bring him food and drinks. I'm choosing not to discuss the proposed arrangements should the fellas need to, you know....
Anyhow, around 6:20 tonight, Nick's wife, Jacqui, came out to the driveway, got in her car and left. After some initial hesitation, a few stalkers started worrying that Nicky might have snuck out the back and met her somewhere. Bigdix and Boba Fett took off. Moments later, United midfielder Devon McTavish showed up, and Nicky answered the door.
"Cool," Two Thirds said. "Let those monkeys run around."
But in general, the stalkers have a swell camaraderie, sitting around and discussing their water assassin highlights and their non-Water Wars lives. As dusk fell, Nick and Jacqui came out to chat, with their dogs. (Nicky is safe on his property, so it was all very friendly, although the dogs tried to eat my Subway sandwich.) First Nicky sat on the stoop, but eventually he came down to the sidewalk. The stalkers played with the dogs. Iceberg told Nicky that he coaches 13-year-old basketball players, and that he thinks he would win a footrace among the five stalkers but was probably not as fast as a pro soccer player. Nicky laughed. The stalkers suggested that Nicky would have to leave his yard eventually.
"I have three months to sit on my [butt]," he said.
"You've got to rehab your ankle, they'll want to see you," Iceberg said.
"They told me I'm cool," Nicky said.
The stalkers are (shock!) all white guys. Their ages are (shock!) 27, 28, 29, 31 and 33. None, I believe, are married.
"Yeah right," Iceberg said. "How many wives do you think would let us get away with this?"
Some had heard of Nick before this challenge, and some hadn't, although they didn't want me to write that, since they really like him and don't want him to be offended.
"He's a nice guy," Iceberg explained. "I spent an hour shopping with him at Tower."
The neighbors are growing used to the invasion. Joan Culver, who lives right next door, was initially concerned when she saw strangers circling her cul de sac yesterday afternoon, but now that she knows who they are, she thinks it's hilarious and can't wait to find out what happens. Iceberg makes frequent conversation with her and the other neighbors. I asked Brian Johnson, who lives across the street, whether he thought this was all a bit strange.
"We're all strange here, anyhow," Brian said.
I asked the stalkers who they thought would win. They agreed that Two Thirds was probably the favorite, since he makes his own hours and has an unlimited supply of help in his bar staff. (Free plug: his bar is called T.T. Reynolds, and it's in Fairfax.) (Free plug No. 2: Bigdix is trying to start a business with these water assassin games. His site is Interficio.net. That means "I kill" in Latin. That's normal.) Anyhow, I asked who they thought would win.
"Honestly, if everybody stays here for the next week, it's gonna be whoever draws his weapon and chases him fastest," said Two Thirds, who brought a bike, just in case he needs to go off-road.
"Hell, it'll be whoever gets to his car fastest," Boba Fett said.
I asked when they thought it would end, since I wanted to go home.
"Within 24 hours," Two Thirds said.
"I think on Monday," Iceberg said.
"It goes 'til the weekend," Boba Fett said.
"I'm gonna end it, and I'm gonna end it before 24 hours," Bigdix said.
"Well, if he leaves his house, he's dead," Two Thirds said.
"But he could be like Hitler in his bunker for the next week," Boba Fett said.
"But eventually he's gonna want to have sex," Two Thirds said.
What does that have to do with anything, I wondered.
"Would your girlfriend want to have sex with you if there were five dudes outside your house?" Two Thirds replied.
Before I left, I offered to give them my business card, just so they wouldn't think I was some crazy person.
"We're crazy people," Two Thirds pointed out.
So that's where things stood as of 6:30 p.m. on Day One of the Nick Rimando hunt.