The Relay Refresh RoadTrip rolled into the St Louis, Missouri area, at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, to visit with Rita Mariner. She was without doubt one of our funniest chats to date. We quickly discovered that when engaging with Rita, one would experience lots of “pun-ishment”, emphasis on the word “pun”. So we thought she might think it was “pun-ny”, if we pointed out that someone who started their working life under the “Golden Arches” was now retired under the “Gateway Arch” in St Louis. We laughed the whole time we spent with Rita and her “puns” were so much better than ours.
A multi sim owner and member of the furry community, Rita assured us she “loves humans” and they are “really really good with BBQ sauce”. And with that the “pun-ishment” began for us. A resident of Second Life for over 11 years, Rita was introduced to the grid by SL resident Dusk Griswold, a real life friend, who she met at a Warner Brothers Studio Store.
Rita uses both Windows and Apple computers, three desktops and one laptop. The LG5 Android is her cell phone of choice. She has 71,359 items in her inventory. When asked about a funny Second Life story, she told us of driving her Batmobile during a road rally and realizing the physics in Second Life were so bad that her “vehicle had only two speeds” (insert ba-dum ching sound here) “stop and dead”.
Rita and her furry community party often at one of several themed clubs on her sims. When asked about her favorite song, we again were in for some laughs. She told us it was Dirty Deeds Done With Sheep (insert another ba-dum ching sound here), a parody of AC/DC’s - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. Her favorite group is Four Bitchin’ Babes, yes you read that right, and we will let you google that, because we sure did !!! And she wasted no time telling us their song, Viagra In The Water, (insert another ba-dum ching sound here) is a favorite of hers.
She also enjoys listening to “good old rock and roll” music like The Grass Roots and The Animals. Rita enjoys most music “as long as it is not Hip Hop or Rap”. She currently does not watch a lot of TV, preferring instead to go to the movies. She told us she enjoyed old TV shows like F-Troop, McHale’s Navy, Gunsmoke, and The Ponderosa. And of the recent movies she has gone to see, Twelve Strong is her favorite.
Good jokes and funny puns make her laugh. And she told us there is no one who doles out more “pun-ishment” than her “mate”, Gil Otaared, who she characterized as “a mountain of trivia and a valley of perversion” (insert yet another ba-dum ching sound here). She told us they have been together about 10 years and continually try to out “pun-ish” each other. We were not surprised to learn that Walt Disney is her hero and she wanted be an “animator” at a young age. She still loves animations and is a collector of “animation cells”, some of which are quite rare.
Rita started out Relaying in Second Life with the Passionate Redheads team. She later formed her own team, the Sunbeamers, who are now going into their 5th year. The Sunbeamers have a few signature events they hold each year, among them the Road Rally and the Air Show. They also do many Bid Me events, where if a set L$ goal is reached then someone agrees to do something crazy or fun. She shared a particularly funny story where the Bid Me dare was to turn Bixyl Shuftan (a male) into a female. They reached a very special goal and Bixyl turned himself into an exact duplicate of Rita (insert another ba-dum ching sound here). She told us everyone “busted a gut”.
She relays for Artistic Fimicoloud, a member of the Passionate Redheads Relay team, who lost her battle with cancer in 2008. Rita Relays for her Mom who lost her battle with cancer in three short months. Rita also Relays for herself, a melanoma cancer survivor.
Spending over an hour with Rita was unlike anything we have done before. She is a unique avatar, a highly regarded member of the furry community and an amazing Relayer. The Sunbeamers have been Relay award winners in fundraising and campsite building year after year.
Rita is passionate !!! Rita is funny !!! And Rita is inclusive !!! She even invited us to come party at a club on her sim with some of her furry friends and we had a great time. The “pun-ishments” were abundant in local chat and the DJ chatter on stream was hilarious. We did however, as “human avatars”, run for the exits when we saw Rita glare at us and reach for her “BBQ sauce” (insert final ba-dum ching sound here).
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