OVFF 2002 Interfilk Guest Bio

by Terence Chua

What can I say about Rob Wynne? Where do I start? Where do we separate fact from fiction? Do we talk about gun-running days in the Congo alongside a younger Dick Cheney? Do we speak of a tragic love affair with a Hong Kong opium den hostess and a daring escape from months of Triad sex slavery? Dare we bring up the rumors of the Raunchy Rob’s Georgia Big Lovin’ Shack drug bust which involved three different ex-Presidents, two prostitutes, a camel, a tube of wasabi and a ukulele?

Maybe not. After all, the Freedom of Information Act only takes us so far, and there are things that even filkers are not meant to know.

The mystery of Rob Wynne begins on June 25, 1970 in Williamston, North Carolina, a day where clouds hung in the sky heralding the arrival of something huge, something strange. Details are hard to come by. Inquiries made of neighbors at the time were met with cries of “Back! Back, you foulness!” coupled with the brandishing of crucifixes, but that may have just been my cologne. And yet, the black helicopters following me gave me an idea that the stories of genetic experimentation reaching across three continents may have some basis in fact. After all, when I first met Rob Wynne it was apparent that he and I shared much in common. I was 5 feet 2 inches, he was 18 feet tall in stilettos. I weighed 150 pounds, he weighed 3 tons (wet). He was born in June, I in October. I still had all my hair, and he had… well, some. The resemblances were uncanny. We were obviously twins. It was then he started sporting a beard, just to help people tell us apart.

Despite his stubborn silence when asked about his past, certain facts emerged from dogged research, the interviewing of contemporaries, and just plain making things up. He attended East Carolina University, majoring in making snarky remarks about dead writers, but did not finish, having left under the cover of scandal, coinciding it is said, with the closure of three sorority houses and the conversion of one into a convent under double secret probation. He found work in computers, which is where one can see the skill and cunning he used in fabricating and obfuscating his past to the point where we can no longer truly say that he was once indicted for mooning the UN Security Council.

He stumbled upon his plans for world filk domination in the 1980s, when a trio of mysterious strangers beckoned him to enter a room where they were playing music during a science fiction convention, enticing him into a larger world of darkness and madness. Details of bizarre rituals involving the copious ingestion of Yoo-Hoo and self-flagellation with a stick of butter cannot be confirmed.

Eventually, the darkness spread (as did his waistline) to Athens, Georgia, home of the alternative band R.E.M., to whom he soon became a figure of cult worship, known to them only as “Who The Hell Is That Guy”, or simply, “Who” as was Michael Stipe’s response when Rob’s name was mentioned to him.

It was also in Georgia that he began to attend filk programming at conventions starting in 1995. It was two years later that a hulking, shambling mockery of a man-thing showed up at Georgia Filker’s Anonymous (GaFiA) meetings – silent, dark, pendulous – sitting in a corner and generally bringing the vibe down until someone made the mistake of asking him to “stop your staring, damn your eyes, and play something already!” And he did. And after the bleeding from the ears had stopped, they asked him to play some more. In leather. With whips. And whipped cream. And a lubricated newt.

Okay, oversharing. Sorry.

Rob writes his own songs and is relatively prolific, with many of them sinisterly available on the Internet to possess other minds despite complaints to the federal government to shut the site down. In a tremendous setback to his plans, many of his song virii were written in notebooks that were destroyed in a fire, and he abandoned his plans of infecting the world. And so we come to today, where he continues to live in Alpharetta, Georgia, with a dark shadowy presence only known as his “sweetie”, Larissa, and working ostensibly as a senior UNIX systems administrator. The rise in cattle mutilations and the disappearance of dogs around the area (and their oddly well-fed cats) are again, unverified allegations. He continues to write his songs, and fortunately divides his attention between work, filk, MUD Administration, comic books, fanzines and music. Some wonder what would happen if his unearthly focus is ever turned back to thoughts of world domination.

But then, perhaps, it’s only a matter of time.

Ladles and Gentlemints, I give you Rob Wynne, Interfilk Guest for the 2002 Ohio Valley Filk Festival.

God help us all.