Holiday party: How I met Mark Zuckerberg

In which the author describes his adventures at the Facebook holiday party and his encounter with the Boy in the Hoodie.

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Regular readers of this blog (all 17 of you) know that I've been, well, somewhat less than charitable to Facebook and the 26-year-old boy wonder at the helm, Mark Zuckerberg, over the last year. What can I say? I've got a few bones to pick with them over user privacy.

Imagine my surprise, then, when an invitation appeared on my doorstep to Facebook's ultra-exclusive, unbelievably swank private holiday party in Palo Alto.

I mean, the invitation literally showed up on my doorstep, delivered by two guys who looked just like Oompa Loompas. As I opened the door the first one bowed at the waist, and the second one hopped neatly on his back, ripped open his shirt, and showed me the invitation, which had been tattooed in gold leaf on his chest.

How could I refuse? Especially considering that the invitation included first-class airfare to and from, as well as accommodations at a five-star hotel.

[ See also: The 10 biggest mistakes people make on Facebook ]

The flight was pleasantly uneventful (though I insisted on passing through airport security three times, just to make sure they hit all my special spots). An armored-plated Hummer was waiting for me at baggage claim; the driver, who spoke no English but grunted in perfect Serbo-Croatian, looked suspiciously like Vladimir Putin.

The terms of my invitation forbid me to disclose the location of the party or the full names of attendees, but needless to say everyone who's anyone was there. I saw Biz, Evan, Chad, Kevin, Max, Jason, Jonathon, Nick, Eric, Larry, Sergey, John, Om, Robert, Guy, David, Henry, Chris, Carol, Marissa, Matt, Michael, Mark, Mark, Marc, and Marc, to name just a few.

This party was unlike any I had ever attended. Sword swallowers and human contortionists wandered through the crowd. They were serving emu sushi on the backs of live Bengal tigers. Displayed under glass: The mummified remains of Dr. Carl Sagan.

I hadn't been there five minutes when a Facebook PR person took me gently yet firmly by the arm and steered me toward an alcove in the rear of the immense ballroom, shrouded in silks.

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