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After Valleywag broke the news that Google cofounder Sergey Brin had rushed up to San Francisco for an impromptu dinner with a Facebook investor, protestations issued from his tablemates that nothing was afoot. Why, some random Russians — Brin's countrymen — got invited! Tom Rielly, the teddy-bear Ted conference organizer, was there! Absolutely no talk of Facebook all night! Oh, really. Never was an elephant in the room less mentioned, then.

The strenuous denials only made me more curious, so I got the whole story on Brin's evening. Brin, already in San Francisco with his wife, 23andMe's Anne Wojcicki, spontaneously decided to drop by the Sheraton Palace. His unplanned arrival surprised PR rep Courtney Hohne, there to squire Google executive Jeff Huber, as well as colleague Megan Smith, one of Google's top Facebook dealmakers. After dinner, he attended a trivia contest at Web 2.0 Summit. In other words, he took the night off — or so his associates claim.

What's the logical conclusion one can draw? Either the hardworking Brin, a champion within Google of doing a deal with Facebook, has given up on making it happen — or he thinks it's already a lock. Either way, I'm glad Brin got to relax — because his little drop-in had this gossip blog working all night.