Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Now that we’ve made the deal at the Crossroads with ol’ Scratch himself, I guess it’s never too soon to admit that here is about where we’re most comfortable. By “where” I mean the “the not day side.” By “we’re” I mean, “I.” I’m fully aware that most folks are not all cozy over at “the not day side.” I am. I have never been easy in a world of sunny optimism. Cheery ambience does not soothe me. Sunny choirs of angels singing softly in A or D Major even do not lull me. They pretty much irritate me. At the very least they bore me. Bring on the chaos, or at least a little confusion and some missed connections. Hilarity at the very least should ensue.

“Some people are more comfortable in Hell.” – Tony Almeida to Audrey Heller, about Jack Bauer, Episode 13 of Season 4 of “24.” With those bad ass words ringing in my head last night, I decided to play my favorite game of death and destruction, Runescape. Usually, I’m on the giving end. Tonight, something a little different happened and I can honestly say I should have kept my big trap shut. One of my dimmer friends actually went along with my suggestion of our killing dragons. The problem with our killing dragons, is that this has to be done in the Wilderness, north of the “Wilderness Ditch,” or “Ditch of Stupidity,“ it’s more proper name to be sure. Once you’re north of the DoS, you’re fair game for any other Player to kill. There are Players who do nothing, but KILL other players. WE are not those players. We just wanted to kill dragons.

Right off the bat, we’re in trouble. Why? Because ViolaFury forgot! Forgot! Mind you, her Dragon shield! She is a Dragon Slayer! But! She forgot her Dragon Shield. We should have taken that as an omen and gone home right then. The fact that I did not realize I had forgotten my shield and my anti-fire potions until I was being crisped by this stupid dragon after walking north for ½ an hour did not bode well for either of us Einsteins.

So, being the hero that I am, I turn around and walk south. For ½ an hour… and bam! Get maged by some 11-year old and die. And lose my stuff, Except for my whip and dragon boots and my dragon skirt. Big deal. Hell on a Harley. Derrick gets killed by some doof and loses EVERYTHING. All his dragon skins, which we had gone to kill the beasts for. So much for being comfortable in Hell.

Along the way, we’re jabbering about this idiot game. Derrick lives in Surprise, Arizona, which I’ve actually driven through. It’s like, “Surprise!” Arizona. I still laugh, every time I think about it. Derrick says, “what are you doing, oh yeah, what are you killing?” I say, “lava guys on wheels.”
He says, “Watch out, they scream and they get the big ones to help.” “I know,” I say. I sometimes can’t believe this shit. I try to imagine my folks doing this crap at my age. They might have.

I remember back, when Zezima played. He was fletching an arrow or something in a bank. There were like 157 people bunched around watching him, including me. Unreal. A bunch of 45-year old strangers, pixels, no less, watching the most famous Runescape guy, who’s pixels, make pixels in a make-believe pixel world. Yeah, my folks would totally get behind that. And then probably have a debate over who was the better god, Sara or Zammy, or should Guthix rule? Would you like toasted batwings with your yummy delicious elven ale?

The fact that we, as a civilization have different ways of passing the time, different hobbies, arts, modes of expression now, in no way negates the forms or the instruments we use to express ourselves. For years, I had to listen to the arguments about electronic music being worse than acoustical instruments. At the risk of sounding heretical, I dispute that completely. They are both valid. Without being obvious or patronizing the sounds from a stringed instrument are unique to it. I’ve worked with electronic keyboardists and other synthesizers to know that they have validity and sounds that cannot be reproduced by other instruments.

How we choose to amuse ourselves and expand our horizons has changed as well. Instead of Etch-a-Sketch and cut out dolls, we have the electronic equivalent now. The fact that my father used to build and hang his beloved model airplanes for hours and hours as a grown man tells me he’d probably be in one of those furball flying games now on the PC. He did do rudimentary BETA computer games before he died. He was funnier than the games, believe me. I really went far afield today. You must forgive me. I had a massive PD attack in the midst of this. Boo Hiss. Give me an Etch-a-Sketch; this could be epic!

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