2001 A Gaming Odyssey
Turkish F aeg r CON
Austria (Mark Fassio) A BOH – mun, A bud – SER, A GRE S A bud – SER, F ion – ALB,
F AEG – bul(sc).
England (Mike Mazzer) A BEL – hol, F eng – BRE, F lpl – IRI, F nth – DEN, F nwy – NTH.
France (Woody Arnawoodian) F NAO C A bre – cly, A bre – cly(d;r GAS,OTB), A PIC – bre,
F spa(sc) – mar(d;r GOL,POR,OTB).
Germany (Jim O’Kelley) F HOL S (ENG) F nth – bel(nso), A MUN S (ENG) A BEL – bur(nso,cut), A RUH S A MUN, A KIE S A MUN, F BAL – den.
Italy (Gary Coughlan) A bur – PAR, A TYA S (AUS) A BOH – mun, F wes – SPA(sc), A MAR S F wes – SPA(sc), F MAO S (ENG) F eng – BRE.
Russia (Bob Olsen) A rum – BUD, A mos -- WAR, F SWE S (ENG) F nth – DEN, A war – PRU, A ukr – GAL, A sil – BER, F SMY – aeg.
Turkey (Jim Burgess) F CON S F BUL(ec), F BUL(ec) S F CON, A ser S (RUS) A rum -- BUD(cut;d;r RUM,TRI,OTB).
PRESS (OLD AND NEW):
MOSCOW: Has anyone noticed that most of the problems in this game have been due to computer foul-ups? Without computers, this game would be proceeding by snail-mail at a much faster clip. Yes, Don and Gary and Jim are utterly blameless in this whole affair. Oh, and in late news, the dog ate my homework.
GM to MOSCOW: We prefer not to reference past issues as “problems”, but rather as “opportunities for increasing the suspense quotient” of the game. “Problems” has such an incredibly negative, pejorative, and un-PC connotation. We don’t allow that here.
ENGLAND to ITALY: The suspense is killing me. Did Babbo Natale bring me Brest for Christmas? (Note:
As only Don Williams and someone who is able to look stuff up on the internet would know, Babbo Natale is the Italian “Father Christmas”, or Santa Claus.)
GM to ENGLAND: He did, indeed. It was all a bit odd, though, as Babbo is generally not known to speak Italian with a soft Southern accent, and Babbo has lost a lot of weight. Then there was that “Buh-wown Nah-tahl-lay, Y’all!” that the locals found peculiar. Still, as they say in the old country, Buon Natale, e Felice Capo D’Anno!!!
ENGLAND to RUSSIA: The suspense is killing me. Did Father Frost bring me Denmark for Christmas? (I couldn't find the Russian word but that is the translation.)
ENGLAND to FRANCE: The suspense is killing me. Did Pere Noel stomp the shit out of you for Christmas?
ENGLAND to GM: Some unpublished press: (Once again, Don, be careful what you ask for.)
GM to LONDON: Bring it on … now that I’m a word processing fool, I fear no pen.
ENGLAND to GM: England remembers the first Afghan War:
When you’re wounded and left,
On Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out,
To cut up your remains,
Just roll on your rifle,
And blow out your brains
And go to your Gawd,
Like a soldier.”
-- Rudyard Kipling
GM to BOARD: Get the feeling that Mazzerman was in that first Afghan War???
NEAPOLITAN CHRONICLES: Beware un'dispari anatra is abroad in Europe ... Encyclopaedia Coughlancanica? ... Their "Finest Hour" ... A Faz Junior? ... A prisoner of geography ... Another Ems Telegram? ... Constant communication is so important ...
GM to ITALY: I wouldn’t go so far as to say all communication is important … I mean, isn’t it better to curse the silence than to hear one bombastic bluster from the likes of Burgess?
ITALY to GM: No, no, let him talk. Remember, the "Desiderata" says to listen to the dull and the ignorant for they, too, have their story ...
GM to ITALY: Well, that’s entirely possible, but I’m betting big money the author of “Desiderata” never met Jim Bob.
ENGLAND to ITALY: As a duly authorized representative of His Majesty's Government, I must caution you against taking English press too seriously as representing English foreign policy. You must understand that, whereas your Neapolitan Chronicles (as well as your C.I.D.O) are ruthlessly controlled by your Fascist government (anachronism alert -- were there Fascists, or at least crypto-Fascists, in the King Victor Emannuel's government in 1902, oh Saugus Sage of Things Italian?), //Nope, although I can’t say as I
know what a “crypto-anything” is.// the tabloids of Fleet Street have no qualms about printing the most atrocious, scurrilous, and totally mendacious stories. Hence, any relationship between English press and English foreign policy is purely coincidental. On the other hand, communiques from Whitehall are completely truthful and above reproach.
GM to ITALY: The GM hastens to add that, based on past experience, any relationship between English foreign policy and intelligent play is also purely coincidental.
ENGLAND to TURKEY: I've heard from Faz that you and he are about to kiss and make up. I've heard from Olsen that he and Faz are about to go to war. I've heard from Italy that he and Faz are about to engage in hostiliies. I've heard from Faz that Turkish fleets will be waging a jihad against Italian shipping in the Ionian. I've heard from Germany that he and Faz may be about to kiss and make up. I've heard from Germany that he and Italy are about to kiss and make up. I've heard from Germany that he and France are about to kiss and make up. I've heard from Germany that he and Russia are about to kiss and make up. I've heard from Germany that he and England are about to keep kissing and making up but maybe not as passionately. I've heard from Russia that he and Germany are about to have a fight in Sweden. I've heard from England that I am totally confused. Does that help?
RUSSIA to GM: You mean it was Boob who got his orders in late? I thought it was me! Otherwise, I never would have offered Bob's Ombudsman Service to adjudicate my own case ...
OLSEN to MILEWSKI: Your ruling (which I have not seen yet) is an embarrassment to the ombudsmaning profession. A truly disinterested party (such as myself) would never submit a ruling (or anything else) within the allotted (or any other) period of time.
RUSSIA to AUSTRIA: We have heard troubling word of late regarding a vicious campaign of political vilification you have directed at my harmless nation, making us out as some sort of would-be warlords or something of the sort. We must request at this time that you cease and desist in this propaganda, and be nice. Or it will go hard on you!
GM to MOSCOW: You have homework???
ENGLAND: In another shocking turn of events on the National Political scene, for the second time in a few months, the Prime Minister received a vote of "no confidence" in Parliament. The PM, who came into office only last spring after campaigning on a platform of "Hide in a bunker until it all goes away", was thrown out of office posthumously after he expired from what was believed to be a severe catarh caused by living in a cold, damp bunker. He was replaced by a new PM, who was elected as head of a coalition of Tories, Whigs, Mafiosi, and Fascisti under a militant Catholic platform with the slogan, "Kill them all, God will recognize his own". Speaking to Parliament, the new PM vowed a new policy of "gleeful viciousness," to be aimed at all perceived enemies of the state, including: antelopes, French and otherwise; Germans, good or otherwise; Russians, red, white or otherwise; Italians -- except for Sicilians, Calabrians, and Jesuits, but not Christian Democrats; followers of the Arch Duke and the Holy Roman Emperor; Muslims, Shi'ite, Suni, Sufi, Smurfy, or otherwise; Turks and other WOGS, and Antelope Valley Urban Planners. Oxford and Cambridge Universities have announced they are closing their doors until this all blows over.
GM to ENGLAND: Were you younger, I’d credit this to madness based on an unfortunately un-diagnosed sexual malady that a simple penicillin treatment might have taken care of some not-so-few-years ago. But, alas, given your advanced age, this looks more like senility or worse. In any event, your obvious mental decline is depressing, It’s enough to make a GM reconsider his career choice …
ENGLAND to GM: Cheer up, Don, I think you are OK. Well OK-ish. Well, alright … approaching adequate. Well, potentially approaching adequate … with some reservations.
GM to ENGLAND: I love you, too …
ENGLAND to ITALY: You may not know that I keep all my correspondence in a game on disc. (It helps me keep track of which lies I've told whom). You may be interested to know that all of your e-mails are found on 46 parallel processing SuperCray computers. Someday I will answer all of them.
GM to ITALY: Don’t bet on it. He can’t afford the processing time.
ENGLAND to AUSTRIA: You say that I was already a “Hobby Force” when you were just a little kid. Do you realize how painful that is? One, I was never more than a peripheral figure in the Golden Age -- kind of a village idiot in the City-of-God that was Dipdom then. Secondly, I'm not that much older than you, am I?
ENGLAND to ITALY: I tip my hat to you. You have pulled off either the greatest solicitation of an alliance, or the most elaborately heinous stab in the History of the Hobby. In either case, you deserve success.
SAUGUSIAN DOUBLE-WIDE DWELLER to LOS ANGELENO: If he’s out soliciting, he deserves more that just success …
ENGLAND to GERMANY: If it is any consolation, the only reason I'm doing this is because, of all the players in this game, you are the only one who is young, energetic, and competent. Something that is totally alien
to the goal of this game, which is for one feeble, impotent, drooling old fart of a GM to display the inadequacies of several even more feeble, impotent, drooling old farts. You just don't belong in this company.
GM to ENGLAND: Hey, not so fast there. Just so you know, I’ve seen Chum when he’s had a few mint juleps and a six pack of brewskis. He’s got the drooling down real good, especially when he gets a smoldering chub going. And don’t even ask me about his Ms Monica Brand knee pads … so don’t be too sure, Mazzerman. Allow me some credit in seeing that Chum is an Old Fart All-Star in-the-making. Give him half as many years in the Hobby as the rest of us, and he’ll be Old Fart material for sure.
ENGLAND to AUSTRIA, ITALY, AND TURKEY: I, for one, hope you stay with us for the duration. (Although I recognize that few of us will live that long, none of us being Galapagos Tortoises). I would hate to think Williams would have to call up some young, competent players that would try to teach me how to play the game. I've grown kind of fond of this electronic retirement home.
GM to ENGLISH CURMUDGEON: You? Fond of anything? Couldn’t tell it by your obnoxious press.
STEVE LANGLEY: First let me say that, if you have not read "Harry Potter" Book One, then please do yourself the grand favor of doing so. Even if you are not a reader, do this. Second, if you have read the book and have not gone to see the movie, please do yourself the favor of seeing the movie.
Unfortunately, the book is bigger than the movie. I have yet to see a book that wasn't. They did a really good job of shrinking the book down to big screen size. But, trust me – the order of events for maximum enjoyment is read the book, then see the movie. If you decide to just go see the movie I am sure you will still enjoy it. You may leave the theater wondering about some of the things that took place. Your own fault for not reading the book.
ENGLAND to GM: Speaking of incontinent old farts, weren't we supposed to be hearing from Kathy Caruso in the press? Has she dropped her laptop in her colostomy bag again?
RUSSIA to GRAYPRESS, CA: I probably shouldn’t mention this (not that there is any chance at this late date of my looking more foolish than before … after all, I did sign up for this game), but some major highlights of our wedding night and honeymoon were as follows: 1) Depart ceremony and head for decrepit gym at daughter’s college, where we watched her play varsity volleyball; 2) Wedding night dinner at Burger King; 3) Fly to Maui next day, get off plane and have lunch at … Burger King; 4) Three days later, go snorkeling at Molokini and have wedding ring fall off and sink to bottom two minutes after getting in the water (the boat guys got it back for me, by the way … ). Sweetie knew she was in real trouble very early …
WOODY to O’K: Race you to the North Sea!
WOODY to OLSEN: Race you to the Norwegian Sea!
FRANCE to ENGLAND: In a fair fight, just between you and me, no doubt I'd whip your ass seven ways to Sunday. Just look how far I've come already and with so many odds against me.
RUS to AUS/GER: Let’s you and him fight.
RUS to ITA: The above is a direct quote from Tom Hurst. Remember him?
WOODY to MAZZER: I'm at Brest. I'm in the Mid Atlantic. I'm in the North Atlantic. I'm coming to get you. I'm in Clyde? I'm in Liverpool? I'm in the Norwegian Sea? Can you cover all of them? Bet you need some aspirin for your worst nightmare.
ENGLAND to FRANCE: Are you dead yet?
GM to GAME: Again, we see the fonder, softer side of the Mazzerman … taunting poor near death Woody, who’s only apparent crime in this game was to trust a viciously scheming English pig-dog and …
ITALY to ENGLAND and GERMANY: Behold, France-en-stein! It's alive, I tell you, ALIVE!!! God help us all!!
GM to GAME: … and, um, the South’s answer to everybody’s favorite mad genius, Dr. Frankenstein. Woody, stay away from the light! Don’t go near the light!!!
GM to GAME: Probably time I reminded you all … is it live, or is it gray press?
FRANCE to ENGLAND: I'm your Bogeyman that's what I am, be it early morning or late afternoon or at midnight, it's never too soon.
RUSSIA to THE ONE WHO WAITS IN THE SHADOWS: I did exactly as you said. Lead on!
GM to GAME: Boy I love this “cut and paste” function.
WOODY to GARY: Don't think about stabbing me or you'll get what Mazzer's getting. He underestimated me and now Mazzer's got a mighty big French headache. Send him some Tylenol.
(VIENNA): From the Royal Philharmonic Amphitheater, our reporter provides poetry heard tonight during the show titled, "Drama in 7 Parts." (With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe.)
Came a midnight, dark and dreary,
The Archduke sat, tired and weary
(For S'02 scheming was such a chore!)
When voices were heard: "Nevermore!"
First entered a raven of black
Who crowed about some 'perfidious act'
It cried, "Clear out of Bohemia, per favore,"
Or German mail to you will be 'nevermore'."
(This bird was seen before
As he ripped his neighbors into blood and gore
But before Faz could shoo out the fellow
In flew a Turkey of blazing yellow)
Boob-bedecked, it cackled
"Liar! You've again raised my hackles!
Desist forever, lest I shut the door
And peaceful coexistence will be 'nevermore'."
(Perplexed now with these two
Faz didn't know quite what to do)
When soon, coming alight
Landed a third bird, of purest white)
In its iron fists lay sludge
Though this bird carried no grudge
Alighting slow, it came to the fore
And claimed that his foes would live "Nevermore."
(Now quite perplexed
And feeling sorely vexed
The Archduke gazed upon Bird 4
As it wended its way thru the door)
"I am the Blue Bird, who parrots the Raven
I am no bold aggressor; merely a shy maven
Eschewing centers, it's Germany I will shore
Thus keeping my chances for expansion 'Nevermore'."
(The Archduke was filled with emotion
What to do in all this commotion?
When in flew a bird of lighter blue
Who added to this riotous hue)
"I am the Woodpecker; I hate German Elks
And Englishmen remind me of Lawrence Welk
Frankly, both are prone to bluster and to bore
I'll deal with their entreaties, 'Nevermore'."
(To flesh out this rainbow scheme
In flew a final, brilliant bird of green)
"Encyclopedia Coughlancanica is my name
Bounteous scheming and prodigious writing, my claims to fame
I hear from all of you -- 1 short letter to my 24
Your futures are in your hands? "Nevermore'."
I thought, could this all be a dream?
Did Gary write it all as part of a scheme?
Yet now, as game results fall to the floor
I said, "This game will be replicated, 'Nevermore'."
For I had hoped to see Russians in the North
And also in Silesia, springing forth
I had predicted Frenchies in the upper Atlantic
And hoped for the Turk to feel frantic
In my rash gamble, did I lose Greece?
And in Rumania, is there still some peace?
Is the Boob still friendless?
Or will that war remain endless?
Did Italy make a stab
Of Austrian centers, for to grab?
And did Germany HUNker down
Trying to retain his precarious crown?
Did England get off the pot
Against Belgium, did he take a shot?
Or is he frozen in the lights?
DEER boy, make the move that's right!
To these questions and other lore
I must have answers, I implore!
"Dear GM, please step to the fore
And leave us waiting, "Nevermore'."
GM to VIENNA: This was a wonderfully crafted bit and I am happy I found it again and could run it.
ITALY to RUSSIA: Uh, if Kenny Rogers is one of your favorite singers, I think you need to go back and listen to him again. Kenny distinctly says "you've got to know when to hold them." What was that standdown last season?
RUSSIA to GM: Some people say I’m not what I once was. Some people say I just don’t have what it takes any more. Some people say I’m just a washed-up, punch-drunk, bumbling bum. But I was just thinking … in the old days, my weakness as a player was that I never thought up anything for myself, but just waited to hear everybody’s offers and suggestions and took the one that seemed best. And now, with my celebrated return to the stage … I do exactly the same thing. As the octogenarian snail would say: “Who says I’ve lost a step?”
ENGLAND to RUSSIA: Bestir yourself, oh Mighty One, the hour of greatness is upon us. I, your rubbery-faced-sidekick-wannabee, wish only to serve.
GM to ENGLAND & RUSSIA: I’m gonna be ill … Count Vlad and his servant, Renfro? That’s just not right …
ENGLAND to RUSSIA: It will be a game long alliance. I'll be Gabby Hayes to your Roy Rogers -- Robin to your Batman -- Cato to your Green Hornet -- Pancho to your Cisco Kid -- Sancho Panza to your Don Quixote -- Simon de Beauvoir to your Jean-Paul Sartre -- Mighty Manfred the Wonderdog to your Tom Terrific -- George W. Bush to your Dick Cheney -- Monica to your Bill ... no, forget that last one. How about Bob Olsen to your Kathy Caruso
GM to ENGLAND: Talk about debasing yourself …
ITALY to GERMANY and ENGLAND: Hello? HELLO? How many times does opportunity have to knock on your doors before you open up? My knuckles are getting raw ...
ITALY to GERMANY: I never! ... Well, actually I have ... Now I know that that Teutoburg Forest has just got to be around here somewhere. Arminius, where are you? Now, temper, temper ... remember, your blood pressure!
ITALY to RUSSIA: Ah, the centuries-old dream of the Tsars at last realized, the glittering mosques of Constantinople are Russian. How do you do it? Or is it now 5 supply centers you passed through in 5 seasons?
RUS to ITA: The only problem with possessing "the glittering mosques of Constantinople" is as follows: what do I want with mosques? Do they compare with St. Basil's in Moscow, or St. Mazzer's in St. Petersburg? I think not. Here, you come and get them.
ITALY to RUSSIA: I'm not surprised Mazzer irrationally attacked you (I love hearing his reasons though!). I'm only surprised that it took him so long to do it. I believe that it is genetically programmed into his very innermost being to stab you repeatedly. He just can't help himself.
ITALY to FRANCE: Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that I am between the devil (Faz) and the deep blue sea (those light blue French units of yours)?
ITALY to TURKEY: Germany has been correcting my grammar, the GM is correcting my Italian (OOOOOOOO-----WHEEEE!! We're in DEEP TUTTI-FRUTTI now, boahs!!), England wants to correct my strategy – well, I got a few corrections and clarifications of my own ...
ITALIAN CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS: "Grimme" is short for "Grimmeaelling," which is "ugly duckling" in Danish, the original fairy tale's language and a metaphor for my Weltanschauung ... I cannot claim authorship for the "Bless Your Heart" press release of last season. It came to me as an email ...
Emily Litella was Gilda Radner's wonderful, befuddled, elderly, hard-of-hearing newslady on "Saturday Night Live" in the 1970s ...
GM to GAME: This all made much more sense when Gary sent it, and all obtuseness should be placed solely at my webbed feet. I’m just glad I was able to find it for printing.
[ROME]- Despite a flurry of "political linguistic correctness" from the "anatre" (ducks) so frequent in Europe these days (actually it is "un' dispari anatra" ("one odd duck"), the Italian Government will continue to rely on Signora "Alta Vista" for the wording of official Italian transcripts.
[ROME]- Italy's newest minister of Foreign Affairs, Signor Elvisio Presleyiano, agreed to a wide-ranging news conference designed to reassure a nervous nation about the radically new political course he has charted for Italy on the European chessboard. Thronged by rowdy papparazzi at the Spanish Steps whom he admonished not to step on his blue suede shoes, and flanked by his young son, Vernon, and Vernon's childhood playmate, Gladys, Signor Presleyiano's opening statement said that "Prendendo cura del commercio" ("Taking care of business") was Italy's main European goal and went on to discuss Italy's relationships with the rest of Europe.
"With England, our relations are "tutti hanno agitato in su." ("all shook up.") ... Diplomatic correspondence is currently being stamped "Ritornare al trasmettitore, lo sconoscluto di indirizzo, nessun tale numero, nessuna tale zona." ("Return to sender, address unknown, no such number, no such zone.") "L'Inghilterra e l'Italia non possono continuare insieme alle menti sospetose." ("England and Italy can't go on together with suspicious minds.")
On France's ability to stand alone after so much Italian aid: "Non e ora o mai. La Francia deve pulire il suo proprio cortile, tendente al commercio della Francia mentre l'Italia tende a sus." ("It's now or never. France must clean up her own backyard, tending to France's business while Italy tends to hers.")
On Germany's refusal to break with England: "Purtroppo, non ha interferito mai un 'coniglio' e la Germania e attualmente amico di il nostro. E niente mai 'Hundehund'." ("Unfortunately, he has never caught a 'rabbit' and Germany is currently no friend of ours." -- this idiom cannot be translated exactly into English) and "He is nothing but a hound-dog" (Signor Presleyiano used the actual German word for "hound-dog" to press his point to Berlin in terms that even the Germans could understand ...)
On Turkey's imminent demise: "Sara i natali blu 1903 o 1904 senza Turchia. Blu, blu, blu blu natale anche se i Turchi non celebrano il natale." (It will be a Blue Christmas 1903 or 1904 without Turkey. Blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas although the Turks don't celebrate Christmas.")
About Russia's mysteriousness on the European stage: "La Russia puo essere il diavolo nella travestimento! O una tigre, perche le tigri giocano troppo di massima. L'Italia dice appena che 'curario piacevole'." ("Russia may be the devil in disguise! Or a tiger because tigers play too rough. Italy just says 'Treat me nice'.")
On maintaining the alliance with Austria-Hungary: "Austria-Ungheria, non sono crudeli ad un cuore che e allineare! Amare l'offerta dell' Italia, l'amore Italia allineare, tutti i nostri sogni compiono." ("Austria-Hungary, don't be cruel to a heart that is true! Love Italy tender, love Italy true, all our dreams fulfill.")
The success of his foreign policies will determine whether Signor Elvisio Presleyiano and his family have a future in politics or will be forced to leave it for some other, more promising, field of endeavor.
ITALY to GERMANY: My Western proxy pawn ally can beat your Western proxy pawn ally anytime, NYAH NYAH ...
ITALY to TURKEY: How would you like to be temporarily propitiated?
[ROME]- The Italian Government, after closely considering the merits of Germany and England as to which power should control Belgium, has reluctantly concluded in a unanimous decision that neither nation is
morally fit to rule over the Belgians (why,the English didn't even know what Walloons were!) and in bestowing its "DICK CHENEY AWARD" ("It's me, George, I'm the best man for the job!") named Italy as the rightful owner of Belgium. The Germans and the English are instructed to abide by this impartial decision, or face some most unpleasant consequences from the latter-day heirs of the Roman Empire.
ROME to GM: It would seem then, in view of the DICK CHENEY AWARD, that a Golden Apple awaits Italy in Flanders, so I'd better get my butt to Belgium or else there will be one bitter Fruit in this game, eh wot?
GM to ROME: Bitter or not, your butt is a lot closer to Belgium now than it was when you wrote this.
[ROME]- The 1902 edition of the "Navi Delle Potenze Grandi di Giovanna" ("Giovanna's Ships of the Great Powers"), current through Spring 1902, is a compact history of facts and figures on the great European navies as seen from an objective Italian viewpoint for a discriminating(!) Italian populace. (For example, what other nations call the Mediterrean Sea, the Italians correctly call "Mare Nostrum". And there are lots more corrections here ... but, for a suitable "gratuity", non-Italian fleets can have their naval fact-sheets "upgraded" by Giovanna, formerly Jane, herself!). Here is a general overview of Europe's navies with excerpts on the specific fleets elsewhere.
In 1901, there were only 9 ships in Europe, comprising roughly 40 percent of all armed forces and England and Russia were in a dead heat to be the Number One Naval Power of the World. 1902 saw a naval arms race in which every nation, except Russia, doubled the size of their existing fleet and navies jumped to almost parity with armies (15 ships versus 17 armies). England emerged as the unquestioned greatest naval power with 3 ships.
Surprisingly, this massive, continent-wide, ship-building race has been accomplished without any sea battles taking place between rival fleets. This unnatural lull in naval clashes is expected to change dramatically in Fall 1902.....
"NAVI DELLE POTENZE GRANDI DI GIOVANNA--1902" LOOKS AT THE ITALIAN FLEET: ROME -- The Italian Fleet , AKA "la flotta del Dio e la speranza di umanita" ("The Fleet of God and the Hope of Humanity") is the second largest navy in the world, very soon to be Number One, comprising 40 percent of Italy's military might, and the only navy to have warred on two continents. Italy believes in naming her fleets after her many great military heroes and the pride of her fleet is the "GUISEPPE GARIBALDI", currently in North Africa, and closely behind her in winning battle laurels is the "GIULIO CESARE", presently in the Western Mediterrean. ITALIAN NAVAL MOTTO: "MARE NOSTRUM, EUROPA NOSTRA"
"NAVI DELLE POTENZE GRANDI DI GIOVANNA--1902" LOOKS AT THE AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN FLEET: ROME -- The Austro-Hungarian Fleet is the second largest navy in the world, comprising 40 percent of Austria-Hungary's military might which is concentrated in the Eastern Mediterrean region OSTENSIBLY against Turkey DESPITE Italian remonstrances to not build a second fleet which would be like a DAGGER pointed at Italy's THROAT! Austria-Hungary believes in using her fleets to terrorize her neighbors and names them accordingly. This fleet's pride is the "BEAST OF BUDAPEST", last seen in Greece, and her newest ship, the "VAMPIRE-WEREWOLF", presently in Albania, reflects this bifurcated Dual Monarchy's hermaphroditic qualities. AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN NAVAL MOTTO: "PRITHEE, E. S. A. D."
GM to GIOVANNA: Nice to see my months long delays have not dated your correspondence on this in the least. Not that I’m seeking any credit for it … I’m just trying to look less like a complete oaf for losing it in the first place …
"NAVI DELLE POTENZE GRANDI DI GIOVANNA--1902" LOOKS AT THE ENGLISH FLEET: ROME -- The English Fleet is the largest navy afloat in the world today, comprising fully 75 percent of England's military might (although it might as well be 100 percent for all the good that that useless English army has been for
London's plans ... ) but its present dispersal (with no protection of the vital North Sea!!!) has badly dissipated its strength and England faces a potentially devastating loss in Norway. However, it is only one of two navies to have perfected the art of convoying armies across the seas, but so far only into non-supply center zones. Reflecting her animalistic tendencies, England accordingly names her ships after bugs, birds and dogs. The English Fleet's pride is the "MAUVE PTERODACTYL", currently in the English Channel assisting her sister ship, the "VIAGRATIC BEDLINGTON TERROR", presently in the Irish Sea, in wanton, unprovoked aggression against peace-loving, slow-to-anger France. In Norway is the "BERZERK PREYING MANTIS" which launched a foolhearty assault on Russia in Spring 1902. ENGLISH NAVAL MOTTO: "WE WILL CRUSH YOU LIKE AN INSECT!"
"NAVI DELLE POTENZE GRANDI DI GIOVANNA--1902" LOOKS AT THE FRENCH FLEET: ROME -- The French Fleet is the second largest navy in the world, comprising 50 percent of France's military might, making France the third most navalized nation in Europe (but still an "outtie"). The French Fleet, concentrated in the Mid-Atlantic region, is the only other navy besides Italy to name its ships after a human and also after French national characteristics. France's oldest broad ... side, the "CHER MERE" ("Mommie Dearest"), currently guarding the Mid-Atlantic from English depredations with the able assistance of France's noble Italian allies and their splendid vessels. The newest addition to the French Fleet is the "SIMPLE-MINDED ANTELOPE", presently in Brest. FRENCH NAVAL MOTTO: "DON'T FUCK WITH ME FELLAS! THIS AIN'T MY FIRST TIME AT SEA!"
"NAVI DELLE POTENZE GRANDI DI GIOVANNA--1902" LOOKS AT THE GERMAN FLEET: ROME -- The German Fleet is the second largest navy in the world, comprising 40 percent of Germany's armed might. Though widely dispersed geographically, the German Fleet is united in greed for all its neighbors' territories and has been casting covetous eyes at either the North Sea or at the Russian borderlands (or both!!!!). Germany's aggressive tendencies are reflected in her ships' names. The "GREEDY PIRANHA", currently in Belgium, watches unconcernedly as Germany's English ally goes down the tubes. But the pride of the German Fleet is its newest ship, the "TREACHEROUS TARANTULA", last seen in the Baltic Sea, believed headed for a rendezvous with the "GREEDY PIRANHA" in the North Sea. GERMAN NAVAL MOTTO: "CHUM UBER ALLES IST NICHT GREED!"
"NAVI DELLE POTENZE GRANDI DI GIOVANNA--1902" LOOKS AT THE RUSSIAN FLEET: ROME -- The Russian Fleet is the second largest navy in the world, comprising only one-third of Russia's armed military might, the lowest percentage among European nations. Also alone among the European nations, only Russia did not construct new ships in 1901, opting instead for armies of which she accounted for 40 percent of all the new armies raised in Europe. As such, Russia cannot be discounted in any other nation's naval calculations despite the geographical separation of her fleet into a northern squadron and a Southern squadron, and the Tsar is avidly courted by every power – except for perfidious England, who launched a totally unprovoked attack on St. Petersburg last season which, God be praised, failed miserably of success. Russia seems to have two naval policies, one in the north, prescient and almost clairvoyant in its foresight (No, Mazzer did not write this!!) with the other, Southern one, meandering and uncertain in the extreme. Currently in Sweden is Russia's "SIBERIAN SNOWFIEND" ready to face down Germany's "TREACHEROUS TARANTULA" and England's "BERZERK PREYING MANTIS". Last seen in Constantinople is the Tsar's pride, the "BENIGHTED BLUNDERBUSS", the only ship in the world to pass through 4 different supply centers in 4 different seasons completely unhindered and without a clear goal in mind. RUSSIAN NAVAL MOTTO: "SPIDERS, BUGS AND SNAKES, OH MY!!" SECONDARY NAVAL MOTTO: "I DON'T LIKE SPIDERS AND SNAKES."
"NAVI DELLE POTENZE GRANDI DI GIOVANNA---1902" LOOKS AT THE TURKISH FLEET: ROME -- The Turkish Fleet is the second largest navy in the world, comprising two-thirds of Turkey's armed military might, the highest percentage of navalization of any nation in Europe except England, the other Wicked
Witch. Engaged in a life-and-death struggle with Austria, the Turkish fleet has nevertheless fought a dazzling rearguard action successfully convoying an army into a supply center, a feat unmatched by any other European navy so far. The Sultan's pride is his ship-shape "CLEOPATRA'S ASP", with which he hopes to reverse Actium in the East's favor. The Sultan is also proud of his "SCHEHERAZADE'S TALE" which, against considerable odds, convoyed-conquered Bulgaria in the face of a sea of enemies. TURKISH NAVAL MOTTO: "SOMEDAY MY ABYSSINIAN PRINCE WILL COME JUST LIKE MEMNON HELPED TROY AND HISTORY WILL REPEAT ITSELF."
GM to GIOVANNA: What an excellent summation. Inspired. Hope you’ll do us an update soon. I wonder if the Turkish Naval Motto won’t change soon to “Will sail for food.”
ROME to GM: If you had asked for our favorite reads, I could have said what 95 percent of Southerners down here would say -- the Bible, and "Gone With The Wind" -- which, of course, is Southern-speak for "I don't read nuthin' and I don't know nuthin' and you can call me Trent Lott."
(ROME) – "THE GARDEN OF EDEN WAS NEVER LIKE THIS" – (A Parable With a Turkish Twist):
[SCENE] – A beautiful garden, lushly teeming with wondrous plants, flowers, and trees bathed in streaming, warm sunlight but partially shrouded in a heavy mist. Flitting about the meadow is a barefoot hillbilly who just can't seem to shut up, talking to butterflies, bugs, birds and even trees and rocks. His name is GARY. Close behind Gary is BOB, a known palindrome and all-around benighted blunderbuss. Both are wearing little red fezzes on their heads and Bob is sporting some ruby-red Viennese slippers. Gary, of course, never wears shoes. Gary and Bob are unaware that they are being watched by a pair of shiny, beaded, reflective eyes atop a darting, flickering tongue. It's a snake in the grass, actually a snake on a tree limb. The snake is speaking to someone not yet seen:
SNAKE: "Okay, I found them. Climb up here beside me and stay out of sight. We don't want to scare them, they can be very skittish creatures so, whatever you say, don't say "Prithee". It terrifies them. And we don't have much to work with here because when brains were being passed out, not only were these two not in the room, they weren't even in the house."
((Using his 8 grasping legs dexterously, a SPIDER climbs up and gets behind the SNAKE on the tree limb and gazes out on the meadow ...))
SPIDER: "I can barely see, even with my eight eyes, through all this heavy mist. What is it?"
SNAKE: "This is the infamous FAZZIAN FOG which covers this entire garden. It's these two goobers only version of reality. We're talking major ignorance here. We're here to change that."
((In the distance, we hear Gary and Bob ... ))
GARY: "And I'll call you a mauve pterodactyl, and you … you're a simple-minded antelope, and you, you're a ... "
BOB: "Not so fast. Faz said I could name stuff, too."
SNAKE: "Oh, one of them has spotted me and is coming up here now. Let me do all the talking, Lord knows you're not much for words or e-mails. Hello there, Beautiful! Haven't I seen you somewhere before? Isn't it a lovely day?"
GARY: "Who are yew? You sure know how to lay on the flattery. I KNOW WHO YOU ARE! Bob named yew before I could get to yew. Bob! Bob, come look! It's Mazzer, that talking jackass you named the other day!"
SNAKE: "Uh, no, sorry, I'm not Mazzer the talking jackass. I'm ... " (Just then Bob (Mr. Harvard) comes up ... )
BOB: "That's not Mazzer, the talking jackass. That's a ... a .snake. NYAH, NYAH, NYAH, named it, you didn't get to, ha ha ha! You can tell it's a snake by all that bobbing and weaving, its languid and monotonous press, the flattened hooded skin behind his head, the shiny, beady ... "
SNAKE: "I prefer 'serpent'. It's ever so much more ... "
GARY: "If Bob said you're a snake, that's it, you're a snake! Damnation, Bob, you got to name his species but I get to pick his name. I think I'll call you "Cleopatra's Asp. Hi Cleo! Couchee, couchee, couchee!!!!"
SPIDER: "Don't you ever shut up?!! What have you got, diarrhea of the mouth, you hick?!"
GARY: "Whut's that? OOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEE!!!!! That's one ugly thang with 8 legs and 8 eyes."
SNAKE: "Allow me to introduce my friend, YOUR friend too, if you'll permit ... "
GARY: "That thang ain't no friend of mine, although it looks like it could catch a rabbit. That's a spider, specifically a TREACHEROUS TARANTULA!!!!"
BOB: "And his name is going to be “CHUM”. NYAH, NYAH, NYAH, named it, named it, you didn't ... "
SPIDER: (To the Snake) "Maybe they should name you Scheherazade, because you're fixing to tell them some tales."
SNAKE: (HISSESisses at the Spider) "Shut up!" (To Gary and Bob in his most slithery way) "Gentlemen, could we perhaps end this merriment and discuss some issues of substance of mutual benefit to each of us involved in this tete-a-tete?"
GARY: "Whut'd yew say?"
BOB: "I think he wants to talk Turkey."
ITALY to ENGLAND and GERMANY: Behold, France-en-stein! It's alive, I tell you, ALIVE!!! God help us all!!
SNAKE: "Exactly, my good man. Now then, if I can interest you and your simian familiar in getting out of this Fazzian Fog which blights your vision as to how things really are..."
GARY: "But Faz says this smokescreen protects us from the sharks and Bedlington Terriers and piranhas that would eat us up alive!"
SPIDER: "Oh, I know how to handle Bedlington Terriers. They obey you and they don't get Belgium EVER. As for sharks, sharks just love chum and I've got lots of that ... As for piranhas, I would have to say that their greediness is very much exaggerated ... "
BOB: "Yeah? Well Faz also says that if we do what he says, we'll always be safe!"
SNAKE: "Yea, hath Faz said? And pray tell, what else has the remarkable Faz told you?"
GARY: "We can write all the press in this game we want to. I love that!"
BOB: "And we don't have to worry about … what is it? Oh yeah, we don't have to worry about supply centers, whatever they are."
GARY: "And Faz says he'll let us have all the spots on the map that aren't marred by those unseemly big ol' black dots, well, except for one. And our spots will be real purty, Faz says."
SPIDER: "I'll bet those spots are 6 feet deep and are called 'plots' too ... "
BOB: "And we can have all the seas and oceans we want, well except for one, and ... "
GARY: "And, bestest of all, we can name everythang and everybody whatever we want to and ... "
SNAKE: "Stop, no more please, I get the picture all too well."
SPIDER: "Uh, Gary, that's 'best of all', not 'bestest of all." (Whispers to the Snake) "Where does Faz find these morons? These two are even dumber than they look."
SNAKE: (Hisses to the Spider) "Wait till you see Woody then." (To Gary and Bob) "Friends, Romans and ... "
SPIDER: (Whispering Moderning) " … and country hicks?"
SNAKE: " ... and Russians, how about charting your own destinies for a change? Have either of you ever had Viennese sausages with lots of Greece? Ummmm, ummmmm! Well, I know just where and how to get some and we'd be willing to share it with you but we need your help to do so and ...
BOB: "But Faz said, and he was real specific, that Vienna sausages aren't good for us but that we would enjoy Turkey drumsticks and English Yorkshire pudding much better and..."
GARY: "And Faz said, and he was real specific on this too, that Greece is not good for us if we want to live a long life but that French froglegs and German beer are much much more beneficial for our health."
SPIDER: "Stop, stop, I can't take it anymore. Let's get out of here before that Fazzian Fog befuddles our brains too!"
SNAKE: "Indubitably apropos, my arachnoid buddy. Uh, gentlemen perhaps another time, hopefully in the near future when there isn't so much fog?"
GARY: "Yew're not leaving already are you? We seldom get any visitors and rarely even any email. In fact, if it weren't for Faz, we wouldn't get much email at all and ... "
BOB: "And you didn't even hear Faz's commandments yet. One of my favorites is "Thou shalt not enter the Ionian Sea nor the Galician plains, neither by Spring nor Fall, for in the season that thou enterest either of them, in that season, thou shalt surely die." And ... "
GARY: "And my favoritest one is ... "
SNAKE and SPIDER: (In unison)"AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!! PRITHEE !!!!"
GARY and BOB: (In unison) "AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!"
-- THE END ??? --
GM to ROME: We hope not.