“How many times do you get to lie before you are a liar?” – Michael Josephson, 20th/21st- century American ethicist.
“When you say you agree to a thing in principle you mean that you have not the slightest intention of carrying it out in practice.” – Otto Von Bismark.
“Descended from the apes? Let us hope that it is not true. But if it is, let us pray that it may not become generally known.” – FA Montagu.
2001 A Gaming ODYSSEY
Russian F smy r SYR
OAustria (Andy Lischett) Remove F gre. Has As BOH, SER; F AEG.
OEngland (Mike Mazzer) Build F EDI, A LON. Has As LON, RUH; Fs EDI, POR, ENG, LPL, NTH, HOL, DEN.
OGermany (Jim O’Kelley) Remove F BAL. Has As BER, STP.
OItaly (Gary Coughlan) Build F NAP, F ROM, F VEN. Has As BUD, MUN TYA, VIE; Fs NAP, ROM, VEN, EAS, ION, TUN.
ORussia (Corky Clark) Remove A kie, F swe. Has As GAL, SEV, SIL, UKR; F SYR.
OTurkey (Jim Burgess) Build A CON. Has As ARM, CON, RUM; Fs BUL(ec), SMY.
GM to GAME: Well, now, normally I’d start the press here with something witty and short. But seeing us how I got a lot of neither this time, I figured I’d fill in the white space myself and get you all started on the next page over. Besides, this gives me one last chance to warn you of the coming Burgess bombast, aka “Blitherfest ‘02”.
YOUR MAP HERE!
[ROME]: Italian archivists and scholars are busily analyzing tons of documents which literally fell into their hands this winter (along with Munich, Vienna and Budapest!) from the offices of the highly-esteemed Doctor Sigmund Freud of Austria.
The 49-year-old Dr Freud himself shared insights from his extensive psychological evaluations of Europe's crowned heads with the King of Italy. Here are some of Dr. Freud's brief personality sketches:
THE SULTAN OF TURKEY is "a xanthous flexiloquent cockalorum", i.e. a yellow-colored person who speaks ambiguously and thinks his role (in Europe) is bigger than it, in actuality, is, similiar to that of a rooster who thinks his crowing has made the sun rise, hence "cockalorum".
THE AUSTRIAN EMPEROR is "a congenital megalo-ornithophobic timbromaniac", i.e., someone who from birth has been both an avid stamp collector and very fearful, to the point of phobia of, specifically, big birds.
OUR OWN KING OF ITALY is "a manic-depressive diophysitic infracaninophile with a persecution complex", i.e. someone with two distinctly separate personalities, both of which feel persecuted and who tends to support or defend
the underdog while experiencing mood swings, a no doubt somewhat alarming combination to all of Italy's neighbors at one time or another.
THE GERMAN KAISER is "a compulsive schizophrenic paramnesiac", i.e. a disorder in which one constantly remembers events that never happened such as being someone's ally or being stabbed.
THE NEW RUSSIAN TSAR is " undoubtedly an edacious megamalophile", i.e. someone who really, really loves apples and is voracious in devouring them (no doubt often confusing them with supply centers). As with the all the Tsars of Russia, the new Tsar is a remote, mysterious figure whose virtues and vices are not yet well-known to the rest of Europe.
THE KING OF ENGLAND is "an obsessive latrinologic tapinophobe", i.e. someone who has an obsessive and unreasoning fear of small things (like Germany) combined with a penchant for studying writings on bathroom walls and incorporating them into his press releases.
GM to ASIDE TO THAT PART OF EUROPE GREEN WITH ENVY, NOT BLOCKS: I don’t mind that “tons of documents” fell into the hands of the Italian government. I do mind that they intend to re-print them all here. But, hey, enough whining, I have ears to box!
GM to ROME: I think good Dr. Freud is being a little harsh about King Bertie. He’s just a little reserved, especially since that rumor got out about his fear of of small “things” … I think you know what I’m saying here …
ENGLAND to GM: Us Brits reserved? Have you ever been to the Cock and Bull Pub in Santa Monica watching the FA Cup Final on closed circuit? I've never seen so many people roaring drunk at 7:00 in the morning in my life. Reserved? You've got to be kidding.
GM to ENGLAND: Well, maybe I’m wrong about the reserved part, but given your total lack of denial about the other comment, and the fact that you worked the word “cock” into your statement, I’d say I’m spot on.
BOOBISH APOLOGIES to GOLDEN AGE PRESS FANS: I hope Gary and Mike kept up their excellent performances; I know that my cheap Boobish banter pales in comparison. Nevertheless, I offer myself in sacrifice to the game! I know this meager contribution is little in the way of penance. But I get myself started and see where I go. I finish up with some quickies that DIS the DIS and other concoctions ...
GM to BOOB: Not so fast there, Sparky … it ain’t concoctions, it’s cockalorum, just like Rome said. Hate to admit this, but it’s good to have you end your moratorium and join the odyssey.
JIM-BOB to ODYSSEY FANS: I must break my press silence with some candid comments. The first couple of seasons, press was lacking from me just from lethargy. But since then my game relationship with Mark, that for some reason became intensely personal and a bit hurtful, caused me to decide that my best course of action was not to write any press. Because I think the point of press is to add to the FUN of the game!!! I follow very closely in word and intent my TAP house rule that I want to be insulted and abused at least as much as anyone else, and that includes my abusing. But, somehow, a friendship and relationship with Mark has been deeply damaged, and damaged as part of being in a game. And I find myself conflicted and concerned. Yet, I want to have fun in THIS game, now, and as of this point I am launching back into that mode. I pray that Mark finds the happiness he seeks, or doesn't seek but needs. Shalom.
GM to BURGESS: You know, technically your silence was actually okay. Good, really. More welcome than not, in fact, truth be told. Shame you broke your streak, actually. Still, overall I suppose it’s a plus to have everyone participating.
EVILISH BOOB to SAD SACK DUCK: You will regret this, I assure you. A plus turns into a minus SOOOOOOO easily.
SSD to GET A CLUE: Not to put too fine a point on this, your Boobishness, but the utter lack of your press thus far has been like a breath of the clearest alpine air, a sip from a crystal stream. Your silence has been golden, your absence a cornucopia of blessings, the lack of your torpid, listless, mindless, Burgessian pap a symphony, your …
BOOB to THE CLUELESS: Yes, I have been severely MIA, but I have returned, and if you must blame someone, blame Woody. After all, I send out 150 copies of TAP every three weeks and probably only get true active subs from half that. SO I am certifiably nuts. And every word I write here comes out of MY pocket 150 times over, but Woody made me do it.
DUCK to BOOB: It’s apparently the only thing Woody made anybody do. Look, would you shut up and let someone else talk awhile? It’s getting stuffy in here.
BOOB to DUCK: OK, that's it for now. But suffice it to say, with humor, grace, and sheer idiocy, I have returned. MacArthur, I ain't.
DUCK to DOUGIE: We’ll consider ourselves warned, Dougie …
ENGLAND to ITALY: I must take issue about "snuffing out the light of French civilization". 1) You were very much an unindicted co-conspirator in this enterprise and, 2) What civilization? The inventors of escargot, deconstructionism, colaborationism, existentialism, and Jerry Lewis worship deserve to be destroyed.
SAUGUS to LONDON: Frogs legs, you forgot to put frogs legs on the list …
BOOBISH FROG LEGS LOVER to WOODY: Sorry I didn't get a chance to join in on the feast.
DUCK to BOOB: What?! You write reams of marginal press and you’re a cannibal? Is there no end to your depravity?
PRESS JUDGE to ODYSSEANS: Oh, for ghod's sake. You guys are really incompetent. You get Mazzer in a game and you don't jump his ass right out of the gate? You let him dominate the press? You let him KILL WOODY!? What
are you, men or ...
POSTALLY POWERFUL BOOB to E-MAIL CANCELLING HAMSTER MOLESTER: Yes, I mean you! You may put me on your "cancelled" list, but the US Postal Service WILL deliver for me, to you! And if it doesn't, I'll sic our local representative Gary on you!! Bounce back MY E-Mail, will you, I'll show you. It's all YOUR fault!!
GM to POSTAL BOOB: Hey, would you kindly SHUT UP! The Press Judge just rode in … I haven’t seen him in more than 10 years I think. … HEY, JUDGE, how you doin’? Press has pretty good, but you missed the early Olsen stuff. He was Russia, and was big and bad and his press was better than the old days … it was about Count Vlad and single-minded antelopes, and being crushed like an insect and Solomon-like-Wisdom-While-U-Wait and …
PRESS JUDGE to GM: Oh, never mind. You can lead an Olsen to uranium, but you can't make him bright.
GM to PRESS JUDGE: Make him bright? Shit, I can’t even make him play.
BOOB to PRESTIGIOUS OLSEN, CZAR FOREVER: But my powers pale before yours, oh great and powerful Sludge. You must return, you must. I must serve thee always, as I have promised. You know that EVERYTHING I do is in thy service, and I hope the light of thy countenance shines upon my face.
GM to BOOB: Oh, brother … look, Ironfist said he was too busy these days to give the game appropriate attention. As they say in baseball, Sludge is out for the season …
BOOB to SLUDGE: Who said mud season was over? Get back here and win this game like you're supposed to!!
GM to BOOB: Go away. Let someone interesting step up to the mike for a bit.
ITALY to GM: Now, unlike Mazzer's setting "fleetish" sun with its rays spiraling UNCONTROLLABLY in every direction, look at Italy's serene green ... shady tree. The trunk of this beautiful green tree grows from its roots in Tunis, up to the stout foundation of Naples and Tyrrhenian Sea (put them together on the old Diplomacy board, Don!) up to the tip-top in Venice. And from Munich through Tyrolia through Vienna through Budapest, this sturdy trunk is crowned by an abundant green canopy which gives sheltering protection to battered European nation-states where they can recover their strength.
GM to JOLLY GREEN GIANT: Well, something’s shady, and it ain’t the tree, which appears to be growing from a huge pile of manure, if you’ll pardon my analogy. Best get my hip-waders on …
TURKEY to ITALY: It is interesting how our fortunes have become inextricably intertwined. Three builds, eh? Now, where are those fleets headed??
ENGLAND to ITALY: Paisan, you've been a wonderful ally to date, all that I could ask for despite those rather ostentatious three builds. But let me suggest that Whitehall will look askance, nay view with alarm, any attempts to seriously challenge Britannia on the waves – if we see more than one fleet build, then we shall have to question Italy's good faith. We are willing to allow another frigate for the war with the Turks – but those rumored dreadnaughts being built in secret along the Tyrhennian coast – well they had better be only rumors.
GM to BERTIE: You’re dating your ally, Gary??? Hmm, well it isn’t covered in the HRs, but it sure gives cause to ponder. Now this is Odyssey, which is the classic saga of Ulysses’ return home after the Trojan War. The Trojan War started when Troy’s King, Paris, abducted the Spartan King Menelaus’ wife, Helen. So, if Gary’s got Paris, that makes you Helen of Troy.
GM to PRESS JUDGE: You got to admit, that was pretty good.
ROME to LONDON: You sure ain't no Helen of Troy whose face launched a thousand ships but I can truly say, Mike, that it is your face that has launched these three new Italian fleets onto the high seas.
ROME to GM: But I just don't know which one of the two-faced Mazzerman's faces did the actual launching ... What's your guess?
GM to ROME: I’m guessing I’ll stay out of of it … seems to me Mazzer ain’t the only guy around here with two faces, if you’ll pardon my meaning. He built one, you built three; how do you countenance that? You after the coveted Dick Cheney Award?
BOOB to THOSE INSANE ENOUGH TO THINK A DICK CHENEY AWARD WOULD BE COVETED: So, how will Italy be claiming Belgium now?? Is THAT what those three fleets are for??
ROME to LONDON: On Page 16 of the 2nd Edition (March 1979) of Rod Walker's superb "The Gamer's Guide to Diplomacy", it clearly states, and I quote: "Like England, Italy has three coastal supply centers (only Italy and the two Wicked Witches can build three fleets at one time)." Now you might can argue with me, but you surely can't argue with geography!
TURKEY to ENGLAND: I assume that your Witchdom hath seen the light of my countenance? You are SOOO feeble ...
ROME to GM and EUROPE: And, according to the Pope, it was also the will of God that Italy build three fleets! And who amongst us can argue against geography, the will of God, the Pope, and Rod Walker? I know I can't ...
GM to A BEAUTIFUL MIND: You forgot Helen of Troy, O Voice of Logic and Sweet Reason. Now, if you’d only mentioned Elvis …
ENGLAND to ALL: Please forgive the serious tone of the above press release. We realize it is a departure from our usual airy badinage, but it had to be said. Now back to the entertainment portion of our program.
GM to LONDON: Given the Italy’s response, I’d say the tone’s just right. Bring on the entertainment!
GM: BUMPER STICKER RECENTLY SEEN ON THE STERN OF ITALIAN DREADNAUGHTS?
ITALY: Visit Italy before Italy visits you.
CON VIT CUA CHUNG TA LA MOT CHU NHAN CUA SU GUON COT. HEN GAP LAI.
GM to BOARD: Regarding the above … another bumper sticker?
BOOB to WORLD: Don't let that Southern Charm delude you, that Gary is a sly one, he is ...
GM to BOOB: That’s not much of a revelation.
REVELATION 13: 1-3 (King James Version) "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast."
REVELATION 13: 1-3 (Plain English version) "Rome's got seven hills. Italy's got 10 supply centers and now 10 units. Damn look at all them fleets. Beastly.
Italy's one ugly, trash-talkin' Motherf***er. Draggin' Don adjudicates this game making outrageous results like an Italy with three builds both possible and official.
I hope at least one Italian "horn" gets blown (away). We are all wondering what Italy's gonna do.
SWITZERLAND - Instead of a gigantic Russian Bear raiding European beehives for honey, we now have a huge Italian Hog rooting around and looking for truffles all over Europe. Meanwhile, lately sighted in even the most shallow waters, lurks an enormous English Saltwater Crocodile waiting, with infinite patience, for any unwary Europeans unlucky enough to cross its path.
SLIGHT TRASH to WHITE TRASH – BORED WITH THE BOARD GAME:
And another exciting Williams game unfolds. Let's see what we have here. I see a lion and a flock of lambs, the lambs completely knowing their condition, and the lion showing himself self-restrained and benevolent. Wait, I see a second lion. Or is it an ass? Scratch that last observation. I was looking into a mirror.
PRESS JUDGE to SLIGHT TRASH: Nice effort, if a bit rusty. You're in third place after the short program. (And I'll refrain from pointing out that you're not qualified for the tall program ...)
ENGLAND to SLIGHT TRASH: I enjoyed your press (are you indeed Terry Tallperson? [political correctness at all times please]) but your description of Dipsters, while perfectly accurate for over the board players, is quite inaccurate in describing PBM'ers or PBEM'ers. We are erudite, literate, witty, urbane and able to quote Montaigne at the drop of a hat. Well, most of us anyway. The rest are old, decrepit, drooling and ready to be planted. The fact that all of the latter type are concentrated in this game does not disprove my assertion.
PRESS JUDGE to AMAZZINGMAN: Did you spend the '90s in a cryogenic tank? I'd swear you haven't changed one bit.
GM to PRESS JUDGE: Yeah, he’s still decrepit and drooling
ENGLAND to SYRIA: Bravo! I believe it was Igor Stravinsky who said (obnoxious parenthesis – Stravinsky said a lot of witty things; he once described the harpsichord as sounding like two skeletons copulating on a tin roof – end obnoxious parenthesis) that only the poor artist feels he has to be original, a good artist borrows from others, but the great artist steals from others wholesale. Congratulations on your magnificent theft -- where was that from, The Onion?
PRESS JUDGE to GM: Deduct 8 style points from yourself for printing press that's second-hand. The "Axis of Evil" item was circulating on the 'Net before "Syria" sent it to you.
SYRIA to PRESS JUDGE: Everyone’s a critic. I like Mazzer’s take on the theft better, thank you.
SMYRNA to SYRIA: Must I send my suicide bombers in, or will you blow yourself up quietly?
BOOB LAMENTS THE LOSS OF EGYPT TO THE GAME BOARD: I have sent Corky seeking Cleopatra's Asp, but I don't know if he will be lost in Syria trying to find it. Oh, bring me a Sludge, from where the Buffalo roam, and the Mazzer's and the hamster molesters play ...
[ROME]- The Italian Government announced that the Neapolitan Chronicles, transferred to Rome from Naples in Winter 1902 for "security reasons", have been returned to Naples after a two year absence. For the new European
rulers, the Neapolitan Chronicles are bulletins, warnings, musings, observations, etc, concerning European matters which reflect the thoughts of the Italian Government and are issued by a Royal Council in Naples.
BOOB to ITALIAN HOBBIT: Is that why you renounce shoedom? My, what big feet you have! And what are those in your mouth? My what big ... MUMPHSsnuggle ... struggle ...
DUCK to BOOB: You’re an idiot, did you know that? No offense intended.
GM to GAME: Coming up, the Nonsense Section.
NEAPOLITAN CHRONICLES [NAPLES]: .….If not "The Count of Monte Cristo" then maybe "The Egg and I"?..…Jeremiah 20:4a.....Fragile hippos seem lucidly aware. ...Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.....Gotterdammerung?.....Enos 1:24.....I tell you ever'thing. He looka like a man. ..Primus inter pares, y'all ...
THE ABYSSINIAN PRINCE to ITALY: You can find my wandering party in Tinamou, you don't want to see Imlac and company over here too, do you??
DENY EVERYTHING to TAP: You know, the worst sin isn’t that you send so damn much press. It isn’t that it’s barely understandable, never mind entertaining or funny. No, the worst sin is that I can’t figure out how to do anything interesting with it …
TACKY, STICKY BREAST MILK FILLED BOOB to GOLDEN AGE PRESS FANS: No, Golden Age, I ain't, but you have to admit that I'm sickly sweet ...
GM to BOOB: Make that just sick.
GM to GAME: He absolutely refuses to listen.
[VENICE]: (An allegorical presentation of the extreme danger facing five of Europe's six remaining powers, Note to Mazzerman: This again means that the each "actress" is actually a country. Note to Don: Caro amico, each "actress" is known by her Italian name).
Italia: "Attention, ladies. I welcome you to Venice and hereby call this meeting of The Continental League of European Maidens United Against The English Wolf, or CLEMUAEW, to order. Noted as present are myself – I'm Italia to those of you who haven't met me yet – and these are Germania, Austria, Russia and ... Turchia?"
Austria: "Is Turkey, I mean Turchia, European? I don’t think so."
Russia: "And I don't think Turchia is really a maiden either!"
Germania: "Oh stop it! Turchia also isn't a virgin, but none of us will be, unless we all unite against this lurking English wolf at our doorsteps!"
Italia: "Well said, Germania. Girls, Germania is right! If we don't stick together, each of us, one by one, will inevitably suffer the fate of our poor departed sister, Francia."
Russia: "My sisters, I am new here as you know. Before I go on, let me just say, that these are some of the best apples I've ever eaten. Now, please tell me what happened to Francia, won't you?"
Turchia: "The English wolf slaughtered Francia in Portugal! I knew something was wrong when she didn't respond to my emails."
Austria: "I don't have email capability. Does that put me at greater risk?"
Italia: "Certainly not, dear. You're safe as long as you stick closely by my side. I work for the post office and can get you some great stamps for your collection, too ... "
Germania: "But, Austria, you do need to get your head out of those stamps you're always collecting. You know, modernize, update, upgrade, get with it ... Tell you what, we'll go see 'The Lord of the Rings' together."
Turchia: "And I'll telephone you and keep you informed about what to do."
Austria: "You're all so nice to me. How can I ever repay you?!"
Turchia, Germania & Italia: "Heh heh heh heh ..."
Russia: "Austria, sounds like you'd better watch your Viennese pastries like I'm watching my Swedish meatballs."
Italia: "That's very sound advice, Russia, and mind you that you don't get "Kieled" like Germania did. Germania, why don't you share with the group your experience with the English wolf and how you so narrowly escaped?"
Germania: "It was just awful! The English wolf swore complete devotion to me, and at the very same time I was supporting him both in Burgundy and in Belgium, he turned on me with a vengeance and our 3 year affair was over, just like that! He's been snapping at my heels ever since! He'd be glad to see me dead!"
Russia: "I know just how the English wolf feels ..."
Turchia: "Russia! That is so thoughtless and cruel when Germania was so open and sharing with the rest of us!"
Austria: "Yes, what did Germania ever do to you?!"
Russia: "Germania stole my capital of St. Petersburg!"
Germania: "Well, Russia stole my capital of Berlin first!"
Italia: "Girls, girls, please! We must put these petty disputes behind us and concentrate on the real danger. The English wolf. You will note in Venice's harbor, there is a new ship. There are two more just like it in the harbors of
Rome and Naples. Together we can keep the English wolf at bay, paying no heed to his honeyed words and seductive whisperings, while we travel together in groups. Francia's murder shows that there is only one thing the English wolf wants from a European maiden.
Mazzerman: "Yeah, your large booties! Hahahahahahaha! Come here, Germania! Let's finish what we started, hahahahahahahahaha!!"
Continental European Maidens: Oohhh nnnoooooooooooooooooo!!!
-----THE END ?-----
GM to VENICE: I doubt it. It sounded like you were going back to the sincerity you tried for last ish, though. Nice.
PRESS JUDGE to MEMPHIS MEISTER: You sound sincere to me. You sound sincerely whiny.
PRESS JUDGE to GM: That'sa white whine, of course. Thin, light, without much kick to it.
GM to PRESS JUDGE: That’s cold. You need to lighten up; he’s just being subtle.
BOOB to DUCK: Since when have I EVER been subtle??
DUCK to BOOB: Never, but who the Hell is talking to you? Get away from me before I turn the snake loose on you.
BOOB to SNAKE: So just where and who are you?
SNAKE to BOOB: Lickety-lickety-lickety-lick!!!
GM to PRESS JUDGE: Will you do something about him next season? He’s stinking up the place.
[NAPLES] – Somewhere east of Budapest, west of Rumania, south of Galicia, and north of ... Hell no, ain't no Nawth gonna be in this heah story ... perched high on a craggy mountain-top in the Carpathians, lies a fog-enshrouded, candle-lit Transylvanian castle, lately the home of Count Vlad, now mysteriously disappeared.
A new master has come to this castle, and now this story has at last been filmed by the only man capable of doing so. Yes, it's the long awaited "BOOB SULTAN'S DRACULA" directed by "Fast Freddy Cockalorum" himself! (You were expecting, maybe, Francis Ford Coppola? Not at these prices, dream on!) , starring Gary Oldman, uh, Gary Coughlan, "Woody" Arnawoodian, "Chum" O'Kelley, "Boob" Burgess, Van Helsing, uh, Van Halen, "Big Bird" Lischett and introducing Corky "Keanu DeRees" Clark and dedicated to the late Bob "Count Vlad" Olsen. Our scene opens ...
Dracula Gary( Italy): At last, I have Count Vlad's castle and there is the storied Olsenic crown, up to now, worn by the greatest press writer of the ages. Mine, all mine, hahahahahahahahahahaha!!! [Puts on a stack of Elvis records] And there, in his crib, lies, I hope not ... I'd best get to him before Mazzer does, the new baby Tsar. Enter freely into 2001-A, little bambino. I hope this Tsar talks. The last one was 4 years old and still never uttered a coherent peep to Italy! [Looks in the mirror] And look! I don't have a reflection! I am truly the new incarnation of Count Vlad, I am now ...
Woody(France): Isn't this special? Take that crown off, you Whore of Budapest! That's not even a mirror there – you'll looking at a blank picture frame that has the glass broken out of it. And get away from that new Baby Tsar before you kill him like you did me. That is, if Elvis's "Hunk of Burnin' Love" isn't doing it already. He'd probably prefer some Van Helsing, uh Van Halen. Like "Runnin' With the Devil" ought to be most appropriate.
Dracula Gary(Italy): Woody! The dead sure do travel fast and I hoped, uh, thought, you were dead, I mean, it wasn't me that killed you, it was Mazzer! And I promised to send your skull to Philadelphia's Mutter Museum where you'd fit right in with the 7' 6" giant's skeleton, President Cleveland's jaw tumor, and the death cast of those Siamese twins. And please be quiet, you'll wake the new baby Tsar!
Woody(France): Don't worry. You're the only one who can see and hear me. Thanks to you, I'm a ghost now. And I'm going to haunt you until you follow me into the grave, you "Count Vlad" wannabe. But first, get me a glass of wine.
Gary: Great, all of Europe is coming after me, and I also have to deal with an alcoholic Armenian ghost. I never drink wine but let me go see if there's any beer in the castle cellar. You know me, I may be in high cotton now but I'm still white trash at heart. Budapest ought to have Bud-Lite, you think? [Wolves howling in the distance] Ah, listen to the children of the night. What sweet music they make!
Woody: What is that god-awful racket? Sounds like a Memphis family reunion and the Jerry Spring audience in high dudgeon rolled into one.
Gary: Those are my Eastern European friends and allies, my little Gorgons. Wait till you see Medusa! They're eager to meet the new Tsar. Watch the baby Tsar while I go into the cellar and don't let Germany, Austria and Turkey, if they stop howling, tease him if they come in.
[Gary exits to the cellar. Right after that, Germany, Austria and Turkey come rushing into the room, snapping at each other's heels and swarming around the cradle wherein the new baby Tsar is sleeping. Woody watches, unseen by them]
"Chum" O'Kelley(Germany): Finally, somebody I can help beat up. Mazzer's still hot on my trail and I need some supply centers fast! Let's do it while that Italian godfather isn't here and makes us another offer we can't refuse.
"Boob" Burgess(Turkey): Yeah, we're all sharks and we're going to bite your arms and legs off. There is no trying, only doing or not doing. Watch me, do! Hahahahahahaha! Hey, little Tsar, watch out specially for O'Kelley. He USED to be Shark Chum and now enjoys making OTHERS into Shark Chum.
Woody: (heard only by himself) That Boob must be the one they call Medusa. I think I'll cross him off my e-mail list.
"Big Bird" Andy(Austria): Do we have to kill him right away? He looks so cute, just sleeping there. I think I'll call him Snuffalafagus and let him play with my rubber duckie that I got at Sesame Street. [Starts singing] "Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away ... can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?"
"Chum" O'Kelley(Germany): I think he looks a little 'goofy', like one of those hobbits. I just love hobbits. Andy, you and I have to go see "Lord of the Rings". I've seen it 57 times and each time gets better and ...
"Boob" Burgess(Turkey): Knock it off! We need Russia, alright. Dead! Hahahahaha! [Brushes his viperous hair backward, tying it in a little ponytail, like Amy Grant]. Since Count Chockula's not here, I'll take the first bite. Ummm, that Sevastopol sure looks good, doesn't it?!
[Just then, Gary returns with a Bud-Lite six-pack for Woody, and stands momentarily shocked by the diminutive threesome jumping up and trying to get into the baby Tsar's cradle]
Woody: Hoo, boy, must be Friday night in Memphis! When's Mike Tyson going to bite an ear off?
Gary: "Get away from him, you bitch!"
Woody: So now, "Count Vlad", you're Sigourney Weaver in an "Alien" movie? Hello, this is "Dracula"!
Gary: Uh, right. How dare you touch him! He belongs to me!
"Chum" O'Kelley(Germany): Are we to have nothing tonight? I am so weak and ...
Gary: For the last time, Chum, it was you who asked me to come into Munich. I know what it’s like to go without builds. Why, in 1902, I didn't get a single build. Now Mazzer, Mazzer has gotten builds every single, solitary year. And Mazzer killed France ...
Woody: With a lot of Italian help. And then you helped yourself to Paris and to Spain and ...
"Big Bird" Andy(Austria) I don't feel so good myself. I'm almost as weak as Germany and....
Gary: These things take time, little ones. We're working on building up Turkey this year. He's as strong as both of you two put together now. Just remember our game has a new Austria and a new Russia but the same old Turkey and the Sultan has waited the longest. All in good time, all in good time.
Woody: You're switching to another movie again, but this time it is appropriate, you Wicked Witch of the South!
[The children of the night leave. Gary turns to the new baby Tsar sleeping in his cradle ...]
Gary: I see the Force is strong in young Keanu "De" Rees. But he was raised away from us and he would not be able to be tempted with such power. But I will train him. Under my leadership, he will learn how to wisely use his power.
Woody: So now you're Liam Neeson?
Gary: The "Phantom Menace" for the Phantom Menace. Au revoir, France!
GM to GAME: Thanks for that tour-de-force, Mr. Press Writer. And now, for a completely different kind of menace …
BOOBISH WITCH (THE TRUE WITCH'S TIT – I HAVE ONE YOU KNOW!) to FEEBLE WITCH: I shall relent and allow you to assume the position and allow me to restore your magical powers. But you must be my loyal familiar!
GM to GAME: … and …
TURKEY to ENGLAND: Why don't the English consider Turkey Livers a delicacy? Cause they're too busy establishing hegemony in other places where they don't belong! Get out of Holland, now!! The Dutch have their Turkey Livers in the right place.
GM to GAME: … and …
BOOBY to O'K: Me man, Jimmy boy, now don't you go and give up, y'hear? I need you to take my Turkey Livers to my 5-star restaurant in Rotterdam. Now, you say Rotterdam is not known for its cuisine, and I say yes, but that's why I'm sending a German to liberate it!
GM to GAME: … and …
BOOB to CORKY: Sorry, DeRees, me boy, explaining TWO DECADES of this is simply beyond my teaching capabilities. This is a community and the context is uncertain. Perhaps if we met at the Temple in Salt Lake City and researched our ancestors on pilgrimage together for a year and shared stories every night we could get caught up. But I don't have the year to give. I'm sorry, my bad. I deserve all your wrath, and MORE!
GM to GAME: … followed by …
BOOB to MAZZER: On the contrary, dear sir, you have not put me to sleep, but have awakened me. Aren't you sorry you didn't just keep sending the sleeping pills my way??
GM to GAME: … not to mention …
HERR BOOBISHNESS to MONSIEUR MAZZER: Snuffle....huh. How did you grow into Brest without me noticing??? I'm the Boob around here, and don't YOU forget it!!! And you VIL talk, you VIL. Or I shall send my simulacrum, Shark Chum, infested with vile poisons to infiltrate and destroy your first born.
GM to GAME: … in fact, if you take my advice you’ll stop reading immediately because, from here on out, it’s just a bunch of mindless, meaningless, menacing Burgess-Babble, interspersed with me trying to salvage some sort of sense (I gave up on humor) from the meandering monologue of muttered musings that strike poor Jim-Boob. Starting now, you are on your own.
BOOB to TRUE SURVIVOR FANS: The real Pessimistic Anthropic Principle is that we all aren't allowed to toss people we have become bored with off our own personal islands. That's why Diplomacy is THE game. Here, I think it's time to vote Corky off the island, one way or the other. Sorry, Corky, it ain't personal, it's business. Sludge Olsen is THE business of this game and he belongs on the Czar's Throne. If you are still the usurper, then you must become MY chopped liver. My vote is in.
BOOB to FAZZIAN FOG: I hope you lift soon.
BOOB to WORLD CUP FANS: I don't think Turkey is in the World Cup, is it?? If not, why not?? Must we let the Italians win EVERYTHING?? This isn't going to become World Cup Central, is it? TAP is the Sports Authority, and I won't have my puny insignificant subszines usurping my authority.
GM to BOOB: geesh, Burgess … this press is soooooo last month.
BOOBISH MORAL BANKRUPTCY to DUCKISH K-MART BANKRUPTCY: I shop, therefore I am. Why doth the Duck destroy the rights of the masses? What are Americans really willing to fight for except the right to shop??? Really!
BOOBISHNESS WISHING EVERYONE A BELATED HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY: We know that the Duck is appreciative of his "she who must be obeyed" and he's been agitating to get his soulmate together with mine.... there is the nagging worry that he thinks Charlotte might be ... well, we can't talk about that in a family szine, but we are happy to see that the Italians and the Russians (the Olsenite ones) have found their soulmates since last I pressed them in a game. I wish Gary and Bob all the happiness they deserve, as I search with desperation for a way to toady to them both ... and on the serious note, we pass along our continuing best wishes to Andy and hope that he is finding solutions to loneliness!! Not wanting to leave out Mike and Jim, but I am not as familiar with their situations, I hope everyone (Corky too!!) had a great Valentine's Day!!!
GM to BOOB: … make it sooooo TWO months ago.
BOOB to DUCK: Hey, since I've been silent, I have to answer all the old press!!
DUCK to BOOB: That’s not true. You labor under a misconception …
BOOB HUNTS HIS OWN ICH BIN BERLINER: I thought the Turkish twist was a delicious pastry, but it has a sour taste.
DUCK to BOOB: … a very serious misconception ...
BOOBISH BEER LOVER to MUNICH – BELONGS TO WHOM?: Where is my O'K Shark Chum? Has he been made mincemeat by Italian treachery?? Vas is das?? I just want my beer. Give me a St. Pauli Girl!!!
DUCK to BOOB: … a misconception bordering on severe self-delusion … you needn’t keep doing this …
BOOB to CORKY: If your E-Mails are any indication, you should be brilliant at one liner press releases ... may the Force be with you ... but there IS another ... and we hope he comes back in out of the shadows. Sorry, but that's the way it is.
WILLIAMS to BURGESS: Seriously, I think you should stop now before someone gets hurt …
BOOB to SPIDER: Along came a spider, and then we saw that Monica Potter couldn't act.
DUCK to BOOB: She can’t act, you can’t write press – no one’s perfect. Are you about done? Your press has really slowed down this issue. (I keep falling asleep reading it.) As you know, I’m trying to run a faster than normal PBM game, but I’m afraid it’s not going fast enough.
BOOB to THOSE DESIROUS OF E-MAIL SPEED: Why do you think TAP has all of those web links and such? I've been helping one of the players in the "other game" //Iliad// with connecting up with E-Mail games. I just came across another "hobby group" of Diplomacy players the other day that numbers over 1200 fresh meat souls. Those of you who continue to not believe that the Diplomacy hobby is alive, healthy, and growing exponentially step to the rear of the bus. Now THAT'S fresh meat!! My best guess is that the current worldwide active hobby now exceeds 10,000 easily. It has created a condition where I can extole Rob Stephenson for winning World DipCon in Canberra recently and have longed to be there. Get thee all to the next World DipCon in Denver next February!! This is a wonderful community and getting more wonderful all the time.
BOOB to DUCK: You can tell me to stop any time now ... I've only just begun to press ...
DUCK to BOOB: … sigh …
GM to GAME: See you all next time. It’d be nice to get something from the hold-outs. The rest of you, keep up the great work … we’ll put TAP on the map yet, or bankrupt Jim-Bob in the try!
“On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.” – George Orwell
FLAMES OF WAR IGNITE EUROPE … GERMANY AND RUSSIA CLASH IN POLAND, AS KRIEGSMARINE BATTLES ROYAL NAVY IN NORTH SEA … OH, AND HOLLAND OCCUPIED BY HUNS … PORTUGAL SACKED BY FRANCE … FRENCH CONTINUE PIEDMONT PROVOCATION … ITALY “PACIFIES” TUNISIAN SEPERATISTS … TSAR AND ARCHDUKE LAUNCH SUCCESSFUL JOINT ASSAULT ON BULGARIA … SULTAN’S ATTACK ON SEVASTOPOL IS TURNED BACK, BUT OTTOMAN FLEET CAPTURES CRITICAL BLACK SEA … GREECE, RUMANIA, NORWAY ALSO FALL TO INVADERS … GREEN GENERALS LEAD TO ARMY MISFIRES IN FRANCE, GERMANY … ARE WE HAVING FUN YET?
OAustria (Ryan Wheeler) A tya – BOH, A ser – BUL, F alb – GRE.
OEngland (Corky Clark) F nth -- NWY, F NWG – nth, A wal – LON.
OFrance (Scott Williams) A BUR – gal(imp), A MAR – pie, F mao – POR.
OGermany (Greg Bond) A SIL – war, A ber – mun(nsu), A MUN u(H), F HOL – nth.
OItaly (John Bovee) A VEN – pie, A ROM – ven, F ion – TUN.
ORussia (Dave Peterson) A GAL – war, A SEV H, F bot – SWE, F RUM S (AUS) A ser – BUL.
OTurkey (Scott Wilk) A bul H(d;r Con,OTB), A ARM – sev, F con – BLA.
If you guys aren’t going to use this space, can I borrow it for my disclaimer?
YOUR MAP HERE