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    Suddenly Acquiring Twenty-Sided Vision

    | Dallas, TX, USA | Games, Gatherings, Geeks Rule, New Friends

    (I am running my third and final gaming event at the con. It is a superhero game where all the characters have powers based on mythological creatures. One of the players is new to role playing.)

    Me: “It’s sort of like when we were kids and played cops and robbers or whatever. You each have a character and we say what your character does while playing the bad guys, the helpless citizens and the person sending you on these adventures.”

    New Player: “So what are the dice and the rules for? You didn’t need rules as kids.”

    Me: “Remember when you would get into those situations where someone would say ‘Bang, you’re dead,’ and the immediate response was ‘Nuh uh, I have a bullet proof vest,’ followed by ‘Well, I shot you in the head,’ then ‘You were aiming too low’? At which point it devolves into ‘Yes, you are!’ ‘No, I’m not!’ The rules keep that from happening at least as much as possible. Plus there’s the other thing.”

    New Player: “What other thing?”

    Me: “Eventually, you’re going to be playing one of these games and roll what that game considers to be a really high number. After all the other rolls you’ve seen it’ll make you feel like ‘Oooo, look how awesome I am.’  I mean it’s just an arbitrary number rolled on one or more dice in a make-believe game, but when it happens you’ll feel like the most awesome person in the room.”

    (Later in the game the character she chose, a female marine with dragon based powers, decides to make a strafing run on the banshee-like aliens they’re fighting. She rolls to hit and gets the absolute best possible result.)

    New Player: *without thinking about it* “Ooooooh!”

    Rest Of The Table: “One of us. One of us. One of us.”

    Smile And Offend!


    real-friends-dont-get-offended-when-you-insult-them

    The Great Emoji Wars

    | Oakville, ON, Canada | Bizarre/Silly, Technology

    (An acquaintance I met once at a mutual friend’s party, and then interacted with occasionally on Facebook, announces in a status that she is leaving Facebook for good due to its distracting influence. In the status, she asks that anyone who wants to keep in touch send her some form of contact info by the end of the day. I comment on her status:)

    Me: *referring to the party we met at* “Luckily I already have your number from when I helped you find [Mutual Friend]’s place!”

    (She comments:)

    Her: “[My Name], would you mind texting me because I switched phones and not all the contacts transferred. My number remains the same.”

    (Later in the day, I text her. In the midst of the text, it occurs to me that I might be one of only a few named contacts in a sea of nameless numbers. The mood strikes me to be a bit silly.)

    Me: “Hi [Her Name], it’s [My Name]! I am asserting my power among your contacts! The anonymous numerals will tremble before the might of my letters! MUAHAHAHHAHHHAAAAAA!!!!”

    Her: “Oh no! They’re so overpowering! Must fight back with cute animal photos to melt them into mush as I know that is a weakness of yours!”

    (My Facebook timeline is indeed a testament to my weakness for cute animals. I didn’t expect her to play along or get this into it, so I am pleasantly surprised. I wait for a cute photo, ready to respond with an anguished expression of defeat, but nothing arrives. I get another text.)

    Her: “Ah, the picture refuses to send but it’s Puss in Boots with his big eyes.”

    Me: “HAH! Your plan has been thwarted! You shall not save your companions so easily!”

    Her: “I shall! I will find a way!”

    (She sends a cat emoji.)

    Her: “There, I sent a little emoji of a kitty instead.”

    (The emoji, while sweet, is nothing compared to a cute animal photo.)

    Me: “*laughs that mocking villain laugh* I am not to be swayed by such trifling cuteness!”

    Her: “Then an ARMY of cuteness shall be enforced!”

    (She sends a text containing several rows of various animal emojis.)

    Her: “Kitties, puppies, hamsters, bunnies, koalas, and bear cubs attack!!!”

    (I try to think of a way to communicate that emojis aren’t going to cut it, without breaking character.)

    Me: “Your effort is valiant indeed, but I’m afraid this is a battle you could only win by quality, not quantity! And you lack the appropriate soldiers! Your numeric comrades are doomed!”

    Her: “Never! We will fight to the end with our cuddles and affection! Fighting straight to the heart!!! With our big eyes and fluffiness! And occasional licking… And CLAWS AND SHARP TEETH!”

    Me: “There is only one route to victory, my dear… And it’s closed to you! Resistance is FUTILE!”

    Her: “Your walls shall break in due time, just you wait Ms. [My Last Name]… We’re small in size but mighty crawlers! You’d never kill us! That’s animal cruelty! Worst-case scenario, we’ll sue!”

    Me: “I don’t have to kill any of your critters to spread my power throughout the numeric society!”

    Her: “UNLESS… Your name has been replaced by them!”

    Me: “YOU WOULD NEVER.”

    Her: “And you shall henceforth be saved as [kitty emoji] rather than [My Name]!” *responding to my last text* “I JUST DID.”

    Me: “NOOOOOOOOOO.”

    Her: “Who’s laughing villainously now?! Ahahahahahahahahahaha!!!”

    Me: “*falls to knees in defeat, weeping*”

    Her: “There, there, my animals comfort you with cuddles, as we are a kind breed, and mean no serious harm or damage.”

    (And that’s how my hostile takeover of the numeric society was swiftly thwarted by an emoji.)

    Just Say No

    | Edmonton AB, Canada | Criminal/Illegal, Rude & Risque, Strangers

    (This takes place one summer afternoon while my boyfriend and I (we are both guys) are leaving a nearby convenience store. A group of young teens comes running up to us.)

    Member Of The Group: “Hey… umm, could you guys by chance get us some cigs?”

    My Boyfriend: “Naw, sorry. Can’t really risk it with how hard they are cracking down on that kinda thing.”

    Female Teen: “Awww come on. If you do it, I’ll show you my t**s!”

    Boyfriend & Me: “Hahahaha naw sorry. We’re kinda gay.”

    Male Teen: *without missing a beat* “W… well I’ll show ya my d*** then!”

    (We ended up just saying no.)

    A Photo-Perfect Finish, Part 2

    | TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Physical, Technology

    (I am a half-bystander in this exchange. There’s a little diner where I live that’s moderately famous amongst the locals for staying virtually the same as when it opened fifty years before. Literally the only thing that’s changed in the place is a single window that got broken by kids throwing rocks. Of the things that haven’t changed, security cameras still remain the same: non-existent. On this day, I’ve beaten the lunch rush and am sitting in a booth with my brother reading the paper when I hear the following.)

    Cashier: “Ack! Sir, you can’t do that!”

    Guy: “Shut up and get my order in!”

    Cashier: “I told you, sir: we just finished breakfast. Lunch items won’t be ready for another twenty minutes. Please get back outside the counter.”

    (I sit up and turn around to see one of the boys from the high school standing halfway behind the counter and bearing down on the tiny waitress, who is doing a pretty good job of glaring defiantly at him. Realizing the problem, I pull out my phone and immediately start recording.)

    Guy: “I can do whatever the h*** I want, b****. Tell that fat chef to make me my f****** burger or I’ll come back there and rearrange your face! You wanna be holding your own f****** teeth?”

    Cashier: “Sir, you realize you’re on camera right now, don’t you?”

    Guy: *grabs her arm* “Ain’t no f****** cameras in this s***-hole! GET ME MY F****** BURGER!”

    Me: “Smile!”

    (The guy whirls around and freezes when he sees my camera phone pointed in his direction. He immediately starts over to grab it, but my brother gets up out of his seat, revealing all 6’1” of himself to the kid. He backs down, swears and takes off out of the restaurant. We later turned the footage over to the authorities who quickly caught the kid. A few weeks later, I saw the diner had installed security cameras. Gee, I wonder what made them change their minds?)

    Related:
    A Photo-Perfect Finish


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