As one ages, maturity and wisdom encrust the soul like a slowly growing reef. Nostalgia blooms as an intellectual antibody. That’s why people listen to music popular when they were in high school, even if it’s playing on the oldie’s stations. This is spiced with countless embarrassing memories of naivety-based stupidity: incidents that no one else cared enough to remember.

If I’d played a sport back then, I’d probably be defending my studliness by playing it with younger folk and talking about how it was more invigorating when we use to play it in snow storms when I was young. I did not play sports. I was a kick ass dungeon master: king of the geeks; generally considered the best amongst any of the groups with which I played. We took turns so that everyone could run characters.

I’m not bragging. It’s just good to know ones abilities and weaknesses. For example, I was elected president of the computer club my senior year. I could use computers on a basic level, but never learned programing or anything like that. I was just the king of the geeks.

All governments start as a protection racket, usually for the underclasses as a criminal organization. Our own government began as a criminal organization

I could have played sports, or done well in my classes, given the opportunity. Instead I did my homework in class or on the bus because I lived on an orphanage farm. Outside of school hours I was a farm laborer for a religious cult run by a lawyer. It was a cruel place. My body became hard and lean; I stopped putting up with bullies and bullshit; my mind had not yet been able to grasp the realities of society and reality. The point is I didn’t put up with bullies. All those who were bullied clustered around me. This was high school, so I was too into myself to understand what was going on, but my incrusted reef of age has shown me perspective. 

Let’s end this looming digression before it becomes a self-help book, accept the previous as a preamble and get to the point. It’s been many years since I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons, and many editions. It was a slow day at a small convention. The vendor room was empty during panels. We set up a table in the center where we could jump up laconically to get behind our table if a customer came by and got ready to play the latest version. I was no longer the king of the geeks, aside from being the only one with published books to my name. My compatriots were young people dressed as slightly goth hipsters, but mostly geek, and barely old enough to drink. Even so, they had the world figured out, with the obvious exception of romantic relations. I still remember those days in a vague nostalgic way. The more I learned over the years, the less I realized I knew, and just began questioning everything.

We rolled for statistics. Mine indicated a cleric. Then we chose alignment. Cue foreboding music. It was a puritanical mixture of lawful goodness flavored with a neutral leavening. I had a neutral in there, but the potential paladin objected to the chaotic preface. “I can’t be associated with a chaotic character, I’m lawful-good.” 

I had fond memories of countless months playing D&D in my youth, in lieu of going to class. Since I’ve seen decades and read histories of assholes doing the same shit to the human populations they were hired to support, I attempted to explain with my age induced hubris to a group of young citizens of the United States brought up in that educational system .“We are a group of heavily armed adventurers about to venture into unknown foreign territory and kill the indigenous population so we can steal their shit. We are doing this for fun and profit. We might as well call ourselves fucking republicans.”

That’s when my righteousness noticed the paladin’s ‘young republicans’ t-shirt. I met the eyes of the others and realized I was an unwanted intruder in a goblin lair. I drank my potion of speed and teleported to saner locations.

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