DUNGEONS & DIPSHITS

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.

Current Events

It has been too long since I’ve practiced the writing craft. Writing is an occupation I enjoy, but rarely pays well. I am also afflicted with a defect that gets in the way: I’m very good at practical things. This is a surprisingly rare ability in these times when one is proud if they can change a tire, let alone the oil.

I can change a tire. I can change a toilet or replace an entire bathroom with such elegant tile work that upper middle-class housewives are happy to pay substantial funds to have me remodel their million-dollar homes.

I paid for college with remodeling work. I earned a contractor’s license before a degree. The degree would have earned me less, so I dropped out and bought a house. Now I am stuck by my own work ethic. I do not advertise, but I have a reputation, and word of mouth is a powerful force.

“I can get to your project in two to four months,” I tell people as I schedule. I do my best, but I am dealing with a flawed species: affluent humans. I’m incessantly confronted with the casual phrase: “While you’re here can you also do…?”

People call with sudden emergencies, short fixes that need to get done before they can shower, cook, et cetera, again. Every spare day, or potential day off gets subsumed by the needs of others. Rarely do I even have the time to do such rants as this one.

That has now changed. I’ve been blessed with a leg wound. It not only has me reclining with nothing else to do beyond writing my subversive thoughts, but they have also supplied me with enough opioids to foster a serious addiction. I’m not saying it is in the interest of the drug companies that own the medical schools in this country to get everyone who falls into their clutches hooked on drugs, but it sure makes them a massive amount of money.

As I said earlier, I know how to get things done, and done right. Pain is okay, it’s part of life. I take just enough pills to keep it bearable and pass the rest on to Jesus. He’s the janitor and trades the pills to a local deputy addict in exchange for protection against deportation harassment. We all get what we want in the end.

I digress. I wanted to tell you about how I acquired time to write. There is a place just off the highway called the “Greasy Spoon” where people go to get Salmonella, botulism, and diarrhea because they are too hungry and tired to cook for themselves. I was at the counter to eat my fried in lard veggie-burger. I’d worked a ten-hour shift, it was late, and there hadn’t been time for lunch. Desperate hunger calls for desperate places.

I did not get to enjoy that burger; nor would I have even if I’d gotten the chance to eat it, I’m sure. This because two Imperial Stormtroopers sat down at the bar beside me. That was a facetious comment for our times. They weren’t really Stormtroopers, nor were they fascist Italian Brown Shirts or Nazi Black Shirts; they were United States Blue Shirts: police.

The one next to me was black. His partner was a redskin, that is, a white guy who spent too much time wearing a tee shirt in the sun watching Naaascaar or something. (I don’t actually know how many a’s are involved in the sport, so just take out any you don’t need and send them to Florida, I’m sure they would be happy to have more).

I am infinitely curious, and at the time, was too tired to practice good sense. I turned to my new dining companion and asked the obvious racial question. “So, can you shoot random white guys without legal consequences?”

The answer is no. However, his white partner can shoot smartasses. Fortunately, my income level was high enough to only allowed for a leg wound. Even better, I will now have more time to write, since a charge of resisting arrest comes with a forced sabbatical in a reclusive environment.