D&D, Dog, and Dead Rats

Our online D&D  sessions continue weekly. Highlights of today’s session involved our wonderful NPC, Dog.

Dog was originally a guard dog on our very first mission, but rather than fight past him, we were appalled at his living conditions, fed and watered him, and charged his owners yelling “This is no way to treat your pets!” Dog subsequently attached himself to my paladin, Rook, and has been our faithful NPC ever since. It helps that our GM plays him very well. Dog wanders between begging for bacon, bestowing kisses, and occasionally doing a Little-Timmy-Trapped-In-The-Well routine when neccessary to move the plot along.

Today we’re on an airship, cleaning up the mess left by a battle with undead rats, and we discover some crates bearing the seal of our current enemy. By the end of the session (following another battle and much intrigue) we’re trying to figure out if any of the crates need to be opened (which we don’t want to do, for fear of alerting the crew of something suspicious going on.)

And so, displaying the disgusting ingenuity for which PCs are famed, we solved the problem.

Rook had been playing fetch with Dog, using one of the dead rats–(Okay, yes, unhygenic, I grant you, but Dog enjoyed it, and Rook has gauntlets on)–and our cleric Tarab suggests we try to use Dog to find out if any of the crates are suspicious. So after a few false starts, we get the bright idea to throw the dead rat at each questionable crate, and see if Dog is willing to fetch it, or if he starts acting weird.

Dead Rat Fetch Scrying. And it actually worked. We uncovered a weird spell on one, and another that Dog gave a wide berth to, which is highly suspicious.

Who needs intelligence rolls and knowledge skills when you’ve got a dog and a dead rat?

It reminds me of how my shaman used to test the environment on the other side of scary portals using a live mouse on a string….

All Knowledge Is Contained In Fandom

So today I decide to go get some pants, because my current pairs of jeans are starting to get Swiss Cheese Crotch, which is a look I try to avoid whenever possible.

So I go to Stein Mart, which has the advantage of being dirt cheap, and I find some pants, and all is right with the universe.

And then the woman who checks me out, who seemed distracted and vague even at the time (as well as badly flustered with the cash register) fails to remove the hard plastic anti-shoplifting devices, leaving me with an armload of pants with large plastic accessories.

So I have to go back tomorrow and try to convince them I am not pulling some elaborate scam…unless my readership, who knows all things, can tell me how to get the damn things off with a screwdriver/safety pin/hammer/cat.

I promise, I’m not going to use the knowledge for evil, I just want my own pants that do not include nether ventilation!

They’re not the ink tags, I don’t think. They’re a big hunk of cream plastic with a sort of pyramid on one side, and it looks like a large metal pin sticks through the cloth, and has a kind of cream-plastic nipple on the other side.

Le sigh.

Last night, I killed the lights, crawled into bed, and heard…something.

Something oddly familiar.

It had a kind of thin, digital quality, and it was coming through the wall that I share with another apartment. It wasn’t quite music, although there did seem to be a tinny musical thread to it, but there were also an oddly random collection of familiar beeps and boops.



And then it hit me. On the other side of the wall, quite loudly, somebody was playing a Super Mario Brothers game (or some modern relative, more likely, since that franchise will never die.)

And they kept playing it.

Loudly. Speakers-aimed-directly-at-the-wall loudly. I have listened to knock-down-drag-out domestics conducted at half the volume with which Mario was collecting coins and leaping on goombas.

My brief grin of recognition rapidly became a grimace of horror, as I attempted to fall asleep while Mario beeped and booped a few inches away. I wanted to get up and go over, and hand him the damn cheat codes in hopes he’d stop before two AM.

I lived in apartments for over a decade, and yet, I had forgotten some of the high points….

DA comment left on a cute and mindless piece:

I hope to see more this kind of stuff soon, your art is so dark now days.


This irritated me way out of proportion to what it should.

It’s probably PMS. Generally comments on art just amuse me, and the more dire, the better. For some reason, though, this one just rubbed me the wrong way. I want to yell “What, somebody with underwear on their head is dark?” and “It’s been five weeks and four paintings! That doesn’t count as “now days!” and a number of other things not conducive to civil discourse.

It shouldn’t annoy me. They undoubtedly meant well. It’s not like I haven’t occasionally muttered “I wish Phil Hale would paint a monkey or something,” or “Would it kill Laurel Burch to paint a pangolin now and again?” so I’m probably guilty of rank hypocrisy as well. Definitely the PMS.

Still, I find myself sitting around, sneering like Ricardo Montalban* in Wrath of Khan and saying “It vexes me…”

*Well, I’d like to think so, anyway.

Based On A True Story

A brief autobiographical amusement…

When I Get Old

Grandma, just to explain, had multiple bouts of cancer late in life and multiple bouts of chemo, which makes all your hair fall out. The problem with having your hair fall out isn’t just that you look rather startling, but your scalp gets very, very cold, and very very tender, and normal hats are much too abrasive, particularly when it starts to grow back and itches like blazes.

Grandma’s novel solution to this problem was to buy cotton underwear and wear it on her head around the house. My mental image of her, until the day I die, will involve her wearing pink panties on her head, with her regrowing hair sticking through the leg holes in tufts, and one eyebrow ironically cocked as if to say “What are you lookin’ at?”

God willing, I will not ever need chemo, but if fate and genetics conspire against me, I’m wearin’ underwear on my head.

I hold fast to the belief that one thing the internet does not need is photos of me on it.

Still, people ask what I look like sometimes. (Why? Don’t you–sniffle–love me for my mind?)

Well…something like this.

Only, y’know, a lot less cartoony. And usually in color.