Eternal Sunshine #70

November 2012

By Douglas Kent 911 Irene Drive, Mesquite, TX  75149

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Quote Of The Month“You look like a tangerine!” (Joel in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”)


Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the only Diplomacy zine published by a person who is a grumpy, difficult, and generally miserable pain in the ass.  Not only that…I also have little to say this month.  Kremlin starts this issue.  A new game of Where in the World will begin as Tom Howell guesses correctly.  And I’ve opened a game of Acquire.  I’m also printing every chapter of The Twisting Tale to try and get more people participating.


Yesterday was my birthday and tomorrow my anniversary, and I still feel miserable today.  I am a real joy to be around!


Have you seen this man?  Maybe…but have you seen this publication?  Nope…because he never gets around to doing it.  If you see him, hit him with a sock full of flour to leave big white marks on his clothes.




Playlist: Caught in the Act – Grand Funk Railroad; For Now – Miss Becky; The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer – Antje Duvekot; The Complete Greatest Hits - America.


Hypothetical of the Month


Last month, we gave you these two hypotheticals: Last month we gave you three questions.  #1 – You phone a friend from a pay phone at 1am but dial another friend by mistake.  When the sleepy voice answers, do you identify yourself?  #2 – Someone has stolen your bicycle.  At the police station you are shown a similar bicycle that isn’t yours.  Do you claim it?  Bonus Question this month, #3 – A friend of yours posts frequently on Facebook about his strong opinions in the upcoming Presidential election.  Today he has posted “If you’re still planning on voting for that moron Candidate X, defriend me right now.”  You ARE planning on voting for that candidate, but do not discuss politics on Facebook.  Do you delete him as a friend?


First, a quick note…many of you said there are no payphones anywhere anymore.  Trust me, there are.  You just have to know where to look.  When I was in the halfway house I had to use them every time I arrived or departed anywhere, which was NOT easy.


Andy York - #1 - Hard to say, as I generally am known by the few folks that I'd call on the phone without having to actually say who I am. I can see the conversation being something like:


 Friend: (sleepy voice) ...hello....

  Me: Hi, it's me and I called the wrong number. Sorry, go back to sleep.

  Friend: I'll call you tomorrow.

  Me: 'night


So, I would be identified but I wouldn't have identified myself explicitly.


That being said, I can't think of a reason to call someone at 1am as I'm already asleep myself. The extremely few instances where I might, again, the handful of folks I'd consider calling know me by my voice. Also, there's the difficulty of actually finding a pay phone at that time of night.


#2 - Of course not.


#3 - <Caveat - I don't know what "friending," "liking," "following" or other association labels actually mean or allow on Facebook, never having joined nor having any intent to do so>


I'm guessing friending is for those close, personal relationship individuals that you're a regular friend outside of Facebook (with likes being acquantances, followers being interested parties without an actual, on-going, relationship). If so, they should already know your political leanings (though, possibly not who you'd actually vote for) and if their post is how they actually feel, they should have already discussed the situation with you and/or already "defriended" you on their own initiative.


I suppose if this precise situation actually came up, I'd likely contact them for clarification of their position vis-a-vis me and our friendship that exists outside of Facebook (i.e., do you no longer wish to be friends and have contact with me?).


Melinda Holley - #1 - I probably should but I'd really just hang up without saying anything.


#2 - No.  It's not my bike.  If I'm going to go to hell for something, I'd want it to be for something more than a stupid bike.


#3 - No.  Since I don't discuss politics on this forum, why should I?  If I'm specifically asked by this friend about who I'm going to vote for, I will quote my mother.  "It's nobody's business who you vote for.  If you're stupid enough to tell someone, then you deserve all the (expletive deleted) that will fall on your stupid head."  This sage advice was given to me when I was 18 and going to vote for the first time.  My father was a die-hard supporter of one political party and abhored/detested/hated the other political party.  Ever since then, I've followed that advice.


Phil Murphy - #1 - Before the days of Caller ID, I'd just have hung up. Now, I'd identify myself.


#2 –No. I've had an ingrained sense of right and wrong drilled into me as a kid. I'm pathologically afraid of being caught out by Authority as a result. Mind you, if I knew who the owner was, and he'd just stabbed me in the back for Belgium... I might


#3 –Without hesitation. AND I'd post to his wall for all to see before I did it, explaining just why I did it. Not because it would affect my friendship. but to call him on his idiot posts.


Rick Desper - #1 - wow, this question has been rendered moot by technological advances. First off, what's a payphone? Secondly, anybody I would call would see my name on caller ID. Because I would be calling them on my cell phone.


#2 - this is actually similar to something that happened to me. A guy broke into my garage and stole my bike, but left his bike. The police took the bike. I suppose I could have kept it and never called the police. So - do I intentionally claim the wrong bike? No. But I would buy it from a police auction if it ever made it that far.


#3 - I might defriend such a person. But not as a knee jerk reaction to that one thing. My friends don't go around throwing ultimatums like that.


Andy Lischett - #1 - Of course I identify myself and apologize for waking up my friend. Otherwise he might worry that he missed an important call or had a burglar checking on him.


#2 - No, I don't steal someone else's bicycle.


#3 - I am not familiar with Facebook etiquette but I don't necessarily do what my friends tell me to do, so I would not "defriend" him. If he asks who I will vote for I'll tell him and the results will be up to him.


Richard Weiss - #1 - First, there are no more pay phones in many places and interesting how that is about the only place that remains anonymous for the caller.  Second, I had a friend who used to sell pay phones to places and lived on the income.  Obviously she had to start a new career.  Answer to your question - "it depends" on lots of things.  I'm not sure.


#2 - No I don't claim what isn't mine. 


#3 - I have deleted people for similar issues.  I would block his entries from appearing on my facebook page, yes.  If that means I have to defriend him, then yes.  I'm a relative newbie on FB.


Tom Howell - #1 - 1am?  didn't happen.  Pay phone?  Don't exist.  But, if one did still exist, and I was  still on my feet at 1 am, AND I was making a phone call, an emergency would exist: and if I somehow got the number of a friend other than the one I was intending to call out of the phone book, I'd tell him what's going on.


#2 - nope.


#3 - moron?  If he was voting for bushie, I wouldn't have had him as a friend in the first place.  Completely independent of the fact that I don't do that farcebook thingy.


Dick Martin - #1 - sure...and have a good laugh about it too (pay phones? who has pay phones anymore?)


#2 - nope


#3 - my own father did something similar, sending out a mass email that anybody considering voting for candidate x should shun him. my uncle argued with him briefly, to no avail. many of us never spoke to him again before his sudden death last year. so i guess my answer is "yes" - if somebody posts something like that he doesn't consider you a friend so respect his wishes and defriend him (unless you need him for your gang in mafia wars, of course!)


Jack McHugh - #1 - Probably not, what's the point?


#2 - No, what if they find mine?


#3 - No, I don't like to take orders from a person, never from a computer.


Robin ap Cynan - #1 - Yes- provided I recognize their voice and can remember their name, and apologize.  But this is hardly likely now, is it? We never remember folks' numbers, and they are all programmed into our mobiles/cells.


#2 –No- why would I want someone else's bicycle? Mine's insured...


#3 - No- for me, Facebook remains a politics free zone. But I might rib them about their rigidity.


Per Westling - #1 - It would be rare to phone anyone after midnight, but if I would of course say who it was without giving it much thought.


#2 - No, I would not.


#3 - I do not really fit into the description as I enjoy discussing politics, sport, religion etc on forums, including Facebook.  I do have "friends" at Facebook that I do not agree with, and which have views I dislike. Even friends, actually. So, I might even comment on that post, and start an argument with that person. But I would not defriend him.


Don Williams - #1 - Nope, I don’t.  I answer – quite honestly – that I dialed the wrong number and apologize and hang up.  I tell him about it a day or two later.  He won’t remember because he drinks a lot.  His wife will have been really be pissed and suspicious, though, and so he’ll be happy to tell her that the call was from me and wasn’t from that cheap suicide blonde at work that he had the “thing” with at the ethics training conference three years ago in Chicago.  Everybody gets happy that way.


#3 - Nope again.  My friend is a drunk (assuming it’s the same friend here … I uh … I only have the one) and rages when he gets a snoot full of cheap tequila.  I’ve learned to let him rage on the internet because no one gets hurt that way, especially his wife, who can be a nag about the fact that he slept with that blond in his office a few years back.  Anyway, I know he’s just letting off steam because he’s middle-aged and his life hasn’t gone the way he thought it would and his investments are shot and the car needs work and his kids never call their mother and that’s another thing she nags about.  So, anyway, I ignore his pissy political tirades and, if I feel like it later, I’ll call him at one in the morning and let him know what my political views really are and then hang up.  By the way, he’s older and so really doesn’t get that Facebook is out there and in the public domain.  If he did get it, he wouldn’t be so quick to mouth off about being a Bircher, especially as his boss’s name Miguel Rufus Wong.


Heather Taylor - #1 –I would probably just say “Oh shit, I’m sorry, I called the wrong number” and hung up, hoping they hadn’t recognized my voice.


#2 – No, it isn’t mine.  The real owner must be looking for their bicycle,  and it would be stealing to take one that wasn’t mine.


#3 – Probably not.  I’d just ignore it.


For Next Month (For the time being, I am usually selecting questions from the game “A Question of Scruples” which was published in 1984 by High Games Enterprises).  Remember you can make your answers as detailed as you wish.: This month, three more from Andy Lischett.  #1. While helping you move your mother's belongings to a new home a friend of yours discovers an old camera and a World War II tank periscope which your mother threw in a dumpster while cleaning. Although both items have been at your mother's house for over fifty years, you consider them yours because you rescued them from the trash 30-some years ago and stashed them in your room. Neither the camera nor the periscope are especially valuable, but they are "neat." Who do they belong to?   #2. After an emotionally rough week you are running errands on a Saturday morning. You leave your bank to head to Piggly Wiggly for a loaf of rye bread and - unexpectedly - as you switch on your car's radio Beethoven's 9th Symphony begins (or Mozart, or Pink Floyd or Barry Manilow or Lady Gaga or whatever other crap you happen to adore). You love Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Soul music. You are basking in the beautiful music as you pull into a parking space at the grocery store but suddenly realize that if you turn off the engine the music will stop. Even if you turn the key for the brief time it takes to stop the engine and turn the radio back on, the moment will be gone and the spell broken. But you ALSO realize that premium gasoline for your supercharged Duesenberg Model SJ costs $4.65 per gulp AND that the ozone hole is creeping up on Buenos Aires. What do you do?  #3. One winter Sunday you and your wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend take your nieces and nephews sledding at a public park. There are perhaps 100 to 200 people at the hill. After a few runs down the hill you spot a scarf half buried in the snow being run over by tubes and sleds and saucers. You like scarves. They are dashing, and keep your neck warm, and if you wrap one around the lower half of your face you can rob banks. You watch the scarf for a while and nobody claims it and nobody appears to be looking for it, so you dodge screaming kids trying to knock you over and you retrieve the scarf and dust it off.  It is the world's most beautiful scarf. It is the softest and prettiest scarf you've ever seen. It is mauve and puce and other warm, pretty colors with funny names. It's not like the disgusting, scratchy, gray and bile thing from K-Mart that you are wearing. You show the scarf to your w/g/h/b who agrees that it is the world's most beautiful scarf, but as you wrap it around your neck she/he says that you can't keep it because it is obviously an expensive scarf and someone will miss it. It was laying on the hill for at least an hour, you say, and no one is looking for it. He/she says that you should hang it on the snow fence at the top of the hill next to that single pink mitten, the cracked saucers and deflated tubes and garbage cans overflowing hot chocolate cups, because the owner may come back for it later. No, you wail in agony, it is the world's most beautiful scarf and at 4:00 am a park worker will pluck it off the fence and throw it and the mitten and broken saucers and inner tubes and sticky Styrofoam cups in the back of a big green truck and soon after that it will be incinerated.   What do you do?



The Dining Dead -
The Eternal Sunshine Movie Reviews


Sinister – Scott Derickson, who wrote and directed both The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister, is not confined to just horror movies (his screenplay for the film version of Devil’s Knot, the story of the West Memphis Three, is set to hit theaters in 2013).  But with Sinister, he combines some of the more recent horror trends and then kicks them up a notch, while still leaving the blood and guts on the cutting room floor.


In Sinister, Ethan Hawke plays Ellison Oswalt.  At one time a failed fiction writer, Ellison had a hugely successful true crime book published which not only made it to the top of the best seller lists but also uncovered information the police had missed.  Since then, he’s written two more true crime books, but neither sold well.  Money is tight and he is desperate for one more shot at another 15 minutes of fame.


With that in mind, when his family has to sell their home, he purchases one where (unbeknownst to his family) the prior residents had been hung from a tree in the backyard…minus the youngest child, who remains missing.  This is the true crime story he plans to write about and resurrect his career.


Soon after moving in, he finds a box labeled “home movies” in the attic; a box which was not there when the police took crime scene photos.  And on these 9mm movies with innocent titles like “BBQ” and “Lawn Work” Ellison finds filmed footage of murders, including the hanging of the family.  His distrust if the local authorities and his drive to once again publish a book where he reveals what the police missed drives him to investigate the chilling contents of these films himself (with a little help from one starstruck deputy).


Made for only about $3 million, the film works because of rather good acting and a number of jump-out-of-your-seat starting moments…moments which usually have Ellison jumping out of his seat too.  Without police involvement, and afraid to reveal to his wife and children about the house’s history, he has to face these frights on his own. 


There are a minimum of “that’s a stupid thing to do” moments, which shows Scott Derickson’s tight writing ability.  His direction is also fairly well-done, allowing us to see things that some – but not all – characters can also see, and not be confused about who knows what.


If you want a good Halloween scare, this is the movie to go see.  It’s not the greatest horror film of all time, but it is well done and has enough scares to keep you jumping, earning the price of your admission a few times over.


Seen on DVD – Get Carter (B-, a bit slow but still an enjoyable watch, this is the original Michael Caine film, not the Stallone remake).  Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (B, Gary Oldman is one of the most under-appreciated actors of our day).  King of New York (B-, it still is a good action flick, but BOY does it remind me about the worst side of 80’s clothes and hair).  The Legend of Hell House (C+, quite silly but I enjoy these early 70’s horror flicks).


Meet Me In Montauk
The Eternal Sunshine Letter Column


Rick Desper: Are you sure that was the film version of The Madness of King George?  I don't think that's Nigel Hawthorne and Ian Holm.  Hawthorne had white eyebrows in that film, this guy has dark eyebrows.


OTOH, those two look a lot like the actors in this stage production:


The clothes are the same, the wig is the same, even the background is the same!


I think you gave us a photo from a stage production, not a film.


p.s. Oh, here it is! -


[[You are correct, and you were not the only person to point this out to me…I think I received four emails within 36 hours of the zine coming out.  The only odd thing is I quite enjoyed that film, and I should have immediately realized it wasn’t from the movie.  But I didn’t pay enough attention.]]


Phil Murphy: As I write, the news of Richard Walkerdine's sudden passing is still fresh in my mind. As I am sure it is in my fellow readers. Unlike many ES readers, I only knew of Richard through his contributions to the hobby, and in particular to this zine and Diplomacy World.


I always enjoyed reading his contributions, and if we had met I feel we would have had very similar senses of humor. His ongoing, extraordinary stories and articles (and press, for that matter) in which Doctor Who, Merlin and Lord of the Rings always seemed to have some influence, were always funny, witty and utterly bonkers, frequently sending me into stitches of laughter.


I'll leave it to other people better qualified than I am to judge his involvement in the hobby. It suffices for me to say that by any measure it was colossal , and the hobby is poorer for his passing. However, the contributions he has made over so many years will stand as a fine tribute to him in the years to come.


I'm guessing he's playing Top Table with Clausewitz, Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Napoleon and all the greats, right now. Let's hope so, as I've a funny feeling he'd win.


Rest in peace,  Richard.


[[For a change, my pushing and prodding someone to write and contribute, both here and in Diplomacy World, paid off…and at the same time allowed a new generation to enjoy Richard’s wit and wisdom.]]


Richard Weiss: I stopped in a 7-11 for a soda.  For no reason, I turned to look at the rack of movie DVDs on sale.  In the middle of the front row, was The Magus starring Anthony Quinn with screen play by the author, John Fowles.  One of my very top favorite books and movies of all time and one that was never released in video before.  I bought it.  Still great. 


In private communication with notorious FlapJack, I do take credit for introducing [Dead Pools] to DipZines.  His scoring system is amazingly complex and may require several terabytes of computer memory to crunch the data and determine the scores.  The way more simple scoring I used was one point for each person you chose who died and then one more point for each year of age less than 80 years old they were.  So 38 year old died, then got 1 + 42 = 43.  I had a different criteria for who could be chosen, using the person's death had to be on the front page of some section of most people's hometown newspapers.  Obviously that had to change.  I'm in and have sent entries to Jack.


[[What are these “hometown newspapers” you speak of?]]

Dane Maslen: Well, after an exhaustive analysis (you wouldn't believe how long I've spent on this game this turn), I've narrowed the search down to one of 19 areas (some of which seem to be lacking in plausibly large towns or cities) and two people.  Great.  I'd hoped for rather more concrete results.


I suppose the next step is to try to see which of those 19 areas gives the best fit to your answers so far (obviously a lot of areas have already been discarded as being inconsistent with your answers).  I wonder how much longer I can contrive to waste on this exercise instead of getting ready to go away on holiday this week. And just how many errors have I made in my analysis so far such that I've incorrectly discarded area?


[[Skip down to the game…you weren’t even close.]]


The Twisting Tale


This is a rotating story, with a different author every issue, and a chapter of 500 words.  If you’d like to participate, please email me and let me know, and I’ll let you know when your turn comes up.  We need more particpants!  Email me at if you’d like to participate!




Kevin Tighe realized at the last minute that it was his turn, but was unable to send a chapter in.  Don Williams, in the meantime, suggested I print what has been printed up to this point in order to get more participants.  That’s what I’m doing this issue: printing the first 14 chapters.  Kevin Tighe is still on tap for Chapter 15.  If you’d like to participate, email me so I can add you to the list.


Chapter 1 - The Sent Item by Paraic Reddington


“Oh sweet divine mother of holy Jesus!” he said aloud as he opened his bloodstained eyes and realized the intensity of his hangover. “Oh God, oh God, oh God” he murmured. He had a mouth as dry as Ghandi’s sandal and so he reached for the glass of water he always leaves on his bedside locker. He blindly fumbled around the locker and knocked over an empty beer bottle which fell to the floor and broke with a shattering that made him wince. “Bollocks” he grumbled. 


He was afraid to open his eyes in case he might bleed to death. He slowly and agonizingly drew himself upright. There he sat – a shadow of a man – desperately balancing the need to urinate with the urge to vomit. He had a taste on his mouth that he could only describe as ‘wet cat’. He couldn’t remember what, or if, he had eaten the night before – but he was fairly sure he had done some drinking. “Oh God”.


He swung himself around and sat on the wrong side of the bed, a bad omen for sure but necessary to avoid the glass on his usual side. The room lazily helicoptered round him. “Bugger”. He waited for the toilet door to come around again and then summoned the energy and will to get to his feet. A marching band played “Beethoven’s 10th Pots and Pans Symphony” in his head.


He swayed his way across the room and into the bathroom. “I’m never drinking again” he said to himself in the mirror as he grasped the sink for dear life. He leaned in close and marveled at the stranger in front of him. Standing there in his underwear he looked like shit. “I need a drink”. He winced as he pushed out a resounding and deeply satisfactory fart.


The night before was a foggy haze of muddled memories and delirious details. “What the fuck happened?” he thought as he tried desperately to piece the night together. He was home alone all night – of that he was sure. He had watched that stupid documentary on Intelligent Design ‘til midnight. Those crazy evangelists would drive anyone to drink, he thought. “Oh God, my head.”


He trundled into the living room, vaguely scratching his arse as he walked, and sure enough the TV was still on. The coffee table betrayed the night before. A large bowl with inedible popcorn kernels. A couch embedded with ground in popcorn. Empty beer bottles. So, so many empty beer bottles. And on the coffee table, still open and humming, his laptop.


His plonked himself down on the couch, trying to ignore the incessant inane babble that is modern morning television. He stared at the bleary laptop screen and willed it into focus. He desperately hoped that it would give him some idea as to what had happened. Microsoft Outlook Express was open to an empty inbox. He rolled the shaking mouse to his Sent items. And there it was. Sent at 2:47am.


Chapter 2 – Lies By Andy Lischett


And there it was, “I love you,” sent at 2:47 AM to all twenty-seven people on his email address list, including some who he did not love, like a tax consultant and his sister’s bastard ex-husband.


Trying to think through the fuzz he wondered where he had been last night after midnight and who he had thought he loved at 2:47. And why was he talking like an Irishman? Buggering bollocks, he was a furniture salesman in San Diego, and his family had come from Germany about a million years ago. But sure he felt like shite.


Out of the corner of his ear the murmuring television caught his attention. Just before it switched to the weather he turned to see a woman with a microphone in front of a yellow tape in front of a place called Halloran’s Irish Pub. Between the bar and the tape were several police vehicles left at odd angles, and neatly parked on the right edge of the picture was his grey Honda Civic.




Sobered, he tried other stations but they were all going to national news. He tried the magical internet but all he could find were last night’s lottery numbers, and, anyway, he kind of had to get out of there.


He swallowed some aspirin and grabbed a bottle of Gatorade and walked the three blocks to his sister’s house.


“Can I borrow the Austin-Healey for a day or two? My car broke again,” he lied.


“What’s wrong with it?”


“It’s Japanese.”


“What’s wrong with it?”


“The transmission, I think. They towed it to the dealer last night. Should be ready today.”




“Forget it. I have to get to work. I’ll take the subway.” They used to live in Chicago.


“Give me five minutes and I’ll take you.”


“No, I’ll call a cab. Thanks a ton.”


“Okay. Here’s the key. Park it in the side lot away from shopping carts and somewhere you can watch it, and not under any trees.” She liked her car. “If you scratch it I’m hiring a hit man.” As he hit the garage door button she grabbed his Gatorade and said, “No food.”    


Heading home for supplies he felt bad about lying to his sister. But he needed a car and she might eventually forgive him. As he turned onto his street a brown Ford pulled to the curb in front of his house, so he continued to the next corner and headed east. He would buy sun glasses and a change of clothes on the way to New Mexico. And powdered doughnuts and Cheetos. No food?  Hah!


San Diego police detective Susan “Baby” LaSeuer was trying to identify the man found dead behind a bar on Miramar Rd. that morning. One of the two cars left in the bar’s lot the night before belonged to a woman who’d been driven home by a friend, while the registered owner of the other car did not answer his telephone or door. She had left a message for his employer to call her.


The sun was shining, the Healey was purring and growling along the mountain roads and he felt good. His mood was ruined, though, when he turned on the radio and Bo Diddley asked, “Who do you love?”





Chapter 3 - By Phil Murphy


“Who do you love?”

Right now his head hurt like hell.  He was pretty sure love wasn’t something a man in his state was capable of. He wasn’t in the mood for any more music, either.  He turned off the radio and headed out of town in the Healey, towards the interstate.

The car had been a gift from Mel’s late husband, Euan - a big shot accountant at a major firm in downtown Chicago. There’d been some unpleasant business. Mel’s husband had been found dead in the swimming

Mel wouldn’t speak of it. But she kept the car – it was about all there was left.  Euan’s bank had foreclosed on the rest – the house in Chicago’s most exclusive district, the penthouse in New York, the customized Bugatti in the drive… even the art collection he was so proud of.

Mel had sued to get the Austin Healey back, and won.  The car was a classic – irreplaceable. Mel loved that car more than any man. The sale was in her name and no goddamn bank was going to take her car.

“Go Sis…” he murmured to himself… He felt bad about lying to her.

A car horn shook him from his reverie. Ahead was a sign.

“I-25 North/South – next left.”

New Mexico was safer. He could call Frank maybe… He could say he was in town on business for a few days.

As the miles ticked by, his eyes peeled to the asphalt six meters ahead, he kept watching the endless horizon as he drove south. He stopped only for gas and to grab a snack to keep him going. He couldn’t afford to delay – if he lingered too long in any one place someone might track him down.

As he drove, unwelcome thoughts kept returning to his head, reminding him of the predicament he was in. His car was at the scene of a murder. The Feds were looking for him. Why would they be doing that? Was he was a suspect? Why couldn’t he remember?

He’d been so focused on the horizon that it was some time before he noticed the black Ford Lincoln in his mirrors. He hadn’t thought about being followed. He began to sweat – his hands slipping on the wheel...
Panic was beginning to set in… when the car pulled off at the exit he had just passed.

He passed a sign “Truth or Consequences – 10”. Strange name for a town… He took the exit, headed into the town and stopped outside a Wendy’s restaurant. A mousy haired waitress came over to his table.

“You ready to order? What’ll it be?”

“Coffee, please”

“Sure, hon.”

She disappeared from sight, returning some time later with a steaming cup. As he savored the cup he watched the road outside. Little traffic passed by.  He smiled to himself. Soon he would be safe.

He was startled by a deep, resonant voice close by his ear.

“You’re in deep shit, sir. But don’t stop smiling, or so will I.”


Chapter 4 – Det. “Baby” LaSeuer - By Kevin Tighe


She looked around the room – at least a dozen empty beer bottles littered the floor and table.  She walked over to the bedroom feeling the stale popcorn squish under her shoes.  Newspapers and magazines were strewn everywhere.  “Are you sure no one has ransacked this place?”


“Oh yes,” replied Mel, “It usually doesn’t look this neat.”


“I bet he wonders why he’s single.  So why did you let this walking garbage pit borrow your Austin-Healy?”


“I shouldn’t have, but I’m so used to taking care of him ever since our mom left us.  He was 10, I was older and well, he has these big puppy dog eyes.  And what’s with all the negativity Detective, this place isn’t that bad. . .”


“It smells like wet cat,” Det. Susan LaSeuer shook her head.  “Look, I got a corpse next to your brother’s abandoned car outside of Halloran’s Irish Pub.  Jorge, the manager, said your brother and the dead guy were yelling at each other before taking the fight outside.  What did he say before driving away?”


“He said he won’t park it under any trees or near shopping carts.  Can I go now?”


“Am I keeping you from your Pilates class?  Yeah, you can go.  Oh, and Mel?  Contact me if he calls, can you do that, Honey?  Thanks.”


Susan answered her phone.  “Tell me something good, Axel.” 


“Hey, Baby, we lucked out - he left his cell on.  He’s in Arizona heading toward the Land of Enchantment.  I’ve contacted the authorities out there and we should have him within the hour.  So who’s got the hot ass wanger now?”


“Ugh, do you kiss your dog with that mouth?  Meet me at the airport; we’re taking the 10 seater out there.  And no, you’re not piloting this time.”


Susan put the phone away and looked outside the window.  Women were jogging by with their 3 wheel baby strollers.  “I’m so tired of San Diego,” she thought, “wish I was back in Chicago.  But the Chi-town police department doesn’t have planes, so there’s that.”


She sees a note pad with something scribbled on it by the door.  “Beethoven’s 10th?”  She tosses it back on the table.  “Why do I always get the weird ones?”


Axel was gunning the engine as she approached the Cessna. 


“Move over lead foot,” said Susan, “I got the stick.”


“Maybe that’s why you’re still single.”


“Nah, I’m just waiting for you to grow a pair.  Now not another word until we’re in the air, okay,  A-man?”


After twenty minutes she looks over at him talking on his phone.  “So is there an update, hotshot?”


Axel ends the call.  “I have some bad news for you. . .”


Chapter 5 by Paraic Reddington


She …”He gave us the slip. Dammit. Seems he stowed his phone in the back of a camper van. Some kids on spring break on their way to Tijuana got the fright of their lives when they got pulled over by four screaming units.”


Axel slammed the phone shut and placed his head in his hands.


LaSeuer banked the Cessna to the North. “Shit. Ok back to San Diego and square one.”



Tacoma, Washington…later the same day


“Detective Brody, this way”.


He examined the scene.


The body lay sprawled across the desk, it’s back arched sickeningly. Papers were strewn everywhere, evidence of the spasms before death. A large potted plant, a yucca he thought, had been upturned and had spread its contents across the carpet. In the dirt were four clearly discernable footprints.


There was no blood. In fact there was no sign of the cause of death. But he knew it would be the same as the others. Somewhere in the back of the man’s neck would be the tell-tale signs of a syringe.


All the signs pointed the same way. All the clues told him it was the same man – a contract killer who was working his way through a list of a dozen names. There were eight victims so far, each killed the same way. Each on the Western seaboard. Each had been sent the same email a week before – “I love you.”



Pike Place Market, Seattle


He still had the envelope that was handed to him at the rendezvous point – a Wendy’s in a small town called Truth or Consequences. The Healey was gone – far too conspicuous. He was now in a late model Corolla. Him and every second other car it seemed.


He had parked the car on Seneca and walked the three blocks up the hill on1st. He was fairly sure he hadn’t been followed but slipped in through the Pike Brewery to make sure. He emerged into the crowded market and made his way through the crowd. The stench of fish was everywhere, despite the constant drizzle. The rain never cleared the smell. Or the tourists.


A short walk up the hill brought him to Starbucks. The first Starbucks. Out front a noisy group of Japanese tourists (is there any other kind?) chattered away while posing for photos. There must be a thousand pictures taken of this place every day, he thought. And I’ll bet nobody notices that door right alongside.


It was a drab peach color and looked like it hadn’t been opened in years. There was no number, no name, no doorbell. Just a big brass knocker that looked like a hideous Christmas decoration. Or an unwanted wedding gift from an old aunt.


He walked over to the door, gave a furtive glance over his shoulder, and banged the knocker three times. After a few seconds the door opened an inch. The man who answered had a face that only a mother could love. He looked like a bashed crab. “Can I help you?” he grumbled.


“Beethoven’s 10th” came the reply.


The door swung open and he stepped inside.


Chapter 6 by Andy Lischett


The man with the bashed crab face closed the peach door and said, "What?"

"Excuse me?"

"What do you want? Beethoven's tenth what? You said, 'Beethoven's 10th' like I should know what you want, but it doesn't mean anything to me. I mean, I'm not a record store or anything, but I like Beethoven. Haydn, too. He was Beethoven's teacher, did you know what? Beethoven wanted Mozart but he died first. Some people like Mozart better than Beethoven, but they're nuts. Nobody's better than Lugwig... except maybe Bach. My favorite Beethoven symphony is #7, conducted by Carlos Klieber is the best, but you must mean a sonata or concerto or something because he only wrote nine symphonies. But like I said I don't sell music or anything, so I was wondering what you want. Mozart wrote 42 symphonies and Haydn wrote 106 but any of Beethoven's is better than Mozart's best. Just my opinion."

"I... Uh, the guy at Wendy's said to come here and give you a password and you'd help me."

"With what? With music? Have a seat. You want a lemonade or water? I don't know anyone at Wendy's, I sometimes talk with the manager at the Burger King if they're slow, but I don't think we've ever discussed music. Hispanics don't like classical stuff, I don't think, but then maybe they do. Carlos Klieber was from Argentina or Switzerland. Anyway, I don't know how I can help you, or what I can help you with. A password, huh? Why do you need a password?"

"Then why'd you let me in?"

"Why not? You look like an okay guy, and you were letting the air conditioning out. Nothing against Japs, but let them use up Starbucks air conditioning. And they can keep the coffee stink, too. I used to like the smell of coffee, growing up, when my mom had it in the morning, but all day long every day gets wearisome. Only Mom drank coffee, Dad was strictly orange juice. Me, I prefer tea. Or lemonade. Do you want some? You never answered me."

"No, thanks. The Wendy's is in New Mexico. Can I use you phone?"


"Where's my car, Sweetie? Is your Honda fixed yet? I think they've had it for about a decade."

"The Austin Healey is fine. I parked it in a safe place. I've kind of got a problem."

"Crap. My car was towed to the moldiest corner of a basement garage of a New Mexico public works building next to a street sweeper and is probably full of dead scorpions. The fine folk at the Truth or Consequences police department say I can come right over and get it in maybe two or three years after you've been convicted of murder. Oh, did you say you have a problem?"

"I stopped at a bar after work on Thursday and had a few beers..."

"A few."

"... and after a while this nervous guy in a plaid shirt came in and started telling me he doesn't have the 'stuff' and begged me to get 'Joe' off his back."

"What stuff? Who's Joe?"

"I don't know. I told him I don't know about any Joe or his stuff but he wasn't listening and started getting frantic and loud. I tried to leave but he followed me outside and blocked my car door and I pushed him aside, then he grabbed my keys and threw them in the bushes behind the bar. So I got mad and said I was going to tell Joe that he's an asshole and he got even more frantic, saying he'd find my keys but I had to help him with Joe. Then he ran back toward the bushes as I stood by my car, and I heard noises back there, but he never came back, so I walked home."

"Yeah. And had a few more beers."

"And popcorn. Then I saw my car on TV the next morning, and thought I should see Frank before talking to any police."

"Frank thinks so, too, but you didn't see him. I called him yesterday."

"No. I stopped at a Wendy's and this smiley guy sat down next to me and said 'Joe' sent him. He 'suggested' getting rid of my cell phone and not talking to the police. If I care about my loved ones, he said. That must be you."

"Aw, gee. I'm touched."

"I didn't kill that guy, Mel."

"Wilbur Woode."


"Wilbur Woode is the guy you didn't kill. And it's 'Woode' with an 'e', not the White Sox pitcher. I know you didn't kill him. Not that I can't imagine you getting drunk enough and angry enough to kill someone, but I've never known you to carry piano wire. Do you think that hit men go to a Steinway store and buy it in bulk? The police also brought up Euan's drowning again, and want you to drop by any local station whenever you might feel like a chat. There, that's my civic duty. But don't call the cops, call Frank."

"Yeah, I have to. I'm in Seattle. The hoodlum in Wendy's gave me instructions and a car, but the guy here who looks like a hoodlum but is a goof doesn't know anything about anything. If the police are listening in, I'll be gone from here in three minutes, but I don't know where I'm going. I'm sorry about the car, Mel."

"Done with your call?" asked bashed-crab-face, entering from the kitchen.

"Yes. Thank you."

"Not to New Mexico, I hope, but I should have asked first, eh? I had a cousin there that I haven't seen in years. Danang Asbestos in Oblivion, New Mexico. Her dad was a jerk with an awful last name and thought it'd be funny to give her an awful first name, too. Not that it mattered much, since I don't think there were two other kids in the whole town to make fun of her. Here's some lemonade. I've got iced tea instead if you want. What do people call you, anyway? I'm Joe."


"Yeah, I was kidding about not knowing why you're here. I asked Ed to find you and he gave you his car. Is it good on gas? Hey, sit back down, it's almost time for Jeopardy."


Chapter 7 by Kevin Tighe


“Who is Thomas Paine?  What is Cape Mendocino?  What is Steinway?  Who was Jack the Ripper?  Do you want any pretzels?”


“Oh, um, no Joe, I’m fine.”


Joe sat on the lime green couch staring ahead at the glowing peach colored TV set.  His right thumb moved down and up before he gave a question.  “You sure, I have the curly ones ‘What is blood red?’ and those little pretzel sticks. Plus there are whole wheat pretzel crackers and a bowl ‘What is Sea Bass?’ of M&M’s with a pretzel inside it.  Now how do they ever think of ‘Who is Summer Glau?’ those things, huh?”


“Joe.  Why am I here, Joe?”


“Just a sec, it’s a Daily Double.  Oh, what is Newton’s 2nd Law of Thermodynamics?  So how do you like your tea?  Want more sugar or a lemon wedge.  How about a little milk?  I have 2%, soy, and ‘What is Tierra Del Fuego?’ goat, or how about an ice cube?  No?  Look, I’ll answer all your questions right ‘What is your money or your life?’ after Final Jeopardy.”


“I only have the one question, Joe.”


“Oh, look, it’s on U. S. history!  This should be easy.”



At the same time in Astoria, Oregon.


Les gathers up the few papers he has left about the project.  The project used to make him feel so good and worthwhile.  Now that the bodies are piling up he wishes, what?  No time for wishing, it’s time to leave. 


He looks around wistfully at the interior of his little rustic house.  The wooden floors he spent weeks putting down, the oak table and chairs where they worked through the nights solving the many problems of the project. 

The pine breakfast nook where he and Emily would often, no, got to stay focused. 


Let’s see, briefcase, ipad and where is that laptop?  I wish Bob answered his phone. Laptop, laptop, where, where, where.  Then he sees it on the elm coffee table.  The last email message is still flashing.  “I love you.”  He slams it closed and stuffs it into the briefcase.


Les takes one more look around the room.  My god, this place will burn white hot.  He heads to the front door, but it opens before he can reach it.    


A large tall man enters wearing a pin-striped suit, mirror sunglasses, white gloves and rubber boots.  Les stumbles backward into the coffee table and tumbles over.  Looking up he sees the unsmiling man reach into his pocket and pull something out. 


“I know who you are,” whispers Les, “I didn’t expect you so soon.”


The well dressed man put his right index finger up to his closed mouth while his left hand readies the syringe.  He bends over Les and pushes.



“So what do you think the answer is, hmmm?   ‘The first immigration law passed by Congress’, come on you should know this one.”


“Joe, I really have no idea.  Please don’t do the tune.”


“Dee dee dee dee dee dee dee, what this tune?  Dee dee dee dee DEE deedeedeedeedee. You’re running out of time.” Tick tock, tick tock, what’s the answer?”

“I don’t frigging know the frigging answer.”


“Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and did you just say ‘frigging’?  Don’t make up words.”


“Joe, why am I here?”


“Why?  Why?  Because I have a very special job for you.  Yes, a very special job.”


Chapter 8 by Douglas Kent


“A special job?  What kind of job?”


Joe smiled and fingered the remote control.  “The kind where you do a little favor for somebody, and in return you get a favor back someday.”


“I don’t think I understand.  As a matter of fact, you haven’t explained a single thing since I got here.  You forced me to watch two episodes of Jeopardy, gave me some mud-colored tea that tastes like tree bark, and now you’re telling me you have a special job for me.  Who is asking me to do this job anyway?  Is it you, or someone you’re working for?”


Joe stood up and spun around once, stopping abruptly and waving his hand across his face.  “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”


“Great, first it’s Beethoven’s 10th, and now it’s the Wizard of Oz.”


“What do you mean the Wizard of Oz?” Joe asked.


“That line, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.  It’s from the Wizard of Oz.”


“No it isn’t.  I made it up.”


“What the hell are you talking about?  It’s from The Wizard of Oz, when they finally get to see the Wizard.”


“I’ve never even heard of The Wizard of Oz.”


“Right, Joe.  You’ve never heard of one of the most famous films of all time?  The Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy?  The Wicked Witch of the East?”


“Oh, fine, I admit it” Joe sighed.  “It happens to be my favorite movie of all time.  I’ve got quite a collection of memorabilia.  I even have a special Wizard of Oz costume I like to put on now and then.  Wanna see?  I’ll go get it.”  He turned and walked briskly into his bedroom, closing the door behind him.


“Really, I just want to know why the hell I am here!  I don’t need to see you in some wizard outfit.  Just answer my damn questions.”


“Oh, it’s not the Wizard” called Joe from behind the door.  “It’s Dorothy.  I look fetching in it, you’ll see.  Just hang on; I need to get my wig.”


Meanwhile, back in Astoria, Oregon…


Lee woke up, then wished he hadn’t.  Head: pounding.  Like he’d had three bottles of cheap wine the night before.  Back: sore and twisted.  What was going on there.  Oh, he was lying on the floor.  On the broken remains of his laptop. 


Ugh…the room was still spinning a bit.  He got up and looked around the rustic house.  His notes were gone, his laptop destroyed.  But he was still alive.  Why would they let him live? 


Suddenly he realized that the odor of gasoline and smoke were filling his nose.  They must have given him too small a dose; they’d meant for him to die in the fire.  Jumping to his feet, Lee ran out the door and towards the lake.  As the flames hit his propane tank, the explosion pushed him forward and over the embankment.  He tumbled down, landing in a jumbled heap right by the water.


Next to him, there was a long plastic…a bag of some sort.  The sound of the explosion ringing in his ears, Lee looked down, and saw a face through the plastic.  Blue lips, pale skin…dead.  And that was when he realized…it was Laura.  Laura Palmer.


Chapter 9 by Paraic Reddington



The sun slowly rose over the silky sad city streets, gradually revealing the night's detritus. The breeze blew in a distant dog howling at the morning.


The alleyway was already in full sun and sultry steam seeped from the street sewer but the man was hidden under the shade of a baker’s awning.


His face briefly flared beneath his trilby as he sucked softly on a cigarette. The baker approached, fumbling for his key, absent-mindedly yawning.


The man flicked his butt into the street and dipped his trilby as he reached into his pocket for the steel syringe. Another day of death was dawning.




“Another Game?”


“Fuck it, go on. It beats workin’.”


As the older of the two men reset the board, the other lit a cigar, blew out the match and then used it to scratch inside his ear.


“Pawn to E4”


“How’s your sister?”


“Fucked. Been on the donor list for nearly two years now.”


“Knight to C6”


“Shit that’s a shame. You’d think in this day and age they could make artificial organs.”


“Right. Bishop to B5.”


“Instead of wasting money on space tourism and those damned internets.”


“Damn straight. Pawn to D5.”


“You know what I heard?”


“What’s that?”


“During a liver transplant, they hook you up to a pig! Can you believe that shit?”


“You’re making that up. Bishop takes C6 check.”


“Nah uh, for real. The pig’s liver does all the work while yours is being replaced.”


“Damn. Where’d you hear that?”


“Pawn takes C6.”


“It was on the interweb I think.”


The old man paused and then leaned over before releasing a resounding and satisfying fart.


“You know what I need?”


“What’s that?”


“A pig.”


“You what?”


“Just a little one.”


“You what?”


“You should be able to carry a little pig around with you and hook up his liver when you go for a drink. That way, you get drunk and the piggy gets the hangover. It’s perfect.”


“You’re out of your damned mind you old fool!”


“Maybe. It certainly feels that way sometimes.”


“Did you see they found that Palmer girl?”


Cryin’ shame that.”




“I’m done playin’. You wanna get a taco?”


“Fuck it, let’s go.”




“The liver is missing”.


“Very strange. Any idea what the cause of death was?”


“Not yet. There’s some blunt head trauma but it doesn’t look like it was fatal. You’ll have to wait for the toxicology report.”


“How long?”


“A day or two I should imagine.”


“That’s too long.”


“It’s a holiday weekend.”


“Something tells me our man doesn’t take days off.”


What perilous surprises await our hero next? Will the identity of the real killer be revealed? Are the stolen artifacts really cursed? Can the sheriff untie his beloved sweetheart before the train arrives? Does anybody even read this inane nonsense anymore? Stay tuned for the next installment of the Twisting Tale where all this and much more will be answered!!


Chapter 10 by Kevin Tighe


OUR STORY SO FAR:  Our main character was blamed for the murder of Wilber Woode in San Diego.  He then borrowed a car and landed in Seattle at a place owned by Joe, a very talkative man who is into movies, trivia and a Wizard of Oz devotee.  Joe says he has a special job for our unnamed hero, but first he wants to show off his Dorothy costume. Meanwhile people are being murdered by an unknown man silently wielding a syringe.  So far there’s been only one murder per coastal town in the Western U.S.  Their only warning is the message “I love you.” left on their PC.   He’s working off a list of 12 names and so far 9 people are dead.  The last one was a woman named Laura Palmer, who also was missing a liver.  The man who found Laura was on the hit list but managed to survive the syringe and the ensuing house explosion.  We last left our killer going after a baker in the early morning hours. 




Newport, Oregon

Three teenagers Summer, Clover and Mead were just a block away from the bakery.  Mead whiningly says, “Whoa, I can’t believe it’s morning already, Skyrim is so like engrossing, you know?

“Dude” replies Clover flowerily, “Totally, like, I mean, wow.”  “You know?”

“Hey dudes, why is that dude laying on the pavement?  What’s wrong with him?  I don’t want to step over him to get my donut,” said Summer hotly.

“We agreed to bear claws you numb wit.  Hey, I think it’s like Mr. Foster, man he looks dead.”  Clover kicks him.  “Yeah, he’s like dead.”

“Look there’s a cigarette butt next to him, he must have died of smoking, you know?”

“Dude you don’t like die while you’re smoking.  You sort of die after like 40 years and you’re lying in a bed coughing your black lung out and there’s blood and it’s gross.”

“Yeah, totally, my uncle died like that.  Only way you die of smoking while cruising down the street is if you get hit by a cigarette truck.”

“Hey, good one, so Mead why don’t you 911 this.  Summer and I better blow.”


“You’re the only one without weed, so call.  We’ll meet back in the basement.  Cool?” 



Seattle, Wash.

The man was sitting in a Starbuck’s just staring at a note in his hand.  A waiter came up to him, “Excuse me sir, but you’ve been sitting here for the last hour and you don’t have a laptop or a newspaper.  You need to order more or free up the table.”

“Hmmm?  Oh yeah, I guess so.  Say you ever meet the guy next door?”

“Yeah, Joe?  Did you know he really hates Asians?  We don’t let him in here anymore.  Say you look pretty shaken.  He didn’t show you his Dorothy outfit?   .  .  . Oh, that is just sad.  So what’s so important about that paper you’ve been staring at this whole time?”

“It’s something I have to do and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to do it.  But you see I have no choice.  No choice at all.”


Chapter 11 by Paraic Reddington


No choice at all. It was time to meet the boss lady.


Joe silently led him upstairs and down a long dark corridor. The room at the end was the only one with light coming from under the door.  Joe opened the door and beckoned him in. He stepped inside. Joe did not follow. He closed the door without saying a word.


The room was a small corner office, sparsely decorated, with a bureau, a leather chair, two large windows and a single pot plant that was filled with cigarette butts.


She was standing by the window, either staring at something outside or thinking intently and staring at nothing. She was tall and slim with a shock of long red hair that extended all the way to her lower back.


She turned to face him as he entered. She was not exactly what he would consider attractive but there was something about her that made it impossible for him to take his eyes off her. She had impenetrable black eyes like those of a snake. Or a shark. She was clearly not to be trifled with. He resisted the urge to check her out.


“Do sit down, won’t you?” she said with an English accent, gesturing to the leather chair.


“Thank you.” He replied, as he sat. The chair was impossibly stiff and uncomfortable. He thought that it was probably deliberate.


“I have to compliment you on your work” she said as she pulled a cigarette from a drawer and placed it in her mouth.


“You certainly have some skills, I’ll grant you that.” she continued, before lighting up, taking a deep drag and exhaling directly into his face.


“You don’t mind if I smoke do you?” she said, without ever taking her eyes from him.


She made him uncomfortable, but he was a professional and he’d met her kind before. “Not at all, knock yourself out.” he said, without blinking.


She stared at him intently for a few more silent moments before apparently resolving something and moving on. She stubbed out the half-smoked cigarette in the pot plant and pulled a file from her drawer.


“I gave you a list of 12 names. So far you’ve taken samples from 10. Only one of those was a match.”


She sighed. “Unfortunately the match liver was rejected by the host.”


“I’m very sorry to hear that” he said, recalling the messy extraction procedure he had hastily carried out.


“There are just two remaining candidates” she continued. “One of those HAS to be the one. How long until you have sampled those last two?”


“The congresswoman will be very difficult” he said, “she will have to wait until last”. He paused before smiling slowly, “But as luck would have it, the last name on the list has just arrived in town. The police are tracking him for the murder of candidate number one, Wilber Woode.  This could play into our hands nicely.”


“Get it done.” she said as she tossed the file back into the drawer and closed it. “We can’t wait much longer!”


He stood up. “Not much longer. In fact, I’m paying him a visit this evening.” He turned and left. As he closed the door behind him, he could hear her lighting another cigarette.


Chapter 12 by Douglas Kent


His original plan was to grab Candidate #9 and get a sample from him before the local police caught up with their mistaken suspect for the murder of Candidate #1, Wilber Woode.  Waiting on the street for a cab, he checked his bag for the necessary equipment.  Syringe, scalpel, suture, gloves, ether; almost everything he needed was at hand. 


The one thing there didn’t seem to be was a cab.  Time was of the essence.  He started jogging up the sidewalk, looking for a busier intersection.  Traffic was congested but moving.  The local parking authorities were having some sort of confrontation with a morbidly obese woman over unpaid parking tickets, and between her now-booted SUV and their department van two of the four lanes were blocked.  Not a good sign, but he stopped anyway to look back into the jam.  Nope, only one taxi in sight and that one was occupied.


Taking a right, then crossing the street and a left, he continued to jog.  “Damn these new shoes” he thought to himself.  Every step was like a razor in the back on his ankle, and he could almost see the growing blisters on his toes.  Of course he hadn’t planned on participating in a marathon on this trip.  The heat wasn’t so bad, but like every clichéd tooth-decayed gas station attendant will tell you, it’s the humidity that gets ya.  And humid it was.  He could feel the sweat dripping down his back.


Stopping to catch his breath and wipe his brow, his cell phone rang.  The news wasn’t good.  The cops had found Candidate #9.  That wasn’t the bad news; his contact in the police force could easily get him access for long enough to grab a sample.  The bad news was the contact wanted to meet him at a seedy adult film theater.  That wasn’t the bad news either.  The bad news was the porno theater was across town, and he still couldn’t find a damn cab!


Across the street was a Carvel Ice Cream store.  His mouth was dry, but he started salivating at the thought of a delicious chocolate soft-serve cone.  There was no time for such tomfoolery, but just then he saw something: a young girl, about 10 or 11 years old, riding her bike on the sidewalk.  The hand-grips on the handlebars has multi-colored tassels hanging from them, like something out of his youth.  She stopped outside the store, leaned the bike against the wall, and went inside.


This was not going to be one of the high points in his career, but at this point he couldn’t see any other option.  Knives stabbing his feet, he ran across the street, weaving his way between the traffic until he reached the other side.  The girl was inside, obviously unable to decide between vanilla and chocolate.  “Well,” he thought to himself, “a kid too dumb to make a decision like that deserves to get her bike stolen.”


Swallowing his pride and a dry mouth of dust, he grabbed the bike and pedaled off on his way to the porno theater.  If his shoes were a poor choice for a job, they were worse for a bike ride…especially a bike make for someone a quarter of his age, and a girl at that.  With his legs twisted and bent, and the front wheel wobbling as he tried to pick up some speed, the last thing he heard as he made the corner was a young girl’s voice calling out “Mister, that’s my bike.  You stole my bike, you fucking cunt rag!”


Chapter 13 by Jim Burgess


He then made the biggest mistake of his life.  He ignored that little girl.  You might think it was bad that he ignored her because of her potty mouth?  No, not all, didn't think twice.  Don't all 11 year olds around these parts talk that way these days??  You might think it was bad that he ignored her because he stole her bike.  You would be wrong,  How could this little girl do anything to him, even wobbling down the road he could outrace her.


No, he had neglected to notice that the little girl had dropped her bike next to a bright red pickup truck covered with bad ass NASCAR stickers and two really big burly guys, which ALSO was parked in front of the ice cream store.  You got it.  One of them was this little girl's older brother.  Out of the corner of his eye he saw them taking in the situation and shaking their heads.  But no, he didn't know right then how big a mistake he had made, but he was about to find out.


He didn't actually see what happened next but we can surmise that the little girl was comforted by her brother and her friend.  It actually took a bit of time, two whole blocks before the red pickup caught up to him, so clearly they didn't hop in the pickup too quickly.


Did he also have time to consider anything about Candidate #9 and the police force or anything about what he was planning to do with his syringe, scalpel, suture, gloves, ether, or anything else in his bag?  No, not at all, but it seems like we should remind our gentle reader of the seriousness of his mission.  Did he contemplate his veritability or anything else about the rest of his life, which was about to change more dramatically than we or anyone else can possibly imagine?  No, he was focusing on how silly he looked on this tiny bike with all the streamers and frilly 11 year old girl accoutrements. 


With a red face, made redder by the bright red pickup truck as it pulled along side, he looked up to see the little girl’s older brother staring down at him with loathing and dismissiveness.


“Just what do you think you’re doing?” he said with a sneer.


He didn't yet know that this was the little girl's brother, but he knew the situation didn't look good.  How should he respond?  It seemed he had three choices, but we already know he chose the most dramatically unhelpful of the choices.  He could be contrite, saying, something like, "I don't know what came over me?  Can we get this bike back to this little girl, I'm so sorry?"  He could have tried to make a joke like "Wasn't that the Bikes-To-Go stand?  I think I chose the wrong bike."  But no, he decided to try to explain where he was going, what he was doing, and how he could get these two guys in the pickup truck to take over giving him a ride.  And that was precisely the wrong choice.


Chapter 14 by Paraic Reddington


Searing, blinding pain. Like a lightning bolt through the head. He winced as the darkness grew light and he slowly opened his eyes. The world was a blur. Somewhere in the back of his skull a fat hairy construction worker was jack-hammering away while a half smoked cigarette dangled precariously from his mouth.


“Oh jesus” he mumbled. He blinked away the blur and the room slowly came into focus. He was lying in bed. His eyelids felt heavy and he had to make a conscious effort to keep them open. There was a metallic taste in his mouth.


The jack-hammering construction worker was joined by his colleague with a sledge hammer as they gradually demolished the sidewalk of his brain. He tried to rub his eyes but he realised he could only move his arms a few inches. He was in hand cuffs and cuffed to the bed rails.


“Ah at last!” a voice from the corner. He rolled his head to the side and noticed the stranger sitting in the chair. “I thought you’d never wake up, sleeping beauty.”


The man was tall and big, but not overweight. He wore a long black coat over a cream shirt and black tie. A raincoat, still wet, was slung over the back of the chair. “I hope you’re feeling better. Those hillbillies really took a liking to you.” The memory of the red pickup flashed into his head, along with another lightning bolt of agony.


“What do you want?” He fumbled the words from his mouth as he realised that there was a large chunk of flesh missing from his tongue.

“I want to talk to you about this little lot of trinkets.” The man said as he gestured to the bedside table. Lying on the table were the contents of his bag.


“Now where would a man be going on a busy day with a scalpel and a syringe in his pocket eh? Planning a bit of urban street surgery were you?”


The sound of his heartbeat filled his head as he tried to think. He couldn’t move his arms but his legs and head were free. If he could just get this guy closer.


“I could use some water” he whispered.


The other man rose from the chair and approached the bed. The water jug was on the other side of the bed and the tall man made the mistake of leaning over the bed to reach it.


He grabbed the dangling tie with his right hand and pulled hard as he lunged his head and shoulders forward and sank his teeth into the man’s neck. The man tried to scream but the sound was stifled as his trachea was crushed. He recoiled and tore himself free, along with a large chunk of his throat. He staggered upright and clutched at the wound as the man in the bed swung his legs up and around his neck. The whole bed toppled over and both men fell to the ground. The tall man’s neck was snapped as they landed.


He spat out the gobbet of flesh and tried with the little wiggle room he had to search the tall man’s pockets. Sure enough, the keys were there.


Just as he gathered up his things and put on the raincoat, the alarm went off.


Chapter 15: Hamadryad by Mark Firth

Adding another fag-end to the nest slowly building around the base of the plant, her glance happened upon a pair of spiders living out a short theatre amid the foliage. Short and brutal. The larger, reddish female pinned the other with apparent precision at the junction of head and pedicel. Inferior, both in size and ostensible survival skills, her erstwhile dance partner passed almost as swiftly as the venom plundering his body.

She turned disdainfully and thought of the Woodsman.

“But wouldn’t that be cruel?”. Her seven year old eyes, already impenetrable, raised to his; incalculably older, ever calculating.

“Ah no, Hannah pet, no”.

The rabbit stumbled again, its eyes a snowy crust, the mange that now served as fur pocked with sores of varying severity.

D’you see? Yon coney’s not fit for pot nor pat. All Nature’s folk come to their time. Sometimes it’s better to help them on their way. That’s not cruel, pet”.

She watched impassively as the rock’s descent presaged the creature’s despatch.

“Pathetic creature…”, she hissed a growl of a hiss and reached into the vivarium which occupied much of the bureau. Corn snake – that would suffice, for now at least.

Curled up in a nook of her favourite tree, an old wych-elm which stood slightly up the bank from the river, she surveyed the Woodsman at work. Several yards into the gently travelling waters, he crouched atop a pair of rocks, eyes drilling intently the silver flow. Then it came. The lunge, the deft flick, the swoop of net. Barely a hint of triumph traced those furrows. Here was man as nature; the salmon a welcome meal, neither foe nor quarry.

When she saw him here, she was almost content with his ways and truths. But still it stirred in her heart of twelve years and it would yet have its way.

Engulfing the last of the corn snake, she shifted noiselessly to the eastern window and beheld the traffic struggling in the heat below. Torpid herself now, she closed her eyes just a little while.

The rain had persisted for days and the rocks beside the river were slippery even to the Woodsman’s experienced pace. She was too tall for the wych-elm now, so held court from a nearby willow. She saw as he came up the banking, arms full of tarpaulin-housed firewood. She saw too as the lightning struck, though it took a while for those black eyes to fully understand what had happened. A great boulder had tumbled from above and skittled the Woodman in its inexorable descent.

Slinking down to his side, Hannah saw he was both trapped and broken.

“I’m done for, pet”, he gurgled. “You know what needs be done”.

She looked at the rubble strewn around, then stared impassively. After moments that might be minutes, she hissed a growling hiss, ”No, that wouldn’t be cruel. I do prefer cruel”.

Rising from his side, she turned and left, hearing but not listening.

“…There’s no place for pathos”. She viewed through slitted eyes once more and reached for another cigarette to light.


Next up – Chapter 16 by Kevin Tighe



Jack McHugh’s

Dead Pool


Jack only got four entries, including his and mine.  Obviously you all like me better than him, which explains why he is always so crabby and angry in his column.  Here are the lists.  If you find that one of those on your list has passed away, email Jack at to let him know.





A game of survival, bad breath, and fish odor…


This is the simple game of Lifeboat.  Everyone plays this, whether you participate or not.  Each turn everyone still alive in the lifeboat may make a single vote to throw someone off the lifeboat, or a single vote to remove one vote from yourself (a defensive measure).  The high vote getter is thrown overboard, as well as any player getting 2 or more net votes (due to the damage caused when Sanka was tossed overboard).  In a tie, everyone with that score is thrown over.  Last one in the boat wins.  I’ll probably give a prize, as usual.  Press is encouraged.  Note that the votes themselves are NOT revealed.  I just simply announce who is thrown overboard.  If you’re not listed as in the lifeboat right now but want to be, email me and I will add you next issue.  If you are listed and don’t’ want to be…well, too bad.  There is no suicide in this game; you just can ignore it if you want to. 

Currently in the lifeboat:


Allison Kent

Amber Smith

Brendan Whyte

Carol Kay

David Burgess

David Latimer

David McCrumb

Geoff Kemp

Heather Taylor

Hugh Polley

John Biehl

Lance Anderson

Marc Ellinger

Mark Firth

Martin Burgdorf

Michael Moulton

Paul Milewski


A HUGE wave tosses the raft up in the air.  When it slams back to the water surface, six survivors have been tossed into the water and are either drowning or being eaten by sharks…or both.  Goodbye Graham Wilson, Melinda Holley, Michael Cronin, Pat Vogelsang, Robin ap Cynan, and Tom Swider.


Thrown Into the Shark Infested Waters: Douglas Kent, Jack McHugh, Chris Babcock, Paraic Reddington, Sanka the Cat (safely made it to land), Andy York, Toby the Helpful Kitty (safely made it to land), Phil Murphy, Fred Wiedemeyer, Don Williams, Kayza the Dog (safely made it to land), Michael Quirk, Dane Maslen, Larry Cronin, Chuy Cronin, Richard Weiss. Tom Howell, Jeremie Lefrancois, Harley Jordan, Cal White, Andy Lischett, Rick Desper, William Wood, Jim Burgess, Hank Alme, Kevin Tighe, Per Westling, Kevin Wilson, Jeff O’Donnell, Graham Wilson, Melinda Holley, Michael Cronin, Pat Vogelsang, Robin ap Cynan, and Tom Swider.




Anonymous: got everyone in the lifeboat I ever played a Dip game with so now it’s gonna be a random vote (to be fair), after all we all stink.

Eying the Water: Oops, did I just vote myself off?


Smaug the Magnificent bears down upon the boat, plucks Melinda Holley out of the raft and swoops overhead. He drops Melinda, aiming for the centre of the raft, barely missing it. Enraged, he snorts furiously, then opens his mouth and gushes flame at the unfortunate survivors. He jets off at high speed and is soon out of sight, leaving the survivors terrified, scorched and covered in soot.


Shark to Boob & Melinda:  Throw Little Tommie Swider in, along with some Whyte sauce.


(BOOB to FEMALE IMPERSONATOR THROWING PEOPLE OFF THE LIFEBOAT): Who goes down the tubes next at your hand?  I've been advocating for the 0.01 ESI'ers but this doesn't seem to be catching on with you.  Let's guess you take out John Biehl this time....


(BOOB to BIRTHDAY BOY): The bestest and happiest of birthdays, be lucky you aren't in the path of this storm!  I note in the ESI, that 0.01's have gone to zero, shouldn't they be automatically overboard here?  We sure as heck know they ain't votin' since if they were they would have a positive ESI!!!


GM – Boob: None of the shares are 0, if they are listed that way I just need to adjust how many decimals are showing.


(BOOB to ANONYMOUS): Male or female, whichever, we know you're the one choosing who gets booted.  Keep 'em comin'!!


Deadline for your vote and any press is November 27th at 7:00am my time




Eternal Sunshine Index – ESI

A Scientific Measure of Zine Health

Current Index: 55.81 +1.29%





The Eternal Sunshine Index is a stock-market-like index of the zine. You don’t do anything in this game, except write press or commentary on price movements (or why you think your stock should have gone up or down).  I move the prices beginning with next issue based on my own private formula of quantity and quality zine participation (NMR’s, press, columns, etc.).  Any new zine participants become new issues valued at at 50, but the stock for anyone who disappears will remain listed.  The average of all listed stocks will result in the ESI closing value each month, which will be charted issue to issue after we have a few months’ worth of data.  If you don’t like the stock symbol I have assigned you, you may petition the exchange to change it.  Blame Phil Murphy for suggesting this section to me.


Market Commentary: Participation is holding steady, but with activity in Kremlin and an extra column this month prices continue to rise.




% +/-

AJK - Allison Kent



ALM - Hank Alme



AMB - Amber Smith



AND - Lance Anderson



BAB - Chris Babcock



BIE - John Biehl



BRG - Martin Burgdorf



BWD - Brad Wilson



CAK - Andy Lischett



CAL - Cal White



CHC - Chuy Cronin



CIA - Tom Swider



CKW - Kevin Wilson



CKY - Carol Kay



DAN - Dane Maslen



DBG - David Burgess



DGR - David Grabar



DTC - Brendan Whyte



DUK - Don Williams



FRD - Fred Wiedemeyer



FRG - Jeremie Lefrancois



FRT - Mark Firth



GRA - Graham Wilson



HAP - Hugh Polley



HDT - Heather Taylor



HLJ - Harley Jordan



JOD - Jeff O'Donnell



KMP - Geoff Kemp



KVT - Kevin Tighe



LAT - David Latimer



LCR - Larry Cronin



MRK - Mark Nelson



MCC - David McCrumb



MCR - Michael Cronin



MIM - Michael Moulton



MRC - Marc Ellinger



OTS - Tom Howell



PER - Per Westling



PJM - Phil Murphy



QUI - Michael Quirk



RAC - Robin ap Cynan



RDP - Rick Desper



REB - Melinda Holley



RED - Paraic Reddington



RWE - Richard Weiss



SAK - Jack McHugh



TAP - Jim Burgess



VOG - Pat Vogelsang



WAY - W. Andrew York



WLK - Richard Walkerdine



WWW - William Wood



YLP - Paul Milewski






Where in the World is Kendo Nagasaki?


Rules in ES #58.  Send in your guesses.  I’ve played this in Brandon Whyte’s Damn the Consequences a few times and it’s fun, takes only a minute or two each turn, and helps you work your brain!  As soon as this one ends, a new one will begin.




Rick Desper:


Jonathan Goldsmith (a.k.a. "the most interesting man in the world") in Montevideo, Uruguay


John Biehl:


Josef Stalin in Tbilisi


Brendan Whyte:


Marie Curie in Cadiz


Richard Walkerdine:


Charles Dickens in London


Michael Moulton:


Abraham Lincoln in Moscow


Andy Lischett:


Barbara Bush in Biloxi




Kevin Wilson:


Christiaan Huygens  in Bangkok


Marc Ellinger:


Barack Obama in Beijing


Tom Howell:


Ludwig van Beethoven in Bukhara


Paraic Reddington:


Bob Dylan in Vancouver


Dane Maslen:


Neil Armstrong in Houston


Mark Firth:


Jane Seymour in Krasnodar


Kevin Tighe:


Henry the 8th in Bombay


Clue to Person with the Closest Guess (Notified by email): Like you, I had an interest in a wide variety of subjects.




John Biehl:


Thomas Edison in Albany (NY)


Dane Maslen:


Leonardo da Vinci in Phoenix


Jim Burgess:


The Dalai Lama in Lhasa, Tibet


Dave McCrumb:


Albert Einstein in Berlin


Richard Walkerdine:


Galileo Galilei in Pisa


Kevin Wilson:


Mark Twain in Melbourne


Brendan Whyte:


Leonardo da Vinci in New Delhi


Tom Howell:


Leonardo da Vinci in Cherchen at the edge of the Takla Makan.



Marc Ellinger:


William Randolph Hearst in Havana


Michael Moulton:


Thomas Jefferson in Sao Paulo, Brazil


Rick Desper:


Ho Chi Minh in Ho Chi Minh City


Richard Weiss:


Michelangelo, Christ Church, NZ


Jack McHugh:


Leonard DaVinci in Singapore


Kevin Tighe:


Ben Franklin in San Francisco


Paraic Reddington:


Charles Dickens in Rio De Janeiro


Mark Firth:


Thomas Edison, in Windsor


Clue to Person with the Closest Guess (Notified by email): I died more than a century before you were born.




Brendan Whyte:


Erasmus in Anchorage


Kevin Wilson:


Voltaire (1694-1778) in Manila


Will Abbott:


Bob Vila in Springfield, IL


Dane Maslen:


Galileo Galilei in Kathmandu



Jim Burgess:


Charlemagne in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Richard Walkerdine:


Leonardo da Vinci in Rome, Italy


Tom Howell:


Ben Franklin in Manila


Dave McCrumb:


Sherlock Holmes in London


Andy Lischett:


Isaac Newton in Taipei


Rick Desper:


Leonardo da Vinci in Hanoi



Jack McHugh:


Issac Newton in Santiago Chile


Marc Ellinger:


Thomas Jefferson in Paris, France


Paraic Reddington:


Charles Darwin in Seattle


Richard Weiss:


Michelangelo in Phnom Penh


John Biehl:


Pliny in Islamabad


Mark Firth:


Isaac Newton in Darwin, Australia




Rick Desper: Commentary for people to chew on: did anybody show more interest in "a wide variety of subjects" than Henry VIII?  He married several of his subjects!


Clue to Person with the Closest Guess (Notified by email): Both of us were considered brilliant, but we lived in different eras.




John Biehl:


Rene Descartes in Alice Springs, Aus


Brendan Whyte:


Archimedes in the Vatican City


Dave McCrumb:


Heinrich Himmler in Hell, Michigan


Will Abbott:


Bill Clinton in Silver Spring, MD


Tom Howell:


Benjamin Franklin in Vientiane


Paraic Reddington:


Leonardo Da Vinci in Darwin, Australia


Jim Burgess:


Charles Darwin in Phnom Penh






Marc Ellinger:


Copernicus in London, England


Jack McHugh:


Francis Bacon in Tokyo


Dane Maslen:


Galileo Galilei in Karachi, Pakistan


Richard Weiss:


William Shakespeare in Yangon, Myanmar


Andy Lischett:


DaVinci in Rangoon (Yangon, Myanmar)


Kevin Wilson:


Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (aka Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr) in Yangon, Myanmar


Mark Firth:


Le Troglodyte in Lascaux


Rick Desper:


Gottfried Leibniz in Jakarta


Clue to Person with the Closest Guess (Notified by email): You know who I am but you do not yet know where I am.




John Biehl:


Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya in Mandalay.


Brendan Whyte:


Einstein in Mandalay


Dave McCrumb:


Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, PA


Rick Desper:


Leonardo da Vinci in Port Moseby, Papua New Guinea


Richard Weiss:


Benjamin Franklin in Lop Buri (Monkey City) Thailand


Tom Howell:


Ben Franklin in Bangkok


Jack McHugh:


Leonardo Da Vinci in Mexico City, Mexico


Dane Maslen:

Archimedes in Tripoli, Libya


Paraic Reddington:


Leonardo Da Vinci in Singapore


Marc Ellinger:


Rene Descartes in Cartagena, Spain


Mark Firth:


Leonardo da Vinci in Rome


Kevin Wilson:


Benjamin Franklin in Dien Bien Phu


Jim Burgess:


Benjamin Franklin in Chittagong, Bangladesh


Tom Howell Wins!  A new game begins immediately.

Deadline for Round 1 is November 27th at 7:00am my time











Brain Farts: The Only Subsubzine With It’s Own Fragrance

By Jack “Flapjack” McHugh –

(or just email Doug and he’ll send it to me)

Issue #48




I haven’t found a job yet, but I have been able to complete the countless forms necessary for me to substitute teach.  So far I taught for two days.  It’s almost worse than sitting at home in the dark, but not quite.


Who Said It ---Quiz?


This is a fun quiz. Listed below are 10 direct quotes. You have to guess which American politician said it. Your four choices are:


Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

Former VP Dan Quayle

President Barack Obama

Former President George W. Bush


Ready? Here we go!


Who said it?


1) "Let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel "


A. Barack Obama

B. Dan Quayle

C. Sarah Palin

D. George W. Bush


2) "I've now been in 57 states I think one left to go."


A. Barack Obama

B. Dan Quayle

C. Sarah Palin

D. George W. Bush


3) "On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes, and I see many of them in the audience here today. “


A. Barack Obama

B. Dan Quayle

C. Sarah Palin

D. George W. Bush


4) "What they'll say is, 'Well it costs too much money,' but you know what? It would cost, about. It it would cost about the same as what we would spend. It. Over the course of 10 years it would cost what it would costs us. (nervous laugh) All right. Okay. We're going to do it. It would cost us about the same as it would cost for about hold on one second. I can't hear myself. But I'm glad you're fired up, though. I'm glad."


A. Barack Obama

B. Dan Quayle

C. Sarah Palin

D. George W. Bush


5) "The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system."


A. Barack Obama

B. Dan Quayle

C. Sarah Palin

D. George W. Bush


(6) "I bowled a 129. It's like - it was like the Special Olympics, or something."


A. Barack Obama

B. Dan Quayle

C. Sarah Palin

D. George W. Bush


7) "Of the many responsibilities granted to a president by our Constitution, few are more serious or more consequential than selecting a Supreme Court justice. The members of our highest court are granted life tenure, often serving long after the presidents who appointed them. And they are charged with the vital task of applying principles put to paper more than 20 centuries ago to some of the most difficult questions of our time."


A. Barack Obama

B. Dan Quayle

C. Sarah Palin

D. George W. Bush


8) "Everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma, they end up taking up a hospital bed, it costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early and they got some treatment, and a, a breathalyzer, or inhalator, not a breathalyzer. I haven't had much sleep in the last 48 hours. “


A. Barack Obama

B. Dan Quayle

C. Sarah Palin

D. George W. Bush


9) "It was interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate. There's a lot of I don't know what the term is in Austrian, wheeling and



A. Barack Obama

B. Dan Quayle

C. Sarah Palin

D. George W. Bush


10) "I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future."


A. Barack Obama

B. Dan Quayle

C. Sarah Palin

D. George W. Bush


This was a trick quiz. All of the correct answers are the same person. Each of these quotes are directly from Barack Obama. And now you know why he brings his teleprompter with him everywhere he goes...even when talking to a 6th grade class. And some members of the media continue to insist he is "The smartest man ever elected to the Presidency".








The Island of Eternal Happiness

Chicago Botanic Garden

By Carol Kay


The Chicago Botanic Garden covers 385 acres and is comprised of 9 island gardens surrounded by lakes. One of these gardens is the Japanese Garden which in itself is made up of 3 islands. Entrance to the first island is via a traditional arched wooden bridge. Visitors cross the zig-zag bridge to the second island. The third island, “The Island of Eternal Happiness”, while visible to garden visitors from all sides, is restricted from visitors actually being allowed to walk on it. According to Japanese tradition, this island is for the immortals (and those of us humble humans who help to maintain it).


I think there was a misunderstanding that visitors couldn’t actually see this island which is not true.


Japanese island panorama.jpg


The photo above is the third island, which, as you can see, is quite visible. At one point, visitors are no more than 3o feet from the island.


Visitors can view the waterfall from paths throughout that garden but are restricted from going off the path (one visitor did and wound up with poison ivy).


There are many publicly funded parks where visitors may not enter all parts. Our Lincoln Park Zoo is a public zoo, part of the park system, but I don’t see visitors being allowed in the lion or tiger enclosures.


I am very proud to be a volunteer in the Japanese Garden. The purpose of the entire Botanic Garden is to not only view gardens of beauty, but to educate people on cultures and traditions and horticulture.


Japanes island panorama 2.jpg








Octopus’s Garden

Issue Seventy-Seven

28th October 2012


HELLO, good evening and welcome to Octopus’s Garden, the subzeen with its very own Railway Rivals game. It’s a subzeen to Jim Burgess’ The Abyssinian Prince , which is now a subzeen toDouglas Kent's Eternal Sunshine. Produced by Peter Sullivan, It's also available on the web at



The "big two" in terms of the British board games convention scene have been Manorcon and Midcon, pretty much for the last thirty years. Midcon originally hosted the National Diplomacy Championship, but this died away some years ago. (Although there will be a Diplomacy tournament this year as part of EDC.) It also continues to attract a significant number  of "post-gamers," people who no longer play many, or any, games, but who like to have a cheap weekend in a reasonable hotel with a reasonable bar, and talk to old friends – the gamers’ equivalent of the science fiction convention scene’s "relaxacon" concept. But that’s not to say that there aren’t also significant numbers of serious gamers. For them, the attraction has traditionally been Midcon’s place in the calendar, usually just a few weeks after the massive Spiel games fair in Essen, Germany. Given that not all games can afford a trip to Essen every year, Midcon is the first opportunity for those that have been able to make it to share the spoils of their adventure. And for those who haven’t, to get their first glimpse of the new tranche of games. Modern classics like Settlers of Catan, Carcassone and Modern Art have all had their first significant British exposure at Midcon, over the years.

This year’s event, the 34th of the series, is fast approaching. Just in the same way that Manorcon moved from Birmingham to Leicester some years ago, Midcon has gone through a similar migration. After moving between several hotels in Birmingham, last year saw them bite the bullet and move to a completely new location, in Derby. The move seems to have been a good one, and revitalised the convention to a significant extent.

This year's event is over the weekend of 9th to 11th November 2012, at the Hallmark Hotel in Derby (nice and close to the train station for those of us who don't fancy driving all the way there.) More information, including detailed instructions on how to tell apart a Nepalese restaurant from a non-Nepalese restaurant, is available on the website at


Round 9 – "Hannibal Hamlin"

Railway Rivals Map FR


15) (@4-25) Switzerland - Orleans: NERTZ 20-4-2 ; FWOGGIE 5+4+3 ; FRAK IT 5-3+2.

16) (32-@5) Dunkerque - Italy: LOSER 20-2-7+1 ; FWOGGIE 10+7+6+2+2+2 ; FRAK IT 0-2-6 ; RENAISSANCE 0-1-2.

17) (24-65) Nantes - Toulon: FRAK IT 20-5 ; NERTZ 10-4+5 ; RENAISSANCE 0-2 ; FWOGGIE +4+2.

18) (66-41) Nice - Strasbourg: NERTZ 20-5-1 ; RENAISSANCE 10+5+1.

19) (53-13) Toulouse - Paris: LOSER 20 ; FWOGGIE 10.

20) (45-56) Lyon - Lourdes: NERTZ 20+1+2 ; FRAK IT 10-1-2 ; FWOGGIE 0.

21) (14-36) Paris - Nancy: RENAISSANCE 20, LOSER 10.



NERTZ (William Whyte, USA.) [purple]

     (X17) - X16 - V15 - U16 - T15 [-1 L] - R16 [-1 Fr] [-1 Fr]. =-7-3

LOSER (Geoff Challinger, UK.) [blue]

     (Lille) - N61 ; (S11) - V9 [-1 Fw]. = -4-1

FRAK IT (W. Andrew York, USA.) [black]

     No builds.

FWOGGIE (Brendan Whyte, Aus.) [green]

     (Lourdes) - C11 ; (S21) - S18 [-1 Fr]. =-9-1

RENAISSANCE (Robin ap Cynan, UK.) [yellow]

     (L61) - M62 ; (Y10) - Z9 [-1 Fr]. =-2-1


Scores on the doors:















































































Races for Round Ten:

22) (23-33) Rennes - Lille

23) (36-64) Nancy - Marseille

24) (65-54) Toulon - Bordeaux

25) (55-22) Bayonne - Cherbourg

26) (13-@1) Paris - England

27) (@2-45) BeNeLux - Lyon

28) (44-14) Lyon - Paris


GENEVA: For Round Ten, you may enter up to four of these races, and then build up to 8 physical points of track (i.e. payments to rivals don't count against the limit; although of course you still pay them.) The deadline for Round Ten orders is SATURDAY, 17th NOVEMBER, 2012 to Peter Sullivan,


That was Octopus's Garden #77, a Startling Press production.










ZERO SUM, Subzine to Eternal Sunshine, Issue 7  October 29, 2012



Everyone was free to join Kim Philby but not any longer.  Time is up.  Sufffffer.  Everyone is free to join Yoshira of Frankenstorm Variant Yahtzee.


Rules for regular Yahtzee published in Eternal Sunshine #65.  Scoring and play modified from Milton Bradley’s Yahtzee Game copyrighted 1982.  Hasbro lists the official rules at:


GM Musings:  I’m done working in Yuba City, CA.    Now girlfriend and I are both looking for work in the Folsom area.  Unlike FlapJack, we have good possibilities. 


Frankenstorm.  As I write this, Frankenstorm is moving towards maximum impact in NYNY and the entire East Coast. My greater extended family lives in NJ – in the middle of the come-to-shore location.  Some live in NYNY.  My brother lives in NE PA, destined for rain and snow.  Maybe his house will slide into the Susquehanna River.  My Father and other brother live in Vermont, not yet recovered from Irene.  Of all the spots on the East Coast, maybe northern Vermont is the best place to be.  Both live up on hills, way above any rivers or worries.  FlapJack, well, you are in the middle of the worst and I wish you the best.  JimBob, I saw footage from Providence already, before high tide, before the full moon, and I can only hope your home is on a good foundation and above sea level.  One daughter lives in Boston, in a very secure area, way up in the air, neighboring the Commons.  No worries there.


After 13 years in Hurricane Alley in the South of USA and 3 years in constant typhoon alert on Guam, I do love storms.  I’ve been in, at least, six eyes (LA, AL, NC, Guam X3) and also the strongest winds ever recorded over land (236 MPH in Paka).  Interestingly, no organization, before last week, had ever projected what would happen when a hurricane hits a freezing high, at the second highest tide full moon of the year.  I saw predictions from 9 countries and four different organizations within the USA.  The French predicted the exact path last week, the first and the most accurate, even as of this morning.  Amazing.  Taking data and possibilities and predicting – where no person has gone before…


I met a man, friend of my “Mother-in-Law” who was a pilot for 20 years for the Air Force, starting just after WWII.  His job in the Korean War was to fly to find out what the weather would be.  There was no TV.  There were no weatherman.  No one knew which way the wind was blowing.  Pilots helped to predict the weather and whether attacks would be possible in the next day or more.  Strange concept for us, today. 


After Korea, he stayed in the Service.  He started flying into hurricanes – for fun and to help learn how to predict the path and fury of storms.  A hurricane hit NYNY, that no one knew was coming.  Still no weathermen.  Still no ability to predict the future.  Many died in NY and NJ.  Strange concept for us today, when we get to see Al Roker get blown over by the wind and others show how high the tides will be, when electricity was turned off underground in NYNY.  Hooray for Mayor Bloomberg.  Major hoorays that both presidential candidates stopped – recognizing we had enough hot and cold air blowing around.


Good luck all. 


Game Offerings:  Yahtzee Lightning, game name Yoshira  of Frankenstorm. 

First turn, you see all three rolls for  each of twelve rounds.  You send me how to score them and your calculated score.  Second turn, you see the three rolls for the final, 13th, turn and tell me how to score them.  See far below.



Yahtzee Game:  Kim Philby


Round 3, How Scored           

Players:                       Scored

Doug Kent                  15 in the threes 

Kevin Wilson             15 in the threes    

Geoff Kemp                27 in Three of a Kind

Dane Maslen               25 in Full House



Round 4, Roll 3:  6,3

Players:                       Kept

Doug Kent                  5,5,5   

Kevin Wilson             5,5,5 

Geoff Kemp                5,5,5,6,3

Dane Maslen               5,5,5,6,6 


Round 5, Roll 2:  3,1,6,4,2    

Players:                       Kept

Doug Kent                  1,2,3,4   

Kevin Wilson             1,1

Geoff Kemp                1,2,3,4      

Dane Maslen               1,2,3,4     


Round 6, Roll 1:         2,2,2,5,6



Doug Kent

Kevin Wilson

Geoff Kemp

Dane Maslen

Ace  = 1





Twos = 2





Threes = 3





Fours = 4





Fives = 5





Sixes = 6










Bonus +35 if >63





Total Upper










3 of a Kind





4 of a Kind





Full House = 25





Sm Straight = 30





Lg Straight = 40















Yahtzee Bonus





Total Lower












Orders Due:  48 hours before Doug’s deadline.

Need to include:         The five dice you want to keep and how to score them for Round 4, now that we’ve had the 3rd roll.  Make your best (least damaging) score and tell me where to put it.

                        The dice you want to keep from Round 5, Roll 2. 

                        Which of the five die rolled for Round 6, Roll 1 you want to keep.


Yahtzee Master Musings:  Even with only four players, we are starting to see different decisions and a separation of scores and future possibilities. 


The Bain of all Bourses didn’t happen.  7 days to the election and the winner remains in doubt.  I sort-of believe the 277 total electoral votes for Obama and re-election prediction. 


Yahtzee Variant Game:  Yoshira of Frankenstorm

Here are the three rolls for each of the first twelve rounds.  Tell me which dice you keep each Roll of each round, to make it easy on me.  Such as Round 1.1 "Save the 5,5.  Then Round 1.2 you get to choose from the first three dice rolled so you tell me which of the five dice you have now (5,5,1,5,6) you want to save, such as Round 1.2 "Save the 5,5,5" Then you have to accept the first two dice, which are the 3,3 so you tell me "For Round 1.3 score a full house with the 5,5,5,3,3."  Easy enough.  Multiple yahtzees get bonus's for the multiples but also must be scored somewhere.


Round 1.1       1,4,5,5,6

Round 1.2       1,5,6,6,6

Round 1.3       3,3,2,1,5


Round 2.1       4,4,1,1,3

Round 2.2       1,4,1,3,5

Round 2.3       5,4,4,1,1


Round 3.1       1,6,5,4,2

Round 3.2       4,1,4,5,5

Round 3.3       6,1,4,1,3


Round 4.1       1,2,4,6,5

Round 4.2       1,2,1,4,3

Round 4.3       4,5,3,2,1


Round 5.1       1,1,3,4,5

Round 5.2       5,1,5,5,5

Round 5.3       1,2,6,6,4


Round 6.1       1,1,3,3,6

Round 6.2       3,5,4,1,6

Round 6.3       5,1,1,6,2


Round 7.1       6,6,3,3,3

Round 7.2       2,3,6,6,1

Round 7.3       6,3,2,6,5


Round 8.1       2,2,4,4,5

Round 8.2       3,4,4,6,4

Round 8.3       2,1,5,5,2


Round 9.1       1,1,2,2,2

Round 9.2       6,2,6,2,1

Round 9.3       5,3,1,1,4


Round 10.1     1,1,4,5,6

Round 10.2     1,3,4,6,1

Round 10.3     4,4,4,5,4


Round 11.1     4,4,4,5,6

Round 11.2     4,4,4,1,6

Round 11.3     1,4,4,6,3


Round 12.1     1,1,2,4,4

Round 12.2     5,1,2,6,4

Round 12.3     3,5,1,4,3



Game Openings

Diplomacy (Black Press – Permanent Opening in ES): Signed up: Dave Grabar, Steve Cooley, Hugh Polley, Don Williams, Jim Burgess, need two more to fill.  Will be named in honor of Richard Walkerdine.

Gunboat Diplomacy (Black Press): Two signed up, need five more.

Everybody Plays Diplomacy (Black Press): An ongoing everyone-plays variant.  Rules are in ES #47.  Join in at any time!

Yahtzee!: Richard Weiss is running a game of Yahtzee! in his subzine Zero Sum, returning from a decades (?) long absence.  Join in now!

Acquire!: Popular Avalon Hill game of hotel building.  Would like a minimum of 4 players.

By Popular Demand: Back to the normal format.  Join anytime.

Eternal Sunshine Movie Photo Quiz: New game begins this issue.  Join anytime.

Lifeboat: Everybody plays, whether you actually do anything or not. 

Where in the World is Kendo Nagasaki?: Rules in ES #58.  New game starts this issue. Join anytime!

Standby List: HELP!  I need standby players! – Current standby list: Richard Weiss, Jim Burgess (Dip only), Hank Alme, Martin Burgdorf, Paul Milewski (Dip only), Brad Wilson, Kevin Tighe (Dip only), Chris Babcock, Don Williams, Marc Ellinger, and whoever I beg into it in an emergency.

I’m going to continue to go through my files and seeing what other variants I can offer, until I find one that gets enough interest to fill.  When I offer a variant I’ll give it an issue or two, but if nobody signs up I’ll drop the opening and replace it.  If somebody wants to guest-GM a game of anything, just get in touch.  If you have specific game requests please let me know.



Eternal Sunshine Game Section


Kremlin – “Four Stitches”


Players: Jack McHugh - Communist Party Against Reform (CRAP), Rick Desper - The Rusty Curtain (RUST), Jim Burgess - Chylak's Galicians (CG), Mark Firth - Trixci (TRI), and Geoff Kemp - Refuseniks (REF).


Turn 1-A


Starting Politburo:


Party Chief: A, Nestor Aparatschik, 80, +
KGB: Y, Ulan Putschnik, 52, (Strong)

Foreign: M, Sergei Eatstumuch, 64

Defense: L, Igor Doberman, 65

Ideology: U, Wassily Protzky, 56, (Weak)

Industry: Q, Tigran Zenjarplan, 60

Economy: W, Leonid Bungaloff, 54

Sport: C, Alexej Goferbrok, 74

Candidates: D 73, E 72, H 69, S 58, T 57

People: B 75, F 71, G 70, I 68, J 67, K 66, N 63, O 62, P 61, R 59, V 55, X 53, Z 50.


Phase 1 (Cure): CRAP declares 10IP on Y and 9 IP on L.  A ages 2 to 82.  U ages 1 to 57.


Phase 2 (Purge): CRAP attempts to purge A with Y and succeeds.  Y ages 1 to 53.


Phase 3 (Spy Investigation Phase): No activity.


Phase 4 (Health Phase): M dies. C goes from Healthy to +.


Next turn will be from Funeral Commission to Parade phase.  If you have any questions please ask!


Ending Politburo:


Party Chief: Empty.
KGB: Y, Ulan Putschnik, 53, (Strong), CRAP 10

Foreign: Empty

Defense: L, Igor Doberman, 65, CRAP 9

Ideology: U, Wassily Protzky, 57, (Weak)

Industry: Q, Tigran Zenjarplan, 60

Economy: W, Leonid Bungaloff, 54

Sport: C, Alexej Goferbrok, 74, +

Candidates: D 73, E 72, H 69, S 58, T 57

People: B 75, F 71, G 70, I 68, J 67, K 66, N 63, O 62, P 61, R 59, V 55, X 53, Z 50.

Siberia: A 82 +




(CHYLAK'S GALICIANS to KREMLINITES): We have learned to speak Russian and have infiltrated your Byzantine political system.  Be afraid, be very afraid.... we run silent and run deep for now.  Patience, my precious Kremlin watchers.


(BOOB to KGB): Try to find out where we are and what we're thinking, we dare you!!!


(BOOB to DOUG): How do you play this game again, I seem to have forgotten?


Doug – Boob: You declare 10IP on A and wave 3 times before he dies.


Deadline for Turn 1 through Parade Phase is November 26th at 7pm my time.


Diplomacy “Dulcinea” 2008C, F 20


Austria (Martin Burgdorfmartin_burgdorf “of” Retreat A Rumania - Ukraine..

 F Adriatic Sea – Venice, A Belgium Supports A Holland, F Brest - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Bounce*),

 A Burgundy – Ruhr, A Denmark Hold (*Dislodged*, retreat to Kiel or OTB), A Finland – Sweden,

 A Gascony - Spain (*Bounce*), A Holland Supports A Belgium, A Marseilles Supports A Gascony – Spain,

 A Norway Hold, A Picardy - Brest (*Fails*), A Serbia – Budapest, A St Petersburg – Moscow,

 A Trieste Supports F Adriatic Sea - Venice (*Cut*), A Ukraine - Sevastopol (*Fails*),

 A Warsaw Supports A St Petersburg - Moscow.

England (Kevin Tighetigheman “of” F Helgoland Bight Supports A London – Denmark,

 A London – Denmark, A Wales - London.

Turkey (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” Retreat F Marseilles - Gulf of Lyon, A Serbia - Greece..

 F Albania - Trieste (*Fails*), F Apulia Supports F Ionian Sea - Adriatic Sea, F Black Sea Supports A Rumania,

 A Bulgaria Supports A Greece – Serbia, F English Channel - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Bounce*), A Greece – Serbia,

 F Gulf of Lyon Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Spain(sc), F Ionian Sea - Adriatic Sea,

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Spain(sc) (*Bounce*), A Moscow Supports A Sevastopol (*Dislodged*, retreat to

 Livonia or OTB), F North Sea Convoys A London – Denmark, A Rumania Supports A Greece – Serbia,

 A Sevastopol Supports A Moscow (*Cut*), F Tuscany - Piedmont.


W 20/S 21 Deadline is November 27th at 7:00am my time


Supply Center Chart


Austria:            Belgium, Berlin, Brest, Budapest, Holland, Kiel, Marseilles, Moscow, Munich, Norway,

Paris, St Petersburg, Sweden, Trieste, Venice, Vienna, Warsaw=17, Build 1 or 2

England:          Denmark, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London=4, Even

Turkey:            Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Greece, Naples, Portugal, Rome, Rumania, Serbia,

Sevastopol, Smyrna, Spain, Tunis=13, Even or Build 1




Eng: Once more into the breach!


Dulcinea” Diplomacy Bourse


Billy Ray Valentine: Probably in his limousine.


Duke of York: Nothing.


Smaug the Dragon: Sells 500 Crowns, piles it in a heap and lies on it, muttering to himself.

Rothschild: Sells 500 Pounds and 500 Piasters.  Buys 800 Crowns.


Baron Wuffet: No activity.


Wooden Nickel Enterprises: Sells 152 Pounds and 500 Crowns.  Buys 643 Piastres.


VAIONT Enterprises: Sells 500 Crowns.  Buys 535 Piastres.


Insider Trading LLC: Nada.


Bourse Master: Zilch.





George Smiley to Smaug the Magnificent: Your problem is that you are a fanatic, just like Karla. And one day soon it will destroy you. Alas, poor England. *wipes spectacles*

Smaug the Magnificent to George Smiley: Sorry mate, didn't quite catch that. Now, say that again. Closer this time, so I can roast your eyeballs and EAT THEM!. *snorts flames*


VAIONT to SMAUG:  You talk too much.  I have an arrow botched up right here with your name on it … care for a little tummy rub?


Next Bourse Deadline is November 26th at 7:00pm my time



Graustark Diplomacy Game 2006A, W 18/S 19


Austria (Don Williams – dwilliams “of” F TRI SENDS SEARCH PARTY LOOKING FOR ANY SIGN


 A Budapest Supports A Vienna, A Vienna Supports A Budapest.

England (Fred Wiedemeyerwiedem “of” Remove A Wales..

 F Aegean Sea Convoys A Greece – Syria, F Belgium Hold, F Bulgaria(sc) Supports F Aegean Sea,

 F Eastern Mediterranean Convoys A Greece – Syria, A Moscow Hold, F Naples Hold,

 F North Atlantic Ocean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean, F Norway Hold, A Paris Hold, A Picardy Hold, F Spain(sc) Hold,

 A St Petersburg Hold, A Yorkshire Hold.

France (Hank Alme – almehj “of” No units.

Germany (Harley Jordanharleyj “of” Build A Munich.. A Burgundy Supports A Marseilles,

 F Denmark Hold, A Greece – Syria, F Holland Hold, A Marseilles Supports A Burgundy, A Munich – Silesia, 

 A Rome Supports A Venice, A Rumania – Serbia, A Serbia – Greece, A Sevastopol – Armenia, F Sweden Hold,

 A Ukraine – Rumania, A Venice Supports A Rome, A Warsaw - Ukraine.

Russia (John Biehljerbil “of” A Armenia – Ankara, F Constantinople - Black Sea,

 F Smyrna - Constantinople.


F 19 Deadline is November 27th at 7:00am my time





Berne[d] (Apr 1, 1919): The English Scum is a Lackey of Germany and the only question is will Horrible Harley go for the Win?


(BOOB to DUCK): Uhhh, Don, I know we've reached the time of the end of the "real" World War I, but you're not SUPPOSED to go back home to where you started.  But there you are!


(BOOB to HANK): Hang in there, I hope you're still following the game too, I'm glad you're still in it, sort of.  AND, most importantly, best wishes for a smooth recovery, your friends are thinking of you in this difficult time!!!


(BOOB to ARMISTICE MONGERS): I hope this isn't the end....


Diplomacy “Dublin Boys” 2010D, W 10/S 11


Austria (Paul Milewski – paul.milewski “of” Build A Vienna.. A Finland - Norway (*Fails*),

 A Moscow Supports A St Petersburg, A Piedmont - Marseilles (*Fails*), A Prussia Supports A Berlin,

 A Silesia - Munich (*Fails*), A St Petersburg Supports A Finland - Norway (*Cut*), A Tyrolia Hold,

 A Venice - Piedmont (*Fails*), A Vienna – Bohemia, A Warsaw - Ukraine.

England (Kevin Tighetigheman “of” Retreat F St Petersburg(nc) - Barents Sea..

 Remove F Holland.. F Barents Sea - St Petersburg(nc) (*Fails*), F Helgoland Bight Supports F Kiel,

 F Kiel Supports F Helgoland Bight, F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Supports F Western Mediterranean,

 F North Africa - Tunis (*Fails*), F Norway Supports F Barents Sea - St Petersburg(nc) (*Cut*),

 F Sweden - Finland (*Fails*), F Western Mediterranean Supports F North Africa - Tunis.

France (Jeff O’Donnell – unclestaush “of” Plays 1 short.. A Burgundy - Munich (*Fails*),

 A Gascony Supports A Marseilles, A Marseilles Hold, A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy – Munich,

 F Spain(sc) Supports A Marseilles.

Germany (Melinda Holley – genea5613 “of” A Berlin Supports A Munich,

 A Munich Supports A Berlin (*Cut*).

Turkey (Brad Wilson - bwdolphin146 “of” F Aegean Sea Supports F Ionian Sea, A Apulia Hold,

 F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Piedmont – Marseilles, F Ionian Sea Supports A Tunis,

 F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea, A Tunis Hold, F Tuscany Supports F Gulf of Lyon,

 F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Gulf of Lyon.



Now Proposed – A/E/F/T, A/E/T.  Please vote.  NVR=No.

F 11 Deadline is November 27th at 7:00am my time




Ger-All: Sorry about the NMR. I must have missed the last turn/didn't see the email with the issue.


CONSTANTINTOPLE: Only one way out.


Lon-Con: Nobody in Paris would ever want to do a three way. . . Oh, wait. They are French.


Lon-Par: Four way, four way. Remember you ARE French. This is normal.



Everybody Plays Diplomacy “Dandelion” 2010Cvj08, F 11

Player Names or Handles will be shown for any power they commanded each season.

Remember, in some seasons if we get enough players you may not wind up commanding any nations.  All press submitted will be printed.


Austria (John Biehl): F Adriatic Sea Hold, A Albania Hold, A Budapest – Trieste, A Bulgaria – Serbia,

 A Burgundy – Munich, F Eastern Mediterranean - Ionian Sea, A Galicia – Vienna, A Greece Hold,

 F Gulf of Lyon – Tuscany, A Kiel – Berlin, A Marseilles – Piedmont, A Munich – Tyrolia, A North Africa Hold,

 A Rumania – Budapest, A Silesia – Bohemia, F Smyrna - Syria.

England (Dave McCrumb): A Belgium – Picardy, F English Channel Supports A Belgium – Picardy,

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - North Atlantic Ocean, F North Sea - Norwegian Sea, A Norway Hold,

 F Portugal - Mid-Atlantic Ocean, F St Petersburg(nc) Hold (*Dislodged*,  retreat to Barents Sea or OTB),

 F Sweden – Finland, A Yorkshire - London.

France (Phil Murphy): A Picardy - Belgium (*Dislodged*, retreat to Brest or Paris or Burgundy),

 F Spain(sc) - Portugal.

Russia (Tom Howell): F Black Sea Supports A Ukraine – Rumania, A Livonia - St Petersburg,

 A Moscow Supports A Livonia - St Petersburg, A Ukraine - Rumania.

Turkey (Italy Must Win): F Aegean Sea – Smyrna, F Ankara - Constantinople.



W 11/S 12 Deadline is November 27th at 7:00am my time


Supply Center Chart


Austria:            Berlin, Budapest, Bulgaria, Greece, Kiel, Marseilles, Munich,

                        Naples, Rome, Serbia, Trieste, Tunis, Venice, Vienna=14, Remove 2

England:          Belgium, Brest?, Denmark, Edinburgh, Holland, Liverpool, London,

                        Norway, Paris?=8 or 9, Remove 1 or Even or Build 1

France:            Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Paris?, Brest?=3 or 4, No Room to Build

Russia:             Moscow, Rumania, Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Warsaw=5, Build 1

Turkey:            Ankara, Constantinople, Smyrna=3, Build 1




George Smiley to All: Game, set and match to Austria, I think.


Austria Must Not Win: Yay!


Howell to Anon: talk to Desperate Rick about that, ok?


Italy Must Die - Italy Must Win: :P


Vienna: Win! Win! Win!


(ITALY MUST WIN to AUSTRIA MUST LOSE): I think the way is clear, Austria must lose for Italy to win.


Diplomacy - “Lighthouse” – 2011A – F 06

Austria (Don Williams – dwilliams “of” A Trieste Supports A Budapest (*Cut*).

England (Paul Milewskipaul.milewski “of” A Liverpool - Edinburgh (*Bounce*),

 F Wales - Liverpool (*Fails*).

France (Kevin Wilson – ckevinw “of” A Belgium - Holland (*Fails*),

 A Burgundy Supports A Kiel – Munich, F English Channel Supports F London (*Ordered to Move*),

 A Kiel - Munich (*Fails*), F Marseilles - Gulf of Lyon, F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Western Mediterranean,

 F Rome Supports A Apulia - Naples (*Void*).

Germany (Brad Wilson – bwdolphin146 “of” F Helgoland Bight Supports A Munich – Kiel,

 A Holland Supports A Munich - Kiel (*Cut*),  A Munich - Kiel (*Fails*), F North Sea - Edinburgh (*Bounce*).

Italy (Melinda Holley – genea5613 “of” Retreat A Galicia – Rumania, A Rome - Venice..

 A Budapest Supports A Tyrolia - Trieste (*Cut*), F Greece - Bulgaria(sc) (*Dislodged*, retreat to

 Albania or OTB), A Rumania Supports F Greece - Bulgaria(sc) (*Cut*), F Tunis - Ionian Sea (*Fails*),

 A Tyrolia - Trieste (*Fails*), A Venice Supports A Tyrolia - Trieste (*Cut*),

 A Vienna Supports A Budapest (*Cut*).

Russia (Fred Wiedemeyerwiedem “of” F Aegean Sea – Greece, A Apulia - Venice (*Fails*),

 F Black Sea - Rumania (*Fails*), A Bulgaria Supports F Aegean Sea – Greece,

 F Denmark - North Sea (*Bounce*), A Galicia - Vienna (*Fails*),

 F Ionian Sea Supports F Aegean Sea - Greece (*Cut*), A Livonia – Prussia, F London - North Sea (*Bounce*),

 A Norway Hold, A Serbia - Budapest (*Fails*), A Warsaw - Silesia.


Concession to Russia Fails.

W 06/S 07 Deadline is November 27th at 7:00am my time


Supply Center Chart


Austria:            Trieste=1, Even

England:          Edinburgh, Liverpool=2, Even

France:            Belgium, Brest, Kiel, Marseilles, Naples, Paris, Portugal, Rome, Spain=9, Build 2

Germany:         Berlin, Holland, Munich=3, Remove 1

Italy:                Budapest, Rumania, Tunis, Venice, Vienna=5, Remove 1 or 2

Russia:             Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Denmark, Greece, London, Moscow,

                        Norway, Serbia, Sevastopol, Smyrna, St Petersburg, Sweden, Warsaw=14. Build 2



Ita - All: Ouch! That hurt! Jeez, guys!


Ita - All: Sorry for the NMR. I never saw the last turn.


MUNICH: Yuck. More beer please.



Diplomacy “Jerusalem” 2012A, F 02

Austria (Melinda Holley – genea5613 “of” A Budapest – Galicia,

 F Greece Supports F Ionian Sea - Aegean Sea (*Void*), A Serbia Supports F Greece,

 A Trieste Supports A Serbia, A Vienna Supports A Budapest - Galicia.

England (John Biehljerbil “of” F Barents Sea – Norway, A Denmark – Sweden,

 F London Supports F English Channel, F Norwegian Sea Supports F Barents Sea – Norway,

 F Skagerrak Supports A Denmark - Sweden.

France (Jack McHugh jwmchughjr “of” Retreat A Burgundy - Gascony..

 F Brest - Picardy (*Fails*), A Gascony - Burgundy (*Fails*), A Marseilles Supports A Gascony – Burgundy,

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Brest (*Bounce*), A Picardy - Belgium (*Fails*).

Germany (Don Williams – dwilliams “of” A Belgium - Brest (*Bounce*),

 A Burgundy Supports F Brest - Gascony (*Void*), F English Channel Convoys A Belgium – Brest,

 A Munich Supports A Burgundy, A Silesia - Warsaw (*Bounce*).

Italy (Mark Firth - mark.firth “of” A Apulia - Greece (*Fails*),

 F Ionian Sea Convoys A Apulia – Greece, F Tunis - Tyrrhenian Sea, A Venice Hold.

Russia (Richard Weiss – richardweiss “of” A Galicia - Warsaw

 (*Dislodged*, retreat to Bohemia or OTB), A Norway - St Petersburg,

 F Sevastopol Supports F Black Sea - Rumania (*Void*), F Sweden - Denmark (*Dislodged*,

 retreat to Baltic Sea or Gulf of Bothnia or Finland or OTB), A Ukraine Supports F Sevastopol.

Turkey (Geoff Kemp - ggeoff510 “of” F Aegean Sea Supports A Bulgaria,

 F Black Sea Supports A Rumania, A Bulgaria Supports A Rumania, A Rumania Hold.


W 02/S 03 Deadline is November 27th at 7:00am my time


Supply Center Chart


Austria:            Budapest, Greece, Serbia, Trieste, Vienna=5, Even

England:          Denmark, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Norway, Sweden=6, Build 1

France:            Brest, Marseilles, Paris, Portugal, Spain=5, Even

Germany:         Belgium, Berlin, Holland, Kiel, Munich=5, Even

Italy:                Naples, Rome, Tunis, Venice=4, Even

Russia:             Moscow, Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Warsaw=4, Build 1 or Even or Remove 1

Turkey:            Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Rumania, Smyrna=5, Build 1




London (Oct 31, 1902): Second Lord of the Admiralty, Horatio Hornblower, was clearly embarrassed by the question before him as to how a Russian army was mistaken for a fleet, " Ah, hmm, our intelligence first ascribed the re-inforcements as a fleet due to the snow covering the land. Our observers believed these shapes were the
sails of ships." Smedley Printer, crack reporter for the 'Times' asked, " Your Lordship, isn't it odd that your intelligence officers would think the Russians were still building sailing ships instead of Dreadnoughts?" " Ah, hmm, this is simply the 'fog of war', Smedley, as you should know." [and so should the GM - he might have altered 'army' to 'fleet' to reflect the build]

Scapa Blow (Oct 31, 1902): The First Lord of the Admiralty, Ima Honker, had the Third Lord of the Admiralty in his office before him and Honker was even redder than usual (and just as apoplectic as on Apr 1st). Honker bellowed, "You'll be walking the plank, Davey Jones (of Locker), if anything goes amiss with those Vikings in our


(BOOB to DUCK): You stay the course, big guy, Flap's got nuttin'.


(BOOB to FLAP): It seems YOU'RE the one with the exposed flank.


(SARA to FLAP JACK): I love a man with some meat on his bones, why don't you come up and see me some time, big guy!  I don't have a real home either, let's get together and ride off into the sunset together.


(BOOB to FLAP): I don't care if anyone answers me, you can't shut me up!!!


By Popular Demand


Credit goes to Ryk Downes, I believe, for inventing this.  The goal is to pick something that fits the category and will be the "most popular" answer. You score points based on the number of entries that match yours. For example, if the category is "Cats" and the responses were 7 for Persian, 3 for Calico and 1 for Siamese, everyone who said Persian would get 7 points, Calico 3 and the lone Siamese would score 1 point. The cumulative total over 10 rounds will determine the overall winner. Anyone may enter at any point, starting with an equivalent point total of the lowest cumulative score from the previous round. If a person misses a round, they'll receive the minimum score from the round added to their cumulative total. In each round you may specify one of your answers as your Joker answer.  Your score for this answer will be doubled.  In other words, if you apply your Joker to category 3 on a given turn, and 4 other people give the same answer as you, you get 10 points instead of 5.  Players who fail to submit a Joker for any specific turn will have their Joker automatically applied to the first category. And, if you want to submit some commentary with your answers, feel free to.  The game will consist of 10 rounds.  A prize will be awarded to the winner.  Research is permitted!


Note – This is the regular By Popular Demand, not the By ALMOST popular demand we did last time.


Round 7 Categories

1. A Canadian province.

2. An island.

3. A Clint Eastwood film (as an actor).

4. Something you find in a closet.

5. A nation beginning with the letter S.


Congrats to Martin Burgdorf with the high score of 68 for the round (out of a possible 76).  Poor Mark Firth scores a mere 11. L


Selected Comments By Category:


Province – Andy York “Toss-up with Ontario.”  Phil Murphy “Ontario - Two reasons for this. Firstly, I have an aunt and cousins who live there. Secondly, jobs are thin on the ground here. When my contract expires, if I can't find anything at home, I am seriously considering relocation here for a year or two.”  Richard Weiss “Quebec maybe loses to Ontario.”  Dane Maslen “I doubt that my lead will survive with that collection of answers.  I

can't say that I'm confident that I've made the right choice in any category and my joker could prove a disaster if Ontario proves to be significantly more popular than Quebec.”  Marc Ellinger “The most populous has to be worth a few votes!”  Jim Burgess “I think you have to go with the most populous one, Quebec might be popular.”


Island – Phil Murphy “Ireland - 32 counties, and 40 shades of green. More types of rainy weather than you wish you'd ever seen. (See what I did there?)”  Paraic Reddington “I’m tempted to say No Man.”


Clint Eastwood – Phil Murphy “Legend that he is. I was going to pick A Fistful of Dollars but I think this one will be more popular.”  Marc Ellinger “One of the great of the spaghetti westerns.   There are only a few movies I’ll stay up and watch regardless of what time and this is one of them!”  Per Westling “Waiting for his next movie, "The Man Who Could Speak To A Chair"...”  Jim Burgess “Mystic River and Unforgiven are better, but this is the choice.”


Closet – Phil Murphy “Not sure if everyone agrees with me, but it was this or shirts. And I don't have them in my *wardrobe*.”  Brendan Whyte “Co-workers having sex?”  Paraic Reddington “I’m tempted to say Tom Cruise.”


“S” Nation – Phil Murphy “Armed men wearing kilts, Deep-Fried Mars bars, and breathtaking Highland views. And Rabbie Burns.”  Brendan Whyte “Spotsylvania? Sioux?”  Marc Ellinger “Just got back from Barcelona, so it is fresh in my mind.”  Per Westling “Of course my first thought was Sweden...  But I thought one more round and decided that Syria might be on everyone's mind.”  Jim Burgess “You always start with countries on the Diplomacy board, Spain, Syria, Sweden, and Serbia, plus other biggies like Saudi Arabia and South Africa/South Korea, but Switzerland is the unique one, I hope everyone thinks the same way.”


General Comments – John Biehl “Last round - sheesh, Lithuania when Libya is all over the news - coulda, shoulda.”


Round 8 Categories

1. A noble in the game Kingmaker.

2. An organized professional sport league which no longer exists.

3. A U.S. state capital.

4. A Tim Burton film.

5. A vital organ.


Deadline for Round 8 is November 27th at 7:00am my time


Eternal Sunshine Movie Photo Contest


There are ten rounds of movie photos, and each round consists of ten photos.  Identify the film each photo is from.  Anyone may enter at any point. If you want to submit some commentary with your answers, feel free to.  The game will consist of 10 rounds.  A prize will be awarded to the winner – and it might be a very good prize!  Research is not permitted!  That means NO RESEARCH OF ANY KIND, not just no searches for the photos themselves.  The only legal “research” is watching movies to try and locate the scenes.  Each round will also contain one bonus question, asking what the ten movies being quoted have in common.  The player with the most correct answers each round gets 3 points, 2nd place gets 2 points, and 3rd place gets 1 point.  In the event of ties, multiple players get the points (if three players tie for first, they EACH get 3 points).  High score at the end of ten rounds wins the game, and a prize (unless you cheated).  If there’s enough participation I may give a prize for 2nd and maybe even 3rd place overall too.  The final round will be worth double points.


Round 2



Dead Ringers.  Correct – RD, KT.  The Other – AL.  Harry Potter – TH.  The Midwich Cuckoos – KW.


The Man in the Iron Mask.  Correct – AY, RD, PR, HA, KT, KW.  The Four Musketeers – DM.  The Prince and the Pauper – AL.



Inland Empire.  Scanners – RD.  Brazil – KT.


Stealing Beauty.  Mad Max – AL.  Armageddon – RD.  Manon of the Spring – KT.


Reversal of Fortune.  Correc – RD, KW.  Fatal Attraction – AL.


Being Julia, Correct – PR, KW.  Gosford Park – RD


The French Lieutenant’s Woman.  Correct – RD.  Sophie’s Choice – AL, JM.  Deer Hunter – KT.  Fatal Attraction – KW.


Die Hard With a Vengeance.  Correct – AY, RD, PR, HA, KW.  Die Hard – AL, JM, KT.



Appaloosa.  Correct – KW.  Tombstone – AL.  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – TH.  Hidalgo – RD, PR.  Jean de Florette – KT.



M. Butterfly.  Correct – KT.  Flash Gordon – AY.  The Last Emperor – RD.



Bonus – What do these films all have in common?  They All Feature Jeremy Irons. Correct – RD.  All Nominated for Best Costumes Oscar – PR.  Winners of Best Screenplay – KT.


Points This Round: Rick Desper [RD] – 6; Kevin Wilson [KW] – 5; Paraic Reddington [PR] – 3; Kevin Tighe [KT] – 3; Andy York [AY] – 2; Hank Alme [HA] – 2; Andy Lischett [AL] – 0; Tom Howell [TH] – 0; Jack McHugh [JM] - 0.


Scores So Far: Rick Desper [RD] – 6; Paraic Reddington [PR] – 3; Kevin Wilson [KW] – 3; Don Williams [DW] – 1; Kevin Tighe [KT] - 1.


Round 3























Bonus – What do these films all have in common? 


Deadline for Round 3 is November 27th at 7:00am my time


General Deadline for the Next Issue of Eternal Sunshine:  November 27th, 2012 at 7:00am my time. See You Then!