Wednesday, October 22, 2008

if smith wrote fantasy (yeah. right.)

I have an intense, almost insane, need to vent, to spew out one of those thousand-word, one-sentence rants of mine today.

But I can't. Too personal.

But I can share one thing that made me cuss. Several times. I admit it.

Okay, so, not only am I in the room that kills people, I'm in there with an exceedingly crappy computer. I am not going to get into a PC/Mac discussion... they're pointless, but, suffice it to say the computer they gave me to spend what they hoped would be Smith's dwindling days on this planet runs on Windows 98.

You know... 98, like a FREEKIN DECADE ago? I mean, come on... give me a freekin break.

I mention it in passing. They laugh, saying, "Smith is using Windows 98? Ha ha... he should have been dead long before we made the switch from XP to Vista, anyway!"


Like I'm supposed to know what that means, much less think it's funny. My freekin iPhone has more computing power than the Dell in the room that kills people.

But they have to save face, too, and try to look like they care. They send their tech guy to "fix me up."

Okay. Why do guys who fix computers have to have ponytails? Is it a job requirement, along with being able to prove you're a Dungeons and Dragons Master and a level-70-plus Douchebag on World of Warcraft? (I only threw the terms "Master" and "Douchebag" in there because I don't know anything about those games... let me know if those are, indeed, the titles of elite-level gamers). Oh... and you also have to speak Elvin, have runes tattooed somewhere on your body, and be a LARPer, too. (That's someone who dresses up and goes out in a field with a bunch of potheads for Live Action Role Playing, reenacting the Ogre Campaigns in the Battle for Hrgarzeroth).

Have I ever told you how much I despise fantasy?

Quickly inserted disclaimer -- No offense, fantasy folk. And, believe me I will not get pissy if you say how much you despise reality.

I'm going to tell you what fantasy would be like if Smith ever penned one, but I need to get back to my tale of the visit from Ponytail-D-and-D-Master-World-of-Warcraft-Douchebag-Elvin-talking-rune-tattooed-Ogre-fighting-Larper. He's pulling a wooden cart behind him, no doubt to carry along both plague victims and stupid computers, and he laughs mockingly, shaking his ponytailed head and says something with a bunch of numbers in it, like either he's casting some WOW toxic spell on me, or he actually thinks I know what the hell he's talking about, then he prances (in a non-gay, kind of medieval minstrel way... hmm... okay, I guess it was gay) over and scoops up the computer.

Then he says he'll be back in an hour and a half, which, I guess, in the world of LARPing nerds, actually means two weeks. I'm sure that to him it felt like an hour and a half, but then again, why wouldn't it feel like that after you swallow a baggie of magic mushrooms and slip through a time portal into Middle freekin Earth?

And he looks at me with one eye (he has to keep his other eye shut because he tells me the Carrot Mage plucked it out with her necromantic talking flute last weekend at a gathering in San Bernardino) and says, "Aren't you the guy who writes the books?"

Hmmm... I find myself contemplating what manner of bewitchery he is attempting.

"Um. Yeah," I say.

Damn it! Why do I always say stupid and overly revealing things to wizards and douchebags?

Then he says, "I have an idea for a book. Do you want to hear it?"

Then, a Zen-like thing happened to me. I realized the horror of being outed at a conference coffee stand as an agent or editor and my brain howled in silent spasms of agony as he began, "Sit down and I will tell you the tale of the Mage of Hrgarzeroth and the secret that he must reveal in order to save the... "

Kill me now.


So... here I am. Two weeks in the freezing world of the room that kills people without even a crappy computer that runs... or crawls... on Windows 98.