The right... nay, the honor...

Regular readers of the forums will know that I tend to bounce around the silly realms of the imaginary and surreal, but this time I’m actually excited to be able to break some real world news! I may have started it as a joke in my little Whovian pastiche, but every so often you hit on a great idea by accident. What’s weirder is when other people recognize it too. To make a long story short, Steerpike and I will be taking over the Spiel this summer. Now before you get your knickers in a twist, let me assure you that this will only be for the summer so that Dave and Stephen can take a more extended break than usual to focus on the video series without having to concoct an extra Scribbler. Fortunately we won’t have to actually relocate to the padded cell as we’ll be handling it by Skype; unfortunately this means I still won’t have the pleasure of actually meeting Mr. Wilcott face-to-face. However, we’ll still be able to collaborate on some unusual features. I’ll finally be getting around to doing my extended Monopoly analysis, as well as an extended feature on my favorite Avalon Hill titles from 1979-84. Simon on the other hand apparently is preparing a discussion of board game vaporware, promised but unfortunately never published titles like the Secret Societies expansion for the Paranoia card game or Knizia’s pulp adventure title. He also hints at a new feature he wants to try out (springing off from his blog “Swelter’s Kitchen”) called “Cards On The Table”, a cookery segment suggesting appropriate snacks to serve alongside games. While he is leaning a bit heavier on the carnivorous British tradition than I’d like ("Bubble and Squeak?" He must be kidding!), I’m sneaking in a few things like my trademark Park Place Fruit Salad. The really exciting innovation though, which I hope goes well enough that the guys decide to keep it when they return, is real-time play sessions of the games being discussed. I know that sounds a bit dry, but we’re punching it up like sports commentators to give you the comfortable sense of listening to an exciting baseball game over the radio. It does mean the AH episode is possibly going to run a bit long, but we may break it into parts. So Spiel On and see you this summer. I simply cannot wait!


 Did I miss a meeting?

Or did you invite Mr Wilcott instead of me (Mr Wilcock) ?


or - more probably - have you come back from your time travel into an alternative universe ? dagnabit, I told you not to mess with the time continuum. You rooky time lords are a danger to yourselves. (incidentally, in my reality, Bubble and Squeak does not contain any meat and therefore cannot be descrived as carnivourous).

Still, if it's recorded here at Spiel Central it must be true. When do we start recording?

the flip of a die. no, hold on. first night nerves. the roll of a tile. man, this is difficult. dave must be cleverer than I thought. Pass the tequila.

I'm really sorry, I typed that quickly from the notes Stephen emailed me and you're quite right- I blame autocorrect. Wilcock! I'm absolutely mortified and I have no doubt you'll make me suffer accordingly in that game of Elric. Okay, sorry that explains why you're out of the loop on this and why I've gotten this email from Mr. WilCOTT, who reliably informed the gullible American that B&S was the product of cattle; thanks for the correction on that. I can't imagine why on today of all days I slip up so embarassingly and post something with such sloppy and obvious errors of detail and well, B&S.

That said, sincere appreciation as always, Mr. Wilcock for your ability and willingness to go along with a bizarre idea. 

Or cheap gag. (grin)

 that damnable Mr Wilcott - I daresay my copy of Dragonheart is on the way to his small house, in Bulgaria, as well (or was it Vulgaria?).


We're always looking for new recipes in Swelter's Kitchen so I will try adding some cattle to my bubble and squeak. It may just work. I could invent the hamburger and sell it back to the Spiel Nation.


I must dash. there's only 60 minutes left to save the earth and Flash Gordan is still in the middle of an interminable game of Le Havre. I told him not to believe the play time on the box. The time sink of analysis paralysis is a cunning trap which lesser super heroes have fallen for....

 Ah, I see, it's one of those things you American chappies call an "April Fools joke", what?

Yes, I've heard of these. We don't do them this side of the pond but the Frenchies are dead keen on it. April Fish they call it. Not sure why. Possibly a mistranslation or possibly in an effort to be a bit different. Ecole Francais and all that.

Shall I hang my mike back up and slide back into obscurity?

I have a Mr Wilcott on the line and he's just bought out a recoding studio, in Pimlico, for his first episode.

Improbability factor of 2,300 to 1 and falling. Normality will be returned soon.

 I was listening to Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film Review on BBC Radio5 yesterday and they alluded to April 1st jokes frequently, although Mr. Kermode did mention something in passing about not being able to play jokes after noon, which was new to me and I assumed that was a British thing. And I'm not kidding about that, you can check the podcast. Now the thought of them switching places with the Spiel for a week- that I'd tune into...


I can confirm that playing April Fools jokes after noon makes you the fool in GB...

 yeah and a day late is even worse ;-)

I'm glad to see the coup de board was undone by infighting and name-calling between the two would be usurpers.

Honestly, you needed to enlist the help of our true Nemesis, Mr. Mark Wilder, if your plans were to have any chance at all. Keep it in mind the next time your evil plans boil up to the surface...

This cell is all shiny black plastic, with no padding, a few randomly flashing lights and only a recessed alcove for sleep. It’s like being imprisoned inside a 1980's stereo. At first I tried to ingratiate myself with the other inmates by telling them I wrote the bizarre funny stuff on the Spiel forums. The first guy beamed and said, “Wow, you’re Antholo? I love your stuff!” I started keeping to myself after that. Then the ominous cloaked figure in the silver mask appeared at the Lucite door panel of my cell. “You are Is.” It intoned gravely, and underneath the Star Trek vocoder effects I could swear the voice sounded familiar.

“Look,” I said standing from the shelf that served as a bed, “I demand to see my lawyer!”
The figure laughed, softly. Frighteningly. “That refugee from a bad yard sale; that towering pillar of scotch tape? I believe he’s languishing in a thrift store in Poughkeepsie by now, having his bits removed and scattered by badly parented children. I doubt he’ll even have collector value after that." That voice! I’m sure I know that voice! “I’ve been waiting a long time for this.” He unrolls a scroll from a silvery skeletal hand. “You are charged of course with conspiracy to hijack a popular podcast, insulting a fellow player…”
“You’ll never make that stick! It was obviously just a joke; anybody would recognize that!”
“Really? According to paragraph 4 subsection 8 of the 2011 Jocularity Oversight Key Evaluation it lacked one vital attribute to legally qualify as such!”
“It wasn’t funny.” Damn. He had me there. Still all hope wasn’t lost until the figure drew aside his crimson robes, revealing a copy of Cargo Noir, which he proceeded to open and set up.
“What, do I have to play for my freedom; something like that? I’m better at Attika…”
“Oh you don’t play anything not here. We’ll pump in the podcast to taunt you, but you won’t be allowed to play any actual games. No, I just need you to show me something. In the contest entry from which you were apprehended, you linked this game to California by your ability to purchase a mansion, correct?” Suddenly I felt my bowels turn to ice water. No, it couldn’t be; I had been so sure, but the masked figure said in a voice dripping with sadistic pleasure, “Show me the ‘mansion’ card here, would you?”
It had to be there- Villa, Night Club, Dive Bar. Okay so I had only played it twice but- oh no. No, he couldn’t mean… “W-well a villa is a… I mean in the background of that illustration there’s a… big nice house...?”
“You’ve apparently tried to enter a contest with information you knew to be inaccurate.”
“No- no an honest mistake. A-“
“I’ve got you at last, Is! Not on some two-bit charge of Historical Inaccuracy Second Class this time, not even on the Spiel takeover bid. I’ve got you cold on the most heinous crime known to the Game Courts. “ He paused, hissing in delight from beneath the metallic mask. “I’ve got you for Premeditated Cheating. You know what the range of punishment can entail? And nobody can save you from me this time.” He began to laugh as he slipped out and sealed the chamber and this guy had a proper evil laugh- three small percussive bursts that would bounce around my nightmares for the rest of the night.
Okay. Scared now.

Maybe we can arrange a care package to be delivered from our cell to yours.

I'm glad your host appears to be on our side.

... for the moment.