25 Uses For A Dead Pro, Or: 10P For A Cuppa Tea

Do NOT say we didn’t warn you. Highly offensive. But kind of amusing in a snickery sort of way.

What’s Goin’ On?

When things get all busy and stuff and work, it’s always the good things that get pushed on to that ubiquitous ‘back-burner’ – you know, the one with the chicken carcass being boiled up for stock, and that dried-up pasta bake from the weekend? Anyway, enough of my ‘kitchen is in desperate need of sorting out’-type allusions, on with some more chitter-chatter.

Life is, indeed, full and bursting at the moment:

  • Our house extension continues (of no interest to you lot, unless you’re planning on visiting me in the near future – in which case, I can offer a spare room AT LAST – no, seriously! Gimme a shout if you’re in the country – we’re ONLY 120 miles from the big city if you’re coming over for GP London in September!);

  • Baby Boydell No.4 grows and grows (a recent Ultrasound scan reveals the child to be a boy – welcome, dear Benedict…) – again, not of particular interest to you spotty Herberts+ unless you are a) female, and b) approaching ‘that age’ (the clock is ticking, ladies); and,

  • I’ve moved jobs – well, I’ve actually just moved round the corner – but it’s a different department, and a whole new bunch of folks to sell Coppertwaddle to.

But none of it has anything to do with Magic: The Gathering.

You’re fading fast, I can tell! Fear not – there IS some stupidity later on – I promise!

All of the above has meant a recent hiatus from my shameless, Internet-focused, self-promotional drive, as I struggle to find anything remotely interesting to write about (some would say I’m still struggling, but then I’m here and you’re not++). So I sit in a new desk on a new side of the office with toast and marmite++++ filling my tum; the sweet, sweet soul of Marvin Gaye’s”What’s Goin’ On?” filling my ears; and a rather voluptuous work-mate, with the cut-off top and hipsters, filling my trousers.

Oh, the world is a sunny place. Yes indeed.

Quit Yakkin’ – Start Pakkin’

I managed to make it up to the English National Championships about two weeks ago and failed to make it through the Grinders (unlike last year) – still, this wasn’t a major problem: I’d been singularly unable to make it to any of the official Qualifiers and was already sort-of committed to doing some Match Reporting for Wizards UK the next day (Day 1) anyway. Thus, while my erstwhile driver and gaming buddy Alan played in various Pre-Releases, side-events, and Coppertwaddle exhibition matches, I was noting EVERY damn card picked in the Rochester next door. The upshot of the weekend was a couple of lengthy Pod reports and some Feature match write-ups (which have yet to see the light of day anywhere) in return for a box of Apocolypse and a ‘staff’ tee-shirt.

That’s it. The semi-serious stuff has streamed from my consciousness; now for the cheese course.


Dysentery is a wholly unpleasant experience, but it does have it’s advantages. Actually, the only one I can think of is:”giving you time away to consider and reflect”, which is probably not that much of an advantage, come to think of it, as all you’re likely to be considering is the fiery pain in your guts.

Scratch that as a sort of allegory thing and apologies to those of you reading this while pro-lapsing.

What I was trying to convey was how, while voiding particularly spicy lamb tikka masala, I had some thoughts about those unsung heroes of the Magic world – the silent folk without whom this well-oiled machine would reave it’s greasy nipples and blow it’s gaskets+++++. I’m not talking about R&D, or the DCI bods, or the PR people, the Marketing monkeys et al, I’m talking about:

The Long-Suffering Partner

  • I’ve been down this road before, so suffice it to say that this is a non-Magic playing individual that can’t understand the appeal, disapproves of the financial commitment, laughs at the terminology, expresses exasperation at the general lack of personal hygiene, gloats when you lose, damns with faint praise when you win, lays the ‘guilt’ thing on you at every opportunity, and generally regards the hobby with a contempt normally reserved for dog-dirt eating.

The Tournament Organiser

Who’d be a TO, eh? You organise the venue, train the Judges, lay on the catering, sort the product, file the results, and expose your lap-top to larcenous crack-addicts masquerading as attendees and what do you get in return?

  • A bunch of whining twelve-year olds who think you’ve made more money that John Paul Getty because a cup of tea costs 25 pence;

  • A caretaker that takes an unhealthy interest in said twelve-year olds;

  • A fundamental (with the emphasis on MENTAL) Christian couple picketing the front door with”Gambling Is Evil” and”Playing Magic Is Like Touching The Devil’s Bottom – AND ENJOYING IT” placards;

  • Someone’s grandfather wandering around, thinking he’s found the Whist Drive and complaining that he”didn’t fight in the Second World War to see…yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah”;

  • A double-booking with an aerobics class;

  • Someone stealing other people’s stuff; and,

  • DCI Reporter software;

  • No appreciation for all of the hard work you’ve put in – and that’s not even setting up the soapbox for those TOs who’ve been joyously stitched up by Wizards Of The Coast themselves.

Your Mates

Without your mates, Magic would be an impossibility – why?

  • My mate Russell let’s me stay at his house when I visit the Maidenhead club on a Monday evening – this stops me from having to ride home a hundred miles at midnight. Thus, I am able to attend said club in the first place! Thanks, mate!

  • Some of them play Magic with you;

  • Some of them remind you it’s just a game and take you out for beers and to watch football matches instead – keeping you just the right side of ‘geek’; and,

  • They give you lifts to tournaments (thanks, Alan!)

Your Mother And Father

  • Because without them, you wouldn’t be here to play Magic in the first place! Awww, bless!

I’m bored with this…now for something completely different.


(Alternative uses for a dead Pro)

Section Before A – Introduction

Disclaimer: Some readers may find the following material ‘difficult’. If you’re offended by this article then, please, don’t hesitate to e-mail me ([email protected]) and I’ll ensure that your objections are forwarded to someone who gives a frig.


Section Just-After-The-Last-One-But-Still-Before-A

I’ve often wondered, as I’m sure you have, what one would do if an Elite Magical personality upped and snuffed during a Premiere event. It seems rather dull and ordinary to imagine the usual ambulance-funeral-interment scenario, so the following sections outline some alternative treatments for an M:TG corpse.

Don’t try this at home, folks.

Section A – General Usage

  1. Send ’em over (complete) to www.manbeef.com

  2. Scoop out their insides to make an attractive pyjama case; for the larger Pro, you could use them as a house-boat or, maybe, a public theatre.

  3. Scoop out their insides to make a novel card storage facility; for the larger Pro, you could open a shop.

  4. Carefully remove the skin (keep in one piece, if possible) and use as a cunning disguise whenever you attend tournaments. Unless you are a reasonably good player yourself, this ruse may be rumbled fairly quickly – however, you could get a couple of Pro Tours out of the deal before your ranking points are reduced to the level of Uberscrub and you fall off the gravy train.

  5. Staple the cadaver to a hallway wall and use as a display unit for pot plants. Miniature hanging baskets look very attractive as ‘earrings,’ and the seated cadaver is especially good for supporting larger fauna upon it’s lap. The mouth is best avoided, as the effect is, invariably, of the individual vomiting.

  6. Under-floor insulation: Best avoided in areas susceptible to flooding (as they float about beneath the floor boards, banging against joists etc – this can keep one up at night*), but (overall) a good, cheap alternative to fibreglass. You will need quite a large number of Pros to properly line the average kitchenette, and they will need replacing every five to ten years.

  7. As extra ‘dummy’ audience members at an amateur dramatic production – never be plagued by images of half-empty houses again!**

  8. A ‘comedy’ draught excluder (stop the wind whistling in through those cracks)

  9. A ‘comedy’ draft excluder (make sure you get all the best picks by populating the rest of the ‘pod’ with corpses)

  10. A hat rack***

  11. Are you familiar with the concept of Mr Potato Head? Well, you’ll need at least a couple of former Pros…

  12. If you are strange, mother-lovin’, three-eyed, twelve-toed introvert with a sociopathic disorder, then recently-shuffled-off-this-mortal-coil high-class proponents of the CCG art make fine dinner party companions! Simply seat them at your table, dressed in whatever manner of clothing you desire, and bingo! Instant middle-class, candlelit, gourmet shenanigans!

  13. “Would you like some more asparagus tips, Mr Price?”

    “Everything okay with the gazpacho, Dr Bush?”

    “My! What an attractive floral-print, summer dress you’re wearing this evening, Mr Buehler!”****

  14. Re-enact those famous Magical moments by setting up a three-dimensional reconstruction! Replacing each cadaver’s joints with metallic hinges allows you to ‘pose’ them at will. The ‘Cadaverous Bloom’ card is optional.

  15. Section B – Using Specific Parts

  16. Sell their fingers, toes, ears, nose, nipples, and other extraneous bits as”good luck” charms.

  17. Sell their fingers, toes, ears, nose, nipples, and other extraneous bits as inter-round snacks. Actually, a”Pro Roast” makes a fantastic central focus to a large gathering – kid’s just love to turn the spit! Serve it all up in a (Ped) bun!

  18. The pubic hair can be gathered and fashioned into a popular ‘afro’ wig or, perhaps, a bushy moustache.

  19. Make an unusual ‘life counter’ using an eye-ball and a piece of card cut into a circle. Draw the numbers 1 thru 60 around the edge of the card (which should allow an inch space all round when the eye-ball is place in it’s centre), and then simple point the eye-ball so that it ‘looks’ at your current total.

  20. Mount (as in affix) the arse in the back window of your car for an amusing ‘moon’ effect to other road users

  21. The be-starched naughty bit can be usefully employed as a joss stick holder or, if you really force it in, a candlestick.

  22. Femurs make excellent Cricket ‘wickets’, novelty rungs in ‘pirate rope ladders’, or kettle-drum sticks.

  23. Bone marrow makes an excellent ‘play putty’ substitute (it’s also highly nutritious).

  24. Section C – What To Avoid

  25. While you may be tempted initially, one should avoid using the former PT regular in any sexual context. By all means, adapt previous suggestions for storage, eg. hat rack, flower unit etc if you have nowhere else for chromed metalwork, buckling items, and/or shiny PVC ‘equipment’

  26. One should resist the temptation to flaunt the deceased card-flopper in public as this a) draws attention to you, b) draws attention to the carcass, and c) (most importantly) draws attention to you WITH the carcass.

  27. Ritual beating – please avoid taking out your frustrations on the ‘stiff’ – this causes it to degrade much more quickly (see Caring For Your Corpse)

  28. Small children tend to find cadavers equally interesting and repulsive. Be aware that many of the orifices may become blocked with toy cars, LEGO bricks, and Barbie dolls. You have been warned.

Section D – Caring For Your Corpse

While it may seem disrespectful to remove the internal organs of the no-longer-alive player, it is better in the long-term for the preservation of the rest of body (as the soft, glistening, sticky bits tend to decompose first). If you’re still worried about completeness, you can buy those plastic ‘replica’ organs from good medical supply shops – simply fit those in their place and hey! presto!

It is best if the once-talented carcass is stored/displayed internally, as all manner of beast will cause damage if left outside. I once had a Grand Prix Top 32 finisher that I stood up by the wood-shed for just two days while I readied a place in the dining room, only to find that a family of badgers had removed the left leg up to the knee and the right leg completely!

Painting the body should be avoided, as this prevents the skin breathing – damp may set in and, as a consequence, quicker deterioration.

Anyway, that’s enough for one afternoon – happy butchering!

Ciao babies,

Tony Boydell

Inevitable Stuff At The End

+ – Apologies if you are a) spotty and b) called Herbert – life can be cruel, can’t it?

++ – Unless you ARE here – in which case…touche+++

+++ – Pronounced ‘tush’ – I think you know what I’m saying

++++ – Yeast extract spread that is VERY savoury and VERY delicious – you either love it or hate it

+++++ – www.blowyourowngasket.com

* – There are, of course, more preferable middle-of-the-night movements of ‘stiffs’

** – Though you may be plagued by blow-flies, maggots, and/or necrophiliacs – still, amateur dramatics is still the best place to see people ‘dying’ on stage, ain’t it?

*** – For just the one hat

**** – Now I’m getting scared