Greetings and salutations, my ever-changing moods! Welcome to the patchwork quilt that is my latest article. And in a packed page tonight we hear a blast from the past, when I share with you something I discovered in the dark recesses of my spare room; we get all philosophical with 57 alternative uses for a banned Magic card, and I thought you’d like to see some of the poetry I’ve been spammed with over the past couple of weeks.
Oh, and I’ve got an idea for a deck… (how desperately out-of-character is THAT? I mean, actually talking about Magic: The Gathering in terms of…*gack* playing it???!!!???!!! – damn! the question/exclamation mark keys have jammed again…)
Chapter One – In Which Tony Discovers Something From The Past Feeding on His Mildewed Paperbacks
"The exciting thing about this project is that it’s not just a new game, but it’s a new gaming "form". Personally, I think it’s going to be the most innovative product in gaming since roleplaying itself. Yes, I know that’s a huge claim, but when you see it I think you’ll agree. But, I can’t tell you any more than that until our financing is secure and we know for certain that it’s really about to hit the press."
Want to see where this excerpt is taken from? View the source at http://www.kboydell.wyenet.co.uk/mgt057a.html
(Also, bear in mind that this was published in June / July of 1993!)
How’s that for archaeology, eh? (Proudly dusts collar, tightens knot of tie, and grins in affectionately smug manner)
Chapter Two – In Which Tony Discusses Fifty-Seven Alternative Uses of a Banned Magic Card
1. Send it back to WotC to get a replacement booster
2. Give it to a friend for a birthday
3. Wipe your bottom on it
4. Wipe someone else’s bottom on it
5. Option 3 or 4, and _then_ send it back to WotC to get a replacement booster!
6. Shred it and use the result to stuff a small pillow for your pet mouse
7. Shred it and deep-fry the result with some prawns – serve with a light mayonnaise
8. Use it as a missile weapon instead of a Shuriken when appearing in a martial arts movie
9. Trade it for a lot of ‘not-banned’ cards with a scrub who has no Internet access
10. Frame it and put it on your wall (with the caption: "In Memoriam")
11. Frame it and put it on your wall (with the caption: "Danke, DCI – Again!")
12. Use it as a drinks coaster
13. Fold it in half (shortways) to make a tent for your pet spider
14. Fold it in half (longways) to make a tent for your pet worm
15. Encase it in perspex to make a key-fob
16. Encase it in plastic, cut it up, and use as a jigsaw (maybe for a young relative?)
17. Use it to prop-up a minutely-wobbly table leg
18. Wear it as a badge
19. Fix a clock mechanism on it and make it a clock
20. Use it as a poopa-scoopa for a hamster/cockroach/other small pet
21. Give it to a baby for use as a teether
22. Save wear and tear on your credit card by using the banned card as a method of illicit ingress…
23. Roll it up and use as a pea-shooter
24. Roll it up and snort cocaine through it
25. A patch for some holey jeans
26. Proxy card in a play-test deck
27. To cover a small hole in a dyke (an artificial barrier against body of water, that is)
28. To cover a small hole in a dyke (a lesbian, that is)
29. Use it to fill out a sad trades folder
30. Build a deck around it, go to a tournament, and see how long you can play before you are DQ-ed
31. Make a Christmas card with it
32. Throw it away, then take it OUT of the bin and throw it away again – repeat until bored
33. Send it around the world, having it photographed against the sky-lines of famous cities
34. Collect as many as you can and insert into the WotC rep at the next Pro Tour / Grand Prix
35. Name a rock band after it and use it as your first album cover picture (eg. Britney Wall of Spears, N Power Sync, Pariah Carey etc)
36. Build a web-site devoted to it
37. Give it to ‘dear Liza’ to fix the hole in her bucket
38. Let it out ‘to pasture’ in your garden
39. Nail it up and shoot at it with an air-rifle
40. Fold it up and use it as a gum-shield
41. Fold it up and use it as a bum-shield
42. Use it as a taper to light a bonfire of chaff commons and uncommons
43. Bury it in a field for future generations to puzzle over
44. Give it to a Pokemon group to puzzle over ("You call THIS broken?")
45. Re-cycle it at your local supermarket
46. Fold lots of them into origami animals and bring together in a vast Noah’s Ark of fun
47. Staple two to you ear-lobes to make some attractive jewelry
48. Cut into tiny pieces and use as confetti at an M:TG wedding
49. Open a museum of cards, with it displayed in the ‘Banned’ section
50. Use it as a scoop for dispensing rice, washing powder, dandruff etc
51. Use a needle to stab it full of small holes and use as a sieve
52. Give it away as a prize in a cheap-ass quiz
53. Refuse any mention of it’s name on pain of death
54. Form a secret society, using the card as the chief emblem and focus e.g. Filial Union for the Cherishment of Kird Apes
55. Knit multiple copies together to make a cardboard carapace (TM)
56. Use it as the pouch part of a Magical ‘thong’ (and two together as a "bra" for the ladies)
57. Nail to a stick for popular ‘windmill’ design
Chapter Three – In Which Tony Shares a Poetic Interlude Courtesy of Other Persons with a Surplus of Spare Time
First up is a snigger-worthy limerick (that most difficult of forms) from Thomas Dougherty, note how he deliberately extends the fourth line as a satirical counter-point to the natural shortening of games caused due to the cards themselves – I chuckled all the way to the Bottle Bank, I can tell you!
The Bargain and Edict and Will,
You, they’ll most certainly kill
When played in a combo
(more) Complex than the mambo,
That doesn’t require any skill.
Snapping swiftly at it’s heels, Daniel Crane (so obviously abusing his position as a Feature Writer for StarCityCCG.com) pleaded, begged, grovelled, and generally prostituted himself in a vain attempt to get his entries published – what more can I say? It worked! The following are entries fifteen, forty-one, and eighty-eight from his original e-mail…
I tap out for Bargain turn four,
As I ready to Feast for a score.
The green mage says "Hold,"
As he plays Creeping Mold,
After this, the game was a bore.
The Rebels are now everywhere,
And Replenish is the newest scare.
Bargain’s no fun,
So I think I will run,
A Sneak Attack deck; now that’s fair.
The pro players tear out your eyes,
The best ones cheat and tell lies.
So, when you whip out Mono Brown,
And take one to town,
You just simply shrug and say, "Mise."
Back to Tom Dougherty again, this time he ‘had a go’ at a Sonnet – note, if you look carefully you can still see the bruising!
Superb! Time to buy a pack of those things
That we all like to call magical cards.
The wonder and excitement a pack brings,
Makes composing yourself immensely hard.
You crack the pack and pull it to your nose,
Inhaling deeply, the enthralling smell.
You feel a tingle from your head to toes,
At the anticipation known so well.
You pass the rest and shuffle down to four.
Pushing past those uncommons, your hands sail.
Lin-Sivvi or Morphling or Masticore,
To your dismay, Security Detail.
Why must those buffoons at the DCI
Create these crappy rares that make me cry?
Actually, they were the only guys who entered anything – I’d have entered myself, but I got arrested the last time (and it wasn’t that much fun, either).
Chapter Four – In Which Tony Wakes Up and Finally Smells What He’s Been Shovellin’
I’m a big fan of SAPROLING BURST, so I thought I’d a) slip it into my REPLENISH deck (lotsa fun), and b) re-kindle the Fiery Elves concept but without the Elves and vastly-reduced Fire. This deck started life as a sort of Extended Stroke deck with no Stroke i.e. re-use the SAPROLING BURST via ALTAR OF DEMENTIA to mill your opponents deck away, throwing in RAMOSIAN RALLY to boost before sacrifice, REPLENISH to get the BURSTS into play again, and SKYSHROUD BEHEMOTH because he’s phat and phunny?
Anyway, I digress… here’s the Embryonic Set-Up for Fiery Saprolings; I’ll let you know how it performs sometime later!
4 SAPROLING BURST (super-dooper fighters and/or MANA sources for that big blast)
4 HURRICANE (murder! death! destroy!)
1 SPONTANEOUS GENERATION (more potential MANA sources for that big blast)
1 COLLECTIVE UNCONCIOUS (nice to ‘ave some more cards)
2 ROFELLOS, LANNOWAR EMISSARY (mana o’ mana)
3 REVIVE (get the damage dealers, the MOLD, and the BURSTs back again if and when required)
1 CREEPING MOLD (flexibility)
3 CROP ROTATION (fetch the right land)
1 HARMONIC CONVERGENCE (recyle)
3 BLASTODERM (he’s too good to leave out, isn’t he?)
3 LLANOWAR ELF (quick start a-go-go)
4 BLAZE (Disco inferno!)
4 ASHNODS ALTAR (As Elton John would say: "It’s no sacca-riff-ice")
2 GRIM MONOLITH
1 GAEA’S CRADLE
1 DUST BOWL
2 HICKORY WOODLOT
4 TREEPTOP VILLAGE
Tony’s Final Thought: Man walks into pub. Pub is completely empty apart from bar-man cleaning glasses. Man buys drink, sits down and starts sipping his beer. Small voice says: "Thats a nice tie." Man looks around, confused. Bar man is busy somewhere else. Man drinks again and voice says: "Smart shoes – like the shoes!" Man nearly spills pint in shock. No one about. Sips a third time and voice says: "I like what you’ve done with your hair." Man drops glass to floor and runs to barman, shouting: "What the HELL is going on? I’m trying to have a quiet drink and I keep hearing voices saying ‘Nice Hair’, or ‘Nice Shoes’." Bar man puts glass down and says calmly: "That’ll be the peanuts, sir – they’re complimentary"