The Grand Experiment: Playing Baked In The Bean Bracket

“I wonder,” said The Ferrett, ruminating on the uncanny amount of potheads who play Magic,”Whether playing stoned makes it easier or worse. I mean, it’d be more complicated… But on the other hand, everything might fall together. Either way, it’d make a hell of a tourney report.”
I did not know what a madman Ted Knutson is.
Even though The Holy Kanoot had never smoked before, he may (or may not) have actually performed the experiment, ingesting illicit drugs that StarCity does not condone in order to see whether it helps both your play AND your astigmatism. You may not agree with what he did… But after a man makes a sacrifice like that, how can I not publish his findings?

What follows is a work of fiction: Any similarities born between the following account and real world people and events are sheer coincidence, as this fictional work is not meant to recreate anything that transpired in this or any past weekend. It is written from the point of view of someone who typically writes columns and tournament reports for the Star City website after having attended Magic Tournaments, but this person is not meant to mirror the thoughts, opinions, or actions of the author of this piece or anyone else that might appear to be associated with said written account.

Great, now that I’ve completely confused my readers as to the necessity and validity of the above statements, let’s begin, shall we?

Cue Intro music from The Twilight Zone

You unlock this door with the key of scrubby play and poor deck decisions.

Beyond it is another dimension – a dimension not only of improved sight and sound but of fuzzy thinking and munchies. There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to sober man. It is a dimension that seems to be a very happy place, even though it only lasts for two or three hours.

It is the place you visit after you have officially scrubbed out, a place where tiebreakers have no meaning, and even if they did, there’s no freaking way you could do the math to figure them out.

You’re about to enter into a land of both side drafts and money drafts; of heckling and watching your friends choke in the Top 8.

A journey into a wondrous land where”God, I’m sh*t” is replaced by the floaty feeling of”Hey, I feel better now… And I can’t stop smiling. No, really, guys, my muscles won’t un-smile. Dammit, man, I think that stuff broke my face!”

It is an area which we call… The Bean Bracket!!

Many months ago, I was sitting down with the editor of this here site here, the owner of this here site here, and one Bennie”The” Smith, chatting about ideas that could make for interesting Magic articles. While we were waiting for our food (which took so long to arrive that Bennie lost 75 pounds and turned into a spitting image of Burt Reynolds), we must have gone through about twenty different ideas for useful articles, including interviews, newbie ideas, Magical history tours, and the like… But one idea stuck in my head as being particularly interesting.

After writing my”Calm Like a Bong” article, I admitted to Ferrett that I had never actually tried any pot myself, but I was surrounded by people who were consistent practitioners of said herbal therapy. This implied that I was in a place where I wasn’t really sure whether I wanted to try pot, but if I did, I would have plenty of useful suppliers.

Aside: At this point, I think that I have found an unwritten law of Magic – and having done further research on the subject, I would challenge the scientific minded among you to duplicate my effort so that this theory can be proved correct. Here’s the law:

The odds of you being able to find a person at any Magic Tournament that is either stoned or able to supply you with a hookup is at least fifty percent.

If you have enough to sanction the event, there’s a good chance that you could have the whole event sanctioned and stoned (and if you happen to be playing at a Waffle House, you could have the event smothered, covered, diced, chunked, sanctioned, and stoned – personally, I like mine with salsa as well, but I think I was trying to make a point…)

Also, if the population of a tourney is above 32, then your probability of finding one of the above conditions gets pretty damned close to 100. The only place where this law might not be in effect would be in the Mennonite/Amish Magic playing communities where the supply of available weed goes to making rope instead of making bored people happy. Anyway, I was telling a story…

End Aside.

Now Ferrett, being the clever and deviant soul that he is, proposed that I do an article where I play normally for half a tournament and then play beaned for the other half and see how it turns out. He was curious (as was I) about what differences I would encounter in my ability to make Magic-related decisions, and he even offered to post my tournament notes pre/post-bean to see if there were any noticeable differences.

Needless to say, the idea intrigued me, even though I still wasn’t sure that I wanted to go and do something illegal like smoking pot.

I mean, sure, I’ve done illegal things before – speeding? Check. Jaywalking? Check. Sex Crimes? Yep – I’m registered in 28 states! Whacked some guy for looking at me funny? Maybe I did, and maybe I didn’t, but you can’t prove nuthin! But smoke pot? You have to draw the line somewhere, and I figured that this was where my line started. But I told Ferrett I’d ruminate on the idea and see what came of it.

Now that I have set the fictional scene, we can move on to the fictional event.

Where: Richmond, VA

When: Saturday, September 14th 2002

Format: Odyssey Block Contructed

Attendance: 49 players. Yep, that’s right… 49. There will be a total of about 25 in High Point next weekend if you decide to make the drive. I hear that fewer people improves your chances to qualify, but that hasn’t exactly helped me yet.

6 Rounds and a cut to the Top 8.

So it’s Thursday night and The End crew gets together for the usual Thursday night play-lots-of-basketball-and-forget-to-do-any-testing festivities. Somehow conversation gets shifted to the subject of the last PTQ where Gibb and I both went 0-fer the tournament, but managed to win/split a couple of drafts. I jokingly state that if this should occur again and I go 0-2 drop, I might finally take them up on their offer and hit the bean.

The room suddenly goes dead, and all heads swivel towards me – like I just admitted that,”Yes, I have been sleeping with Kirsten Dunst, but no I haven’t told you guys yet.”

Gibb pipes up and says something to the effect of,”Teddy, yer breakin’ my nugget… are you serious?” I think about it for a second and tell the story about”the Experiment” that Ferrett and I cooked up, and admit that I was serious because it might give me a good incentive not to lose as well.

Yeah, for those of you who are good at sensing foreshadowing… Stick a fork in me, I’m baked.

So Saturday rolls around and 8:15 finds me at the store to pick up Andy Gibb, Sammy”G” Griffith, and Jimmy Bean Ferraiolo. We hop in the car for the mercifully short trip to Richmond, and along the way my car mates* double check with me to make sure that I’m still up for”The Experiment.” By this time, I’ve given it a good deal of thought and confidently state that I am indeed prepared for that fate; all it will take will be two early losses to force me into the hookup. At that point, either Jim or Gibb (I can’t remember which one, but I’m damned sure I didn’t say it) has one of those rare shining moments of genius that irrevocably change the world and says”Yeah, we’re gonna start calling the two-loss bracket ‘the Bean Bracket.'”

It was almost as if a stoned God opened up the heavens, cleared away the smoke from where he’d been hotboxing it in his godmobile, and shone a light down on my Dodge Intrepid with a big flashing sign that said”You have done well, my sons.” The Bean Bracket! From this day forth, when somebody asks me how my record is, if I have 2 early losses I’m going to put my fingers together in the universal joint sign, press them to my mouth while making an inhaling sound, and proudly state that”I’m in the Bean Bracket, man.”

(Just like Slater from Dazed and Confused… you know, the”I never get shotgun, man” guy? By the way, in perhaps the oddest casting realization of the new TV season, Slater will now be seen playing Tim Speedle in CSI: Miami. His nickname? Speed! Props to the writers for not only continuing Slater’s epic drug theme, but also for the ironic nickname.)

In spite of the noted work of genius that occurred during the ride, we end up making it to the tournament site without any incidents and with a solid thirty minutes to spare. We sit down to do deck registration and I wonder out loud who is going to double-check Gibb’s registration this week, since he seems to be completely incompetent when it comes to registering decks. However, no one takes me up on my offer, and the idea quickly falls by the wayside as Jason Smith comes up to the rest of us begging for cards so that he can put some steaming pile of poo together and play in a Constructed event for once

(Note: Jason won a lot more than I did on the day, so ‘poo’ is a pretty relative description.)

Before play gets started, Bennie Smith walks up to me and hands me a sheep token (see the Onslaught set review comment below)! How amazing is that? I figured if I was playing with sheep tokens, I couldn’t possibly lose…

So the event gets started and Round 1 sees me paired up against Andy Gibb. Freaking sigh…

Round 1 – Andy Gibb (Hall) – Charlottesville, VA – U/G Threshold

Well, there will be no surprises this round out of Gibb’s deck, since I know exactly what he’s playing, but I’m also not happy to be playing the big wuss, either.

Reason #1 is that he’s flat-out better than I am. I’m a man; I can admit this, right? Hmm, maybe not…

Reason #2 (always be prepared to change topics) is that he rode in my freaking car, and it always sucks to play one of your teammates in the early rounds, amiright?

Game 1 – Perhaps now is the time that I should mention that I played the”Butt Pirates” deck that first appeared at GP: London and then made Top 8 at Cleveland in the hands of Dave Williams. I also think that it’s time I admitted that for the purposes of block season, I have become a complete and utter net decker. Why, you ask? Well, it’s mostly because a) the deck I was working on that was not a net deck was supplanted by the Punisher White Weenie design, b) I just haven’t had the time to work on my own decks, and c) I’m pretty sure that anything I came up with would not be as good as either U/G or Mono-Black, so what’s the point anyway?

So uh, yeah… Me playing Butt Pirates versus Gibb playing”The Hump’s” deck. Game 1 saw me get a beatdown draw with no creature removal and Andy drew one too many Wonders for my Crypt Creepers to handle. Six-power Wurms eventually flew over and spelled my demise.

Game 2 – I sided in my three Mutilates from the board and hoped for good things to happen, but the actual events are almost too painful to reveal. I get dealt a two-Swamp, five-spell hand that I choose to keep. Gibb plays a turn 1 Rootwalla that I’m modestly worried about. I then cast a Mesmeric Fiend and see Island/Mental Note/Standstill x 2/Werebear/Wonder.

Yeah, that seemed fair to me.

I probably made a mistake in taking the Werebear, but that’s what my Fiend sat on until the end of the game. I’ll skip to the end and tell you that three (!) Standstills later, I was sitting Dazed and Confused in the 0-1 bracket. The power of the Sheep had failed me.

Round 2 – Ken Nowell – Raleigh, NC – Defiler.dec

When Ken first started playing, I thought he was playing me with a Pirates mirror, but after I saw a Mutilate in Game 1 and eventually died to a Laquatus’s Champion, I knew that the assumption was incorrect. Game 2 was a long, hard fight that I thought I might win – until a Ken’s Mesmeric Fiend stole a Faceless Butcher that was going to save me from Nantuko Shade beatings. After that it was all downhill, as I used a Filth, two Braids, and my own undersized Nantuko Shade to block Ken’s Shade and eventually died to a Champion coming back into play from under one of my Faceless Butchers.

“Hey Knutson, what’s your record?”

Knutson puts his hand to his mouth in the universal joint symbol, inhales slightly, and says”Gentlemen, I am officially in the Bean Bracket.”


So I dropped from the tournament (I was the first player to drop) and signed up for the first Draft (which Pete kindly named the”Ted Knutson Memorial Draft”). I believe we were memorializing my days as a decent Magic player, but everyone was kind enough not to state that out loud.

So Draft 1 goes off without a hitch and with no bean, because we are waiting for the right time to hit it. I lose in the first round of Draft 1 with a U/W deck that was pretty good, but got taken behind the woodshed by my Daddy’s deck, who went U/W/G and just happened to cut the Phantom Flock and 2 Cagemails that might have helped me win the matchup.

Jimmy Bean (who went 0-2-1 in the PTQ and landed in the Bean Bracket 1 round after me) and I went to Wendy’s to pick up some food and managed to see that a) there was a Ford/Mustang car show across the street from the hotel, and b) that there were many Hooters girls running around the area. I think the only reason we didn’t skip out on the rest of the day and follow the Hooters girls around was that we are both married, and our wives bought us special wedding rings that are rigged to blow up if we should come within ten feet of a Hooters or their employees. Strange but true.

Anyway, after lunch all the participants are finally ready to hit it, with the special addition of Strawberry Rolling Paper. They broke out all the stops for my first time…

Now, I wish that I could say that I had this incredible, mind-altering experience – but unfortunately, I’m completely incompetent when it comes to inhaling, so what I actually got was a very mild high. I don’t smoke, and I was in the process of breaking my pot cherry, so I didn’t exactly have a lot of practice. Once the herbal therapy was finished, I went back inside to watch some late round action and see if Draft #3 had started yet.

Allow me to take some liberty in the timing of events and tell you about my draft first, since the Top 8 is more interesting anyway and should be covered in one large shot.

Draft 3 started with me taking Kamahl, and noticing that good black was being passed to me as well. I generally hate being in both Black and Red at the same time, but my deck turned out to be pretty good, as I had decent creatures (Wererat/Kamahl/Soul Scourge/Carrion Wurm/Barbarian Bullies/Butcher), and got some removal as well (Temporary Insanity/Innocent Blood/Patriarch’s Desire/Toxic Stench). Unfortunately, I was missing the crucial Cabal Torturer/Ghastly Demise/Crippling Fatigue that would have made the deck into pure diesel. I figure I’m set as long as I don’t face an early U/W deck.

First round sees me face an early U/W deck.

Game 1 saw Kamahl, Board Clearer get Circular Logic’d where he would have meant the game for me. Once my opponent put a Compulsion on the board, I knew the game was pretty much over. Game 2 saw me fall behind in tempo and then never be able to do anything useful, and thus I went 0-4 on the day. However, like any good former scientist, I have observations for you:

I wasn’t really high enough for the pot to affect the picks that I made in the draft itself. In fact, the people I showed the deck to thought it was very solid – but I knew before I even built it that I would have issues with a straight U/W deck, and that’s exactly what I faced.

I was high enough for the pot to affect my play, though. Since I’m a newbie to the experience, I didn’t know how to cope with the fact that I kept losing my train if thought in the middle of games. During one combat sequence, I swear I must have re-thought how I should be blocking about ten times before I finally made a decision, and even then I could never quite be sure that it was the right one. Due to pot’s screwy time-sense, I also couldn’t tell how long I was taking to make decisions, and therefore must apologize to my opponent if our match took two hours.

I’m sure that I smelled like weed for only the second time in my life (the first being when some unnamed individuals decided to light up before returning from Regionals and did it directly outside my car; as soon as the doors were opened, all the smoke that had been outside made its way inside, and I smelled like weed for the whole ride home). Nobody else mentioned it, but I’m sure that between the bloodshot eyes and the funky smell, everyone was clear that I was in the midst of an experiment.

Um, weed burps don’t taste good. At all. But they keep coming back. Then again, that’s just my opinion; I could be wrong.

With regard to my notes from the match, the first game I did a pretty normal, detailed job of keeping track of the cards played. However, during the second game I found that I couldn’t really concentrate on both what my opponent was playing and on writing down the events, so I eventually settled on playing… Though it was a tough choice there for a while. I must have thought about that five times before I made the decision to keep playing and not simply write down what my opponent was doing.

Purple Gatorade and Mary Jane do not a combo make. What makes it worse is that the bottle smells like weed every time you take a drink as well. Bleagh.

I never really got the munchies, but I did feel like someone had removed the bottom of my stomach so that I could eat however much I wanted to without getting full. I think I may try this again just before next Thanksgiving and see what happens.

My high lasted about an hour and then I got the post-THC headache that I was warned about. Thankfully, it’s considerably milder than a hangover.

So my verdict on the whole pot-plus-Magic experience? It probably takes a lot of practice to do it and still be able to win. Will I be doing it again soon? Who knows… Perhaps more experimental data is warranted. I would definitely prefer not to be in the Bean Bracket for a while, though, as one can only be scrubby and an internet writer for so long before it starts to become embarrassing.

All right – so flashing back to the actual PTQ, Round 6 sees Andy Gibb with a 4-1 record and really crappy tiebreakers facing off against Bennie”The” Smith. Gibb can’t draw into the Top 8 (and I’m not sure if Bennie would have made it, either) so they choose to play things out. But they get deckchecked.

Typically a deckcheck is no big deal – but with Gibb in the mix, anything can happen. Remember how I mentioned earlier that someone might want to double check his decklist just to make sure that there weren’t any problems?

Well, it didn’t happen. And guess what?

There were problems.

Apparently Andy had forgotten to include four Careful Studies on his deck registration sheet, but he did manage to include eight copies of Mental Note (the irony in that one is killing me right now). So the result is that Gibb starts out with a game loss against Bennie, and he has to play his deck without any Careful Studies for the rest of the tournament while running four extra basic land instead.

On the surface, it looks like Gibb should lose, right? But Bennie was playing his own version of the Butt Pirates deck minus Zombie Infestations and plus Rancid Earths in the maindeck. He then proceeds to draw the L/D draw against Gibb two games in a row while Gibb does nothing but pluck the appropriate lands and work his way into flying, thresholded beats that kill Bennie until he be dead. Needless to say, Bennie was a bit dismayed at his luck.

End result: Gibb goes into the Top 8 as the #1 seed. Facing? Ken Howell, my round 2 opponent (yes, I lost to two people who made the top 8… But that’s no excuse for me sucking.) Now I didn’t see this matchup, since I was busy trying to work my way through High Combat Math 101 in my draft, but apparently Gibb managed to eke out a victory the turn before Ken was going to pluck a Mutilate for the win. Good times…

The rest of the Top 8 looked like this:

  • Andy Hall (Gibb) – U/G Threshold

  • Chris Phillips – Butt Pirates

  • Skip Potter – W/G Madness

  • Morgan Douglass – U/G Threshold

  • Tony Holmes – U/B UZI

  • Justin Bonomo – U/G Threshold

  • Chris Thompkins – Butt Pirates

  • Ken Nowell – Homegrown Defiler.dec

Gibb’s semifinal matchup is against Morgan Douglass, who happens to be playing pretty much the same deck as Gibb, though I’m sure that Morgan’s deck probably had Careful Studies in it and was running a bit less basic land for Game 1. Now, there’s no way that Gibb should win a mirror match against a beatdown deck with four extra land at this point… But he somehow manages to do exactly that and works his way into the finals.

Morgan and Gibb are old JSS rivals, and Morgan was rather frustrated by his loss to what he knew to be an inferior deck at that point. He called Gibb a few names (none of them particularly vicious), and whined loudly for the whole room to hear until the finalists got ready to play.

We finally got tired of hearing him moan and complain though, so we wheeled in a huge hunk of cheese and crackers for him, and along with the play in the finals, that seemed to keep him content.

The finals finally gets started and sees Gibb and his 26 land U/G Threshold deck face off against Justin Bonomo, who also happens to be playing a U/G Threshold deck. Gibb couldn’t possibly win four straight matches after the deckcheck and game loss in order to qualify, could he?

Well, for starters, Justin and Andy sit down and talk about whether they want to split any of the proceeds. Gibb says no, because he doesn’t have any money to offer up if he should win, so it’s money and the slot to the winner and product to the loser. I thought these things only happened when one of Tait’s crew was playing for a slot…

The competitors settle in for a grueling mirror match, and the first two games are split. Game 3 starts up and sees Justin cast Careful Study (with Andy looking on enviously) and pitching two Wonders. At this point Gibb has a Reclamation in hand, so things look good for the home team. Justin eventually attacks with his air force, and Gibb casts Reclamation targeting both Wonders so that he can eat some of Justin’s guys with blocks – but Bonomo discards a third! Wonder before blockers are declared and comes in to hit Andy for about six.

(I was stoned, folks; I couldn’t exactly do match coverage.)

Ironically enough, I think the biggest mistake in the whole game was made with that first Careful Study. Why, you ask? Well, because if Justin had kept two Wonders in his hand and only put one in the graveyard, he could have worked around Gibb’s flashback on the Reclamation and eventually gone on to win. Since Gibb had an exceedingly slow hand (it took him ages to get threshold for the Werebears and Mongeese that he kept laying), all Justin would have had to do was out race him with damage and since Gibb was never able to draw his own Wonder, Justin would have won.

Of course, this is me talking – the guy who went 0-2 drop, and who didn’t see what Justin’s opening grip looked like, and who was still stoned anyway, so it’s possible that I’m wrong.

Whatever the case, after some excellent play on both sides (aside from what may or may not have been an opening mistake by Bonomo), Gibb pulled it out. He qualified while playing the last four matches with no Careful Studies and four extra basic lands, while facing two Black creature decks and two mirror matches. It was completely unbelievable.

Do you want to know what the real icing on the cake is, though? Gibb was one of the peeps that came out and hit the strawberry rolling paper with me. Just before he got the game loss to Bennie. Before all of the Top 8.

Apparently there is a second Bean Bracket out there for some people… The one at the bottom, where some players go after they’ve scrubbed out for the day – and then the other bracket at the top, where some players can go when all they want to do is chill out, feel mellow, and play like a freaking God. I’m pretty certain that I’m not capable of the latter one right now, but I have seen it happen and I am here to tell you that it exists.

So there’s my fictional story. I hope you all have enjoyed it, and that none of you actually believe events as ludicrous as the ones detailed above could occur. But it’s okay if you do want to believe I guess, everybody needs to believe in something, and it can’t hurt unless somebody tries to get The Man involved on what is clearly a work of fiction.

Postscript: After the event wrapped up, we were standing outside of O’Charleys munching on some of their incredible rolls and getting ready to roll out when a cop pulls up alongside my car and asks Gibb”Good food, eh?” Gibb answers with a completely blank”What?” as he’s stuffing his mouth, and the cop just smiles and drives on. When you come up with something like”The Bean Bracket,” I guess God is bound to smile on you for the rest of the day…

The Kitchen Sink

Is there anything better in football than a great stiff arm where some defensive back gets a face plant in the turf from a burly running back?

Actually, yes (and don’t you hate columnists who answer their own questions?)… The only thing better than a great stiff arm is a 300 pound man picking up a fumble and trying to return it for a touchdown. These guys must have a logarithmic running scale, because each 10 yards that they travel seem to be 10 times as far as the last 10 yards. Hands-down, the best football moment when watching a game with a big group of guys is listening to everyone cheer the fattie on.

Is offering up your girlfriend for a roll in the hay in exchange for a concession (the girlfriend has to be present by the way) a) collusion, b) pimping, or c) just good fun? After reading this tournament report, I’m starting to think the DCI needs a ruling on this.

I should have linked to this months ago, but kept forgetting about it… Watch this with your friends and just try not to quote it. I dare you.”I’m just cooking feesh!”

But I continue…

Headline: Boxing’s Confucius (or just plain confused) blanks another HBO audience: Two weeks ago during the Roy Jones Jr. fight, Larry Merchant laid this amazing pearl on the enthralled viewers watching Roy Jones continue to beat up on people you’ve never heard of:”Sometimes an empty gun can still shoot.” I was so dumbfounded that I couldn’t even come up with a follow-up. I mean, I thought”The Bean Bracket” was genius, but that! Larry, you da man.

As a general rule, wearing a Magic T-Shirt to a Magic PTQ is flat-out lame. Wearing a T-Shirt that says”Pro Tour Competitor” on it is even lamer, particularly if you don’t win. Comic Book and Computer T-shirts (while signifying you are a complete geek that probably rarely gets laid) are perfectly acceptable: Hell, even roleplaying T-Shirts I can live with. But for God’s sake, people, avoid the Magic apparel!

My advice for you style-challenged individuals out there is to break out the credit card and buy some interesting clothing to wear to your local PTQs. Find a big dumb hat to wear, throw on a cape, come in costume as Kid Rock with a pair of strippers on your arm, but until Wizards comes out with a line of T-Shirts that says”I banged three hot chicks last night and mised an eight-man draft – what did you do?” Magic apparel at Magic events should be avoided at all costs.

What did I wear last week? Well, I wore my old Newcastle United jersey that has a big advertisement for Newcastle Brown Ale on the front of it. For those of you who have never seen a Newcastle jersey, they look like judges shirts except instead of the DCI logo, they have the Newcastle Shield and a big beer advert in the middle of the shirt. I must say that I have never gotten so much respect while wearing a shirt that had a beer advertisement on the front of it. (And no, I didn’t impersonate a judge or anything dumb like that… every time I was asked a question, I directed the individuals to ask a real judge instead of me.)

Whoever thought it was a good idea to team Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt (and the twins) together for a movie should probably be checked into an asylum immediately and not released until the movie grosses 100 meeellion dollars. That should pretty much be a life sentence.

Alright, so the version of”When the Stars Go Blue) by Bono and The Corrs annoys me because I like Ryan Adams’ version better, but the video makes all that annoyance seep away. Have you seen the Corrs sisters? Somebody needs to get these ladies into a porno entitled”Sister Act 3″ with a quickness!

The only funny thing to come from a Seinfeld alum since Seinfeld ended….

My first pass at an Onslaught set review (which I have never done, and don’t really plan to do):”Three Words – Still No Sheep.” Perhaps someday I’ll elaborate more on this outside of the Star City mailing list…

A phrase that you will never hear a male sports caster say when referring to an Anna Kournikova match:”Well Jim, Anna just can’t seem to score today.”

Mark next Tuesday (September 24th) on your calendar. You get season premieres of Buffy, Smallville, The soundtrack to Buffy the Musical, and Peter Gabriel’s first studio album in ten years. Entertainment heaven.

Reader LspinDeep has pointed out that my picture makes him think that I’m the lost love child of Jonny Rotten. Oy! Though he swears it’s a compliment, I must now light myself on fire…

1000 words, but only one real thought… Oh my!

This week I saw a license plate that said”Spicoli” and another license plate that said”FasTimz.” (For those of you too young to know what I’m talking about, go here and then rent the movie.) Now all I need to do is hook up with a naked, wet, 19-year-old Phoebe Cates and my life will officially be complete.

Okay, I think I’m more afraid than turned on, and that doesn’t happen very often.

This week’s sign that the Apocalypse is upon us: The Chicago Bears, Oklahoma Sooners, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Arsenal Gunners are all undefeated through at least two weeks of their season. I’m certain that this may have happened before, but I’ve never seen it. At least I know where my Magic karma disappeared to. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say I don’t care if I ever win another Magic match, as long all of those teams go undefeated for the rest of the season.

Old Axel: http://www.heretodaygonetohell.com/pics/axl-uk.jpg

New Axel: http://www.eonline.com/Celebs/Outabout/Archive2002/020904b.3.html

It’s amazing what they can do with Pig DNA these days.

Alright, so I tried to get Pete (the owner of Star City) to send Geordie Tait a t-shirt that said StarCityGames.com on one side and”I Love Wakefield” on the other side, but he was having none of it. It was funny to me anyway…

Zvi reenacts the video to Juvenile’s”Back Dat Ass Up”

You know it’s laundry day when you hit that last pair of underwear in your drawer. You know the one… It’s the pair that looks a lot more like a tattered jock strap than a pair o’ draws’, but it still has just enough fabric to provide a home for your boys. Two things about that tattered, nasty pair o’ draws’ 1) Every real man has a pair, and 2) Don’t ever, ever let your woman convince you to throw them out. It’s one of the last real bastions of manliness that you can protect when you enter a long-term relationship, so (as Yoda would say) protect it you must.

So, that’s it for this week. Tune in next time when I belatedly cover the draft results from Worlds (though The Sideboard still didn’t post decklists), and then try and find filler for the next five pages.

And don’t forget… 2 early losses puts you squarely in the Bean Bracket. Tell your friends.

The Holy Kanoot

[email protected]

* – Actually it serves mentioning that even the fictional Sammy G is a straight-shooter like I used to be, and isn’t interested in any of the extra-legal hijinks that some other members of my crew are. Grif not only doesn’t do drugs, but even turned down an offer of a 40 of his choosing after he made Top 8 at his first ever PTQ playing the Spanish Inquisition deck (read: CLERICS!). He’s a good kid who doesn’t deserve to get lumped in with the rest of the hooligans I talk about in my fictional stories. He mostly just walks around looking amused at what asses the rest of us happen to be.