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Lawnmower Boy

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Everything posted by Lawnmower Boy

  1. I've never been in a place that displays this sign
  2. ....There's a free clinic for that now. No need to get so dramatic
  3. No, no, I'm quite interested in the answer, too.
  4. I see Paris, I see France, I see someone's underpants!
  5. It seems like we live in a world where the things that people don't want to do, or have done, somehow just become unpossible. The house next the place where I rent went for $2.5 million three years ago, but there are two vacant lots (large commercial lots, not house lots) which have been vacant for twenty years now. Why haven't they been built over with "mixed commercial/residential" developments? Who knows? So, anyway, it sometimes seems like academics, particularly in the humanities treat the obligation to write and research as an unreasonable imposition. And in the first week of back to school, it has been discovered that the ASRS material handling system that replaced open shelves in the University of British Columbia's main research library some years ago is broken, and will take up to two months to fix. In the mean time, my alma mater basically doesn't have a research library.
  6. Not to double down on my own facetious comment, but the primaries aren't over. I guess the problem is that in 2016 they never ended. It is still possible that the GOP will learn its lesson. Though at this point it seems more likely that the national party will collapse into irrelevance. I mean, the basic problem in 2016 was that a vast dragnet of candidates wasn't able to put a viably Presidential figure up against Trump, which is a bad sign for a national party that governs a majority of the states. By viable, I mean tall, handsome, charismatic, good hair, but without triggering gaydar; well-spoken, fast on his (yes, his) feet; a track record in national politics. I understand that people make it to the Oval Office without these properties, but they're mostly people for whom the fix is in. Starting with nothing --and at least so far the candidate with an institutional grip on the nomination is a thing of the past-- and you need to meet the requirements of central casting. The Democratic races very strongly suggest that getting a good candidate with the stereotypical CEO look just isn't hard for a national party with millions of candidates to draw on. Yet guys with obvious "presidentialness" flash through the GOP like comets and are gone, and we're left with the spectacle of men like Chris Christie and Scott Walker pretending to themselves that they can be President. I mean, did they even notice how some people are popular in high school and other people who happen to be overweight or have receding chins? This isn't rocket science, and I speak as a bald guy who will never be CEO of anything. Sorry for venting about my "Good Hair Theory of the Collapse of the Third Party System," but it's a sad spectacle to see at every level. It even makes me feel bad for Scott Walker!
  7. This is devastating, and leaves so much of the "news" around this pandemic seeming even more facile than usual.
  8. It's triangulating. First you move to the right for the primaries, then you move back far enough to get back the votes you lost. So, anyway, ready for Ron DeSantis, AOC's pal from the 'hood?
  9. "Thanks to the fact that we have a union contract, this performance review has literally no effect whatsoever on your job, Lawnmower Boy. I have an average score to meet, and you're getting the average score." "Okay, boss, have a good week fighting with the narcissists!"
  10. Bloodfeast to the rescue, almost exactly as predicted.
  11. Ryan Kemp is acknowledged by Ghostbusters 2016, which is the WORST MOVIE EVER, so he must be terrible. Mattingly is Kemp's buddy, so he must be terrible. Mattingly hangs out on the Hero Boards, and so do I, so I must be terrible. Wait, that can't be right. Man, this unhinged ranting is harder than it looks!
  12. "The company's in trouble, and the only way it will survive is if we keep all the money. That way we can even afford the awesome bonus I'm going to get for thinking up this plan!"
  13. I started writing CU fanfic with one about a retired villain who accidentally discovers the identity of his archnemesis and launches into his revenge before realising that he has the grandkids that day. Hilarity ensues.
  14. Explaining your joke means that you did it wrong and also even more derailing (although I think this is an important enough thread to survive any derailing I can accomplish), but what I meant is that Gygax meant the game to be played with fudged die rolls. The psionics rules as written are pretty crap, although I think Dark Sun eventually did a pretty good job of making the case for why they might be a good thing to have in a fantasy campaign.
  15. I always liked the First Edition psionics rules, and you had about a 2% chance of actually getting psionics. So when I DM'd, 2% was 100%. What? I'm morally certain that it was the way Gygax intended the game to be played.
  16. Well, the X-Men are cool, so obviously they don't have any water breathers. I could have made the protagonist a water breather . . . "Well?" "He's wearing a psi shield." "Oh, a psi shield. A government-issue psi shield. That'll stop Bill cold." "No need to get sarcastic, Hank. Actually, cute trick. Layered on the chip on a credit card. So we shot it with a microwave laser. Kid obviously didn't know it was there, didn't even react when his wallet fot a half degree hotter." "Not to be a bore, but, well?" "Kid named Dylan Lee. Journalism grad. Thinks he's an intern at the CIA, but Lang is his report. Cover is that he's also an intern at The Bugle. They got a hot tip that Britney Spears is being treated here, so he's trying to get an interview. Actually, we're the latest place Lang is knocking off his list of possible X-Men hideouts. Obviously he doesn't consider us a hot possibility." "Spears. I wish. Journalism grad, intern. Money trouble?" "And how." "Lang is such an asshole. All he needed to do was pull some strings and get the kid on the payroll somewhere. Parker wouldn't take a SENTINEL boy, but there's always The Post. Okay, we'll do an operational mindwipe and . . . Wait. Have we established how he got superpowers?" "He doesn't show up on a detector. Is it relevant?" "He wouldn't necessarily. Actually, it's a bit more concerning that he doesn't have a CEREBRO profile. We'd probably get that even if he were a regular mutate. Unless --I want to check this kid out. Maybe turn him if he's a mutant." "What do you want me to do with him? He's going be in a classified area pretty quick." "Take him down and put him in an aquarium to cool off." "Okay. Wait. Did you say aquarium?" "Sure. One of the big ones. You know, with a castle and giant seahorses."
  17. I've voted for the least problematic option to my mind. (Past the Cold War, worried about politics, kind of cool to divine origins in general.) I actually liked the "Team Mutant" option in your last poll, Hermit, even if it didn't quite scratch my itch for "secret history" stories, which is the way I wish that particular subgenre had gone to start with. , , , "Oh, good. You're awake. I've never actually had to tase someone before. I didn't think it was supposed to knock someone unconscious!" Dylan tested his bonds. Not too bad. Easy enough to slip. When he'd learned whatever this guy was going to tell him. Which, according to movies that had nothing to do with real life, would be pretty much everything. "I don't think . . . I. I'm sorry. Who are you again?" "Henry McCoy. Dr. McCoy, but I prefer being called Hank. I'm the Director here at the Sunshine Valley Private Hospital. And you . . I hope you don't mind a bit of invasion of privacy, are Dylan Lee, aged 21. You graduated from Wisconsin Journalism, last year, which doesn't seem like the world's best career choice in this year of our Lord 2015, but I notice you didn't ask me before you registered your major. You're are an intern at the New York Daily Bugle and you have a Master Card and a Visa, which is great, because you can use one to pay off the other and stave off bankruptcy twice as long!" "So you Googled me. Dr. McCoy?" "And searched our wallet. Yes. I was trying to figure out why you were sneaking around the wards in my hospital in a very cool black tactical outfit." "We heard at the News that . . . Britney Spears . . . was an inpatient here." "Baloney. We are an obscure little psychiatric hospital. In the 52 years this place has been open, under the previous director and myself, we have dealt with exactly one kind of patient: Young people who develop psychiatric issues around puberty. We are specialists, and I like to think that our results speak for themselves. While I like to think that we have something to offer celebrity patients, the fact is that our supporting foundation funds a diverse clientele ranging from the lower middle class to upper middle class. The wildest we get is some non-citizens. Two Russians! A Kenyan! One Japanese kid? Oh, wait, two starting next year." Dr. McCoy hesitated, sighed. "Okay, and one celebrity. Allison was B-list back in the day. Still gets enough in residuals to drive a Lexus. Maybe we should advertise?" Dr. McCoy shook his head, unconvincingly pretending to regret something. "Maybe not. Frankly, a solid career at an obscure little hospital in a Catskills resort town has done very well for me. I made a lot of money, I have a nice house and a private plane. The children and grandchildren of former patients cut my grass. Hope is the cutest little thing. Laura is not. Life has been pretty sweet." Crap. McCoy was just going to stick with the cover story. Like a sane person would. The movies did lie! Dylan slipped his restraints and hit that mental turboboost that sped up his reflexes until everyone around him was standing still. This place. Could it be? When Director Lang explained the mission, all he'd been thinking about was his student loans. No way was this lead, the latest in sixty years of bad leads going to pan out. But then they took him down, and he knew that wasn't something they could do with a taser. Well, they weren't going to blindside him again! Until they did. A solid thump, and he was down, wind knocked out, a solid looking man in a jumpsuit above him, the restraints back around his wrist. He'd never been hit like this. Was this what superheroes felt like all the time? Well, let him catch his breath and this donnybrook was back on! "Looks like he's going to be back up in a second, Hank," the second man said. Where had he even come from? "Put this on him, Tom." "Is that what I think it is?" Tom asked. "Don't get all high and mighty, Tom. These things work on 80% of us, detectors 80%. Dylan doesn't show up on our detectors. If the collar doesn't work, odds are he's not, you know. But if it does . . ." And just like that, a smooth metal something was going around Dylan's throat, followed by a click and the worst headrush Dylan ever had. Or more than that, because suddenly his hands and feet were asleep and his stomach was trying to jump through his mouth. He tried to open his mouth, like you do when you're about to throw up, and somehow even that didn't work. Dr. McCoy fished his phone out of his pocket, answered it. Apparently. Dylan's eyes weren't focussing very well, either. "Crap," Dr. McCoy said. "Nate's getting a headache. Get that thing off him before Chuck picks it up. The Old Man is fragile enough as it is." The barest blur, and the collar was gone. Dr. McCoy knelt down, held out his hand. "Here. I'll help you into that chair if we can agree that you're not going to fight your way out of here, Dylan. Agent Lee." "I'm not a real agent," Lee said. "CIA does interns, too. At least they pay, unlike The Bugle." "SENTINEL, Dylan, not CIA." "I'm sorry?" "Dr. McCoy means that you're an agent --an intern-- for a shadow agency within the CIA. SENTINEL. It is tasked with hunting people like us." Tom talked very fast. "Us? I'm nothing like you, Speedy Gonzalez. You're the X-Men, a bunch of super-terrorists going back 60 years. I'm a vaguely patriotic Millennial who really needs a safe civil service job to have any hope of paying off his student loans." But inside, Dylan's stomach was going out again. They knew what he was. And in that moment he understood just how much he had always wanted to know the same. Dr. McCoy sighed again. "How much do you know about speciation theory in evolution?" "I thought you were a psychiatrist?" Crap. For a moment, Dylan had thought he might belong. But this sounded like gibberish. "I'm a supergenius. Just like you have totipotent reflexes. Because you were born that way. Because you are a mutant. Which means that if your employers ever figure out how you got your powers, you're going to find out what the inside of an extermination camp looks like." "I . . . what? The government isn't running some secret Holocaust for movie monsters! That's crazy!" Although Dylan was willing to believe a lot of things about Director Lang. It had always been hard to believe that a man with so much hate inside him could be running his own division. "The government isn't doing anything. There are 416 mutants on this entire planet, and a good third of them were picked up by us long before SENTINEL noticed them. Which means that your agency thinks that it is quietly dealing with a problem on a scale of one to two people born a year. All antisocial and dangerous, incidentally. The CIA has kept bigger secrets. But you know what isn't a secret that they could keep? An enclave of 99 mutants, all living in commuting distance of New York and staffing their own superteam. We really need to keep it that way for a very, very long time. Like, say, 800 years at the current rate of natural increase. We also really don't want them finding out that detectors and inhibitors aren't 100% reliable. It's shocking enough to find out that CEREBRO isn't." "If you're thinking what I think you're thinking, I'm out," Tom said. "I think Laura has her Dad's number if you need it. Or Emma?" Dr. McCoy shook his head. "No, I'm not. Dylan's a mutant and he's stable. The community can't lose him. Demographically speaking. In fact, I'm tempted to drag this boy down to the Guthries right now. There's a lot of girls there who really don't want to marry a cousin. And boys, too, pardon your brother's patience with an old-fashioned Boomer. And we need to find out how CEREBRO missed him, and who else it might have missed." Dr. McCoy hesitated for a second. "Dylan, would you like a job? Because I could really use a secret agent man on my action team."
  18. Canada Day this year came in the wake of the discovery of unmarked graves at Canadian residential schools, escalating into the "heat dome" heatwave, still moving eastward across Canada as I write, and culminating in a tragic and apocalyptic way when Lytton, a primarily First Nations town and the hottest place in Canada, burned down on the holiday eve. So it was a bummer, is what I'm saying. Here's wishing that Independence Day goes better!
  19. Wow. A callback for a gig he interviewed for in 2003 and he's still available. That is one terrible labour market they've got there.
  20. Pfft. What's the worst that can happen?
  21. Look, as much as I hate to kick Tennessee when it's down, the state has the most fervent Aquaman fans in the Union. Sheesh. Says it all, I think.
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