Not Dungeons and Dragons!

Drinking and twelve-sided dice - a dangerous combination, 1997

Got drunk last night with Elizabeth. I would like to give her a good neck massage, but I think she'd think I was in love with her, and flee me in horror. That always tricks things up. Of anyone I know, she needs a good neck massage the most.

I found a container of 12-sided dice near her TV, which means Dungeons and Dragons, which means "whoosh."

In truth, I don't find anything wrong with dumb fantasy role-playing, except the part where, according to a pamphlet I read, you have to kill babies and write the Devil's name in blood on your graph paper. It's just the package it comes in: Elizabeth is sad and lonely, and she plays Dungeons and Dragons . There's a big sign on her bookcase, written in white chalk on black construction paper, that says "TAKE MEDICATION." She tells me it's bad if she forgets. She doesn't take care of herself and ends up feeling lonely and feeble and crazy.

We watched television for six hours. I don't have a TV, and I've been feeling put out by not knowing anything about what's on prime time. We bought some gin and seltzer water and got blasted with the tube on. I watched the X-Files, which is really good and fairly well acted and involving. The night turned painful quickly, though: The Legend of Hercules and Xena, Warrior Princess followed. Hercules featured men with muscles like Marvel Comic action figures and women with heaving breasts that were supposed to hide their inability to deliver lines. The best actor in the show is New Zealand, which has no dialogue.

Xena is a lesbian, I think, and quite sturdy. Elizabeth likes her because she is "strong but still sensual." Which is a horny thing for a woman to say, and Xena is a horny lass, too. By this point I was good and drunk and real confused and kept sitting on the floor and getting up again. Xena was in China. According to the show, the population of China are Vietnamese-looking people with curly moustaches who speak in Charlie Chan accents. China was played by that agile mimic, New Zealand.

After that we ordered Chinese and watched Profiler. At this point it was all colors and shapes. A man killed a man and howled and a blonde woman tossed her hair and looked pretty. Elizabeth said, "I wish I were attractive like that." To which I said, "You are, I mean, that's a ridiculous standard, I mean..."

I had to take car service home, because she lives in Red Hook. Anywhere else I could walk, but Red Hook is badass. I asked if I could sleep on her kitchen floor but she said no. I took the cab ten blocks home. It cost 50 cents a block, but I was one white drunk guy.

That was too much TV. My brain feels like someone extinguished a cigarette behind my eyes. I don't see why everyone gets worked up over these shows. Maybe people like the neat, trim flesh that presides, but my God it's a facile world as televised. So, office conversations be damned, I'm back on the books.




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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

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Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

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