My Days in the Show
Author Note: I wrote this about about being a modder for slashdot, about my experiences trying to influence the debate. Of course, I guess this was too subtle so it got flamed down
My Days in the Show
"I was in the show once, best 21 days of my life. You know you don't carry your bags in the show? You hit white balls for batting practice, the stadiums are like cathedrals, and the women all have long legs and brains."
Recently, I was in the show. It wasn't a goal of mine to get to the show, it just happened, through luck or talent or both. It's not like you have a progress-bar to the show, to show how close or far you are. But one day, I showed up to read about ol' Ike, and there it was: 'you've been granted access to the show'.
Now, I'm not going to say I was Mr. Cool about it. It was a nice little surprise, so I read the link on how to act in the show and quickly went out and got stinking drunk, had sex, and woke up with an 85 year old woman. Yes, like that first grope in the back seat of Dad's Buick 88, I was spent before the bra was off. And so I sat, staring at my new wife -- with a tattoo I don't remember getting -- smoking a Kool Menthol asking, "Was it good for you too?" Naturally, my first experience in the show was a bust.
But that's the problem with the show, you know what to do technically, but you don't know the art of it. I endeavored to do a better job next time. But a better job at what? What exactly am I supposed to do? And that's what all the veterans know and all the rooks don't: the key is to influence the show.
Now I figured after such a spectacular flameout, I'd never get back to the show...
But then it happened again. And this time it was going to be different. I kept up with the flow, trying to route the conversation, looking for wicked turn-of-phrase, or a pun, or deep insight, and then I found it. Like Cap' Ahab, I said 'harpoon that som' bitch thar!' So I threw +1, and waited. And waited. And waited. And as the thundering herd came towards me I realized that the show would not turn for me, and I had a made a critical error. I was stampeded by pre-pubescent pimpled youngsters in Star Trek T-Shirts. I pulled myself from the muck to watch the thundering herd move farther and farther out of sight. I tried this again and again, to the same results. Needless to say, I ended up in the same seedy motel, waking and rolling to the same sight. I relit a used Kool and took a deep drag. My ass hurt and I had a sinking suspicion that my other buttocks said 'boat' which would have delighted the tattoo artist no end to finish his partially completed 'love'. I dared not look.
I had become the Gary Coleman of the show. I was starting to learn Spanish or French or whatever language is appropriate to disappear to the fringes of civilization. And disappear I did.
Arthur C. Clarke said all things come in threes, it's the way of the universe, ultimate karma, triple redundancy I think. And as the old man predicted, the random seed generator came up with my social, and beyond belief, it was time for a comeback to the show.
This time would be different, really. This time I would commit. The third base coach is telling me take a pitch, but I'm digging in for a big cut. That's what I didn't realize before: you have to commit. You have to go all in. You have to be willing to risk all in one swing in the show; you have to bend steel with your mind. The next Shakespeare or Dickens or Simmons is out there, and I'm going to find them, so I set the filter to -1 Uncut and Raw and step into the light...