• Playing my trollish Paladin in ADOM. Just for doing the puppy quest, he went from Chaotic to Neutral.

  • I was in a dance production at my high school, a Michael Jackson tribute featuring something from Thriller. I and some of my friends went out onto the stage (which was more like the stage at my grade school) in a triangular pattern, doing chains of dance steps that were a mixture of different songs' steps from the spring dance program IRL. Someone was carrying a huge leg bone. It quickly became evident that no one had a clue what he was doing, and we milled about in confusion for a few moments before our dance teacher and the sound technicians shouted for us to start over. Thankfully, the audience was sparse, so few people saw our embarrassment as the music stopped and we shuffled off stage.

    To get practice for the next performance, I went to Best Buy or a similar store to shop for MJ videos. I found a number of videos and CD's hung up on a hardware rack, but "Thriller" was not among them. Instead I picked up a Jackie Chan movie and took it home.

    I was in the Chan tape, supposedly a humorous short. I climbed into a plane, where I had to deal with a white-haired fellow who demanded that the plane change its destination for him. For the first minute or so, his lips were poorly synced with the dubbing. When told that the rest of the passengers would be sorely inconvenienced by a change, he insisted that his wife was expecting him and he had no other way of getting to her in time. Finally he was put out on the parking lot where the plane was, and escorted away by several security guards. The airline employees took me to the back of the plane (the interior of which was similar to the YCM tour bus), where I was to pilot it. I was well known for botching up flights, but everyone had great faith that I would do fine. I started taxiing, but as I wandered around shopping center and school parking lots, I couldn't find the runway. I attempted taking off in a few clear spaces, though I nearly forgot to turn on the engines, but the strips were never long enough. Finally I found a crumbling, sloped, overgrown area where the runways were set up. I took the plane to the top of a hill at one end and started to turn around, but one of the attendants told me, "No! You need to angle up. Up, so you can take off." I took the plane to the opposite end of the runway, then, and positioned it in front of a long body of water. I asked my advising attendant if I needed to radio for clearance. He said it wasn't necessary, but I could if I wanted. I picked up the microphone. "Control, this is, um, a 747, requesting clearance for takeoff." The response came, sleepily: "A 747? Oh, yeah, you're fine." With a shrug, I set down the mike and started the plane forward, pulling back hard on the wheel. We lifted up into the air, and I thought happily that I might actually be successful. The nose was too high, however--we were climbing at a shallower angle than we were pointed. The plane bumped some treetops, a telephone pole, and the top of a building. I tried to turn the plane around to get on course, but we just landed across a city street. I was worried that approaching cars might hit us. Suddenly we were in the parking lot again and I, shaking my head, picked the plane up under my right arm and walked away.