Since I have been unemployed the past few weeks, my wife and I have taken the opportunity to complete some of the larger, hairier projects we’ve been meaning to get around to for awhile. One of these projects consisted of taking all of the stuff from my son’s nursery and exchanging it with all the stuff in the bedroom in which I had made my nerd-lair, effectively swapping the functionality of both rooms. We got all of his stuff in and set up pretty fast, so he’d have a nice Big Boy Room in which to frolic, and I’ve slowly been crawling through all my belongings to decide what gets put on the shelves, what gets stored and what takes a trip to the dumpster.
I was going through the pile that was my current D&D books and notes (which is badly in need of organization) when I came upon a folded note.
The Terror Begins
On its face, this note isn’t particularly, well, noteworthy. However, as I thought about it a little more, the following factors joined forces to become slightly unnerving:
- That is my handwriting.
- The paper is from the pad of paper I’ve been using recently for D&D, so I know it’s recent.
- I have no recollection of writing this note.
- I don’t have the slightest idea what this message means.
What could “HE WAS VERY BAD” mean? Who is “HE”? Even knowing the intended recipient of the note might make me feel better. It almost sounds like an explanation, which makes things even worse. Why would I give someone an explanation that says no more than “HE WAS VERY BAD”? What kind of action requires that sort of explanation?
WHAT HAVE I DONE?
I tried to calm my nerves, thinking about how I wasn’t sore so I probably hadn’t been digging any shallow graves or lifting dead bodies into the trunk of my car. My bank account didn’t register any activities more dubious than the purchase of the Baconator I ate for lunch yesterday. I hadn’t washed any particularly difficult laundry, especially anything I would have described as “blood-soaked.” I was starting to feel a little better.
Then I flipped the note over.
Side II: The WTFening
Aw HELL no.
Once again, in my handwriting, I find a message I don’t understand. Only this time, it’s a bunch of circles and squares arranged in what is clearly some kind of pattern, and there are 3 terms written down (“coar”,”hon”, and “comp”) that I don’t know. All the weird parts of this note were combining to form Creepy Voltron.
At this point, I’m just dumbfounded. Was I explaining something to someone and needed to draw a diagram? Best I can tell, I have transcribed a college course schedule for someone who can only understand information if arranged in baseball terms. It also looks like a charm bracelet purchased from a shop run by aphasics.
It also sort of looks like the runes of a magic spell to be cast by someone familiar with entity relationship diagrams. Oh no. What if I can’t remember this note because I botched the spell? I knew I should have put the lines in between the shapes. I wonder if this means I finally learned how to cast that Mind Bondage spell Jack Chick has been promising all of us D&D players for so long?
Struggling to find some explanation that didn’t sound like it was from “Learn To Speak Gozerian In 25 Days”, I tried Googling for “coar comp hon”, the three words printed on the page. The results didn’t really make me feel much better. Sure, the top search result was to “College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific White Coat Ceremony”, which isn’t all that threatening – but anything that uses “white coat ceremony” as a term made me a little squeamish. There’s a link with some badly formatted information about a coal company whose domain inexplicably points to the Internet 1996 World Exposition (and boy, does it show its age). There’s someone complaining about how game reviews are too over the top. Oh, and some scandal involving the US Military’s decision to buy certain guns over some other type. Legitimate or not, I think it’s a good general rule to stop digging anytime your searches for the truth start turning up arms deals.
Next Week’s Column May Be Written From Prison
I sure hope one of my gaming group can provide an explanation for all this. Maybe the E.L. Fudge caused me to black out and this was simply my subconscious running the show for awhile. Until then, I am going over every inch of the house with a fine-toothed comb, ready to call both the Ghostbusters and the Wolf at a moment’s notice.