Friday, January 06, 2006

Beware the Killer Book Monkeys!

Yesterday I promised that I'd talk about my experiences with T.A.G and the Book Monkeys; never let it be said that I don't keep my promises!

During the fall of my first year working at the OSU Library, my tales of the Parker T.A.G. adventures inspired several students and staff members to give it a whirl. Now, while I enjoyed T.A.G. in theory, and had really enjoyed being able to "kill" Bubbles like I had, in practice the game really wasn't for me; all of the planning, and stalking, and being sneaky . . . I suck at sneaky, I really do. Believe me, trying to be sneaky about TOFKAP for so long just about killed me. I agreed to become the co-coordinator of the game so I could keep a hand in it without having to worry about playing myself. We did require a small entry fee, so that the big winner would get a cash prize.

When it came time to write up the rules and make the sign-up sheet I, being possessed by one of my then-infrequent bursts of rambling creativity, decided that everyone needed code names and Modus Operandi, and then typed up an incredibly long and detailed and over-the-top set of instructions, as well as a slightly more straight-forward version for those who didn't want to scan the ramblings. Some of the participants really got into the code names and M.O.s, while others didn't forcing me to come up with something for them. The contestants were:

1) Code Name: The Rose [not to be confused with Rose Hips the Enforcer]
MO: A talented Tarot reader, The Rose forecasts doom upon all who cross her path. Beware the black magic woman’s thorns, for they are bad mojo.

2)Code Name: Hot Pants [a.k.a. Kokkamama]
MO: This overly aggressive assassin often utilizes her trained pit bull to “detain” targets, while she administers the killing touch personally with her titanium "baseball bat.”

3) Code Name: Wonder Woman [a.k.a. The Mag
MO: Trained in the deadliest of the martial arts, this modern day Amazon combines a devastating battle cry with her enhanced feminine wiles to wreak havoc on her foes.

4) Code Name: Stealth
MO: Don’t be fooled by her sunny exterior. She’s only thinking of the many ways to take your life like a thief in the night. You won’t see her coming.

5) Code Name: Diva
MO: Lurking beneath a facade of quiet grace lies a personality so powerful that it could destroy whole city blocks if she let it run unchecked. Beware, for Diva always gets what she wants.

6) Code Name: The Shadow
MO: Death will come swiftly to those who might oppose! His dogs are rabid, and his family cannot be trusted.

7) Code Name: Rocket, the Flying Squirrel [not to be confused with Rocket G'ovich]
MO: A wild card in the deck, this operative from MMR (Murderous Minions of Ragnarok) has infiltrated ILS to even up the score with her old sparring partner, The Shadow. Not much is known of her methods, so be wary.

8) Code Name: Black Lotus 007 [a.k.a. Bunny]
MO: Luring, magnetic, deadly! Once you catch this real-life Bond girl’s sweet essence and beautiful appearance it’s too late...

9) Code Name: Raptor
MO: Master of all things aeronautic. Beware death from above.

10) Code Name: La Asesina [a.k.a. Rebel Monkey]
MO: This Latin beauty precedes all of her murderous actions with a declaration of her trademark phrase, “Tu culo es mia!”

11) Code Name: Fred dog
MO: No stranger to death and destruction, Fred dog relies on her native cunning and ruthlessness to bring ruination upon her targets.

12) Code Name: Ninja Chick
MO: The one with the mad skills, Ninja Chick lives by the motto “Don’t make me get military on your ass”.

13) Code Name: ibn al-Xuffasch (Son of the Bat) [a.k.a. Fellow Book Monkey and Blogger Bubblegum Tate]
MO: Stalking his prey with class and style, serving operatives up with a martini of violence (shaken, not stirred) this captain of debauchery deals death with his trusty, modified Walther PPK.

14) Code Name: Spy Chickidooda [a.k.a. Strengthy Girl]
MO: The latest addition to ILS, Spy Chickidooda remains a relative unknown. Don’t trust her protestations of inexperience, they are only designed to put you off guard.

15) Code Name: Shotgirl
MO: Mistress of the flaming tequila shot, Shotgirl’s veins are proof against the strongest poisons known to man.

Insidious Evil declined to play the game, but did let it be known to one and all that she was more than willing to lend out her nefarious mind . . . for a price.

Now, if anyone out there is thinking about setting up or taking part in a game of T.A.G., let me caution you: if you're going to be playing with someone you room with, make sure that you're on really, really good terms with said roomie. Otherwise, there could be some crap that pops up and causes friction in your household; if you doubt me, ask Rebel Monkey, although the fact that she doesn't even like to speak the name of the roomie in question, I doubt you'll get much out of her. Suffice it to say that, before the whole thing was over, both Rebel Monkey and her roomie had withdrawn from the game voluntarily.

Now, while the Library itself was a safe zone, we did not have any sort of buffer zone outside like at Parker; once you left those doors, you were fair game. I have fond memories of watching Fellow Book Monkey and Blogger Bubblegum Tate shooting out of the front doors and racing across down the sidewalk full tilt, weapon at the ready. This was during the time when some of us would get together to watch certain TV shows at Tate's place; I remember him double and triple checking that I was by myself before opening his front door, plastic gun in hand.

After a week or so, the contestants were whittled down to two: Tate and Fred-dog. I think most people's money was on Tate, due to his vigilance if nothing else, but in the end, it all came down to luck; both surviving assassins happened to have a class in the same building at the same time without realizing it. On this fateful day, their paths crossed while moving through the mass of students traveling down the halls and, as luck would have it, her weapon was handy while his was not. He saw her, started to dig in his backpack for his gun, realized it was futile, and threw his hands up in the air, telling her to go ahead and shoot. And thus ended the last game of T.A.G. I was involved with.

Later, another student would hear of our tales of T.A.G. and would pester me endlessly to start it up again, but after the drama of Rebel Monkey and her roomie, I was a bit gun shy. After I moved to Denton, The Mag would start it up again with some variations, such as allowing booby traps and bombs and the like. Sounds needlessly complicated, and exceedingly entertaining; kind of sorry I wasn't around to see it.


Bubblegum Tate said...

Ahhh, the Assassin Game! Such fond memories! Such fond memories I thought you all might be interested in a couple of snapshots from behind the curtain. For fairness, I'll share a shining moment of ibn al'Xuffasch as well as my death.

My first kill was the Shadow. He was WILEY. After a few failed attempts, I realized I was going to have to get serious. For instance, knowing the Shadow was working late, I staked out the library with the help of a few carefully chosen agents and he managed to elude all of us with the help of his family! I had to use them against him.

So, next morning at 5:30, my driver and I were staking out his house. When he left for work, we followed him through several morning stops. When he finally parked on campus, I leapt from the moving car (I wish I was kidding, we were really taking it all much too seriously), bobbing and weaving behind cars, I crept up on him. Just as he lifted his youngest daughter from the car seat, I sprang out and shot him! He was shocked but was able to say "You shot me in front of my daughter!" before breathing his last.

On the fateful day of my doom, I had switched to a heavier coat and failed to switch over my cache of weapons to the new pockets (I NEVER left the house without at least four Todd said I was favored on vigilance if nothing else) AND managed to leave my trusty sidearm in the glovebox of my car!!!

Fearing the worst but running too late to return to the car, I trepidatiously entered the Classroom Building. I'd like it if Todd's account of my quiet surrender were true, but unfortunately, it isn't. As I saw Fred Dog and she saw me, she went to draw her weapon and I turned and ran.

Those of you familiar with the CLB on OSU's campus know it as the workhorse of buildings. Tons of classrooms equals tons of students, and a lot of them sitting on the ground with legs outstretched into the hallway.

Naturally, in my haste, I tripped over several of the legs, hit the ground rolling ass over teakettle and wound up on my back looking into the face of my killer. She did it professional, two in the chest, one in the head. Thus ended the career of ibn al'Xuffasch. Good times...

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Boy, some people embelish things in their memories; I apparently drain things of all excitement and adventure in mine.

I'm pretty sure I never heard the full story of Tate's demise before; I'd think the image of him sprawling before his assassin in the middle of CLB would have stuck if I had. But, I've been wrong before.

Bubblegum Tate said...

I promise on my embarassment of being shot by small plastic balls in front of a full hall in the Classroom Building, that's how it went down.