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Volume 1: For a long time I used to go to bed early…

HAL 9000: (in that sinister, cold way of his) Today’s death-match dialogue is brought to you courtesy of Robo-PunditTM, the automated Sports Commentary Software available for your desktop PC, satellite receiver system, and all toasters with greater than 256K of memory Cheerful Announcer: *hack* Robo-Pundit: Putting The Anal back into Analysis Danny, The LOL Boy: (who is a ventriloquist’s dummy wearing a red and white spotted bow-tie and nothing else. He is sat on Tony Boydell’s knee. Tony is nude, apart from a matching spotted bow-tie) Heeeey, sports fans! A jolly ole English ‘Halloo’ from the Albert Hall in London, England. Tonight this historic, if small, auditorium plays host to one of the most keenly anticipated celebrity death-matches since Donald X. ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All’ Vaccination and a bucket of cold sick. Oh yes. Tonight we’ll see that quirky UK-based japester and pun-merchant, Tony Boydell, taking a Pythonesque swing at himself! Yes, you heard me right – he’ll be attempting to beat eight shades of stool out of his own person. (turning to Tony) So what’s the deal, Tony? Tony Boydell: (starts moving Danny’s lips and then remembers he should be moving his own) I couldn’t face being beaten by someone else. I have a fragile ego, you know – one swipe and I go to pieces. Danny, The LOL Boy: R ght. So what’s your strategy for this evening? Any thoughts on your possible weak spots? Tony Boydell: (pulling a hard-boiled egg from behind Danny’s ear) Well I’m none to good with actual strategy – I’ve been looking at previous blog posts and have noticed that whenever I get close to making any sort of relevant point, I slip in a rather poor pun and gloss over the whole affair. I’ll be looking to exploit that this evening. Danny, The LOL Boy: (head turns right round – Linda Blair style) An interesting point, Tony – and what do you think about that, Tony? Tony Boydell: (holding up a hand-written sign with ‘I Like Pasta’ on it) I think that I’ve seriously underestimated myself – relying on old submissions like that! I’d suggest that I’d better pay more attention to my own performance, if I were me, and less time on what’s gone before. I’ve put in a lot of training for this contest, and have a few tricks up my literary sleeve, I can tell you! (Tony holds up a mirror and grimaces to himself – faintly growling like a bear. He departs.) Danny, The LOL Boy: (head lolling forward) Well, the bookies are fairly unanimous on this one. Tony is the hot favourite, but you could do worse than stick a couple of dollars on rank outsider Tony, with odds of 12 to 1. (holds hand to ear) Well, it seems that we’re ready to begin. Let me hand you over to Burkett O’Slops at the ringside (as the camera cuts to the ring-side, we can hear Danny say “Will someone please get me a gottle o’ geer?”) Burkett O’Slops: (voice only, though he sounds like he’s dressed in a chicken suit) Thanks, Danny. Here we go! Master Of Ceremonies: (waving his arms in great sweeping motions towards the packed audience) I-in the red corner: Tony Boy-dell ! I-in the blue corner: To-ny Boydell ! This death-match will be decided by two submissions or a BGG disciplinary e-mail – no bad language or sexual content please – this is a family event. The Bell: DING – DING! Burkett O’Slops: And they’re away. Tony leaps out of the blue corner with an obscure lyrical reference from a 70’s progressive rock album – he’s using it as a title for the opening paragraph. Tony counters quickly from the red corner with an aside followed by some fancy footnote-work. It’s all textbook stuff as he circles himself around the ring, a jab here, and a pun there. Trying to find a way in…Oh! That was a tremendous wiity retort to Tony’s ribs from Tony just then, managing to slip in both a reference to Agricola AND deride the current state of the Geekmod system AT THE SAME TIME! But Tony seems to have brushed that last remark off and is preparing a fulsome, jokey response of his own! Oh! Was that a direct insult, just then?No! He just quipped him. Something about Scandaroon, apparently, which is a bit below the belt. The Bell: DING – DING! (aside) I’ve got a Drama degree, you know! Burkett O’Slops: And that’s the end of Round One, with Tony just slightly having the edge. He looks in good shape as he receives encouragement from his family and some store credit from BoardGameGuru. Tony looks well placed as we go into Round Two. The Bell: DING – BLOODY – DING! Burkett O’Slops: And it seems Tony has taken some new advice from his corner during the break and has come out blazing – it looks like he’s building a rant about people who play the same game over-and-over, a tried-and-tested strategy but is Tony angry enough? Tony holds his own steadily against this attack, responding with his own version of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ from ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ – cleverly interweaving satirical digs at the Essen trolley-geeks and rhymes for ‘ass’, ‘undergraduate’, and ‘piccolo’. (shouting) OH NO! Tony seems to have slipped up! He was so busy ‘going off on one’ that he forgot to check his spelling and has completely mis-typed that last paragraph – consequently, the spell-checker has filled the blog post with hundreds of red underlines. Undoubtedly, a disaster for Tony at this point in the bout, particularly as he was building up a powerful case using justified bullet points and quotes from other writers. How disappointing! Tony realises his mistake and is beating himself up about it! – which isn’t going to help his writing arm either – I hope he remembers that with over two minutes gone in this round, he’s up against a deadline! The Bell:

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