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Quard's Corner #16 from the Quard's Corner Archive
By Vincent Navarino
Quard's Corner: Invasion of France?



Just kidding. Now that I have scared one of my friends, I'd like to introduce the real title of this article:

Quard's Corner: Observed and Escaped

[The following introductional paragraph is best when you picture a person, oh . . . about my height, with a large fly-head, staring into the camera lense with the glazed, blank, burnt-out look of a lobotomy patient, a Magic Rules NetRep or a worker at the Department of Motor Vehicles.]

Greetings. Welcome one and all to the latest edition of Quard's Corner. A place thoroughly rejected by several M.I.T. undergraduates who just couldn't take a joke about the quantum mechanic, a strand of ribonucleic acid and an X-chromosome meeting at a bar (no, you're not supposed to understand that so relax). If you're new here, I'd really like to warn you of the whole purpose of these articles, but I find that giving out fair warning forces me to run after my victi...er...fans and inevitably a few escape. Which makes me quite cross with the ones that don't get away and I'm just getting a little tired of listening to all the screaming. Sure, I could wear ear-muffs but I'd rather not. I'd rather find someone to marry my sister. Perhaps I could re-animate some of the meat products in my fridge with the right incantation.

[Please change the image in your mind. I've had my coffee. Besides, I don't even have a sister.]

I sometimes wonder why the local supermarket has like 27 checkout lines and only 3 cashiers, two of which are cashiers in training. Yes, they're at the register but they don't know how to push the right buttons. If they can't use the machine why are they there? I also wonder if these people love to play games with their customers. I mean, every time I'm in a line it goes so slowly I can actually watch Quard's Corner readers finally get the jokes I put in to last year's Quard's Corner. And if I get on the line that's going fast fast fast, what happens but right away it goes slow, slow, slow! Why the quickest I ever saw a line actually move was when it was being run by the DCI in order to get money from me for being stupid enough to be a US certified Judge.

> Hey, that was a good one!

Thank you.

> Because no one saw that joke coming your score is now 1,255 out of out of 2,387.5 points.

Excuse me? Who are you?

> I'm the text parser from last month's Corner.

I'm sorry but that's just not allowed. I don't do two-parters.

> Please!

No. G'way.

> Pretty please!

Nope. Sorry.

> Oh come on!

Byes!

> Well %^$#@ you too!

If you persist I will run you under Windows98.

> Eep, later! **End Program.

Sorry about that, it won't happen again. Before we continue there are a few points and questions I'd like to answer/address that came from repeated reader inquiries over the last little bit:

1. A few people wrote in asking if I was disappointed or upset that I didn't appear in the humorous Unglued Magic set; as well as there being no ferrets, kittens or references to Cheese-Wiz anywhere in it. I'm not upset at all. Not one little bit. The set was excellent, the idea was nice and I'm not even slightly important enough to become even a remote consideration for entry into a Magic expansion. While I am flattered that there were people out there wishing I was in Unglued, I remind you all that people who think this way should be remanded to the nearest local rubber-room facility. It takes one to know one. Besides, if I ever did appear in a Magic expansion, it would have to be called Unhinged not Unglued. On a side note though, it does appear that Ferratio was a tad upset and my heartfelt apologies go to all the members of the Unglued R&D team who are now missing their feline friends.

2. Do WotC staffers actually read Quard's Corner? Yes, some of them do. And amazingly none of them have stopped laughing long enough to call their lawyers or inform The Shiny Buckle People of my location. Will I say who they are? Nope. Nada. Nyet. I don't need self-promotion, I'll leave that kind of thing up to bad talk show hosts or cast members of Star Trek: Voyager. Ugh.

3. Do I get free stuff like Magic cards from WotC? No, and I've never asked. And yes, I am crazy. Besides, why would they send Magic cards to me? It's like saying hey, let's drop a bunch of raw steaks and see if Mr. Manson (no, not the singer, the psycho) notices us. The pain...

Well with that done, why don't we move on and I'll share with you a whole bunch of Top Whatever Lists that have been running through my mind lately. Oh and before I forget, I spent a little time in a place called Observation; it seems some people at the local Shiny Buckle People Institute were a tad concerned and wanted to re-evaluate me. I still think the barbed net and the cattle prods were a tad excessive. One of my new friends from time to time will share with you all some notes he took while I was being watched.

Top Lame Excuses for Doing Poorly at a Magic Tournament:

- My opponent was a Zakk-Dorn Slay Beastie from the Andromeda Galaxy AND he ate my dice.

- I appealed to the Level 212 Judge and instead of agreeing with me, he wet-towel slapped my behind while I was tapping my mana.

- My parents just got divorced because my daddy cheated on my mommie with an even uglier woman.

- I attempted to memorize the 3,452 pages of errata and rulings from Oracle but Nick at Nite had a Rhoda marathon on.

- I played an original deck of my own creation which I named after my pet tortoise, Gimpy.

- I copied a winning tourney deck from the Magic Dojo. The deck I copied was from Sealed and the format was Extended.

- Instead of removing his Cadaverous Bloom from his lap, my opponent removed MY Cadaverous Bloom from my lap.

- I don't understand it, I was the undefeated Portal champ in my home town of Boise, Idaho!

- It seems I made a Freudian slip. I meant to tell the judge that his ruling was incorrect but it seems I accidentally called into question the legitimacy of his parentage.

- I had to play a girl! Ugh. Cooties!

- My opponent actually played better than me.

There are some people that after you get to know them surprise you. Despite their rumored insanity, it is found at the end of your examination that the subject is quite sane; just mis-diagnosed by a fellow psychologist who was ill-trained. I was called in on the case of a certain self-professed Magic humorist by an associate, Dr. Ican Spotem on Sept 2nd, 1998. I have to admit that I was more than a little skeptical that there was a person out there with 8 distinctive voices AND an imaginary trained typing ferret. - Dr. Seymore Jackets

Top Ways to Distract Your Opponent During a Tourney:

- Prior to your match, show your opponent you can play his deck better than he can. Blindfolded. While petting a rabid cobra.

- Chew gum. Learn how to blow a bubble out your left nostril.

- Be polite. Shake hands at the start of the match and then when he least expects it, pop out your glass eye and start screaming in mock-agony as it rolls towards your opponent. Eye-yi-yi!

- If your opponent starts cheating, don't call over a judge, whip out your authentic Adrian Paul Highlander katana replica and "There can be only one!" *thud*

- Spontaneously combust. Very distracting for your opponent. If you're good at it, the sprinklers will go off too.

- Sit down wearing Dr. Denton zippered bunny pajamas. Shake. Introduce yourself as Jim, the best Narcoleptic Magic Player in the World and promptly fall off your chair, fast asleep.

- During the match consume common garden variety snails and make your plastic hedgehog grunt.

- When it's time to cut, insert your opponent's deck into the portable woodchipper you brought along.

- When holding your cards up, have the Magic backs facing you. Play each card in your hand correctly.

- Show up to your match wearing flippers, air tank and snorkel mask - full scuba diving regalia.

- Wear a black and white striped DCI Head Judge shirt and a red, incredibly curly haired wig.

- Play while you have sock puppets on both your hands. Consult your sock friends for strategic advice while playing. Mock your opponent with your little friends as he casts spells.

- Document your and your opponent's play with a 35mm camera complete with an electronic flash that's so bright it lights up New Jersey.

Day 2: Noticed some strange behavior from the subject during lunch. Instead of eating his food he began humming a familiar tune while reshaping his instant mashed potatoes into the form of a snowman. He used strained peas for the buttons, two lima beans for the eyes, a piece of celery for the mouth, vienna sausage for the nose, and strained red cabbage for hair. While this is more than a little strange, the weirdest part is that he did this all with his foot, which he then proceeded to address as Hiram.

Top Signs your Opponent Doesn't Know What He's Doing:

- He draws, then removes three lands from his library and puts them into play. You ask what he's doing and he states that he's playing by House Rules.

- You cast an Oath of Druids and he wants to know what it does. You play a Clot Sliver, he wants to know what it is. You lay down a swamp and he asks what does that do?

- He's a LEGEND DCI member.

- Every time he taps a land for mana, he turns himself around 90 degrees.

- A copy of Scrye falls out of his backpack.

- Every time one of his creatures winds up unblocked he goes "King me."

- He says "Hi, I'm a member of the Rules Team."

- Your opponent tells you he's practicing for the tourney by playing Microprose's Magic vs the computer.

- He claims the MTPA isn't dead and tries to recruit you.

Signs you went to the wrong tournament:

- Your opponent is a Klingon.

- The guy running the tournament thanks you for entering the first ever Richard Simmons Dancing to the Oldies tournament.

- Your opponent is Gary Kasparov who asks you if you're playing white or black.

- You are crowned Mr. America after winning the tourney.

- The place holding the event is conveniently located. You enter the building, the event runs on time and an abundant source of cheap foodstuffs is available for your consumption. The players there are all nice too.

- Andrei Agassi leads you to the tennis court, hands you a racquet and wishes you good luck in the match.

- Your opponent asks if you have a Luke Skywalker for trade.

- He's playing mono-green.

- Everyone smells shower-fresh and uses deodorant.

Day 3: Nothing unusual happened during my observations of the subject. Well, unless you count that one incident where Mr. Navarino, who insists on being called Quard, started to worship one of his dinner utensils; a metal spork.

Quard's Top 10 Favorite Voices In His Head

- Voice #2 (always has something positive to say)

- Voice #7 (never late on his payments)

- Voice #8 (looks great in sequins)

- Voice #5

- Voice #4

- Voice #3 (just can't drag a body far enough)

- Voice #6

- Background Singer #2 (misses a perfectly still head with large hammers)

- Voice #1 (tells jokes that make sense)

- Background Singer #22,437 (very nasal voice)

Signs [?] That There Is Actually an Enforcement Crackdown in Magic Tournaments:

- To do a deck check, the judging staff performs strip searches.

- Certain known players, upon entering the tournament are given back their entry fee and are then fed to live sharks.

- When a player is about to be punished, they are forced to wear baby harp seal costumes and then are clubbed repeatedly by the judging staff.

- People who drop candy wrappers on the floor are given written warnings to also litter the floor with.

- A player is selected at random to be ejected. Preferably a non-US citizen.

- The penalty for drawing an extra card is being drawn and quartered by several wild horses.

- Ares, the God of War from the Hercules Series is the Head Judge.

- All minor penalties, verbal or written are accompanied by a hard slap and a loud "No!" by a member of the judging staff. More sever penalties also are heralded by a spray of water to the face from a squirt bottle.

- An article appears in the Duelist stating that there is an Enforcement Crackdown in Magic Tournaments.

- The slap on the wrist is now accompanied by a slightly stern stare from the official.

- The tournament is co-sponsored by the Long Island Animal Spay and Neuter Clinic

Day 4: I watched the subject play 7 games of chess simultaneously. While this is normally exceptional and not irrational, he claimed he was playing against the voices in his head. I didn't believe him until the opposite color pieces moved on their own. And he was using normal wood chess sets! (Oh, and if I heard him correctly, Voice #8 was acting as referee.)

Rejected 6th Edition Advertising Slogans and Quotes:

- And you thought 5th Edition sucked?! Bwahahaha!

- Brought to you by the same people that worked on Homelands.

- No new artwork, same old cards, more money.

- This amazing set contains 650 cards. 645 of them suck rocks.

- We took out the Shivan too!

- All cards in this core set are as worthless as wearing sunblock in a nuclear explosion.

- Playing Magic will make you the hottest chick magnet in your school.

- This set screams S-E-X and plenty of it. A-wooga!

- Collect the wrappers, they're worth more than the cards in them.

- The Homarids are BACK!

- New advertisement recommends that you play with yourself.

- All the Laces have been re-inserted by popular demand.

Signs that Magic Really Is Satanic:

- A real goat's head free in every box!

- The Head Judge has incredibly curly red hair.

- All Judges are now referred to as Dark Priests of The Soul Eater.

- Tournament Organizer has horns growing out of his skull and has the hooved feet of a goat.

- The abbreviation for Magic: The Gathering matches the same for Mephistopheles: The Gathering.

- WotC advertises a special deal. Buy three boosters of any Magic expansion and get a free dark black candle that oozes blood when lit.

- The cross you're wearing heats up every time you play Magic.

- Scott Baio is hired by Wizards of the Coast (it is strongly suggested that he IS the anti-christ).

- People pay $65-75 a box for the 8 tourney worthy cards that are in amongst the other 532.

- Your vial of Holy Water starts boiling when you enter a card and comic store.

- Try this experiment. Flip over a Magic card. Start drawing a line from the red circle. Draw the line up to the white circle. Continue the line from the white to the black circle. Continue to the green circle, then across to blue, then back to the red circle. Now draw a circle around the outside of the 5 color circles. Look at your result. Think hard. If you say the right words, you can summon up a Demon of your very own.

(This next topic was asked for by the owner of the Magic Dojo. So there. Pbbbfffttt!)

Signs that the Magic Dojo is Taking a Turn for the Worst:

- Frank d mands al submitsions two bee spll an gramma cheked.

- The Magic Dojo's URL address is www.wizards.com.

- Quard's Corner appears on it.

- The Dojo has a Download section for MP3's.

- You click on the Link section and all it displays are sites like Candy-XXX, XXX-treme and Hotz!

- Under the Dojo's submission guidelines it says "No work will be accepted without a working email address, complete legal (first and last) name, and a cashier's check or money order for $5."

- The Magic Dojo is now being sponsored by Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Frito Lays.

- After announcing it's new picture-laden format, the main page takes longer to load than it takes two Blue Control players to finish a game.

- Women constantly appear on the front-page with better written articles than the men! Complete with graphics and links.

- Numerous lame "How to Impulse Like A..." messages appear on the front page.

- The Magic Dojo is an official sponsor of #mtgpro.

- The J in Dojo is being held up with duct tape and its radio is missing.

Signs that You're Out of Your League Playing Against an Opponent:

- Before introducing himself to you, your opponent draws a chalk outline around you.

- You cast TWO first turn Shivans and he snickers and asks you is that all you're going to cast this turn?

- You opponent keeps track of his life points by removing daggers stuck in his arm. While smiling.

- Your opponent has been subpoenaed by Kenneth Starr

- You don't even remember sitting down, let alone being killed by that first turn 52/54 Tarpan.

- The name tag on your opponent's chest is R. Garfield.

- Your opponent is a member of the World Wide Wrestling Federation.

- Before you sit down you are already declared dead by the judging staff and your defeat is already in the DCI's computers.

- Your opponent has a girlfriend.

- There's a sign on the table which reads "You're out of your league playing against your opponent."

Day 5: After showing the subject various cards with ink blots on it, the subject kept saying the same thing over and over and over again, no matter which blot he was looking at. All he kept saying was "Your wife. Your wife. Your wife." It was decided after this examination that the subject was fit to be committed but he escaped after walking backwards through the security stations making the orderlies thinking he was entering the building and not leaving it. Proper authorities have been alerted and we remain hopeful that Quard will re-appear.

And now it's time for me to answer all your questions.

Q: What should be eliminated in 6th Edition? - Steve B., Internet

A: The designers who admit that they worked on it. You know its going to stink so much you'd wish you were living next to a landfill to smell relatively fresher air. The same goes for the person that writes the usually very stupid Reasons Why Cards Were Dropped article in the Duelist. Unless of course for once, they make actual sense. But leave the ones who don't admit to working on 6e, they're the smart ones. (I hope I'm wrong, I hope I'm wrong, I hope I hope I hope...hey is that a ham sandwich? Yum! )

Q: What's most important when picking a certain card to go in a deck? - Lyle T., Michigan

A: Some say the most important aspect is a card's adaptability. I say the most important thing in picking a card is that it should always be the right color as Disenchant in a mono-red Sligh deck would be as useless as, oh, anything green in a green deck (Hey, it's a support color, not a real color after all).

Q: What are the best places to play Magic near my house in Seattle [address cut]? - Jim C., Internet

A: I know a really good place. Turn left after exiting your house. After 2.5 miles, turn right. Go through 3 traffic lights (don't go thru them unless the lights are GREEN) and turn right at the very next convenience store. Count 5 houses, turn right. Keep going until you reach the truckstop. If I did this right, you should now be in Mexico, genius. Like I know all the Magic places on the planet. Yeesh.

Q: On the card Fallen Angel, the Angel is clearly standing up, she's just slightly hunched over, so why do they call it a Fallen Angel? - Killer Eskimo, Internet

A: Well I have it on good authority that the card was supposed to be called the Just Fallen and Could Get Up But Really Needs a Hip Replacement Angel, but they had to shorten the name so it would fit on the card. Good catch, though.

Q: Why does it seem that you get intelligent people asking you questions Quard, compared to printed Magic mags and Internet users?

A: Well a recent survey has shown that the average reading level of Quard's Corner readers are at the 9th grade level. Which is about 4 levels above some of the printed mags and about 8 levels higher than the average person that posts on Usenet.

Q: What do you think about Lowinski? - Harold J., Internet

A: I can find no such Magic card, so I'd have to guess it really sucks.

Q: When will Andon Unlimited get with the program and have MEET QUARD attractions at their Magic conventions? - Jacqueline S., New York.

A: You have no idea how much that made me laugh, I punctured a lung after reading your question. Oh well, if you're serious email Andon Unlimited at andonMAGIC@aol.com and ask them. Oh my lord...

Q: Do you mind people e-mailing you with feedback? - Kyle G., Internet

A: No, not at all, I'm more than happy to read email from the readers, I enjoy it as much as I enjoy writing Quard's Corner. If you want to stop by and say howdy, comment or ask a question that might appear in a future QC, please feel free and click on my email address below. I don't mind one bit.

Q: Why do you keep quoting that Jeff Donais guy? - Many internet users

A: Hey, that's *THE* Jeff Donais to you people. And the reason is simple, one day he's going to feel so guilty that he has still not sent me BEATDOWN.WAV and yet I keep quoting him that a truck laden with Magic cards is going to pull up at my door. Odds are it will be to get me to stop (after all, sorting all those cards is bound to take up some of my time) instead of encouraging me to continue.

Q: Would you take off your pants to stop a denimwalker? - Jason, Jim and Angie, Internet

A: Depends on if it was a hot looking denimwalker.

Q: Wizards of the Coast has control of so many games now, I am frightened! What should we do? - DrNate, Internet

A: Start playing computer games. WotC has shown clearly they can't do software. We'll all be safe on computers. Well, until the Year 2000 bug hits us.

Q: Can you comment on the rumor that WotC is dropping some of their long-standing artists in favor of newer, cheaper artists? - DrNate, Internet

A: I did a little checking with a few friends and found out that WotC is hiring a bunch of new artists. They're all 8-13 year olds, but I have been told that they're really good and can draw some cool stick figures. Seriously though, I have no idea if this is true or not but I did hear they were buying a lot of Fisher Price toys all of a sudden.

Q: Why did WotC print Flailing Drake? - Ken S., California

A: I really don't know, after all everyone knows Green is being phased out in the next expansion.

Q: Do you get paid to answer these questions? -WhoMe, Internet

A: No, I get payment enough from the mental screams of my readers.

Q: I was wondering why not write for the Duelist? They may cut you down to the other half of the page they cut away from Foglio's comic, but it would be cool to actually have a reason to buy an issue of the Duelist. Keep up the good work. -Mad Dog, Internet

A: I thank you for your comments but Phil Foglio is definitely reason enough to pick up a copy of the Duelist. I still have the copy of Dragon Magazine where he stopped doing What's New years ago for TSR and I thought I'd never see his work, let alone that strip again. And I definitely think Duelist should give Phil back the second page! If you think so too, drop the Editor in Chief, Robert Hahn a line at sophist@grid.wizards.com.

Q: I was playing multi-player the other day and tried to COP the 30pts of damage from an opponent's Earthquake. My other opponent Allayed my COP and I died. Can I be held legally responsible for throwing Allaying opponent through a wall? - Jason, Internet

A: You'll be happy to know that in the 5 minutes I scanned 26 volumes of legal text I found no mention of "throwing an Allaying opponent through a wall" being a crime. Go for it. If you're really strong, your opponent can get some free frequent flier miles during his trip.

Q: Why haven't you started doing artwork for Magic? If Mark Rosewater can do it, then so can you. - Killer Eskimo, Internet

A: Ouch. I have it on good authority that you're going to PAY for that remark. Grrrr!

Q: Why doesn't WotC have an Amateur Tour? - WhoMe, Internet

A: With all the people who don't know if a card is marked, or falls onto one's chair, or didn't know what color a particular Knight is, you'd think there is already an Amateur Tour. (Oooh, I can already hear some screams...)

Quote of the Month:

"Whenever I read Quard's Corner, it makes me want to go and ban some Europeans for a year!" - *THE* Jeff Donais, Andon Unlimited. (Oh my!)

End of Article.

Note: Are there any Magic related questions you'd like to ask me that might see print in an upcoming Quard's Corner in Vault? If so, e-mail your questions to me at quardd@hotmail.com

--------------------------------------------------------

This article was put together for your reading pleasure by Vincent B. Navarino (aka Quard on IRC:#mtg) and his imaginary trained typing ferret, Ferratio. Vincent considers himself quite the humorist and can regularly be spotted late at night on IRC:#mtg(EFNet) tormenting the people there with his rantings. He'd also like to write Magic humor for the Duelist and someday might start submitting his articles to them, but is too afraid of rejection right now after not having a date in over 3 years. If you'd like to talk with him, or any one of his eight voices, please feel free to send them e-mail at quardd@hotmail.com. All feedback received is welcomed.

Warning: any hate mail will be forwarded to a neighbor he doesn't like. In triplicate!

[Author's Note: A lot of people ask me how the hello did I get WotC staffers like *THE* Jeff Donais and Mark Rosewater to send me quotes for my articles, especially since I constantly poked fun at Wizards of the Coast. It's simple really, I have duplicates of their house keys and they know it. No quotes and they know I'll send Ferratio to sneak under their covers when they're sleeping and...well...nevermind. Originally appeared in Sept. 1998 on the beloved Frank Kusumoto's Magic Dojo]

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