Quard's Corner: The Final Curtain Call
It's that time again for a self-professed, fly-headed Magic humorist and his imaginary trained typing ferret to entertain you all with rantings, wild gesticulations and musical tributes from the eight distinctive voices in my head; who are now taking an extreme delight in doing very very bad Shadow Puppet Theatre inside my medulla oblongata. Right now they've merged Old Yeller with Pet Semetary, and in their version, man is Old Yeller pissed...
I'd like to take this time out to greet you properly as you read this, but alas my trusty spiked cudgel is in the shop; not to mention my arms are real tired from raising and lowering said cudgel with maniacal glee. If you're new here, please allow me to explain the purpose of this article series entitled Quard's Corner (yes, that's the title... you clicked on the wrong link again - the Sports Illustrated Guide to Translucent Swimwear is up one). The purpose of this article is to get you to believe that this is a place where a game called Magic: The Errata-ing... err... Gathering and a thing called Humor (a concept that's foreign to many people) are tossed into a olympic-sized swimming pool with 12 highly irritated Carcharodon Carchariuses (Great White Sharks) along with a bucket of chum and a disgustingly thin supermodel as a garnish. The real purpose of these articles is to get a secret message out to the Zakk-Dorn Slay Beasties from the Andromeda Galaxy. If you doubt me, look carefully at all the letters that are in bold throughout this article. Piece them all together and learn what the secret message is. Note: the bold letters that comprise the secret message are letters in words that are not all in bold. (Example: the L from the otherwise unbolded word hello.)
Quard Goes to Pro Tour LA?! What the...
A few week prior to PTLA, a very weird thing occurred. No, no, the DCI did not admit that the Judge Certification Program was a failure; that's blatantly obvious. People kept asking me if I was going to PTLA, and I told them I wasn't able to go, due to (a) lack of funds (b) an aversion to mooching and (c) that I heard that *THE* Jeff Donais was from Canada. While I was still pondering about the horrors of (c), a few people over the Net took it upon themselves to try to figure out a way to get me to PTLA; making sure if they got me there that I ate and had a place to sleep that didn't have hay on the ground and a plethora of sheep. Not that I mind sheep... I was a purple-shirted judge after all...
Well, although I was glad to see that my articles were successfully warping the people's minds, it seems I went a tad too far. These buggers were serious! They actually *wanted* me to come to LA. Hence a "Bring Quard to PTLA" post appeared on the Dojo by David Welty and the offers came in. Someone on IRC offered me a free plane ticket, Frank Kusumoto offered to send me there via Greyhound. Jack "The Man" Stanton was arranging a ride to pick me up from Vegas to LA, someone even offered me a slightly used tricycle as transportation. Scott Larabee of Wizards of the Coast scheduled me for judging on Friday, which would give me a free entrance pass for the three days and Beth Morsund (Rules Guru-ess herself) offered me two minty fresh Mana Crypts. Alex Shvartsman offered dinner and Stanton said he'd make sure I was fed on the roadtrip.
So all I had to do was accept the fact that there were people that actually wanted me to go (well, that and the Canada thingy, but I still can't bring myself to believe it) and accept their offers of generosity. All the while wondering if I should wrap myself in body armor just in case. Which I did. So I met Stanton and his friends, Geoff and Dave and so beganeth our quest to the City of Angels Covered in Thick Layers of Soot.
It was an uneventful ride there, as long as you don't count the tantrum I threw when I was repeatedly rebuffed in my efforts to do the traditional road trip custom - singing a group song. So while I sulked in silence, I decided to compose the following song to make all of you suffer:
250 Good Magic Cards On the wall, 250 good cards...
You buy a lot of boxes, then the DCI quickly bans and restricts those Moxes!
227 good Magic cards on the wall...
(repeat until you reach 0 Cards on the Wall after Memory Jar is banned)
Somewhere in the middle of the desert (yes, we painstakingly measured the whole thing) we came across a lone gas station that was more than a tad eerie. There were no cars, no signs of life and the place looked as if it had been abandoned for the last 50 years. Until we went in. There we found a completely clean, modern gas station/grocery mart with all the conveniences and a whole bunch of customers. People. Lots and lots of people. Spooky. After all, where did these people come from if there were no cars and the nearest sign of civilization is 200 mile away? It's as if we stepped out of our reality smack dab into the middle of the Twilight Zone. The "people" all had blank looks on their faces as they shuffled about their business, totally clueless as to our presence. I tried to stop a lady with a parasol (a funny ancient looking umbrella) but my hand passed right through her!
It was about 20 minutes before Jack and crew got me to stop screaming; repeatedly kicking someone in the groin is a great silence motivator. Well, after the person you're kicking screams himself hoarse, that is. Although the customers were apparently spiritual in nature, the cashier wasn't and we filled up the tank. On the way out, I noticed one of those old Fortune Teller vending machines, complete with the puppet crone and the crystal ball so I popped in a penny and was delighted to receive not one, but two fortune cards. In a never-ending escalation of the Weirdness Factor, I noticed a sign in the front that read "Expanding! Coming Soon: TCBY, Subway and Carl Jr's." Yep, that's right - the eerie gas station on the middle of the desert with ghosts for customers is getting bigger. So you know what I did after reading that sign?
You got it, I started screaming again. This time though they helped me out by bashing in my ribs with a tire iron and tossing my wigged-out carcass in the truck. The trip from the ghost station to the Queen Mary was uneventful, or at least I suppose it was since I was unconscious due to the beating I received from my helpful journey-mates. About seven hour later, still in the blissful embrace of oblivion, I was chucked into an inconspicuous ancient Volvo and became the responsibility of one David Welty, aka KirdApe.
Night 1: Thursday
After Dave Welty, aka KirdApe resuscitated me using an old sneaker in place of smelling salts, we went off to the ultra-top secret elite hush-hush Judge's Meeting on the Queen Mary. It was here that we would learn all the valuable tips and secret tech in dealing with Pro Tour Players. Here in the same room were not only *THE* Jeff Donais (yes, I know he's Canadian...I'm still pondering that), Scott Larabee (nicknamed for some reason I have yet been able to fathom Oh Great Leader of the Still Leaderless), Dan "Whip a Card at Me and I'll Sit on You With Feeling" Gray, and about 23 still-certified judges, the only survivors of the great Hey I Woke Up Judge Certification Mass Non-Renewal Party of 1999. We were all briefed (those of us not wearing underwear) on how to run the upcoming events, given new penalty guidelines and were allowed at several times to writhe on the ground, hysterically moaning, crying and hugging each other when we were informed that there was no free food at the Judge's Meeting (the only reason anyone would go to one); not even a stale donut with sprinkles or a cold cup of coffee. Two of our fellows keeled over and died due to starvation and as they were dragged from the room, we bowed our heads and swore that we would honor their memories by giving our all to the Judge Certification program like they did. And yes, we enjoyed all the whipping if you really must know.
After the judges meeting Dave and I went to his house where I met his parents and their two dogs. One was a traditional floppy-eared rug and the other was straight out of a genetics laboratory. An evil Doctor must have thought "Hey, I have an idea - let's make a smaller version of a small dog" - and thus the miniature dachshund/mutt was created. E-vil! *shudder* Cute, but still evil.
Day 1: Friday
We woke up and began what was to become a grand ritual; stopping at McDonald's drive-thru window and harassing the speaker-ette in the booth with garbled orders. Eventually I clearly indicated that I wanted a cup of coffee and 2 Egg-McMuffins via a large sign held up to the headset-wearing zombie that read "I'd like a cup of coffee and 2 Egg McMuffins!" Since the only option not purchased on the Volvo was a cup holder, I played one-armed Magic humorist while Dave poured the cream and sugar into my coffee. With the first sip, and some pesky third degree burns thanks to the way Dave guns the car whenever someone's stupid enough to drink coffee in his car, we were headed to the boat.
Ok.. time to judge. It was the first round of rochester drafting and I was watching my table full of Pros draft. A person in a WotC staff shirt came up to me and tells me that CNN for some reason wanted to interview the only lady at my table. I waited until that round was over and told her that CNN wanted to talk to her and she said she didn't want to. The WotC person comes back, I tell him she said no. WotC staffer stares in disbelief, doing a perfect impression of a typical WotC person (blank glazed expression, slack jaw, convincing imitation of a member of the vegetable family.) I'm not sure but I think he was doing an impersonation of an asparagus. I shoo him off. A few minutes later, a blonde woman comes up to me. Since this normally never happens to me, I look at her closely. I stare into her eyes (well, not at first but I did) and notice with regret that I can see straight through to the back of her skull. *Sigh* Great. Yep, you guessed it, the signs of a new WotC employee.
She comes up to me and goes incredulously "She doesn't want to be on TV?!", totally shocked as well as completely clueless to how this could be possible. I look at the WotC woman and realize with sadness that she probably is also wondering why she can't get Channel 4 on her microwave. I tell her that the player does not want to be interviewed by CNN and tell her to leave the lady alone. Understand this, I am a judge and one of my duties is to protect the players under my care from anything that can detract from their enjoyment of the game. Pressuring her to be interviewed when she doesn't want to or have to when she already said "No" is not allowed in my book. The WotC woman bends down and starts to try to convince the female player to go under the CNN cameras. The lady shakes her head no. The WotC woman tries to speak but I make it known to her that she should leave now by making shooing motions with my arms, shaking my head no and telling her to leave the player alone as she said No three times already. The hammer in my hand caught her attention.
The WotC woman looks a little ticked at me while I make her leave the player be. I notice she was looking at the Judge's badge hanging around my neck for my name. Oops, silly me - I must have forgot to have my name printed on my badge. I'm kinda stupid that way. I sure would have liked to be there when the WotC woman described the guy that made her leave the player alone and someone realized who she was talking about. Oh well...
I escort the player to the room where the players are to construct her deck and stand vigil over her to protect her from a re-occurrence of the same problem. Later I have to help out elsewhere and tell the judge next to me what to watch out for so the player is left alone.
That was the excitement of the day. I help out for both rounds of drafts, man the tables distributing land for the players, help the other judges sort all the player sheets as well as helping out wherever needed. One of the foreign high level judges thanks all of us for our hard work and says something so funny and yet so sad, that I have to repeat it. It sums up the reward you get after paying $3,247 to be a judge:
He shakes each of our hand and says "Thank you for your help! I have nothing for you."
Yes, you got it. We all worked extra to make sure the whole thing went well and got nada, zip, zero, nyet for doing so. Man, did he look real embarrassed. You could see clearly that if he was running the show we'd all be rewarded for our efforts - but since Wizards of the Coast was running the event we were all considered two levels below pond scum. I'm sure everyone responsible for the wildly successful Judge Certification Program is still wondering why there are so few judges left. If someone could just put their finger on the problem, I'm sure the mystery can be solved. Other judges received $15 vouchers for food, but not us. Nope. We must have been wearing the wrong shirt. Ours were purple.
Later, we did receive something so excellent, so generous, so measuring of the purple-shirted Judge's worth that it just must be shared with you all. I want everyone to know how near and dear to our hearts that WotC thinks of the people that make the Pro Tour work so well.
We all received a special bag of goodies as thanks for all our efforts. Please commence drooling, this was just awesome! The bags contained:
1 Photocopied, personalized (well, if your name was Dear Judge) letter from the DCI Tournament Manager.
1 Vanguard card - Long live Arena!
2 Wizards of the Coast cardboard coasters
1 DCI Scorekeeping pad
1 DCI headed scratch pad
1 Wizards of the Coast pin
6 random very desirable Magic cards (people are demanding Elvish Rangers still, yes?)
2 packs of foreign Tempest, Exodus and Urza's Saga that were taken from a Duelist booster
subscription (minus the Duelist they were taken from.)
And last but certainly not least 5 over-sized Magic cards that were so great no one wanted to
attempt to trade us for them - meaning they must be priceless.
One of our purple-shirted judge brethrens looked up from his bag of goodies and in a small voice, lacking completely of any emotions said "It's getting better." A tear rolled down his right eye. Out of pity we killed him.
Everyone should help out at these events. After all, there's obviously plenty of good stuff to go around if you do! And to all those silly judges that didn't pay again to be judges, shame on you all. You guys must be sooo jealous over what we got at PTLA it must be killing you. Why if I listen closely I bet I can hear all those renewals being sent in the mail...
Well the day ended and Dave and I went back to his place to sleep. I made absolutely no money that day and was down to $15 of the original $30 I brought with me. But I did get another look at the evil little micro-dog. E-vil.
Day 2: Saturday
After trying all day to run some events to resupply my funds, it was looking grim. I was down to my last $5, which was not good. As per usual the price for food was high at PTLA, a tiny sandwich and a drink costs $7 (which was about a judge's months pay.) So I started looking on the floor with the rest of my purple-shirted colleagues for scraps of food someone might have dropped. All I kept finding was all the foreign garbage cards they kept giving us judges for all our hard work. It was looking bad for the Quardster. Even Ferratio at this point was looking kinda insubstantial. Someone came up to us and said Dan Gray needed some help with the PTQ they were running so I pitched in. I noticed a change in the atmosphere there, the other judges looked happy, and I saw some of them with food. Yes, food. I thought I must have been hallucinating when I saw my fellow purple-shirts eating. I started to look for the pink elephants and the honest used car salesmen... and after a while a little flicker of hope almost dared to spark in my brain.
That's when Dan asked me if I needed money. I remember thinking he said something. I turned and stared at him, confused. Money? I tried to dig up the meaning of the word in the black depths of my mind. I thought I heard that term before, but it was a long time ago. I continued to stare at Dan as I tried to figure out what money was. Dan took a cautious step back. It was then that the memory surfaced; my head shook up and down violently and hope flared anew. Money. Why with that I can eat. Dan plopped a $20 into my outstretched hand. I stared at it, tears pouring from my face. This was money. Currency. Wampum.
It's been so long. I'm a purple-shirt. I'm not supposed to come this close to moola.
As I looked at Dan I saw golden wings spread from his back and unfold. He became illuminated in a nearly blinding white light. I felt blessed. Blessed by Dan the Angel. Dan the Holy. Dan the Man. Dan the Virtuous. Dan the Savior of Self-Professed Magic Humorists everywhere.
It was then that I leaped into his holy arms and kissed Dan full on the lips...I even used my tongue...
I didn't kiss Dan, but if he was a woman I would have held him like he's never been held before.
Dan Gray saved my life. I want everyone to know it. I had money for food now. Money. Food. Two concepts so alien to the judges in the Certification Program. I leaped on Dan's shoulders and screamed "I'm King of the World!!!!" (No, I'm not telling if I really did that, you ask Dan.)
With my spirit renewed, thanks to the pigging out the revival of my fundage allowed, I was a new man. Although judging from the reaction of passer-bys I smelled like the old me.
I judged. I ate. I erected monuments to Dan Gray, my hero. Nothing more eventful than my life being saved occurred that day.
Day 3: Sunday
I took it easy on the boat the last day and went around without the purple judge shirt. I was immediately struck by the difference in the way I was treated without the shirt. Firstly, I wasn't struck and secondly I was treated as a person. I played a little, watched lots of duels and sat in the comfy chairs at the end, watching the Pro Tour final 8. Later I watched The Mark Rosewater game show. Some well-meaning players cut him up into about 12 slices and made a game of putting all the pieces back together. At the end, he looked about right, except for the arm they re-attached to his back.
Jack, Geoff, Dave and I, along with Alex Shvartsman went to a great spot for dinner. A 24hr. diner that's legendary for its price and portions - about 10 or so miles away from the boat. This place is a favorite amongst the PT crowd when they go to PTLA.
I ordered a steak sandwich, very cheaply priced and was stunned when the waitress slid a whole juicy medium-rare bovine in front of me, with a mountain of fries. Underneath the 985lbs of succulent beef was two small slices of bread. The guys chuckled as I stared at the dead but
oh-so delectable offering before me and dug in. I even ate the horns. Thanks for buying dinner, Alex!
During dinner Tom Guevin came by and we all had a great time talking and eating. He seemed a nice chap and it was a pleasure to meet him. Hours later we all traipsed back to the boat where I slept in Alex's cabin. Alex and I bunked together at PT NY where we met in 1997, ideal roomies since we know the other doesn't snore.
Day 4: Monday
It was time to go see some of the sights in L.A. before Jack, Geoff, Dave and I headed home. We took the time to explore the Queen Mary and Uncle Jack took us all to the Long Beach Aquarium (yay, Unca Jack!) The Aquarium was a tad pricey at $14.95 each, but hey, that's not even a full meal on the Queen Mary, so it looked cheap in WotC-perspective. We saw plenty of fish, crabs that would have looked so good on a platter with melted butter, sharks, turtles, and lots of other sea stuff. Ferratio had a grand time frolicking with his distant cousins, 2 Sea Otters and we had fun sticking our hands in water that skates and rays were going to the bathroom in. Skates and rays feel odd, like you're touching a soft inner tube that's really slimy. When you pull your arm out of the water your arms smells so clean, like unprocessed sewage. I have as a souvenir, a little red plastic tag that came off of one of the Manta rays from the tank. It's pink and reads "THWN." Oh well. Perhaps it means To Hold While Nursing or Toxic to Human White Numbskulls. I'm sure it wasn't important. It was red and everyone knows the color of Danger is blue.
We also met a Sea Lion that was giving us a memorable show. He'd swim up close to the surface swim completely around the tank, turn to show us his belly, barrel roll, head back up close to the surface and do it all over again. Time after time after time. Up near surface, come around, show belly, barrel-roll, again. We called this cool sea lion Tech. And once in a while he'd do a counter-clockwise barrel-roll. Tech came complete with a sideboard!
We also met some cool looking puffins. Puffins are birds, that look like penguins that love to swim under water. Actually you could say they fly under water. There was this one puffin that was so fast diving into the water, zooming around under water and rocketing out of the water and doing it all over again so fast you couldn't keep track of him for long. He was so quick, fast and erratic that we could only dub him one thing. Yep, you got it, we named him Turbo-Zvi. If you don't get the joke, not to worry, it's unexplainable; save for our fondness for the man from which this rocket-puffin was named for.
After the Aquarium we jumped back in the truck and headed back to Las Vegas. The funny thing was the first 10 miles took just as long as the rest of the trip, but hey, that's LA traffic for you.
Later, a tad tired, still alive and fed the guys dropped me off at my home in Vegas and we said our goodbyes. Jack and crew headed back to Utah. Needless to say, I enjoyed my completely-sponsored trip immensely. A lot of good people helped to make sure I made it to PTLA and back.
Needless to say, I had an excellent time at PTLA. I was a tad embarrassed to be asked to sign Repopulates for people (it has a picture of ferrets on it), I signed about 20 during PTLA. I met a ton of nice people all throughout the days of the PT, and I'd like to say a few hellos right about now while closing the PTLA experience:
Jack "The Man" Stanton - Thank you for your help getting there and back as well as making sure my slender girlish figure didn't become more slender by feeding me. Looking forward to your coming by this way again! Long live the power of the Barcelona Moo!
Geoff - the driver. Pleasure meeting you. I knew you owned a cow. I just knew it. Stop walking so fast, its hard to keep up with someone as excitable as you. See you again sometime!
Dave - guy who sleeps on shelves. I almost remember what you look like. Most times you were hidden in the back of the truck, whether on purpose or by accident who knows. A mystery best left unexplored. Can't wait until next time, I'm bringing a camera.
Frank Kusumoto - a special thank you for stepping in and offering emergency transportation for me if it looked like I couldn't get a ride to PTLA. You are the one and only Sensei. *bow*
David Welty, aka KirdApe on IRC - It was nice meeting you, oh Disciple of the Gray. Thanks for providing the transportation, place to rest my weary fly-head and the evil tiny micro-dog experiment was killer. Say thank you to your parents to who allowed in a strange stranger.
Michael and Sharyl MacKinnon - It was an extreme pleasure to meet you both and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversations. I had a great deal of fun, except when fellow purple-shirt Mike informed me the reason all those silly people kept screaming "Judge! Hey Judge!" at us all the time was the large JUDGE stamped across the back of our shirts. Sneaky rascals. (PS. I hope I got Sharyl's name right! I lost the paper I wrote it down on.) Hey, write back and tell me how the plane ride back to Canada was - did Sharyl run out of books?
John Carter from Memphis - This fellow purple-shirt from Memphis fed me profuse amounts of Starburst Fruit Chews to revive me when I couldn't get food. Another person I had a great time meeting and joking with all the time during PTLA. Listed below is a cool list John sent me explaining the obvious question the 22 surviving members of the Judge Certification Program were asking themselves while being showered with gold from Wizards in thanks for their hard work:
Why you should be a DCI judge -- By John Carter
10) Now it costs only $10 to work for free! ($20 actually counting the $10 testing fee, John)
9) A perfect opportunity to travel long distances to not play at all.
8) It's your chance to relay appeals between players and the head judge.
7) Players who don't read their own cards will thank you.
6) The number 6 has been banned in this format.
5) Errata is good for you.
4) Who wouldn't want to listen to hours of pro players whining?
3) The shirt only costs an extra $30.
2) BethMo will love you forever.
1) We have a special gift for YOU.
With accurate revelations like that John, I'm sure the DCI will have 20 certified judges soon!
Beth Morsund - Wizards of the Coast - it was a pleasure to finally meet you, Beth. And thanks for sponsoring me with those two Mana Crypts. Thanks again.
Dan Gray - you saved my life. And for that, I'm sure there are a lot of people waiting in line in order to thank you properly for that. You're my hero. My hoagie. My submarine sandwich.
Steve Valladolid aka Chente - it was a pleasure meeting you in the flesh, Steve!
Undone - oops forgot your real name. Your leaping in the air multiple times was a great trick, I so wanted to give you a biscuit.
Other people I had the pleasure to meet and/or remeet - Julie (dscoqueen), Mark Rosewater of course (sorry but the Idol being smelted was not my fault!), *THE* Jeff Donais, Scott Larabee and all the other fellow judges it was my pleasure to meet (Chris Wong, Bob Blackman, Dan's judging crew, Andrea aka Talvi, and anyone my fragile mind has forgot.) It was a pleasure meeting you all, now that I have your faces visualized, stalking you all is a lot easier.
And now with that done, its time to finish the last edition of Quard's Corner with
Q: I get the suspicion that Apprentice caved and made a secret deal with those boobs at WotC so they could continue to distribute Apprentice. Any time you hear the word "Partners" you usually find that one of the partners controls the other - and I have a nagging feeling WotC is in Apprentice's driving seat. What do you think, Quard? - [more than a few readers], InterNet
A: Yes, the attack on Apprentice was severely silly by WotC. One of the things that stood out was that they took a long time issuing any statements until Apprentice and WotC announced jointly that they were partners. WotC officials told people that the whole thing was a mistake, yet while they were swamped by hundreds of outraged emails, they didn't release anything telling people the whole Cease and Desist mess was a mistake. Instead, negotiations between WotC and Apprentice were taking place. This suggests to anyone with a single brain cell that the whole mess was probably not an accident. Now, as to Apprentice caving in and WotC now in the driver's seat, there's one easy way to prove or disprove people's concerns. If you don't see any more Apprentice updates of expansions before the expansions are on sale, or an Apprentice expansion update while the expansion is still in pre-release, I'd say something's up. Time will tell and believe you me there are a lot of people watching. And yes, if WotC is in the driver's seat, I'd pray that someone develops an alternative because the future of on-line Magic will be very bad indeed.
Q: In a past life were you ever a cow and if you were answer me this - Moo mooooo
mo mmooooooo? - EviIKow, Internet
A: ?! How dare you talk to anyone using that language you heffer. What were you, raised in a barn?! And a double Moo mooooo mo mmooooooo to you too!
Q: What would happen if WotC suddenly changes the rules in 6th to incorporate physical contact? - PNT9RMN, Internet
A: There has always been physical contact in the game. Well, as long as the Pro Tour's been around anyways...
Q: What does it take to get one's question in Quard's Corner?
A: Usually it takes a special email, one that asks some good point or attracts the attention of at least 3 of my 8 distinctive voices. However, I'd have to respond that from now on it will take a major miracle for someone's question to appear in Quard's Corner since this is the last one. It's been a fun ride everyone! I bow to you all, each and every one of you...
This final edition of Quard's Corner has been brought to you by: a 5lb box of strawberry flavored Twizzlers, a restraining order from WotC's legal staff, various whip marks from the DCI Overseers at PTLA, 6th Edition, skiing off a cliff while trying to catch some lemmings and a foil Lava Axe.
This final edition of Quard's Corner was held up by: getting a nasty 2 week flu bug after coming home from PTLA, re-discovering the joys of solid foods, trying to download the second Star Wars movie trailer on the Net and finally this edition was held up by a tiny little Nazi-rodent of a security guard on the Queen Mary named Mike. Man, we were all waiting for Hammer to toss you and your taller-by-an-inch boss over the railing!
Special Quotes of the Month:
"You will have 30 seconds for deck construction." - *THE* Jeff Donais, DCI Tournament Manager instructing the players in the first draft of PTLA.
"I'll send you more quotes for the Corner soon." - Mark Rosewater, lead designer/developer, Magic
"You must construct your decks face down." - *THE* Jeff Donais, DCI Tournament Manager instructing the players in the second round of the draft at PTLA.
"I really don't want to do this!!" - Andrea Kunstt, dragged against her will to help out in the PT draft. (I'm still wondering why there aren't many certified judges...)
"It's getting better." - a fellow judge after peering into the bag of gold we received for our efforts at PTLA shortly before we put him down.
"Thank you for your help! I have nothing for you." - foreign Level 4 judge, embarrassed at the level of WotC's support for the judge's at PTLA.
"Do you need money?" - Dan Gray, My Hero.
The End of the Article series known as Quard's Corner.
Note: The final curtain descends. Thank you, all of you who enjoyed my efforts. We had a lot of good times here and I thank all of you. If you want to say Hi, please fell free to email me at email@example.com.Although I take my leave of you now, I remain always, Quard. Buh-bye!
This final 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. Although he hasn't had a date in 3-5yrs, he's still alive. Why, we don't know. If you'd like to talk with him, or any one of his eight voices, please feel free to send them e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. All feedback received is welcomed.
Warning: any hate mail will be forwarded to a neighbor he doesn't like. In triplicate!
[Author's Note: I had a great and wonderful time at PTLA '99 with many old and new-found friends. It was quite a great trip from Jack and the gang tossing me into a pickup truck to head for LA to all the nice readers out there who made sure I had a place to sleep and something to eat, as well as the WotC staffers who helped me out when I arrived. The whole experience was beyond wild (as you can tell if you read this article instead of skipping to the end to read these author notes). I didn't even think of ending Quard's Corner until shortly after this article was written; even I could never dream of going out on such a high note or thought of a day when I would be able to retire on a sandy island paradise surrounded by scantily-clad natives who obey my every command. It just felt right to end these Magic humor articles and when it feels like it's time to stop, that's definitely the moment to do so. I take the time out now to salute all you old readers, as well as the people who have recently emailed me to ask me if I would return. Thank you one and all, you were always the best part of Quard's Corner! Give yourselves a hand! Originally appeared in March 1999 on the beloved Frank Kusumoto's Magic Dojo]