Wednesday, 29 September 2010

What if...

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that's when you met me.

"What... what happened?" you asked. "Where am I?"

"You died." I said,  matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

"There was a... a truck and it was skidding..."

"Yup." I said.

"I... I died?"

"Yup. But don't feel bad about it. Everyone dies." I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. "What is this place?" You asked. "Is this the afterlife?"

"More or less." I said.

"Are you god?" You asked.

"Yup," I replied. "I'm God."

"My kids... my wife." You said.

"What about them?"

"Will they be all right?"

"That's what I like to see," I said, "You just died and your main concern is for your family. That's good stuff right there."

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn't look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, perhaps. More a grammar school figure than the Almighty.

"Don't worry," I said. "They'll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn't have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it's any consolation, she'll feel very guilty for feeling relieved."

"Oh," you said. "So what happens now? Do I go to Heaven or Hell or something?"

"Neither," I said. "You'll be reincarnated."

"Ah," you said. "so the Hindus were right."

"All religions are right in their own way," I said. "Walk with me."

You followed along as we strode through the void. "Where are we going?"

"Nowhere in particular," I said. "It's just nice to walk while we talk."

"So what's the point then?" You asked. "When I get reborn I'll just be a blank slate, right? So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won't matter."

"Not so!" I said. "You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don't remember them right now."

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. "Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It's like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it's hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out you've gained all the experiences it had.

"You've been a human for the past 48 years, so you haven't stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here long enough you'd start remembering everything. But there's no point in doing that between each life."

"How many times have I been reincarnated then?"

"Oh lots. Lots and lots. And into lots of different lives." I said. "This time around you'll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD."

"Wait, what?" You stammered. "You're sending me back in time?"

"Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from."

"Where you come from?" You said.

"Oh sure," I explained. "I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you'll want to know what it's like there, but honestly you wouldn't understand."

"Oh," you said, a little let down. "But wait, if I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point."

"Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don't even know it's happening."

"So what's the point of it all?"

"Seriously?" I asked. "Seriously? You're asking me for the meaning of life? Isn't that a little stereotypical?"

"Well it's a reasonable question," you persisted.

I looked you in the eye. "The meaning of life, the reason I made the whole universe, is for you to mature."

"You mean Mankind? You want us to mature?"

"No, just you. I made the whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect."

"Just me? What about everyone else?"

"There is no one else," I said. "In this universe there's just you and me."

You stared blankly at me. "But all the people on Earth..."

"All you. Different incarnations of you."

"I'm everyone?"

"Now you're getting it," I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

"I'm every human being who ever lived?"

"And who ever will live, yes"

"I'm Abraham Lincoln?"

"And you're John Wilkes Booth, too" I added.

"I'm Hitler?" You said, appalled.

"And you're the millions he killed"

"I'm Jesus?"

"And you're everyone who followed him."

You fell silent.

"Every time you victimised someone," I said "you were victimising yourself. Every act of kindness you've done, you've done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by every human was, or will be, experienced by you."

You thought for a long time.

"Why?" You asked me. "Why do all this?"

"Because someday you will become like me. Because that's what you are. You're one of my kind. You are my child."

"Whoa!" You said, incredulous. "You mean I'm a god?"

"No. Not yet. You're a foetus. You're still growing. Once you've lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born."

"So the whole universe," you said, "it's just..."

"An egg." I answered. "Now it's time for you to move on to your next life."

And I sent you on your way.

-The End

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Dailysoapbox podcast

You may have noticed I posted a link to my friend's Politics blog, well the same friend got in touch with me and we recorded a podcast for said blog, so here's the link.
for those of you who are interested, I was also involved in the pilot...

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


OK, so you probably know all about The Game (you just lost it) by now, it's pretty mainstream. What you probably don't know is a scoring variation, based loosely on the concept of Assassins. The aim of this New Game is to plant traps for those around you, through the medium Traps
Basic rules are as follows:
1. Any number may play.
2.You score +1 for a kill and -1 for being killed.
3. Scores should be tracked by the individuals or a trusted judge. A solid record is preferable to memory.
4. All methods of death should be agreed by all players BEFORE they are employed.
5. Traps activate once, and are then rendered harmless.

A trap is an agreed trigger left where it will be discovered by the Target. At it's most basic this takes the form of a small piece of paper with BOMB written on it but can be anything you can arrange. Electronic traps (such as a Text document on a shared computer) and images are also popular.

In my group we have so far two traps, but I'm confident more will develop along with the game itself. Our traps are POISON and BOMBs, two obvious traps if we find them unexpectedly. These traps trigger in different ways, I'll start with the simpler of the two, BOMB.

BOMBs trigger when they are discovered by sight, and can be defused if removed without being seen. They are hidden somewhere the target will stumble across them. BOMBs are generally a piece of paper with bomb written across it, but can also be a picture of a cartoon bomb, or any agreed symbol of impending doom. That's it, BOMBs are seen and they go off, or are found by touch and defused. Simple.

POISON is slightly more tricky, but far funnier if taken to extremes. POISON is administered by concealing it somewhere in the target's food. Now you see why it's harder to do. POISON can take many forms, from a simple piece of paper labelled as such, to a banana skin hidden in a sandwich.  If the target finds the poison before eating, they have been saved by their caution, and they live. If they eat ANYTHING of the food, before discovery of the poison, they are killed. Now it gets funny, if they eat ALL the food, including the poison, they are immune to it this time, and live. For this reason, it can be very funny to hide large or disgusting poison in the food of an unfair player, just to watch them decide if they want to die or eat it and live.

OK, with that basic rundown you are all set to go out and start playing a REAL game. Feel free to contact me with any additions or improvements and maybe I'll post an updated version and hand you a nice credit for your troubles.