Focus Group Self VII

Look, let’s get one thing straight: if you’re going to talk about AC, then nobody knows more than ME.

Death says, “Except for Maggie.”

Right, except for Maggie.

Death says, “And anyone at CoD.”

Oh, yeah, CoD. Them too.

Death says, “And Eldreth.”

Well, yeah, Eldreth, too.

Death says, “And the entire population of players.”

Uh, yeah, okay, them too. But BESIDES them, NOBODY knows more about this game then ME. Got it? So it is utterly ridiculous to announce that you’re going to be holding ‘focus groups’ and NOT including ME! Well, I’ve never been one to sit idly by when an injustice is being done! Er…well, that is, I’ve certainly CAUSED some in my day, but I usually participate in them, rather than sit by and watch…oh, never mind. The point is, I’ve got to get me into that focus group.

Now, those who don’t know would attempt to start their infilitration at the top – with Jeff Anderson. However, those people are stupid. I know from first-hand experience that approaching him results in Jeff ripping your tongue out and then grilling it up to serve to the rest of the Turbine employees in a bizarre, but no doubt Satanic, bonding ceremony. Don’t believe me? Just take a look:

Jeff Anderson, CEO and Tongue-Chef

No, it’s a much better (and safer) route to persue someone that has no cannibalistic tendacies. And no grill.

So, being the life-long pal of Ken that I am, I gave him a buzz.

“Turbine Entertainment Software, how may I help you?”
“Yes, hello, this is Kwip. May I speak to Ken Troop please?”
“I’m sorry, who is this?”
“Kwip who?”
“Wha…what the hell do you mean, ‘Kwip who’? Kwip! Greatest AC fan ever! God of the Lifestones! Hel-lo! Does ‘Kwipetian Vision’ ring any bells?”
“Oh. You’re a… fan.”
“-A- fan? Lady, I am THE fan. I put the ‘fan’ in ‘fanatic’! I put the ‘ac’ in ‘FANTASTIC’!”
“There’s no ‘AC’ in fantastic!”
“There’s no ‘AC’ in ‘fantastic’. It is spelled F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C.”
“There’s an ‘a’ and ‘c’ in there!”
“Yes, but they’re not right next to each other. Normally, when one makes a comparison such as this, it is common for the shorter word, letters or phrase to actually compose part of the longer phrase.”
“Still with me, Mr. Kwip?”
“Uh…right. Is Ken there, please?”
“No, I’m sorry, he just stepped out.”
“What? How do you know that?!”
“He just walked past my desk on the way out.”
“WHAT? Why the hell didn’t you stop him?”
“Would you like to leave a message?”
“D’oh! No! I’ll call him back!”

Hrmph. Thwarted by the inane chatter of a receptionist. Well, this obviously calls for more drastic measures. I shall have to pay Ken a visit in person.

Death says, “Heh. That’ll go over REALLY good. Remember that little restraining order thing?”

Yeah, but THIS time I won’t touch him! Well, I mean, like, maybe a LITTLE bit of touching. But not in any of the bad places!

So off I go. See, the secret to being a really good stalker is not to send them any part of your anatomy in the mail, and don’t write them love letters promising to kill any presidents. Unless you think it’ll get you in a Focus Group.

You yell, “Ken! Over here! Ken!”
Ken groans.
Ken says, “Kwip, you’re not allowed on the property. Go away or I’ll call the police!”
You say, “Ken, ol’ buddy, ha, that’s funny. Listen, what do I have to do to get in that focus group? Money? Here; take this.”
Ken says, “That’s a five dollar bill.”
You say, “YES IT IS, BIG SPENDER! And there’s MORE where that came from!”
Ken says, “Go away.”
You say, “Alright, not money – what else. Want me to kill someone for you? Name it! I’ll do it! I’ll show my love! What about presidents? Want me to kill Lincoln for you?”
Ken says, “Abe Lincoln?”
You say, “Yup; say the word, that bizatch is outtie.”
Ken says, “He’s already dead!”
You say, “Yeah, see? I’m good for my word!”

Right about now the security people started noticing me. They tried to talk tough, but I wasn’t leaving there! Not until I was in the focus group! Or they maced and beat the hell out of me, which turned out to be their preference.

On the ride to the hospital, it struck me – of COURSE Ken wasn’t going to promise me anything! Not while I was confronting him on Turbine property! It would smack of favoritism! I had to find him AWAY from the grounds of Turbine! AND away from their mace-laden security force…

I tried camping out the local pubs, but it turns out Ken’s married (which probably also explains why my plans to seduce him went so poorly). And I had to look casual in them, so I’d have a few drinks…anyway, after I got released from the drunk-tank, I decided they were a dead end. So I didn’t have much luck there. Then I tried local computer stores, but I think the Boston area has more damn computer stores than it does Irish pubs! I thought about flinging a spidey-tracker on him and using my danger sense to follow him. But then I remembered I wasn’t Spider Man. So that plan was right out. Finally I just followed him home from work.

*knock knock*
“Ken! Buddy! Open the door! It’s Kwip!”
“Hello? Ken! Hellow!”
*knock knock knock*
“I figured you guys would be having dinner right now, so I brought along some wine! Well, actually, it’s grape juice, but we could let it sit around for a while!”

It turns out that Ken has a couple of really big dogs. And they obviously have no appreciation of the greatest AC player ever…

Death snickers.

So anyway, another trip to the ER. Do you know that if you get bit by a dog, they require you to get 14 very LARGE, very PAINFUL shots? In the stomach, even! Take my word for it – it’s not fun.

Well, obviously the only thing to do now was…

*ring ring*

Huh? My cell phone? I pick it up, only to hear a raspy voice…

“The group is out there, Kwip.”
“Who is this?”
“A friend.”
“Who are you? What do you want?”
“It’s not about what I want, Kwip. It’s what you want. You want to know how to get into something.”
“Yes! I want to know how to get into a Fo…”
“Don’t say it! This isn’t a secure line!”
“Uh…right…let’s just say I’m FOCUSED on getting into a GROUP of something!”
“You’re an idiot.”
“Hey! Who is this, anyway?”
“Call me Deep Sho.”
“Uh, right. What can you tell me, Deep Sho? Where should I look?”
“Seek the one called…Eric. Mwuah-ha-ha! Hey guys, he totally fell for it! What a dumbass!”
“Uh, Deep Sho, I can still hear you.”

Finally! A clue! I must seek out…ERIC!

Which turned out to be a lot easier than I thought. I just waited until the next day and stood outside the office. As each person left, I just hollored out “ERIC!” At first, they all kept turning to look at me, so I put the megaphone away and just tried to call it out loud enough for them to hear me. Finally, someone came out of the office that turned when I called.

“Ah, hello! Kwip’s the name, AC’s the game! I understand you’re the person I’m supposed to speak to concerning being placed in the Focus Group?”
“What are you doing here?”
“Getting in the Focus Group! Try to keep up with me, son…”
“Who are you?”
“Oh, geeze, do I have to draw cue cards for you? Look, I’m the greatest AC player in the world, and it would be a CRIME if you were to have a Focus Group and NOT include me!”
“Hey – you’re that guy security’s been warning everyone about!”
“Uh, no, that’s the OTHER Kwip. That guy’s a bastard.”
“What? Go away!”
“Don’t make me angry, Eric. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…”

I’m not really sure what happened next, but a lot of it seemed to involve my head and Eric’s boot. Seems that those Turbine guys play rough! Ha! They’re such kidders! So I’m sure that I’ll get the invite to the Focus Groups now. I’m just hoping that my bail gets posted before then. I’ll tell you. This state’s so TOUCHY about people violating restraint orders! Honestly! It’s not like I set anything on fire or anything!

Death says, “Well, you did scorch ‘KWIP RULEZ’ in their front lawn.”

Well, yeah, but grass grows back!

Sigh. Anyway, I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on my progress. I know you guys are all pulling for me to get into the Focus Groups, and that makes it ALL worthwhile! Even shower time with my cellmate, Bubba…*shudder*