I’ve never included childhood bullies (even as zombunny fodder). They would attain ‘immortality’; the creativity I have gained through introversion is victory enough. Besides… there are things even an undead bunny won’t eat.
|“I feel I’m able to get rid of any demons lurking in my psyche through my writing, which leaves me free to create all of this and to enjoy our family life, stepping away from all the fictional traumas and the dramas. If I write about family in crisis, then I won’t have to live through it, I guess.”
– Jodi Picoult
This weekend we’re asking for 33 of your own words that exorcise a demon. One of your own, or one from your imagination. Let it bleed on the page.
I’ve never included childhood bullies (even as zombunny fodder). They would attain ‘immortality’; the creativity I have gained through introversion is victory enough. Besides… there are things even an undead bunny won’t eat.
I know that most of you like “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” or “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or even the “Charlie Brown Christmas Special”. Some of you may have been lucky enough to see The Christmas Show at Rockerfeller Center (I have; it is that awesome).
I enjoy all of those as well, but the following is my true way of getting into the holiday spirit. It’s also my favorite written work, ever. EVER. EVER! It inspires my style, the power and emotion in each word are evident, and it reminds me that though some things are timeless, we should cherish them as though they are not.
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
About the Exchange
Francis P. Church’s editorial, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” was an immediate sensation, and went on to became one of the most famous editorials ever written. It first appeared in the The New York Sun in 1897, and was reprinted annually until 1949 when the paper went out of business.
Thirty-six years after her letter was printed, Virginia O’Hanlon recalled the events that prompted her letter:
“Quite naturally I believed in Santa Claus, for he had never disappointed me. But when less fortunate little boys and girls said there wasn’t any Santa Claus, I was filled with doubts. I asked my father, and he was a little evasive on the subject.”
“It was a habit in our family that whenever any doubts came up as to how to pronounce a word or some question of historical fact was in doubt, we wrote to the Question and Answer column in The Sun. Father would always say, ‘If you see it in the The Sun, it’s so,’ and that settled the matter.
” ‘Well, I’m just going to write The Sun and find out the real truth,’” I said to father.
“He said, ‘Go ahead, Virginia. I’m sure The Sun will give you the right answer, as it always does.’ ”
And so Virginia sat down and wrote her parents’ favorite newspaper.
Her letter found its way into the hands of a veteran editor, Francis P. Church. Son of a Baptist minister, Church had covered the Civil War for The New York Times and had worked on the The New York Sun for 20 years, more recently as an anonymous editorial writer. Church, a sardonic man, had for his personal motto, “Endeavour to clear your mind of cant.” When controversal subjects had to be tackled on the editorial page, especially those dealing with theology, the assignments were usually given to Church.
Now, he had in his hands a little girl’s letter on a most controversial matter, and he was burdened with the responsibility of answering it.
“Is there a Santa Claus?” the childish scrawl in the letter asked. At once, Church knew that there was no avoiding the question. He must answer, and he must answer truthfully. And so he turned to his desk, and he began his reply which was to become one of the most memorable editorials in newspaper history.
Church married shortly after the editorial appeared. He died in April, 1906, leaving no children.
Virginia O’Hanlon went on to graduate from Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts degree at age 21. The following year she received her Master’s from Columbia, and in 1912 she began teaching in the New York City school system, later becoming a principal. After 47 years, she retired as an educator. Throughout her life she received a steady stream of mail about her Santa Claus letter, and to each reply she attached an attractive printed copy of the Church editorial. Virginia O’Hanlon Douglas died on May 13, 1971, at the age of 81, in a nursing home in Valatie, N.Y.
Hoping you all have a good day with your loved ones. Sometimes their presence is the best gift of all.
I know I have another week before a ‘year in review’ post might be warranted, but seeing as this is my 100th post, why not?!
This was one of my 2012 Resolutions for the New Year, which yes, I do make. I think it went well.
I had a blog on another site for about 10 years and was pretty active with what I put into it. My goals for this were different – not only in content, but to a different audience, and what came of THOSE is a whole ‘nother story. Zombie Bunnies, anyone?! Tons of writing challenges that covered the spectrum of styles and inspirations, and I worked to keep up with them all the best way I could.
In life itself 2012 has been a magnificent year. Though I did not get the promotion I desired, I was elected into a ‘chair’ position of a sub-committee, and also given a role I was coveting for some time. Those two extra responsibilities have made me even more invaluabler to my job…or to a next job. Awesomeness like this cannot be contained; at least not at THIS salary.
So what was the best part of this year? Work, yes. The ZB’s, sure. YOU? Absolutely, Definitely! I didn’t know any of you a year ago, or the niches that you have each carved out in your part of the web. I had all but given up on the internet actually. Now I have shared a beer & burger with some of you, collaborated with others, and even won some Azamzing prizes along the way! And the hashtags – I think half of my thousand tweets are music/movie mashups. I have 108 people who follow me – no pressure!
So, when I say the nest year will be more of the same, I’m referring to the momentum, inspirations and interactions with you all. I absolutely appreciate what you say to me, and on your own blogs. Thanks for coming along.
|Ms Mel and ODNT want you to share your holiday traditions with them. Tell about one of your family’s holiday traditions. (NOTE: I didn’t say you had to LIKE the tradition.)|
There are so many facets as to what makes a holiday gathering with my family, and all of the things listed below are happening at the same time, which make it one big ball of tradition.
|Ms Mel and ODNT want you to share a favorite holiday recipe with them. For once, there is no Heinz-inspired word limit. Just don’t go overboard. (God, I HATED that movie.)|
To me, the challenge is to have a recipe so simple it fits in 57 words or less, and takes very little time. So I did it anyway. Then I remembered / decided to add the garlic. Garlic justifies extra words, so I don’t feel so bad about it.
This is a great go-to, and it stars a veggie, which makes it healthy. Just keep telling yourself ‘healthy’.
Bag of fresh Brussels Sprouts (NOT frozen)
4 ounces walnuts/ pine nuts (pignolis)
4 ounces chopped bacon/ pancetta
3 cloves garlic, crushed and rough chopped (NOT minced)
Bread crumbs and grated cheese (optional)
Fry the bacon, nuts (add garlic halfway to prevent burning/bitterness) in a medium deep pot until browned. Spoon the mix out onto paper towels to drain, leaving the oil in the pot (Leave the gun. Take the cannoli). Pare & halve the sprouts, add to oil with ½ – ¾ cup water. Boil until sprouts are soft and/or water is evaporated. Pour sprouts into serving bowl, add meat/ nuts, toss. Serve immediately, as cold sprouts = gah.
*Your other option is to pour into a casserole dish, top with bread crumbs and grated cheese, and broil for a few minutes to crust up.
Music of the day:
Being part of the first console generation, I grew up playing games that were paintings on a cave wall compared to today. With so little byte/bit space to work with, developers worked tireless hours to bring us the most basic, repetitive storylines, with graphics that in many cases, were little more than dots, and music that was a random set of sounds done in rhythm. We loved it though.
Apparently we still do.
As technology progressed, each element grew. Gameplay expanded, graphics got better, and the music had actual composers! Hell even Nine Inch Nails made a cameo as a weapon in Quake. Now that my peers and I are older, from our mid 30’s-40’s (some of us passing through another year today!), we look back on those times fondly; the games were no less violent, but blowing up tanks and planes of ‘enemies’ who were undefinable pixels/polygons lends a certain amount of guiltlessness, and fun!
Now, songs are remixed and comments about adolescent moments (more like hours, every day) rushing back are all about how great those games were. I’ve made friends with people based on our agreement that Zak McKraken and the Alien Mindbenders was the single greatest game ever. (Then again, I have also tapped steins with people based on Simpsons quotes and dive bars.
I’ve mentioned this before; in fact, when I looked at the new Windows tablet, I wondered how the hell I would load up the original Quake on that. With Windows 8, I see only a version that is even less likely to be able to load up all my old DOS games.
As quickly as we move forward, still we bring a few things with us along the way.
“Somebody needs to write a guide. The things these evil emperors forget…”
That reminded me of an email I received waaay back in the day – the Roarin’ 90’s of the netwebs, when you every time you logged in with your 56K modem and opened your AOL 4.0 email, there were hundreds of enlightening bits of information, virtually delivered to you and the 500 other people on that email list, and the 5000 before that if you scrolled down. They answered many of life’s questions and, if you forwarded it to 25 people in the next 3 minutes, could alter your fate positively (i.e. your crush making out with you).
The extensive and well thought-out list (which makes many movie references) below was one of those emails. And yes I still have it – I have a huge archive of jokes and humor on an external drive 😉
So what better way to bring back this theme, revisit an idea, just in case you, yes YOU! noticed an opening for a Evil Warlord, or again, were creating your own startup. Thank you, Ms. Fancy.
1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear Plexiglas visors, not face-concealing, vision impairing ones.
2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.
3. My noble half-brother, whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.
4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies.
5. The artifact, which is the source of my power, will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object, which is my one weakness.
6. I will not gloat over my enemies’ predicament before killing them.
7. When I’ve captured my adversary and he says, “Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?” I’ll say, “No.” and shoot him. No, on second thought I’ll shoot him then say “No.”
8. I will make the main entrance to my fortress standard sized. While elaborate 60 foot high double doors definitely impress the masses, they are hard to close quickly in an emergency.
9. When the rebel leader challenges me to fight one-on-one and asks, “Or are you afraid without your armies to back you up?” my reply will be, “No, just sensible.”
10. After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks’ time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.
11. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labeled “Danger: Do Not Push”. The big red button marked “Do Not Push” will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labeled as such.
12. I will not order my trusted lieutenant to kill the infant who is destined to overthrow me — I’ll do it myself.
13. I will not waste time making my enemy’s death look like an accident. I’m not accountable to anyone and my other enemies wouldn’t believe it anyway.
14. I will make it clear that I do, in fact, know the meaning of the word “mercy”; I simply choose not show any.
15. My undercover agents will not have tattoos identifying them as members of my organization, nor will they be required to wear military boots or adhere to any other dress codes.
16. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum-a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.
17. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.
18. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.
19. All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several rounds of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal.
20. The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request.
21. I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting his plan into operation.
22. I will design all doomsday machines myself. If I must hire a mad scientist to assist me, I will make sure that he is sufficiently twisted to never regret his evil ways and seek to undo the damage that he has caused.
23. I will never utter the sentence “But before I kill you, there’s just one thing I want to know.”
24. When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.
25. I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt to usurp power would easily fail; it would provide a fatal distraction at a crucial point in time.
26. I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the hero’s rugged countenance and she’d betray her own father.
27. Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it’s too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly.
28. I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original uniforms for my Legions of Terror, as opposed to some cheap knock-off that make them look like Nazi storm troopers, Roman foot soldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.
29. No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.
30. I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use. That way even if the heroes manage to neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless-my troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.
31. I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line “No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!” (After that, death is usually instantaneous.)
32. No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct any sort of machinery, which is completely indestructible except for one small and virtually inaccessible vulnerable spot.
33. No matter how attractive certain members of the rebellion are, there is probably someone just as attractive who is not desperate to kill me. Therefore, I will think twice before ordering a prisoner sent to my bedchamber.
34. I will not rely entirely upon “totally reliable” spells that can be neutralized by a relatively inconspicuous talisman.
35. Even though I don’t really care because I plan on living forever, I will hire engineers who are able to build me a fortress designed such that, if I am slain, it will tumble to the ground for no good structural reason.
36. Any and all magic and/or technology that can miraculously resurrect a secondary character who has given up his/her life through self sacrifice will be outlawed and destroyed.
37. I will offer oracles the choice of working exclusively for me or being executed.
38. I will see to it that plucky young lads/lasses in strange clothes and with the accent of an outlander shall regularly climb some monument in the main square of my capital and denounce me, claim to know the secret of my power, rally the masses to rebellion, etc. That way, the citizens will be jaded in case the real thing ever comes along.
39. I will not employ devious schemes that involve the hero’s party getting into my inner sanctum before the trap is sprung.
40. I will never build only one of anything important. All-important systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies. For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.
41. My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble.
42. I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
43. All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.
44. All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected reinforcement and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his sidekick.
45. I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.
46. I won’t require high-ranking female members of my organization to wear a stainless-steel bustier. Morale is better with a more casual dress code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black leather will be reserved for formal occasions.
47. I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.
48. I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look diabolic. Now they just make you look like a disaffected member of Generation X.
49. I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cellblock, let alone the same cell. If they are important prisoners, I will keep the only key to the cell door on my person instead of handing out copies to every bottom-rung guard in the prison.
50. If my trusted lieutenant tells me my Legions of Terror are losing a battle, I will believe him. After all, he’s my trusted lieutenant.
51. If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards me in my old age.
52. If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride at the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out my opposite number among his army.
53. I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable super weapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.
54. Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel devices.
55. When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.
56. I will maintain a healthy amount of skepticism when I capture the beautiful rebel and she claims she is attracted to my power and good looks and will gladly betray her companions if I just let her in on my plans.
57. I will only employ bounty hunters that work for money. Those who work for the pleasure of the hunt tend to do dumb things like even the odds to give the other guy a sporting chance.
58. I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what in my organization. For example, if my general screws up I will not draw my weapon, point it at him, say “And here is the price for failure,” then suddenly turn and kill some random underling.
59. If an advisor says to me “My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?” I will reply “This.” and kill the advisor.
60. If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy me, I will slay him while he is still a callow youth instead of waiting for him to mature.
61. I will treat any beast, which I control through magic or technology with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge.
62. If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact, which can destroy me, I will not send all my troops out to seize it. Instead I will send them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want Ad in the local paper.
63. My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh PowerBook’s.
64. If one of my dungeon guards begins expressing concern over the conditions in the beautiful princess’ cell, I will immediately transfer him to a less people-oriented position.
65. I will hire a team of board-certified architects and surveyors to examine my castle and inform me of any secret passages and abandoned tunnels that I might not know about.
66. If the beautiful princess that I capture says “I’ll never marry you! Never, do you hear me, NEVER!” I will say “Oh well” and kill her.
67. I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to double-cross it simply because I feel like being contrary.
68. The deformed mutants and oddball psychotics will have their place in my Legions of Terror. However before I send them out on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who would attract less attention.
69. My Legions of Terror will be trained in basic marksmanship. Any who cannot learn to hit a man-sized target at 10 meters will be used for target practice.
70. Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owner’s manual.
71. If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose dramatically and toss off a one-liner.
72. I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am.
73. My five-year-old child advisor will also be asked to decipher any code I am thinking of using. If he breaks the code in less than 30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to passwords.
74. If my advisors ask “Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme?” I will not proceed until I have a response that satisfies them.
75. I will never accept a challenge from the hero.
76. I will not engage an enemy single-handedly until all my soldiers are dead.
77. I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding structural supports which intruders could use for cover in a firefight.
78. Bulk trash will be disposed of in incinerators, not compactors. And they will be kept hot, with none of that nonsense about flames going through accessible tunnels at predictable intervals.
79. I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits, which could prove to be a disadvantage.
80. If I must have computer systems with publicly available terminals, the maps they display of my complex will have a room clearly marked as the Main Control Room. That room will be the Execution Chamber. The actual main control room will be marked as Sewage Overflow Containment.
81. My security keypad will actually be a fingerprint scanner. Anyone who watches someone press a sequence of buttons or dusts the pad for fingerprints then subsequently tries to enter by repeating that sequence will trigger the alarm system.
82. No matter how many shorts we have in the system, my guards will be instructed to treat every surveillance camera malfunction as a full-scale emergency.
83. I will spare someone who saved my life sometime in the past. This is only reasonable as it encourages others to do so. However, the offer is good one time only. If they want me to spare them again, they’d better save my life again.
84. All midwives will be banned from the realm. All babies will be delivered at state-approved hospitals. Orphans will be placed in foster-homes, not abandoned in the woods to be raised by creatures of the wild.
85. When my guards split up to search for intruders, they will always travel in-groups of at least two. They will be trained so that if one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol, the other will immediately initiate an alert and call for backup, instead of quizzically peering around a corner.
86. If I decide to test a lieutenant’s loyalty and see if he/she should be made a trusted lieutenant, I will have a crack squad of marksmen standing by in case the answer is no.
87. If all the heroes are standing together around a strange device and begin to taunt me, I will pull out a conventional weapon instead of using my unstoppable super weapon on them.
88. I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged contest, even though my advisors assure me it is impossible for them to win.
89. When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed so that my five-year-old advisor can easily understand the details, I will not label the disk “Project Overlord” and leave it lying on top of my desk.
90. I will instruct my Legions of Terror to attack the hero en masse, instead of standing around waiting while members break off and attack one or two at a time.
91. If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up after him and struggle with him in an attempt to push him over the edge. I will also not engage him at the edge of a cliff. (In the middle of a rope-bridge over a river of molten lava is not even worth considering.)
92. If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the hero the chance to reject a job as my trusted lieutenant, I will retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot before making the offer.
93. I will not tell my Legions of Terror “And he must be taken alive! “The command will be “And try to take him alive if it is reasonably practical.”
94. If my doomsday device happens to come with a reverse switch, as soon as it has been employed it will be melted down and made into limited-edition commemorative coins.
95. If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I will send out my best troops instead of wasting time with progressively stronger ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress.
96. If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving platform, have disarmed him, and am about to finish him off and he glances behind me and drops flat, I too will drop flat instead of quizzically turning around to find out what he saw.
97. I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are standing in front of the crucial support beam to a heavy, dangerous, unbalanced structure.
98. If I’m eating dinner with the hero, put poison in his goblet, then have to leave the table for any reason, I will order new drinks for both of us instead of trying to decide whether or not to switch with him.
99. I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite sex.
100. I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. “Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse.” Instead it will be more along the lines of “Push the button.”
101. I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and properly grounded.
102. My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use. Also, I will not construct walkways above them.
103. If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not berate them for incompetence then send the same group out to try the task again.
104. After I capture the hero’s super weapon, I will not immediately disband my legions and relax my guard because I believe whoever holds the weapon is unstoppable. After all, the hero held the weapon and I took it from him.
105. I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation is facing away from the door.
106. I will not ignore the messenger that stumbles in exhausted and obviously agitated until my personal grooming or current entertainment is finished. It might actually be important.
107. If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not taunt him.
108. I shall not return.
109. Legion of Terror rule of thumb: If it drinks heavily, it doesn’t stand guard well.
110. I will never, never, allow arrogance to overcome common sense when in a one to one shape-changing duel with a hero carrying a small bottle.
111. I won’t wear long capes with trains while at work. They snag.
112. If I can’t see the face for a veil, it is probably the hero dressed as a dancing girl. I will shoot the jeweled belly button and worry about after-dinner entertainment later.
113. I will beware men with the blond clean-cut look. They might be rotten apples with corruption in their hearts, but it is probably odds on they are out to get me.
114. I won’t keep a diary.
115. If my supreme command center comes under attack, I will immediately flee to safety and direct the defenses from there. I will not wait until the troops break into my inner sanctum to attempt this.
116. Escape pod tip: they aren’t worth it. Face the music like the tyrant you are! It will only plummet into the sun or something.
117. Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.