Painting With Shotguns XXIX, Part II The Second The Sequel The Revenge
Man, who knew that I’d have cause to type up a second Painting With Shotguns post for the day?
I’m coming back for two quick topics that are actually one topic: Dudes Of Legend and April Fool’s Day.
Ready? Splurch. Down and dirty, no graphics, here goes.
Dudes Of Legend: How To Be Fucking Awesome
So, Eddy Webb had this idea.
And it was to do an April Fool’s Day White Wolf product.
Except, it wasn’t going to be a traditional, “Oh! We fooled you!” kind of gig, it was going to be a kind of gag product, except the real joke is, it’s a gag product with real, totally-gonzo, over-the-top rules.
And I wrote it.
Contained within, you will find actual rules for:
- Double dildos as weapons.
- Sacred penises.
- Divine vaginas.
- Desert Eagles.
- And so much more!
(Yes, I just said “blumpies.” Yes, there now exist mechanic rules for receiving a blumpy. I’m just putting that out there.)
I don’t know that I’ve ever had more fun writing a goddamn World of Darkness product. I was able to do whatever I wanted. And they signed off on it! It’s like, the world went crazy, and I was made its king.
All I can say is, go, check out the free (and significantly less profane) version. And then suck it up and buy the real deal. You will not be fucking disappointed. This is the product that changes everything. This is the product that boots your asshole into your mouth and makes you gag on your own poo. This is the product that fills your heart with glee, and then rips the glee out and stuffs it in a lady’s handbag and beats you to death with it.
From the opening text…
‘No, no, I get it. You think we’re joking. I hear you: “Meh-ha-hee-ha, oh, trenchcoats and strippers, it’s an April Fool’s Day thing from those wacky White Wolf guys again. They’re probably drunk on mezcal, or high on the dust ground from the bones of a long-lost subterranean humanoid race.” Drunk? Yes. High on the bone dust of a fallen hobbit species? Duh. But we’re not fucking around. You put that out of your head. You put it out of your head, or we’ll kick it out. With boots. With fat, clunky steel-toe construction boots.’
Now, on the subject of April Fool’s Day…
For Writers, April Fool’s Day Is A Seductive Trap
Let me tell you a story.
This morning, I awoke and saw that a fellow writer who I loosely follow posted some Very Good News to Twitter — not just to friends and followers, but to the world at large with the #writing hashtag. So it went wide, this news (and it continues to, actually, through RTs and such).
I clicked. I saw the good news, which wasn’t crazy over-the-top (“I was made Poet Laureate of the Moon And Its Many Provinces!”), and I was actually happy for this writer. I said so publicly. So did many others, though I still hadn’t had my coffee and I didn’t read deep enough to see that an earlier comment had already nailed it:
Hey! It’s an April Fool’s Joke.
Ha ha ha!
Except, kind of not.
Now I feel like an asshole. I particularly feel like a duped shithead in regards to this writer. Right? I felt good for him, and now I feel like a chump. Now there exists an inadvertent sympathy — like mystical ley lines — connecting my feeling like a dickhead and this writer and his work (as his joke was about his work).
Newsflash, writers: you do not want this.
Let’s say that your joke reaches 10 people.
Let’s say that eight think it was funny.
Let’s say that two now feel like fuckheads.
Do you want that? Is your amusement worth alienating 10-20% of your audience? An audience who might want to one day give you money in addition to attention? I jolly well suspect not. Hey, good for you, you made you a joke. At my expense. And now I’m kind of annoyed.
Does that make me a sore loser?
Of course it does. But that’s not on me. That’s on you, because you’re the writer who opened the door for your audience to feel that way.
A great many people — me included! — feel like April Fool’s Day is basically the Worst Day On The Internet. My morning on this day usually consists of me falling for three or four pieces of shit jokes and then the rest of the day consists of me wading through jokes that now won’t fool me because I’m on to you, Internet, I’m on to your shittiness.
It is the best day to stay off the Internet.
So, as a writer, don’t fall prey to that. April Fool’s Jokes work great between friends or colleagues. But you and me? Or me and the other writers out there? Most of us, we’re not friends. You punk my ass, it’s at my expense, and it’s possibly going to make me feel stupid. (And yes, that is generally how this day works, relying on making others feel like dipshits. “Hey, believe this thing!” “Oh, okay! Holy shit, thing!” “Hahaha, you believed it! You are a gullible fuckface!” It’s like the Internet version of a swirly.)
You want to have fun, do it up.
But don’t be surprised if I walk away from you feeling like an asshole.