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[Comments] (1) Hearing!: I've long been fascinated by the highly ritualized nature of Congressional hearings. I think my interest started back in 2002 when Elmo the Muppet, a fictional character, testified before Congress, and no one said "Come out from under that Muppet and face our scrutiny!" or "Holy shit, Muppets are real!"

Anyway, the most recent round of Congressional hearings made me realize that the format makes a perfect framework for a role-playing game, a la The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Each player takes their turn in the spotlight and is asked to justify some despicable behavior or advocate for some bizarre appropriation. In fact, it could just be a theme hack of TEAoBM, but you'd want to have a balance of really hostile Congresspeople and those who just threw softballs. I guess the TEAoBM "story complication" mechanism could handle both.

[Comments] (2) The Devil You Say: One of the strange things about getting older is that you'll have a friend who you think you know, and then in the course of conversation it'll turn out she wrote a series of well-regarded supernatural Wodehouse pastiches in the 1990s. In this case it was Sumana's friend Elisa DeCarlo, author of The Devil You Say and its prequel Strong Spirits. I went on a stepstool through Elisa's closet to find copies of the books, and was injured by a falling box of 5 1/4" floppy disks that contain the original manuscripts.

Anyway, I've now read both books and I can heartily recommend at least The Devil You Say. It's not Wodehouse, but what is? (The answer: Wodehouse.) It's funny and clever, and has an excellent tagline: "Satan has risen... and just in time for tea." Strong Spirits has a better conceit, but the production schedule was severely rushed so it was written in not much time, and it's got huge plot holes and not as many jokes.

Both books are really short, like the length of two round-trip subway trips. Elisa has the rights, and the books have a decent fan base, so we told her she should put the books up on Lulu. She was working on a third book in the series when it was canceled in an editorial shakeup, and the manuscript is with the others on one of those deteriorating floppies.


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