Finish Strong

In the final minutes of a closely fought match, the Ball Dodgers edged out the team from Cinci D's to claim their second victory in the final game of what has been a rough first season for them. The return of Troy and Maggie Scott helped offset the absence of certain clutch performers from two weeks ago like Tara "Indian Princess" Kassik, Brendon "Vanilla Fresh" Orr and Britt "Sqee Piddly" Standage.

The team is now entering a building phase, with high hopes for next year. Weekly throwing practice will begin at Flock Hall next week.

Unlubricated, please...

NEW COMIC TODAY - click the banner above!

Normally, these IM conversations are pretty self-explanatory, but I have added some colored text so that you can more easily identify the many faces of His Sinfulness...
HSBP: Wanna' move in? Seems we have a room going spare...
NGtUB: [snork] Don't tempt me.
HSBP: MUCH cheaper than your town...
NGtUB: yeah, but the volunteer opportunities are better here
HSBP: We need volunteers! I'm practically an NGO on my own!
NGtUB: Have you filed for non-profit status yet?
HSBP: Not yet, but my taxes and bank records should make it easy to prove...
NGtUB: We'll need a mission statement over 300 words.
HSBP: Um... there's like 4 years worth of blog...
NGtUB: Yes, but not all of that is relevant to the Ministry. We'll need something concise but detailed, organized but flexible, that really captured our objectives...
HSBP: All of it is relevant to me... and the Ministry is me...
NGtUB: True, but if we're going to form a non-profit it has to be detached from a sole entity.
HSBP: Detached? So confused... who am I? Where does the Pope end and Linus begin? Where does Linus end and Darth Furious begin? Where does this whining end and some hot BCP loving begin?
NGtUB: Who's whining? Linus? Or Darth?
HSBP: ...
NGtUB: Just don't start doing cocaine and we'll be all fiiiine.
HSBP: Yeah, 'bout that... it's not actually coke... Darth Furious gets this dust from Dagoba...
NGtUB: Dude, I don't care what Darth tells you--it's baking soda.
HSBP: It's some good baking soda, man... and I like that "clean refrigerator" smell you get afterwards...
NGtUB: [sigh] You know snorting baking soda makes the subpersonalities come forth more strongly.
NGtUB: which one of you is saying that?
HSBP: ... not sure.
NGtUB: For the good of the Ministry, I'm going to have ask you to stop snorting, Sir.
HSBP: I decide what's good for the Ministry! I'm the DECIDER around here!
(oh shit - the Republican personality is lose!)
NGtUB: [sigh] fuck. [calm voice] Sir, I'm going to need you to be strong. Remember strong? Before the white powder strong?
HSBP: You mean, strong like a temporary surge?
NGtUB: No, I mean strong like oak.
HSBP: How is that possibilistic? I have some oaks on the ranch down in Texas...
I mean really Darth, aren't you a bit miffed that the Republican has taken charge?
HSBP: The Democrats don't want us to win, you see. That's the problem - it's not IEDs or Al Kay-duh, it's the Democrats... You see - they hate freedom.
NGtUB: Come on Darth, someone's going to mistake the Republican for you--you do share the same body after all...
HSBP: So far, I like him... his mind is easily molded, like... earwax.
NGtUB: I heard the Republican was trying to seduce the BCPs and doing it in your name...he's tarnishing your good works...
HSBP: That's just silly - you know I am loyal to my wife, Laura…
NGtUB: One of the brunettes said, "Darth loses the touch when he slips into the Southern accent."
HSBP: I can crush him whenever I wish. For now, he suits my needs...
NGtUB: [sigh]
HSBP: yes... this anger will serve me well...
NGtUB: And what are your needs, m'Lord? Might we serve them some other way? Some way that I DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN TO HIM?
HSBP: Needs? I need to rule the galaxy. I need to wipe out the senate and the Jedi Order. I need a latte. With a straw, because of my mask. I need condoms. HUGE condoms...
NGtUB: Latte w/ straw and soy milk--check.
Did you run out of condoms AGAIN?
[sigh] I might as well double the monthly order.
Maybe I should double the monthly order, and then make it a biweekly order... That might work.
HSBP: or, possibly, we should buy me some actual balloons for my balloon animal practice...
HSBP: It's my new hobby. You told me I needed one
NGtUB: You have been using Ministry Approved Condoms for BALLOON ANIMAL PRACTICE?!?
I did tell you to get a hobby...
HSBP: I couldn't get the giraffe... the neck is hard.
NGtUB: Sir? Can I make a small petition?
HSBP: Always, Number One...
NGtUB: My job is to make your life easier and keep the Ministry running smoothly. To that end, should you need something, I would gladly attempt to make it so.
I can't do my job if you don't tell me when you need something.
Like, for example, [sigh] balloons for you balloon animal hobby.
HSBP: So... what, specifically is your petition?
HSBP: [using rubber stamps] petition received, noted, and... denied.
NGtUB: ... On what grounds, Sir?
HSBP: Entertainment. It's funny the way that vein in your head pops out...
NGtUB: ...
HSBP: Yeah - like that! That's HIGH-larious.
NGtUB: ...I'm going to go...lay down for a minute
HSBP: Certainly. You know what they say - "napping is next to godliness."
NGtUB: "They" don't say that. NOBODY SAYS THAT!
HSBP: Hee. There it is again!

New Comic Today

Click on the new comic (in the banner above) and then click on this proof of our impending obsolescence...


I'm not even going to pretend to be objective here - the following pictures are of the cutest baby bird EVER! This is Imelda, my Greater Vasa parrot. She is 13 weeks old in these pics - they were taken at the breeder's facility in Florida this past weekend by another Vasa owner from the bird club I belong to (the Rocky Mountain Society of Aviculture - very nice people, who do great work for birds of all kinds).

In the first two pics, she is playing peek-a-boo under a paper towel. It just doesn't get any more adorable than that...

Feel free to adore the infant queen, and gift her with gold, frankincense and myrrh - although I am told she would prefer grapes, corn, and cherries. She is scheduled to arrive at the Black Vatican sometime in August. I'm thinking of asking for paternity leave...

Salon Culture at the Black Vatican

The Flock is an intelligent and educated group, and the elite cadre that populates the inner circle of His Sinfulness is no exception. We have taken to having nightly salons, wherein we discuss the vital topics of our day. This evening past, we turned our attentions to the Arts, and the dreadful plight of public servants. A brief transcript of this evening's conversation at the papal residence can be found here.

Papal Edict

The Black Vatican website is now a LIVE beta!

His Sinfulness commands all of the faithful to go there NOW! Do not read your email. Do not answer your phone. Do not visit with coworkers. Go - go now, or face the wrath of the Sable Primate - he's like, fierce, or something.

We are still adding stuff to it, but it is finally there, and the cover art for the next chapter is up as well (one of my favorite single frames so far). The podcast is also there for those foolish enough to listen...

Oh Cthulhu

If you don't get this, please go to your local bookseller or library and look into the works of Mr. Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

If you do get it, and you'd like to hear more, look at these... Apparently, there is an album by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society called "A Very Scary Solstice". It includes such classics as, "O Come All Ye Old Ones" and "It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fish-Men."

I WANT IT! a Handbasket

Over on her blog, WNG has posted a link to a story about a pastor who lost his congregation by preaching that no one goes to hell. Naturally, I leapt to respond - my calling as an internet spiritual leader does have its responsibilities. Unfortunately, my pontificating quickly filled up WNG's comment box (please, no comments about filling WNG's box...) so I decided to turn it into an actual post.

When I was taking religion classes as an undergrad, they encouraged us to adopt a "religious studies persona." An alternate, completely neutral personality, through which we could examine religions other than our own, without the interference of our own beliefs and convictions. As you might guess, this was quite difficult, but with effort I was able to develop some detachment over the course of a few semesters worth of classes. Eventually I was able to read about the tenets and rituals of religions that I found at best, illogical, and at worst, outright harmful to the sanity of the practitioner, with a dispassionate eye. I took in the information and digested it without making value judgments on it, then stored it in neat packets in my head for easy retrieval during testing. Despite this concerted attempt to be neutral and even-handed in my treatment of all religious concepts, I was, and still am, baffled by anyone who believes in the concept of hell in the Christian faiths.

The position of the Abrahamic faiths on the existence of this fiery realm is not unique - many religions share this belief - but their insistence on it being an eternal condition is fairly uncommon. Most religions envision a way out for the transgressor after having served a certain period of time - I call it the "hockey paradigm." In these faiths, this place of punishment serves as a "penalty box" of sorts, giving those who have failed to behave properly in this life a chance to learn from their mistakes.

To the majority of Christians (that is, the primary denominations), however, this life is a one-shot proposition. You have only one lifetime in which to get this right, and failure leads to an eternity of torment. These folks hold to what I like to call the "skydiving" paradigm - "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you."

Now, consider for a moment the two paradigms. Which is more compassionate, hockey or skydiving? It seems clear to me that hockey is far more gentle than skydiving, as it allows a person to grow from their mistakes. Nevertheless, most Christians not only hold to the skydiving paradigm, but insist that their god is loving, benevolent, and compassionate. Throw in the idea that he is all-knowing as well, and you have a real logical dilemma. Observe:

If god is truly omniscient, then he must know where you will end up after death. He knows the good and bad choices you will make, and how your soul will be weighed when the end has come. In fact, he must know all of this before you are even born, in order for him to be truly omniscient. So, in my case, long before my grandparents were even born, god knew that I would come along and fail to believe. He knew that I would question, and find lacking, the Christian faith, thus ending up in an eternity of torture. w00t for me.

So the question becomes, why did he make me? If he knows that he is creating me just so I can live an all too brief life of confusion and suffering here on earth and then go to the fiery pit for eternity, why would he do that? If he were truly compassionate, why wouldn't he simply NOT create me, or anyone else who would fail to believe?

This is just the tip of the iceberg here, but I'm sure you can see the problem. Belief in an eternal hell leads to some difficult rationalizations about god that most Christians aren't really prepared to make. The pastor referenced above who preached that there is no hell knew this to be true, and it cost him his congregation - and let's not beat around the bush here; what it really cost him was his livelihood. His church was a huge one (6000 members on a Sunday!) and his lifestyle was certainly a fairly plush one because of it. Some fundies might claim that he is being punished by god for heresy, but I think he should be applauded for refusing to kowtow to doctrine which he couldn't reconcile. He may only have a congregation of 300 now, but at least those 300 are hearing a message that has some kind of internal logical consistency.

I sincerely believe that the modern Christian concept of hell has been perpetuated as a means of social control. It is believed to be a deterrent to deviant behavior - but that is another topic, requiring me to remove my papal mitre and put on my, um... sociologist's sombrero. Maybe some other time, if you are interested...

Black Vatican News...

For those of you who have not seen it, over on Flynn Unfiltered there is a preview of the new Black Vatican website! When I spoke with our digital bodhisattva last night, he told me that his plan is for the website to go live this week, with the podcast, the webstore, the forum, and the cover page for the new story arc going up simultaneously. It will be a busy few days around here.

Now would be an excellent time for you all to think up a clever screen name for the forum. The Sable Primate has been very clear on this - along with belief in something and tithing, forum membership is required of all the CyberFaithful. You don't want to risk excommunication for something as minor as this...

Now, for news of a more personal nature. Today is the first time I have ventured out of the house without allergy meds since the deadly dust began to fall from the trees around here in the first week of June. Because I find having my eyes swell shut and getting hives on the roof of my mouth disconcerting, I have been driving the air-conditioned Popemobile to work each day to protect myself, but today I jumped on the WOB and made my way to the office. Without the almost perpetual benadryl haze I have been in of late, the world is quite pretty right now. It's now possible for me to look at flowers without assuming that they are all trying to kill me.

Since we have relocated the Black Vatican, my ride in is even shorter than it used to be - it's now just under a half mile from our front door to the door of my office. It hardly counts as a ride, but the feeling of putting your legs to work as soon as you leave the house is nice, and it is just slightly uphill. When the world is covered with ice and snow (could happen anytime around here) that half-mile will be quite long enough.

My elbow is healing nicely, thanks to the care of my personal BCP Nurse (shown at left), so please redirect your medicinal energies toward our own Mist1, who is suffering from a bad infestation of ear cooties. I have instructed the BCPs to anoint each other with fragrant oils, chant, light candles, and dance nude before the altar in her name. (It may not help Mist at all, but it has done wonders for morale around here...)


-Black Vatican City, July 16
In a stunning upset, the Ball Dodgers (AKA "Rules Nazis"), won their first game this evening. Their opponents, the aptly named "Sitting Ducks" were 2-2 coming into the match, and seemingly had no idea what was in store for them. Playing without their manager/coach Troy Scott, and anchor dodger, Maggie Scott, it looked like the 0-4 Dodgers would have a rough time of it, but clutch performances from interim captain Britt "the Squid" Standage and Brendon "Vanilla Fresh" Orr, along with a great walk-on performance from newly acquired free agent "Big Gay" Jim Osborn, helped the underdogs squeak out a victory against the stunned Ducks.

The Dodgers took a more defensive strategy, following the lead of injured thrower, Linus "the Gimp" Furious. "We just started working the back line, and let them throw themselves out" said Furious after the game, with his destroyed elbow in a bucket of ice and Coronas with lime. This defensive strategy paid off, as all of the Dodgers had catches, a first in team history.

The Dodgers have a well-timed bye next week, hopefully allowing them to field a healthy team as they square off against Cinci D's on July 30th. Cinci D's is heavily favored to win.


In the interest of giving credit where credit is due (and to help bury that abortion of a comic) I am pleased to say that I have been named an "Awesome Guy Blogger" by none other than our #1 Fangirl, Mayren!

(Just as soon as Flynn tinkers with this to make it look a little more, um... "Ministerial" I'll display it prominently on my sidebar.)

I have been informed that this award has a tradition of sharing the love, and so I am to nominate my favorite blogs in the same way. After a painstaking selection process that involved several amaretto sours, a couple songs on Guitar Hero, and a visit with my friend Hope (hey - it had been a long day), I narrowed it down to just two.

My first nominee is a relative newcomer to my blog role, but she has written some of my favorite blog posts of late. She is incredibly honest in her posts - and that is SO sexy! Plus, her blog template is black like mine, so naturally it rocks. Everybody go and congratulate WNG!

For my second award, I went way old school. Without this person and her blog(s) there would be no Ministry, no Black Pope, no Black Vatican, and worst of all - NO BCPs - and no one wants to live in a world without sword-slinging cybernetic chicks who dig chicks! I am referring, of course, to the trusted right hand of His Sinfulness, Locutus of Blog, AKA Nerdygirl the Unbeliever!

This meeting of the Mutual Appreciation and Back Patting Society is hereby called to a close. Please feel free to congratulate the two ladies on their blogs. They deserve the traffic, and besides, we all know that the comments here are reserved for discussions of Harry Potter's wang...

Something New

A recent conversation at the Black Vatican...
HSBP: Oh come on! How hard could it be? The computer does most of the work for you anyway!
Flynn: Right... and your part is soooo hard - steal a few jokes from Apple Geeks and Penny Arcade...

So, we decided to shake things up a bit, try some role reversal. Flynn wrote the script and I drew it.
Click to Enlarge
We're very sorry. Won't happen again. (But I do think I captured Flynn's hair pretty well.)

New Babies

Over on the Flock Hall 2.0 blog, I asked everyone to introduce themselves - and they have, for the most part. The human and nonhuman members of the family that we had when we signed the lease have been introduced - but we have recently acquired a new member, and we are going to get another in the near future...

Much like she was taken in and adopted herself, Squid has adopted a pygmy hedgehog. He came with the name "Kitsch" but I think Squidly has other names in mind. I'm sure she will do an intro post for him on Flock Hall 2.0 very soon (hint hint).

I am also getting another baby - a Greater Vasa parrot hen - toward the end of July, assuming the landlord doesn't object (he better not object; I'm having some plumbing and carpentry improvements done to the house out of my own pocket!). Because they are somewhat rare as pets, I've posted these pics of Vasas so you can get an idea of what they look like:

She was born on April 20th (hee hee; 4-20) and she is just about weaned now. As soon as she arrives and gets settled into her new home, I'll take some pics of her and post them.

Someday, We'll Get Fired for This...

The following is a transcript of an actual IM conversation Flynn and I had. We were both at work at the time.

Reverend: So I was talking to Nerdygirl yesterday on the phone, and we got into a discussion of how the comic is like a child that you and I are trying to raise together.
I think I'm the permissive parent.

Flynn: Oh?

Reverend: Yeah - you're the over-protective parent.

Flynn: ... how am I the over-protective one?

Reverend: You won't let the comic stay out late... You won't let it go to other blogs... You're the hardass.

Flynn: At best, the comic is being raised in a beer-swilling, aristocratic air of negligence...

Reverend: I prefer the term, "benign neglect."

Flynn: Besides, you don't know where the other blogs have been... they could have something.

Reverend: (Neurotic much?) The comic is young - it's immune system is completely healthy

Flynn: Yeah, you just wait until gets it hooked on meth or something!
Besides, I am sooo not the overbearing one...

Reverend: I might be overbearing, but I want our little comic to get out there and see the world.

Flynn: Oh great - travel Europe and leave freaky comments with hot Italian blogs...

Reverend: If that's what the comic wants to do, then yes. I want the comic to grow up to be its own person.
Full of lust for life!
Why are you stifling our baby?

You don't have to be your parents, you know. I certainly don't want to be my mother...

Flynn: I'm not worried about being my parents, I just want our comic to have a good foundation, to grow up strong, knowing right from wrong.
Or at least grey from wrong.
Okay... at least how to not get caught.

Reverend: So do I...
I'm so glad we had this little chat, Ma.

Flynn: Oh hell no - you're "Ma."

Reverend: No way. I squirt the seed into your head... it gestates in you. Then you birth it on the tablet.

Flynn: Eew

Reverend: ha ha... Flynn has a womb...

Flynn: ... not cool

Reverend: Nope, not cool at all; it has to be warm and moist for the eggs to grow...

Flynn: Ass.

Prepare To Be Amazed

Those who know me personally are well aware that I am exceedingly picky about my movie watching. The list of films I have walked out of with no complaints is tiny. Off-hand, I can only think of three in recent years; The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Even with them, I was irritated that they left out Tom Bombadil.

If you plan on making a movie based on a book I have read or a historical event I know about, you have to get it right. If you bastardize, molest, fold, spindle, or mutilate the original, you will earn my ire. Gods help you if you ignore the original (don't think I have forgotten you Alex Proyas and Jeff Vintar - I, Robot was fucking unforgivable!). The list of films that failed me in this way is long, and I can still spit venom about features from years ago that raised my hackles; don't even get me started on Arthur, or the first X-Men movie, or the Hulk, or Judge Dredd...

I also have a huge, throbbing hate-on for summer blockbusters. If it is over-hyped for a summer release, it begins with two strikes against it.

All of the foregoing makes what I am about to say all the more shocking:


For once, Vanilla Fresh is right about a movie. It rocks - period. Go see it. Go now.

Victory - of a sort...

After two very carefully edited emails, the DC has acquiesced and our dodgeball league will be adhering to a slightly modified version of the NADA (National Amateur Dodgeball Association) rules.

Because of my adamance, there has been a suggestion that we change the name of our team from the "Ball Dodgers" (with all the queer jokes that implies) to the "Rules Nazis." We jokingly discussed black t-shirts with the name silk-screened in the Waffen SS font (for those of you who aren't WWII historians, a tastless example can be found here). Flynn, our resident Jew, would likely have problems with that design...

While I'm pleased to claim this victory on behalf of rules lawyers everywhere, it is somewhat bittersweet. She already hates our team, and now it's almost certain that she will seek retribution of some sort - possibly by voodoo. She may have already started...

Last week at dodgeball I hurt my elbow by throwing too hard - nothing serious, just a little strain. I let it rest until Friday afternoon, when I was scheduled to play handball with Vanilla Fresh, Squid, Flynn, Troy, and Maggie. I got about 5 or 6 rallies into the first game, and my elbow began to throb. By the time our scores were in the low teens, I was holding up my right forearm with my left hand between serves. Once the game ended, I said my goodbyes and headed home.

I have had broken bones and fairly severe joint injuries before, and I can honestly say that this was one of the most acute owies I have ever had. When I reached my car to drive home I was nauseous from the pain, and I nearly fainted coming up the steps into the house. G-Fresh hooked me up with her cryocuff and 8 Ibuprofen but the cold actually seemed to make it worse. After about 20 minutes of that I was seriously contemplating going to the emergency room - the pain originated in my elbow but it was shooting up the front of my bicep and into my shoulder joint. I figured that I had tweaked my elbow enough to pinch a major nerve in there, and I was just about ready for some serious pain meds. I decided to give the vitamin i a little more time to work, and I switched from the cryocuff to a heat wrap instead. In just a few minutes the pain began to subside and eventually I drifted off to sleep for about 2 hours.

When G-Fresh woke me, I was amazed to find that the pain was almost completely gone. I'm puzzled how something could hurt that badly and then be fine just a few hours later. My elbow is slightly swollen, but it's only painful if I try to pick up something heavy - in normal use it's fine.

It was while we were at the handball courts that the DC sent out her email, accepting my interpretation of the rules. Coincidence? I think not. I can only surmise that the she is actually a voodoo priestess, and she has a little Black Pope doll with a bunch of pins in its right elbow.

I need counter-magic - STAT.

Flock Project

Apparently, the Flock is not nearly active enough in the "human-stop-action-video-game-simulation" genre... We need to get busy on this. In addition to Space Invaders, there are also human versions of Pong and Pole Position. The obvious response to this is a human-stop-action-simulation of Frogger... get busy planning that, Flynn.

Sunday Sermon, 4th of July Edition

It has become a tradition around here for me to rant on the 4th of July about the fallacy of patriotism, the illusory divisions that nationalism creates, and the horrific way that our standard of living burns up the planet using brown and yellow people as kindling... but you're all smart people, right? You don't need to hear all that again, do you? (If you do want to hear all that again, click here and here. And read the comments here, too.)

Instead, we are going to focus on the good things about the 4th... like beer, grilling, pretty girls in not much clothing, and lights in the sky...

Dodgeball Update

I went to the game with a positive attitude. I didn't even look at the DC, much less speak to her. Unfortunately, my teammates all caught my bad attitude from last week...

Flynn, Vanilla Fresh, and even Squid were all pretty vocal about her shittiness - enough that she took our team captain aside and had a chat with him. Apparently, our team is "mouthy" but she is "willing to work with us."

If it's mouthy to expect the DC to adhere to the "official" rules as distributed by the league, then I'm guilty as charged. I am currently drafting an email to the DC which goes over, point by point, the various rules she is ignoring. If we don't get some kind of clarification, I plan to take this issue up with her bosses at the Rec Center. Hell hath no fury like a rules lawyer scorned. I'll keep you posted...

Also - doing a Google image search for "dodgeball" turns up some disturbing pics.

Click to enlarge.

Artist's Comments:
Durer’s Adam and Eve. It seems that my hubris knows no bounds…

Reverend's Comments:
This is the cover page for the chapter we just finished. Once the comic's dedicated site goes live, this will appear in its proper place, at the beginning of the archive.

(Hee hee, I'm Satan!)

Sunday Sermon

Rules Lawyering

Several times recently, I have been accused of being a "rules lawyer." For those of you who are not RPGers, a rules lawyer is a player who memorizes every tiny rule and debates with the ref and/or other players over the correct interpretation of them. It's sometimes used interchangeably with the terms "munchkin" and "powergamer" (players who try to work the game system to their benefit).

Now, before you all decide that I'm unpleasant to play a game with, let me assure you, I'm no munchkin. I've been known to play the lamest imaginable characters, and play them just for the excitement of trying to survive. I frequently argue rules to my own detriment. It's not that I want to win, but rather, IF I win, I want it to be a clean win, accomplished completely within the rules.

To clarify further, let me say that I don't force everyone to play strictly by the rules as they are written - house rules are fine. I do, however, insist that the house rules be; 1) clearly explained beforehand, and 2) applied evenly to everyone. It would also be nice if they didn't change from game to game, or at least not without meeting 1 and 2 above, and giving some explanation as to why they are changing. Provided the person running the game does those things, I can play any game quite happily, regardless of winning or losing. However, when the person running the game changes rules arbitrarily, or demonstrates that they are more concerned with aggrandizing their ego than creating a good gaming experience, I am the first person to get pissed off. I am not the type to be pissed off quietly.

Which brings me to my rant for today...

I play dodgeball in the local recreation center's adult coed league. I believe it's designed to allow one to exercise and exorcise. The game works up a good sweat if you put some effort into it, and the demons of playground bullies past are conjured almost immediately when you step on the court. The balls are softer today, and there is so much less at stake that it's easy to put your childhood traumas behind you. For example, you can stink up the court, getting eliminated early in every game, and no one will shun you at the lunch table later...

At least, it should be that. Unfortunately, the Dumb Cunt (I think her official title is "League Supervisor" but "Dumb Cunt" really sums it up better) who runs the game is ruining that for all of us.

We are supposed to play on our honor - calling ourselves out when we are hit. To facilitate that, the league sent out the "official rules" by email to all of us. Perhaps it is too much for me to assume that everyone would read those rules, but I think that at least the DC (I'm planning on telling her that DC stands for "Dodgeball Coordinator") would have done so. Instead, we have played by different rules every week - some of them diametrically opposed to the written rules, and almost all of them are different from the rules we learned as children. Worse yet, there is a clause in the printed rules that says that only team captains can approach the DC for rules clarifications.

-Remember the "twofer" rule from the playground? You know - you throw the ball and it bounces off of one opponent and it hits another before hitting the ground; both are out, right? Not when the DC is in charge.

-Remember the "save" rule? When the ball bounces off you and one of your teammates catches it before it hits the ground; you're not out, right? Nope - DC overruled this as well.

-Remember how hitting someone in the head put you out, not them? DC ruled that no one is out, and you just have to be more careful next time...

All of the examples above are covered explicitly in the rules - this is not a question of interpretation. Even more irritating than this, however, is her way of "officiating" the game. Last week, she told us that the "save" rule no longer applied. Of course, a few minutes later, a guy on the other team caught a ball off of one of his teammates, and they all celebrated the save. I pointed out to them that the DC had changed that rule, and they disagreed. When we asked her if the man hit was out or not she replied, "I don't know, I wasn't watching." My rage at this kind of incompetence knows no bounds - she is, presumably, getting paid to do this. The least she could do is watch the fucking game.

In short, aside from showing up with the balls every week, she has failed in the basic tasks of being the "league supervisor" but she has succeeded incredibly well at being the DC.

For this week's game, I have a new strategy. I am going to play by the printed rules, even if no one else does. I will take my hits by the rules, and not worry about those around me. If she calls me out at some point, I will ask my team captain to ask her to show him exactly what rule she is applying, so he can show it to me, so I can play the game properly...