Don't Shoot the Messenger

Posted in Making Magic on July 21, 2008

By The Mimic

Welcome to Mimic Week! All this week on magicthegathering.com, the regular columns will appear as usual… but with a twist. Your eight regular writers, plus at least two guest authors who've written for the site before, are hiding in the ten regular column slots—maybe even their own—under a clever pseudonym: The Mimic! Can you figure out who actually wrote each article? Tune in Monday, July 28 for the answers!

 
 
IM Conversation With: WhiteWhite: Maro?
Maro: Oh, hello, the color White.
Maro: One of the many abstract concepts that I like to talk to by instant message.
Maro: What's shakin'?
White: I'm just tweaking some numbers in my spreadsheets.
White: Later, I'm going to oppress people who don't think the way I do.
Maro: Sounds like a wild night.
White: Are you busy?
Maro: Sort of. I'm writing my column.
Maro: In it, I outline some of the techniques I use to be more creative.
White: In list form?
Maro: But of course.
White: w00t!
White: I mean, this pleases me.
Maro: Technique #1 is Wait for Divine Inspiration.
Maro: If you stare at a blank screen long enough, an old man from outer space will eventually tell you what to do.
White: Is that even true?
Maro: In my experience, yes.
White: All my god ever seems to do is destroy all of my little men.
Maro: I guess I'm just lucky. Mine supplies me with article gimmicks.
IM Conversation With: Roderick Van OuchRoderick Van Ouch: Maro, how are things?
Maro: Things are good.
Maro: I'm working on an article about how to be more creative.
Roderick Van Ouch: That's great to hear.
Roderick Van Ouch: I've noticed that in recent weeks you haven't mentioned my classic guide to creativity A Roundhouse Kick to the Chops, nor its increasingly violent but equally enlightening follow-ups An Elbow to the Solar Plexus and A Football in the Groin.
Roderick Van Ouch: You remember our deal.
Maro: You won't let me forget it.
Roderick Van Ouch: If you don't mention my books soon, I'll have to self-publish another one. I'm going to call it A Slap Across Your Face.
Roderick Van Ouch: Early reviews are unfavorable.
Maro: I don't know what that means, but I'll mention them this week.
IM Conversation With: WhiteMaro: Oh, White, I've been meaning to ask you something.
Maro: How did that party go a few weeks ago?
White: It was a disaster. Everyone left in tears.
Maro: That's too bad. Sorry I had to duck out early.
Maro: Magic needed ruining and it couldn't wait.
IM Conversation With: Evil Mark RosewaterEvil Mark Rosewater: Bro?
Maro: What do you want?
Evil Mark Rosewater: Don't be like that. Who says I want something?
Maro: Just a hunch.
Evil Mark Rosewater: We've been twins for, what? Two, three months?
Maro: All our lives.
Evil Mark Rosewater: Right. And in all that time, have I ever once asked you for a favor?
Maro: No, but you've demanded them.
Evil Mark Rosewater: You say, "Tomato," I say, "Give me that tomato or I'll cut you."
IM Conversation With: WhiteWhite: I just hooked up with red and black.
Maro: Both of them?
White: Yeah. What can I say? I have a thing for dwarves and nasty-looking old ladies.
Maro: Do they know you're two-timing?
White: Not yet.
Maro: What about your sense of honor? What about chivalry?
White: I'm sure they will kick in eventually.
White: That's why the relationships won't last. I give them three months, tops.
IM Conversation With: Evil Mark RosewaterMaro: Maybe you can help me, too. I'm writing about creativity.
Evil Mark Rosewater: Great. My least favorite subject.
Maro: I'm at Technique #2: Steal!
Evil Mark Rosewater: Now you're talking my language.
Evil Mark Rosewater: As I famously said, "Talent borrows. Genius steals."
Maro: That was my line!
Evil Mark Rosewater: Philosophy in action, folks.
IM Conversation With: WhiteWhite: I need some more advice.
Maro: Really? After how things went last time?
Maro: I'm not sure if I should be playing matchmaker.
White: I'm having a crisis of faith.
Maro: Oh?
White: All I ever do is ruin other people's fun.
White: It's always prevent this, destroy that. Players can't do X, Y, or Z.
White: I'm the biggest stick-in-the-mud in all of Magic.
Maro: I'll keep that in mind.
IM Conversation With: Evil Mark RosewaterMaro: "Steal!" is just a dramatic way of saying, "Draw inspiration from anywhere."
Evil Mark Rosewater: You mean like the time you "drew inspiration" from my diary and created Yawgmoth's Bargain?
Maro: You made Yawgmoth's Bargain!
Maro: Then you snuck it into the set while I was out breeding creativity with an old pair of restrictions!
Evil Mark Rosewater: Oh, yeah. Right. What do you mean, then?
Maro: I'll give you an example.
IM Conversation With: WhiteWhite: I just need to loosen up a bit.
White: Take off my hair and let down my glasses.
Maro: Live a little.
White: Yeah. That's why I want to hook up with Timmy at tonight's party.
Maro: Timmy, the player psychographic?
White: Yeah. I get a real adrenaline rush whenever we're together.
White: I feel so calm and free, like nothing else matters.
White: Do you think there's a chance?
Maro: Why not?
IM Conversation With: Evil Mark RosewaterMaro: One morning, several years ago, I was sitting in my kitchen, eating a piping-hot bowl of cream of wheat.
Evil Mark Rosewater: You live a life of danger!
Maro: As I stared into this mushy glob of tastelessness, I became inspired.
Maro: I asked myself, "Self, if cream of wheat was a Magic card, what would it look like?"
Evil Mark Rosewater: And?
Maro: Long story short, that's how Mercadian Masques came to be.
IM Conversation With: Ga'AarkGa'Aark: Brains.
Maro: Oh, hi, Ga'Aark. I haven't heard from you in a while.
Maro: What's on your mind?
Ga'Aark: Brains.
Maro: Same here. I'm fascinated by how our brains work.
Maro: In fact, I'm writing a column about how to be more creative.
Ga'Aark: Brains.
Maro: Yes, by using our brains!
Maro: So far, I'm up to Technique #3: Resurrect Old Ideas.
Maro: If it's been rotting in a hole in the ground for years, it's gotta be good.
Maro: I'm sure you can appreciate that one.
IM Conversation With: Evil Mark RosewaterEvil Mark Rosewater: Enough with this "creativity" crap.
Maro: What do you want to talk about, then?
Evil Mark Rosewater: I think I'm in love with a Goblin.
Maro: A Goblin? Which one?
Evil Mark Rosewater: You know which one.
Maro: Steamflogger Boss.
Evil Mark Rosewater: Obviously. It's a cruel taskmaster and its meaningless ability might cause the end of Magic as we know it.
Maro: I can see why you like it.
Evil Mark Rosewater: There's a party tonight. S.B.'s going to be there.
Evil Mark Rosewater: Would you put in a good word for me?
Maro: I'll see what I can do.
IM Conversation With: The SwordfishThe Swordfish: Maro, I need you to pick me up in 20 minutes.
Maro: What, again?
The Swordfish: Yeah. And this time, don't leave me alone with some Armani-suited psycho who wants to eat me for lunch. I barely swashbuckled my way out of that one.
Maro: Sorry.
The Swordfish: Don't worry about it. The person who's really got to worry is that guy in the Armani suit. If I ever see him again, it'll be for the last time. This scimitar stuck to my beak isn't just for show, you know.
Maro: It is very pointy.
Maro: Do you remember what Mr. Armani looks like?
The Swordfish: Not really.
The Swordfish: Anyway, I've got to get to this party. Pick me up.
IM Conversation With: Roderick Van OuchMaro: Are you going to this party too?
Roderick Van Ouch: Unfortunately, I can't go. I'm too busy trying to figure out what a box of raisins has in common with parliamentary democracy.
Maro: Why?
Roderick Van Ouch: I'm giving a seminar on Micronesian Macroeconomics.
Maro: Oh, of course.
Roderick Van Ouch: Or is it Macronesian Microeconomics?
Maro: I wouldn't know. But good luck.
Roderick Van Ouch: Thanks. Better get back to these raisins...
IM Conversation With: The SwordfishMaro: Why don't you drive there yourself?
The Swordfish: You know my flippers can't reach the pedals.
The Swordfish: Plus, I've had too many adult beverages.
Maro: You drink like a fish.
The Swordfish: ...
The Swordfish: That was embarrassing.
Maro: All right. See you in twenty.
IM Conversation With: Ga'AarkGa'Aark: Brains.
Maro: By the way, I'm really sorry that we haven't been making many Zombies lately.
Maro: It's just that the creative demands of recent sets haven't been very accommodating to corpsekind.
Maro: I guess you'll always have Onslaught Block, though, huh?
Ga'Aark: Brians.
Maro: Yes, I believe both Brian Schneider and Brian Tinsman had a hand in making some of your undead compatriots from that era.
Ga'Aark: That was a typo.
IM Conversation With: Steamflogger BossSteamflogger Boss: Maro, how's tricks?
Maro: Oh, it's you. Let me guess. You're going to a party tonight.
Steamflogger Boss: How did you know?
Maro: Let's just say a little birdie told me.
Maro: Plus, I'm writing all this dialogue.
IM Conversation With: Ga'AarkGa'Aark: What's a guy got to do to get some brains around here?
Maro: Might I suggest prying open a human skull.
Ga'Aark: Too easy.
Ga'Aark: I like when they play hard to get.
IM Conversation With: Steamflogger BossSteamflogger Boss: All of the unloved cards are going to be at this party.
Steamflogger Boss: Me and Squire and the entire graduating class from Homelands High.
Steamflogger Boss: If you're not busy, you should come.
IM Conversation With: Ga'AarkGa'Aark: I have a confession to make.
Maro: Oh?
Ga'Aark: Promise you won't be mad.
Maro: I promise.
Ga'Aark: I have a crush on your evil twin brother.
Maro: ...
Maro: I guess he does have a lot of brains, being my twin and all.
Ga'Aark: Precisely.
Maro: It's just that they're evil brains.
Ga'Aark: That only makes them even more delicious.
IM Conversation With: GrokGrok: Maro, what's up?
Maro: Grok! My most empathetic imaginary friend.
Grok: Got a sec?
Maro: I'm writing a column, but a little procrastination never hurt anybody.
IM Conversation With: Steamflogger BossMaro: I do have a column to write. It's about different ways to be creative.
Maro: I just got to Technique #4: Beat a Dead Horse.
Steamflogger Boss: Can it be a dead Goblin?
Maro: Sure. It's only a metaphor.
Steamflogger Boss: Oh. Never mind, then.
Maro: The point is that sometimes that horse isn't quite as dead as you think it is.
IM Conversation With: GrokGrok: I'm going to a party later and I need some advice.
Maro: Shoot.
Grok: Do you think there's a chance that Ga'Aark and I could get together?
Maro: You mean as a couple?
Grok: Yeah.
Maro: A union between a Zombie and, uh, whatever it is that you are is a little unorthodox.
Grok: I know, but I think it could work.
Maro: Anything's possible. Just look at Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett.
Grok: Very topical, Mark.
IM Conversation With: Steamflogger BossSteamflogger Boss: I like to flog things, but with steam.
Steamflogger Boss: Don't ask me how it works, though.
Maro: Why, trade secret?
Steamflogger Boss: No, it just makes no sense.
IM Conversation With: GrokGrok: I'm tired of dating regular humans. They're just too complex.
Maro: Yeah, especially their brains.
Maro: Did I mention I'm writing a column about creativity?
Maro: In case you're wondering, Technique #5 is Sleep On It.
Maro: For example, Einstein came up with the Theory of Relativity after a long nap.
Grok: I find that highly suspect.
Maro: And I wrote entire episodes of Roseanne while in a somnambulistic trance.
Grok: That I believe.
IM Conversation With: Steamflogger BossSteamflogger Boss: I've been a little frustrated lately.
Maro: How so?
Steamflogger Boss: Just...irritable at work, you know? Grumpy.
Maro: Go on.
Steamflogger Boss: What I'm trying to say is that I didn't flog my way up to middle-management only to have to spend my days wrangling a pack of rock-eating morons.
Maro: Isn't that what middle-management does?
Steamflogger Boss: Touché.
IM Conversation With: TimmyTimmy: Maro, you around?
Maro: Yeah, Timmy. Just putting the finishing touches on my column.
Timmy: I need to ask you a question.
Maro: Fire away.
Timmy: Why does everybody hate me?
Maro: Everybody doesn't hate you.
Maro: Only the overwhelming majority of people hate you.
Timmy: I think it's because people don't understand me.
Timmy: They think I'm some kind of idiot, but I'm not.
Maro: I know, Timmy.
Timmy: I just have different priorities.
IM Conversation With: GrokGrok: I want someone with uncomplicated motivations.
Grok: Ga'Aark is someone who knows exactly what he wants.
Maro: You mean brains.
Grok: Right. I just don't know how to go about getting to know him.
Maro: You need to find some common ground.
Grok: I don't understand.
Maro: Look for values you share, activities you can do together.
Grok: No comprende, amigo.
Maro: Try to figure out if something that you're passionate about, something that you love to do, lines up with Ga'Aark's passions.
Grok: I'm not sure I follow.
Maro: Let me put it this way: Do you like to eat brains?
Grok: I don't know. A little.
Maro: Go with that.
IM Conversation With: TimmyTimmy: I'm thinking of changing my name.
Maro: Really? To what?
Timmy: I don't know yet. To something a little more grown-up.
Timmy: Maybe Tim or Timothy.
Timmy: What do you think of Timbaland?
Maro: I think it's taken.
IM Conversation With: Steamflogger BossSteamflogger Boss: Productivity is way down, our margins are shrinking.
Steamflogger Boss: My employees eat half of our raw materials.
Steamflogger Boss: What I need is a reliable work-force, one that can coexist peacefully and work together as a team towards a common goal, one that can follow directions.
Steamflogger Boss: What I need is White.
IM Conversation With: Assistant Steamflogger BossAssistant Steamflogger Boss: No, you don't! I can right this ship!
IM Conversation With: Steamflogger BossSteamflogger Boss: Tell him to shut up.
Maro: How did you know he sent me a message?
Steamflogger Boss: The omniscient narrator.
Steamflogger Boss: And that guy's not the Assistant Steamflogger Boss.
IM Conversation With: Assistant to the Steamflogger BossAssistant to the Steamflogger Boss: Fine. I still think I can right this ship.
IM Conversation With: TimmyTimmy: You know who does understand me? Grok.
Timmy: Grok really gets what I'm about.
Timmy: I can be myself around Grok, slinging spells for the sheer thrill of it.
Timmy: Win or lose, it doesn't matter.
IM Conversation With: WhiteMaro: This might be a little awkward.
White: What do you mean?
Maro: Well, have you ever thought of hitting on Steamflogger Boss?
White: No, not once. In fact, the idea disgusts me.
IM Conversation With: Evil Mark RosewaterMaro: Do you have a Plan B for tonight? What about Ga'Aark?
Evil Mark Rosewater: That is possibly the dumbest thing you've ever said.
IM Conversation With: TimmyMaro: Timmy, I'm just wondering something.
Maro: Would you consider making a move on White?
Timmy: Are you kidding? White's about as fun as a whack on the side of the head.
IM Conversation With: Mistform UltimusMistform Ultimus: Hey, Maro.
Maro: You're like a bad penny.
IM Conversation With: Steamflogger BossMaro: What do you think of my evil twin brother? Any romantic interest?
Steamflogger Boss: You can't be serious.
IM Conversation With: Mistform UltimusMistform Ultimus: I'm going to this party tonight.
Maro: And you need some advice.
Mistform Ultimus: Yeah. What should I be?
Maro: Well, you have a lot of options.
IM Conversation With: GrokMaro: If Ga'Aark isn't interested, maybe you should direct your attention to Timmy.
Grok: Timmy? That lamer? I'd rather Terror myself with a rusty Terror.
 
IM Conversation With: Mistform UltimusMistform Ultimus: I was thinking of going as a Giant Dwarf.
Maro: People love the oxymorons.
Mistform Ultimus: Or maybe a Treefolk Splinter.
Maro: Cute. How about just being a Pest?
Maro: I think you can pull it off.
IM Conversation With: Ga'AarkMaro: Hey, Ga'Aark, if things don't pan out with my brother, how do you feel about Grok?
Ga'Aark: Brains.
Maro: Oh, I give up.
Maro: This is going to be painful.
IM Conversation With: Mistform UltimusMaro: Sigh. Is there someone you're trying to impress?
Mistform Ultimus: Yeah, this hot Swordfish I met down at my local watering hole.
Maro: Oh, then wear an Armani suit.
Mistform Ultimus: Really?
Maro: Yeah. They're very popular among swordfish these days.
Mistform Ultimus: Thanks, Maro. I knew I could count on you.
Maro: See you at the party!

Can you guess who wrote this? Click Discuss below to talk about this article, or head to the Mimic Week thread in the forums to talk about all your guesses!

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Chris MillarThis article was written by House of Cards columnist Chris Millar!

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