The problem with having a Hamster living in your head is that sometimes, he gets out.
Well, that's one of the problems. I don't wanna get into the whole 'waste management' issue.
Trust me, you don't wanna know.
So lemme tell you what happened the other day.
I'm sleeping, and....
'Oh, fer the love of....WAKE UP!'
'What? Huh? I was nowhere near Miss Fox's house last night, officer. That sample you're holding did not come from me...'
'Sigh...wake up, you moron. We've got stuffs to do.'
'Mmmmf. Wait....Hamster? What are you doing out? And...what time is it?'
I flinch as he turns on the light, and groggily rub the sleep from my eyes, trying to focus on the furry lil' guy. He's perched on the nightstand next to the bed, looking at me with his typically belligerent gaze.
He crosses his paws over his pudgy belly (too much kibble, not enough spinning), and adds 'withering' to the glare.
'I'm here to help motivate you, remember? We've got a Tournament to go to this weekend, and we need to do some modeling...unless you want to show up with unpainted stuffs.'
My stalk-mounted ocular visual processing orbs continue to adjust, and I notice the clock.
'Holy crap, dude! It's like, zero dark thirty! What the heck! The friggin' birds aren't even up yet! It's still dark outside!'
|*Not even a pigeon in sight. They're still crashed out*|
'We've got a lotta stuffs to do, buddy. Up and at 'em!'
Oh, help me. The Hamster seems like he's in a good mood, and he's excited and animated.
Not his usual grumpy, somewhat angry, loathsome self.
...This does not bode well.
I flop back down onto the bed, and attempt to cuddle the pillow.
'Mmmm...so comfy. Go 'way, Hamster. Lemme sleep.'
I hear his lil' fuzzy feet begin to pace back and forth upon the nightstand. His high-pitched, squeaky lil' Hamster voice takes on a serious tone.
He would be cute...if he wasn't so friggin' annoying.
'Loser boy, while you may be content to sleep, with your head laid comfortably in a puddle of your own drowsy drool, I feel obligated to remind you that you have consistently put off doing this for the past month, and now it's crunch time. You said you wanted to be prepared, this time. You wanted to do that basing, you wanted to hammer out some lists, you wanted to have your head in the game this time, you said.'
I roll over, and fold the pillow over my head.
'Remember last time, when a model fell of the base as you were setting up, and how you had to go around and beg for glue, because you didn't have any?'
I can still hear him through the pillow, but I pretend not to.
'I know you can hear me, knucklehead. Do I hafta bring up that one time, when you left Shadowsun on the Hobby Desk, and had to proxy her with a Space Mari-'
I pop outta the blankets, yelling.
'WE AGREED TO NEVER SPEAK OF THAT! EVER! LIKE YOUR BEDWETTING THING!'
The Hamster leaps upon the stack of Black Library and WWII books on the nightstand, in a Hamsterish attempt to 'get in my face.'
'THAT IS A GROSS EXAGGERATION, YOU FIEND!'
|*If only we could be sure who the idiot is in my case. Personally I think it's the Hamster, but opinions vary*|
'I didn't have a single spare model in my bag,' I pout, 'and someone loaned me that, that...thing! Just so I could get through the tournament. It's not my fault!'
The Hamster backs down a bit, and spares me a sympathetic glance.
'I know, buddy. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring it up. I know it's a painful memory.'
'Yeah, well...whatevs' I sniffle, 'great, I'm all awake now. I hope you're happy.'
The Hamster grins.
'I am, actually. We said we were gonna do it right this time, and we are. I'm gonna help. Unfortunately, we've only got a handful of days, because of your usual procrastination.'
'Don't blame me, pal,' I reply churlishly, 'blame World of Tanks...I really need that Jagdpanther, y'know.'
The Hamster is rubbing his temples already- eyes closed, taking deep breaths.
I still don't know why he does that when he deals with me. I'm a perfectly reasonable Xeno.
'Look, ' he says in a lecturing tone, 'no more messin' around, we've gotta-'
'Grind through the Stug and Jagdpanzer IV?'
The Hamster gives me a narrow-eyed stare.
'I swear to God yer an idiot,' he says flatly, 'and one day, I may very well kill you.'
'Ha,' I laugh, 'I'm just kiddin' around, Hamster. OK, fine, let's get started.'
He's said stuffs like that before, and I'm pretty sure he's joking around.
Pretty sure, anyway.
So the Hamster and I made a list, and got to it.
Y'know, the usual stuffs- pack all yer thingies (templates, markers, etc), we know the missions, so we followed the mighty GMort's advice, and formulated a Battleplan.
We made the proper sacrifices to the Dice Gods.
I'll miss you, Fluffy....
|* I need those sixes, pal....sorry*|
We scheduled test games with the Ultimate Rival, and we got psyched up.
Over the last few years, events like NOVA have pushed the competitive side of gaming more into the spotlight, and there's some perception that tournaments are 'serious business.'
I dunno, I don't really see it that way.
When viewed secondhand, through the internet, it seems like a lot of attention is payed to things like winners and losers, and lists and whatnot.
I tend to enjoy the posts that have lots of pics of the armies, or the ones with cool, funny stories...
Or even the ones highlighting tales of rivalries, misdeeds, and bitter accusations of silliness like 'slowplay.'
It's all a big hoot.
The thing is, I suppose these events are kinda like one of those things where you have to have 'been there.'
I've been to a bunch, so I know that this whole 'image' that 'competitive gaming' has garnered is basically a bunch of baloney.
It's friggin' gaming. How seriously can we possibly take it?
Yeah, I know there are some people who really do go to tournaments to actually 'win,' and really are 'WAAC,' or whatever, but I'm not about to let these guys bother me.
It's not like you can brag about being a mini gaming champ in the real world, after all.
'Hey buddy- I saw you on Regis.'Grats on the win!'
...Uh, no. That's not happening.
|*You do not get one of these, even for winning NOVA*|
And no, I'm not gonna be all like, 'you need to get out of the basement, and come to a tournament,' either.
Cuz to be honest, I'm just as happy playing in the Ultimate Rival's gaming garage, which might as well be a basement, amirite?
I can curse out loud there, and enjoy an adult beverage, after all. And I don't hafta get up at like five AM and travel for over an hour to do it.
What's not to love? Besides the Ultimate Rival, obviously. He's a jerk.
The thing is...no one aspect of our hobby is any more important than the other.
We celebrate the well painted army and the big tournament win equally, we read batreps and posts detailing drybrushing techniques.
We enjoy our rumor-mongering, or whatevs, and we complain and gush about stuffs incessantly.
There's always something amusing out there in our lil' sphere to grab my interest.
I don't lament my hobby growing, or changing, or what have you. I suppose these things are bound to happen. I try to see the bigger picture now, even though it can be tough to see the forest for the trees, sometimes.
-New army books will come, and occasionally throw a wrench in the works.
-Edition changes will show up, and invalidate my armies.
-Companies I love will ignore my wails of frustration.
But, on the other tentacle...
-New army books will come, and inject something new in the game.
-Edition changes will show up, and OHMYGODITWILLBECOOL.
-Companies I love will do cool stuffs, and it will be da awesome.
And I can go on writing hugely important diatribes about all of this, featuring a Hamster.
*And my future wife....and tentacle hentai*
Sigh...the Hamster is reminding me I've got teeny tiny lil' shrubs to put on bases, cuz I swore my lil' dudes would look cool this weekend.
...And, y'know, teeny tiny lil' shrubs are a big part of that...
How ludicrous is our hobby?
Until next time, folks- exit with catchphrase!