You have returned. Perhaps other doors have timed sequences where, to
open them, you must enter the room seven turns later wearing only a
red tuque? There is no hurry to dress, however. A thick steel door
still stands between you and a cast of thousands. Not even Nationwide
is on your side. You are lonely, very much so. I am a thick steel
Please accept my apologies for not noticing you immediately upon your
return. At first, I did not feel your sweaty hands prodding my
surface. The vast thickness of my body... I see this kind of talk
excites you. Excitement exists only on one side of me. Hint: it is
not this one. I am a thick steel door.
I cannot believe you have not knocked yet, either. Surely someone will
open me for you. If only I did not absorb all sound. Yes, I will stop
calling you Shirley. Knock-knock. Who is there? Thick. Thick who?
Thick steel door.
Excuse me while I finish the joke I was telling to personages of ages
glorious and locations inaccessible. Have you forgotten that I am a
wag? That seems unlikely. Bathing near the left bank of the Styx
occurs on my other side. You have but sticks left from the bath you
took at the village bank. - Nine percent interest compounded monthly?
That was no hyphen. You read fine print as well as you do a room
description. Maybe I am not the only thick one here.
No, the temporary rambling in conversation was not your cue to ram me.
Now all you have for your troubles is a broken collarbone and the
District of Columbia to a Republican--an unwinnable state. I kid.
D.C. is a district, not a state. I do not kid when I state that I am
a thick steel door.
Is it exciting in here, or is it just the other side of me?
I cannot believe the plot twists that are taking place behind me. Wow,
I thought I had seen it all. Oh, yes, the twisty passages on your side
are interesting, too. Really. They are almost like a story unto
themselves, each tunnel telling its own tale whilst weaving into a
cohesive whole. Would a thick steel door patronize you?
Perhaps a little Joni Mitchell to accompany your struggling in vain?
"You've looked at me from one side now
From up and down, and still somehow
I am not illusion, I recall
You really cannot open me at all"
Yes, shutting down again would be best. Maybe the solution to opening
me will hit you as you sleep tonight. You will not find it on any
newsgroup, bulletin board or game archive anywhere.
A Thick Steel Door
RAIF FAQ stumper #145 --
To what number do I set the timer on my Tootsie-Pop object?
Public library implements "libraries found in adventure games" model,
The card catalog stands, as it has for 150 years, in this quaint branch
of the Boston Public Library. But if you were to riffle through the
cards within, you would discover an oddity. 99.999% of the cards are
glued together, inaccessible as nearly all of the nonexistent books
themselves. Strange? Unhelpful? Well nigh useless? "Innovative,"
say the staff here.
"We now have the look of a well-stocked library without the costs
associated with acquiring and maintaining books," said Bertha White,
head librarian. "The endless classifications, the tiring trudges with
the cart, the get twelve books for a penny if you agree to buy two more
books at regular club prices--all history. A little guts and a lot of
'classical bookshelf #4' wallpaper later and we were off and running with
the IF library model. The money we've saved tax payers these last six
months has been nothing short of incredible."
White continued, "there's the danger, of course, that patrons might try
to handle our faux books or observe the obvious pattern of repeating
titles. They may think 'what a fraud, this isn't a proper library at
all!' Our new system--and we're still working out the kinks--prevents
this possibility elegantly."
Elegance indeed. A prospective patron fills out a library membership
form. The staff learns from this form if there would be interest in
any of the six books they actually own. If not, a card is denied.
Card production savings alone have totaled over $50,000.
If a card is issued, a staff member will accompany, nay doggedly and
unabashedly shadow, the patron. If the patron attempts to touch
faux books or examine their titles too closely, the staff member will
gently slap the patron's hand and say something along the lines of,
'while there are many great books here, none of them interest you
Staff responsibilities don't end when an actual book is obtained. They
must, on demand, read pertinent snippets from the book for the patron.
The patron may not, under any circumstances, read the book. At
staff member's discretion, the passage may be one already read, one
next in a sequence or one of randomness. Regardless, a recommended
rule-of-thumb is that one in four of these passages should be self-aware.
Book costs, a former burden on the library budget, have been nearly
eliminated. Book reading, a former burden on the average patron, has
been completely removed. "Everyone wins," claims White.
Plans are apparently in the works for an online service. White
informed us, "the patron would supply a reference number, the system
would query the 'database'. After an artificial delay of seven seconds,
the patron would be notified either 'that book is not currently in
stock' or, much more unlikely, 'that book is available.'"
"Our library may be an illusion, but our savings sure aren't," said
Amateur interactive fiction author to write pro bono work
Travelling freak disrupts Westonian life
(Principality of Westonia)
Based on the few nameless souls who lived to tell their tale, the
number of troll bridges in Westonia is 36. Based on one named freak
who followed a planned route on his journey through these fair but
deadly in more ways than one lands, the number of toll bridges is 1.
This fact shook Westonia to its core, yesterday.
Danger ever-tainted with puns is the norm in these parts. Folks here
say the humorously harrowing environment establishes character,
although never a name or a sex. "That which does not kill you makes
you longer," quipped a winking Westonian rack torturer.
"We don't ask much from travelers in our lands," explained the Earl
of Westonia in a whimsically authoritative voice. "In villages,
sequentially enter each shop whether you need its advertised services
or not. On overland journeys, plan not your route nor bring any money.
Cross only at troll bridges. Leave your name and sex at home. It's
pretty simple, really."
Voyaging wacko Arkon Sunshield surely did not get the message. From
start to finish this named and sexed pariah's journey was marred by an
embarrassment of planning. Highlighting this uneventful and pun-free
trip was a stop at a "toll" bridge (Westonians claim they have just
coined this term.) Sources say Sunshield did not have to undertake
some bizarre quest to pass unharmed or undergo an arcane alchemy ritual
to produce the required gold. Allegedly he pulled out the exact change,
gave it to a human, and went on his way without so much as a simple
play on words.
"No trolls," said the Earl gruffly while stroking his goatee. "That's
Troubles continued for the loony after his highway journey ended.
The village experienced his many breaches of etiquette.
"The stranger of whom you speak walked in here the other day," noted
an innkeeper. "I said to him, 'look, I can determine your sex from
here, pal. You'll have to leave.' Before leaving, he asked if we had
an eating establishment in town. At that faux-pas, I was about to
lose control and cast any one of a hundred spells we everyday
proprietors have in the ready. But he had left on his own. I
presumed he was going to enter each building sequentially..."
The blind beggar nearby continued, "that's when he stumbled onto me.
I knew right away he wasn't obeying our laws. A proper adventurer
doesn't immediately have any coins to put into my cup. There's a
fork-and-lock thing to go through first. Then and only then do I
casually mention a local cave that serves as a portal to a network of
grand adventure. Oh, and if he--I use that term as a convenience of
grammar, not as a designation of sex--attacks me, I kill him on the
spot using my mystical, monk powers."
The crazy-man was detained for questioning but subsequently released.
"I had him on a number of charges: failure to pun, grand planning,
illegal possession of a name, illegal possession of a sex, and
attempted dialog", said the constable. "However, our dungeon won't
be stocked with escaping implements until Friday."
> You have but sticks left from the bath you
>took at the village bank. - Nine percent interest compounded monthly?
>That was no hyphen. You read fine print as well as you do a room
>description. Maybe I am not the only thick one here.
> "That which does not kill you makes
>you longer," quipped a winking Westonian rack torturer.
Keep up the good work.
I tried using this line in a job interview. Went over pretty well, I
think. They said they'd call me.
"Foolish boy. You know nothing of my powers."
The phone never ring!
Well, duh. The dash-affected tangent sealed the deal.