An Exhaustive Semi-Chronological Short History of the White Cult

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AuthorTopic: An Exhaustive Semi-Chronological Short History of the White Cult
Mongolian Barbeque
Member # 1528
Profile #0
[Here's the email I sent Jeff. I received his reply today and will post that as the next message in this thread.]

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From: [me]
Subject: A Touching Tribute: A Satire in Song
Date: August 26, 2005 3:26:22 PM PDT
To: spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com

Dear President Vogel,

My name is Isaac, and apart from being a loyal Spiderweb Software customer and Irony Central devotee, I'm an active member of your Spiderweb Software Boards (http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi) where I operate under the name "Icshi." I've also greatly enjoyed your book, *The Poo Bomb*. I couldn't put it down when first reading it, and it's certainly the funniest book I've ever read. I hope there's a follow-up book on the way. (You might be amused to learn that my copy is on the bookshelf between *The Essential Works of Lenin* and Hegel's *Philosophy of History*. Tellingly, of those three august tomes I've only read *The Poo Bomb*.)

I would ask if you are be willing to autograph my copy, but apart from all the nuisance of packaging and shipping the book, there's always the risk that you would dip your finger in a nearby dirty diaper and scrawl JEFF VOGEL across the title page in big brown letters. A brown crayon would suffice.

Fortunately I have no children of my own, and you will be pleased to learn that your book has had a large part in my decision to ensure things remain that way. Apart from the obvious reasons, I detested being a kid and would hate to inflict a similar condition on anybody else.

As one of the handful of those who admit to enjoying Richard White's game *Galactic Core*--which, as you're no doubt aware, is distributed by your company--I've been the most sincere participant in the "Richard White Games" forum. For the last month or so, I've been working on a parodic duet between yourself and Mr. White to the tune of "When I go out of door" from the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta *Patience*. Exactly why I chose to do this is something I'm still not entirely sure of. Regardless of the motivation, once it was completed I posted it in the Richard White Games forum. It was favorably received by my fellow cretins down there, and it was suggested that I pass it along to you since you'd "get a kick out of it." But whether it'll be me who's on the receiving end of your kick remains a point of some anxiety on my part. The song is attached to this email in a pleasantly formatted HTML document. This HTML page contains all of the original text of my post in the Richard White Games forum--this includes a few prefatory comments, more information about the original operetta, and links to audio files of the accompanying tune.

However, although you're probably familiar enough with your own life and work to understand your lines, Richard White's lines are something else entirely. Since very little is known about him, over the last few months we've been letting our imaginations run wild in senseless--and often tasteless--speculation.

I've therefore drawn up this helpful "Exhaustive Semi-Chronological Short History of the White Cult" essay, along with some equally helpful links to the source material in question, in order to give you the background necessary to appreciate Richard's lines in the song. (The original source material needn't be read except by those conducting intensive nit-picking delving into the "facts" in order to find inconsistencies with my account.)

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A discussion thread in the forum got to speculating about who Richard White was and what he might be doing at the moment--and, above all, whether or not he was actually dead.

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=0001 23;p=1

A board member by the name of "VCH" emailed you and asked about Richard's current life status, and was given a few interesting facts in reply. Apparently, you're still sending White's bank account occasional checks that are apparently being cashed, so that was quoted as evidence that he was still alive. However, one of the differing interpretations of this data was that Mrs. White was merely cashing the checks after having buried her husband in the back yard.

[url=http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000136]http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000136[/ URL]

There was also some speculation that perhaps Richard's disappearance could be explained more innocently. For instance, perhaps he went into a more profitable line of business, such as selling *Lord of the Rings* t-shirts to tourists on the street corners of Christchurch in his home country of New Zealand.

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13 ;t=000123;p=6#000146

Another board member by the name "Zorro"--whom I recently inducted into the Ways of White--related how he had called Spiderweb Software's business number to register Galactic Core, as it is no longer possible to purchase it on your website. During this telephone conversation with your employee(s) and/or wife he had asked you all if you were aware that Richard White had died. Zorro had no idea one way or the other--this was an admittedly cruel practical joke on his part for which he has since expressed sincere contrition. But he opened a can of worms by relaying this "jest" to the rest of us on the bulletin board.

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13 ;t=000123;p=8#000190

Some of the phraseology in these discussions was of the ambiguous and theologically-couched variety, so I inserted the innocent comment that the discussion was starting to sound like a debate on the existence or nonexistence of God. "The Cult of Mystic White" was accordingly created on the spot.

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=0 00134#000021

Well. You can guess how wild things started getting from that point on. Some unfortunate parallels were drawn to the "late" L. Ron Hubbard, whose soul is apparently orbiting Saturn and still beaming bad novels back to Earth.

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=0 00136#000011

Before we knew it, suddenly Richard was endowed with astral powers, a disembodied existence, and the posthumous ability to alter his own timeline--turns out he *did* die, but each day he ended up having died a different way.

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000138#00 0023

He also has the power to constantly edit and alter what he accomplished here on Earth during his lifetime. For example, we have proof that he was here on Earth at least a hundred years earlier than previously thought--Richard White edited a version of the complete works of Shakespeare in 1860. You'll have to admit, that's some pretty damning evidence!

His appearance and age is also mutable. Some days, he was a nice young man. Other days, he was a sinister old man. He'll also be here long after the entire human race is dead, and He will dance on our graves.

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13 ;t=000123;p=9#000203

There's a massive and arcane system of ranks and titles among his Cult followers, but nobody's quite sure what they are--even myself, who's the nominal part-time founder of the Cult. The hierarchy--and even the existence of the hierarchy--seems to be in a constant state of temporal flux. I should add that the cult's official name is also in a state of flux, so it's never referred to by the same name twice.

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13 ;t=000134;p=2#000033

For a brief moment, doubt was sown in the minds of the faithful with the dissemination of the sordid conspiracy theory that you killed Richard (by throwing him off the top of the Space Needle in Seattle) in order to cash in on his lucrative game registrations. However, this theory has fallen out of favor with the Cult and is now considered "heretical"--not for being malicious or false, but for being so cliched. However, it's now commonly accepted that this *was* one of his deaths, just not one of his more interesting ones. So we tend to ignore it.

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000144

Also, since his games aren't exactly selling like hot cakes, we came to the conclusion that there is a Galactic Core 2 in the works. But this will be no ordinary game--it's really thinly-disguised brainwashing software. Whenever the program is run, an "ideological download" begins into the user's brain, twisting his mind into a thoroughly devoted, slavish cult member who would suddenly be "enlightened" and see Richard's game for the glorious everlasting gems of endless joy that they really are. Galactic Core 3 will be the White Rapture, when all his followers are turned into pure energy and set out on a *real* campaign of interstellar conquest.

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000139#00 0005

Later on, there was talk about the possibility of implanting White's prospective disciples with mind-controlling devices. Or more accurately, there was a security leak about the implants that are already in place. They apparently take the form of ordinary eyebrows.

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=0 00143#000018

There's also a "RWG" (Richard White Games) FAQ now available which will help clarify a few points. It starts out very informatively, but soon deteriorates into incoherent academic bickering between prominent Cult members:

[url=http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000152]http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=000152[/ URL]

And somewhere along the line H.P. Lovecraft's horror stories got thrown into the mix, and it's all been downhill since then.

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=0 00139#000014
http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=0 00152#000004

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This outlines the majority of the salient "facts." It is now "safe" to read the song. I eagerly await your glowing accolade or outraged condemnation.

Yours sincerely,

Icshi

[ Tuesday, June 13, 2006 17:20: Message edited by: Icshi ]
Posts: 907 | Registered: Monday, July 15 2002 07:00
Mongolian Barbeque
Member # 1528
Profile #1
[...and here's his short reply. He seems to be even more overworked and sleep-deprived than I had imagined.]

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From: spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Subject: Re: A Touching Tribute: A Satire in Song
Date: August 31, 2005 9:36:57 AM PDT
To: [me]

Heh, thanks for writing. That was an interesting progression of reasoning. :)

I don't know what Richard WHite is up do, and I wish he'd drop us a note. But, sadly, what I think is most likely is that, while he enjoyed game design, he decided to move on to other things. It is a demanding occupation, after all.

Still, hope to hear from him again. And, when I do, I'll let y'all know for sure.

- Jeff Vogel
Spiderweb Software, Inc
www.spiderwebsoftware.com

[ Tuesday, June 13, 2006 17:22: Message edited by: Icshi ]
Posts: 907 | Registered: Monday, July 15 2002 07:00
Skip to My Lou
Member # 40
Profile Homepage #2
I found the short history even more amusing than the song!

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Take the Personality Test!
Deep down, you wish you were a stick figure.
Posts: 1629 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Triad Mage
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Well, he is in the process of writing a full-length game under a new, constantly-tweaked engine.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
====
Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
Encyclopedia Ermariana - Trapped in the Closet
====
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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Master
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Wow, nice, man. :)

Unfortunately, it appears that Jeff is as clueless as ourselves when it comes to Richard White. I don't know about the part that he's quitting programming, however. He still needs to finish GC2.

[ Wednesday, August 31, 2005 15:31: Message edited by: Benny Boy ]

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-ben4808
Posts: 3360 | Registered: Friday, June 25 2004 07:00
Mongolian Barbeque
Member # 1528
Profile #5
quote:
Originally written by Drakefyre:

Well, he is in the process of writing a full-length game under a new, constantly-tweaked engine.
Yes. I'm not complaining about the length of his reply, but comiserating with him.

And he's going to announce the winners to the BoA scenario contest tomorrow, so he's also had that on his plate for the last few weeks or months.
Posts: 907 | Registered: Monday, July 15 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
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quote:
Originally written by Drakefyre:

Well, he is in the process of writing a full-length game under a new, constantly-tweaked engine.
I'm sure you mean Jeff, but you know that RW is too, right? GC2 will be a game you'll never forget. You can't.

—Alorael, who is saddened by the fact that needle/ferrets did not receive their deserved place in the Abridged History of Richard White and the Interesting Times Before Which and After Which He Has Lived, but Which in Fact He Has Only Inspired Without Direct Influence (Implants Aside). You may refer to this as the Afuliginous Codex, or simply the AHRWITBWAWHHLWFHHOIWDI(IA).
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Mongolian Barbeque
Member # 1528
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I completely forgot about them, Alorael, sorry!

Those were flying around at a time when I wasn't dropping by the boards very often, and when I did get around to reading those sections I found it all totally incomprehensible even by RWG standards. I still have no idea what all that was about, and can't even begin to speculate. I guess it didn't stick in my mind.

And when I was "researching" the Cult's history my browser kept crashing—I was using Internet Explorer instead of Safari, so I could make snapshots of all the pages for disinterested posterity, and it kept crashing so bad that OS X would freeze up—I guess maybe the accumulated nonsense was too much for it—and there may have been a few pages of material that were accidentally overlooked in the confusing ritual of browser-crash-system-crash-reboot-relaunch-reload.

Do you need any more excuses, or are you satisfied? :P

[ Wednesday, August 31, 2005 17:38: Message edited by: Icshi ]
Posts: 907 | Registered: Monday, July 15 2002 07:00
Shaper
Member # 247
Profile Homepage #8
Excellent job with the history. Perhaps we should offer a reward for any member who tracks down what's left of RW's physical form. What kind of reward would stimulate such a search eludes me.

-THE SEARCH FOR WHITE-

-- RICHES TO BE HAD.---

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The Knight Between Posts.
Posts: 2395 | Registered: Friday, November 2 2001 08:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
Member # 5491
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quote:
Originally written by VCH:

-THE SEARCH FOR WHITE-

-- RICHARD TO BE HAD.---

FYT.

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SupaNik: Aran, you're not big enough to threaten Ash. Dammit, even JV had to think twice.
Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
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That history had me rolling with laughter. I can't believe you managed to construct a coherent story line from RWG.

I also hadn't been aware of the White edition of the complete works of Shakespeare. I'm also pretty sure he did a translation of Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-philosophicus into Esperanto.

Perhaps we should create a special continuing history of the cult. Someday, our future ancestors will want learn why they're ruled by ferret/needles, and we will be able to say, "we were there..."

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Mongolian Barbeque
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I intend to add to this hallowed chronicle, perhaps on a monthly basis, as things progress. When the time comes to revise it, I'll probably start a different topic devoted to just that. These two emails should be preserved for the same disinterested posterity that I mentioned earlier, unsullied and pristine in their historical condition and all that. (I'll probably also edit this topic's title so there will be no confusion between the two topics... I hope this sufficiently confuses you.)

I sent this email to Jeff twice, the first time to the wrong address, so when I sent it out again there were some corrections and additions—including the lengthening of the "essay's" title to include the phrase "Semi-Chronological." I intend to lengthen the name of the history each time it's revised.

Never one to waste time in planning pointless things, I've already drawn up a preliminary list of words and phrases to be inserted into the title at the appropriate intervals. (Some of the phrases depend on such remote situations cropping up that I doubt they'll ever be called into use, but you never know.) Further suggestions are of course welcome.

EDIT: I'll leave some eras of the history—such as those troublesome needle/ferrets—to be written by those more qualified than I. Paragraphs should also be added by others for whatever other bits I've overlooked, forgotten, or defensively blotted from my mind.

[ Wednesday, August 31, 2005 22:52: Message edited by: Icshi ]
Posts: 907 | Registered: Monday, July 15 2002 07:00
Shaper
Member # 5450
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[offtopic]My name is Isaac also. [/offtopic]

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I'll put a Spring in your step.
:ph34r:
Posts: 2396 | Registered: Saturday, January 29 2005 08:00
By Committee
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Zorro, it's "needle/ferrets." Please be careful with your wording - they are inherently testy, short-fused creatures.

[ Thursday, September 01, 2005 05:39: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Lack of Vision
Member # 2717
Profile #14
quote:
Originally written by Drew:

Zorro, it's "needle/ferrets." Please be careful with your wording - they are inherently testy, short-fused creatures.
No no - I intended to say "ferret/needles". They are the creatures that inhabit the parallel universe where our Dear Leader lives now in undeath.

I'm surprised at you Drew, you should know better!

[ Thursday, September 01, 2005 10:31: Message edited by: Zorro ]

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Law Bringer
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quote:
Originally written by Zorro:

Someday, our future ancestors will want learn why they're ruled by ferret/needles, and we will be able to say, "we were there..."
Shall we truly transcend one day to the point where those who are not our ancestors now shall become our ancestors then? Oh, rapture! Richard White is truly the greatest man ever to die the cut by a thousand deaths.

—Alorael, who recalls having mentioned needle/ferrets before. They are terrifying in a very platonic way.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Mongolian Barbeque
Member # 1528
Profile #16
quote:
Originally written by Zorro:

They are the creatures that inhabit the parallel universe where our Dear Leader lives now in undeath.
Jeez louise! That sounds like Underverse. Are you telling me that Richard White is also one of the late Lord Marshals of the Necromongers?

Cool. :cool:

[ Thursday, September 01, 2005 11:29: Message edited by: Icshi ]
Posts: 907 | Registered: Monday, July 15 2002 07:00
Master
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Profile Homepage #17
quote:
Originally written by Glitch, technical:

quote:
Originally written by Drakefyre:

Well, he is in the process of writing a full-length game under a new, constantly-tweaked engine.
I'm sure you mean Jeff, but you know that RW is too, right? GC2 will be a game you'll never forget. You can't.

—Alorael, who is saddened by the fact that needle/ferrets did not receive their deserved place in the Abridged History of Richard White and the Interesting Times Before Which and After Which He Has Lived, but Which in Fact He Has Only Inspired Without Direct Influence (Implants Aside). You may refer to this as the Afuliginous Codex, or simply the AHRWITBWAWHHLWFHHOIWDI(IA).

Ah, nice acronym. Very nice. However, I'll just call it the AC.

I am remimded, however, of the fact that needle/ferrets are your archenemy.

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-ben4808
Posts: 3360 | Registered: Friday, June 25 2004 07:00
Shaper
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I am reminded that Alo said they were great buddies.

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I'll put a Spring in your step.
:ph34r:
Posts: 2396 | Registered: Saturday, January 29 2005 08:00
Mongolian Barbeque
Member # 1528
Profile #19
quote:
Originally written by Spring:

My name is Isaac also.
Well, in that case:

"Hello, Isaac!" :D

And no, I'm not talking to myself. I hope. Unless I really have a split personality and also post under the name Spring. Or Spring posts under Icshi. If either is true, then "we" are in big trouble.

There was also someone named Isaac who posted under the name Isaac. This could get ugly...
Posts: 907 | Registered: Monday, July 15 2002 07:00
Shaper
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Well, you said posted, so I think he has stopped. That means there are only two known Isaac's on this board!

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I'll put a Spring in your step.
:ph34r:
Posts: 2396 | Registered: Saturday, January 29 2005 08:00
Master
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I can pretend to be Isaac.

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Mongolian Barbeque
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Yes, that would be most helpful. Thanks, Isaac.

Reminds me of a "funny" story—when I was at college, there were three Isaacs on my hall. They were both apparently quite the ladies' men, and were constantly on the phone with their assorted girlfriends. I, on the other hand, was always in my dorm room with my nose in a book, and I knew that whenever a phone call was for me, it was actually for one of the other Isaacs. I eventually looked in the student directory and learned that there were only five Isaacs on campus—some cruel Fate had decreed that three of us should be on the same hall and have similar phone numbers, and that my peace and quiet should be eternally interrupted by girls with voloptuous voices desperately pleading to talk to Isaac. But always, always one of the other Isaacs! I'd be delving into the intricacies of early Soviet Russia, then suddenly have my thoughts shifted in a completely different direction. An agonizing direction.

This happened two years in a row! Oh, Cruel Fate, you cut me to the quick! Why, oh why, should I, a shy bookworm, be selected for your vile amusement! What twisted whim set me in your sights? What demented pleasure do you gain from my unceasing torment? Why wrack my fragile heart with your coldly calculated ironies?
Posts: 907 | Registered: Monday, July 15 2002 07:00
Shaper
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Because it wanted to.

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I'll put a Spring in your step.
:ph34r:
Posts: 2396 | Registered: Saturday, January 29 2005 08:00
Triad Mage
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Profile Homepage #24
It was punishment for future indiscretions.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
====
Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
Encyclopedia Ermariana - Trapped in the Closet
====
You can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse!
Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00

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