Sunday, February 27, 2011

The 2011 Academy Awards Predictions

Well the Oscars are today so I thought I’d make my predictions and give some reasons/ justification for my picks if I thought it necessary.

Best Picture
Will win: The Social Network seeing as how it’s well-written, features strong performances, is topical, and apparently defines my generation. King’s Speech might also win because it’s the kind of film the Academy seems to go for.
Should win: Inception because it has everything Social Network has plus action, heady concepts, and I feel is more intelligent.

Best Director
Will win: David Fincher
Should win: Christopher Nolan, but he’s not even nominated so sure, David Fincher should win. Why not?

Best Actor
Will win: Colin Firth
Should win: Colin Firth delivered a strong and memorable performance and deserves this Oscar, but James Franco is also worthy for his epic one-man show in 127 Hours. Especially memorable is the scene where he “interviews” himself.

Best Actress
Will win: Natalie Portman
Should win: Natalie Portman did a fantastic job and I think gave the best performance of the year of anybody in any movie.

Best Supporting Actor
Will win: Christian Bale
Should win: Christian Bale, simply because he’s one of the finest actors out there who’s been overlooked by the Academy for far too long.

Best Supporting Actress
Will win: Melissa Leo
Should win: Hailee Steinfeld who not only held her own against the likes of Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, but I believe even surpassed them to make for the most interesting character in the film.

Best Original Screenplay
Will win: The King’s Speech
Should win: Inception. You’ll notice that I really like this film as you read on.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Will win: The Social Network
Should win: The Social Network. As I said earlier, the dialogue is sharp and it tells a great dramatic story.

Best Foreign Language Film
Will win: Biutiful since it seems to have a lot of buzz.
Should win: Incendies, because as a Canadian, I’m legally required to say so.

Best Animated Film
Will win: Toy Story 3
Should win: Toy Story 3, duh.

Best Documentary
Will win: Waste Land
Should win: Waste Land. Sadly I have not seen any of the films in this category, but I’ve heard of this one so I’m just going to assume that it will win.

Art Direction
Will win: Alice in Wonderland. Shiny colours!
Should win: Inception

Will win: Inception
Should win: Inception

Will win: Alice in Wonderland
Should win: True Grit. I just like the western look.

Film Editing
Will win: The Social Network
Should win: 127 Hours. One of the most memorable parts of this movie for me was how it was laid out and put together.

Will win: The Way Back. This was just a wild stab in the dark.
Should win: Barney’s Version. As a Canadian, I’m legally required to say this.

Will win: The Social Network. It won the Golden Globe and the score definitely stands out.
Should win: Inception. It had a strange score, but it really stands out in my mind and pulls the whole film together.

Will win: Randy Newman
Should win: Randy Newman, because he’s a cool guy.

Sound Editing
Will win: Inception
Should win: Inception

Sound Mixing
Will win: True Grit
Should win: True Grit. Despite being told virtually every single year, I do not know the difference between this and sound editing.

Visual Effects
Will win: Inception
Should win: Inception

Short Documentary
Will win: Poster Girl. This and all the short categories were just random guesses based solely on the titles of the films.
Should win: no clue

Short Animated
Will win: Day & Night
Should win: Let’s Pollute

Short Live-Action
Will win: The Crush
Should win: Wish 143

Bonus points to whoever can correctly predict the Best Short Documentary winner. For your convenience, the nominees are: Poster Girl, Killing in the Name, Strangers No More, Sun Come Up, and The Warriors of Qiugang.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In Defense of Doing Nothing

For those of you who attend SFU, last week was reading break, and while many of my friends went of vacations or ski trips, I pretty much just sat around the house for nine days doing dick all. All I really did was play video games, read and write for pleasure, and sleep in really late. I’m pretty sure the only two times I left the house were when I went out for lunch and when I saw 127 Hours. Many of my friends mocked me or chewed me out for my apparent laziness/reclusive behaviour/lack of a life in general, but I maintain that my reading break was as enjoyable and fulfilling as the next person’s. For those of you who say I hate friendship I say I spent the better part of my break horsing around with friends thanks to the magic of the internet as shown by the following equation: Skype + Left 4 Dead 2 + OMGPop + friends = good times. Also the break gave me a lot of time to catch up on some movie viewing, book reading, and blog posting. And if it wasn’t for endless hours of nothing to do, I probably never would have discovered this nice little site filled with engrossing logic puzzles to give the left side of my brain a work-out. But more important than all of that is I got to sleep in every single day. Sleep is beautiful. It’s magical even. I love sleeping in. While a large group of my friends woke up super early to have a terrible time skiing, I slept in until two in the afternoon and then woke up and watched The Birds. It was such a great day and I barely moved at all. Another advantage to being a good-for-nothing layabout is that it doesn’t cost a dime. While my friends paid 160$ to do nothing for a weekend in Harrison Hot Springs, I pretty much did the same thing (minus the massage) at my house for free. And I’m not the only one who enjoys lounging about the whole day. One of my good friends spent an entire week confined to her bed watching Lost while eating Nutella, and by all accounts it was the greatest week of her life. Also, I take immense satisfaction from telling people that I did nothing when they ask what I did over the break. It’s like I somehow won at life to just be able to do nothing for a whole week. So to those of you who feel that you have to do something in order to validate your existence and that sedentary people like me are bringing down the species, I say this: meh.

The Dude abides.

Bonus points to whoever can describe the laziest they've ever been and how they're better people because of it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dear Joyce

Dear Joyce,

It has recently come to my attention that you have been skipping out on Board Game Club for little to no good reason, and no, “I’m lazy” is not a legitimate excuse. There are plenty of members who have valid reasons not to come, but do anyway because they’re just that awesome. Dana doesn’t have class on Fridays, but she still shows up. Michelle doesn’t even attend school this semester, but still diligently attends. Damian isn’t even a student at SFU, yet you can still see his shining face almost every week. Eddy is now afraid of me after a recent, disturbing conversation on Steam, but I’m sure he’ll come anyway, right Eddy? Joanna is Hong Kong for Christ’s sake, but she still makes the trek up the hill for BGC (in spirit). So, why is it that you’ve been absent as of late? Go ahead, you can tell me. We’re all friends here. Or are we? Is that it, Joyce? Do you hate friendship? Or maybe you just don’t think we care about you, that your presence doesn’t matter to us? Well I’ll have you know that your absence has been having a tremendously negative effect on club morale. Taylor, who always has that smile on his face regardless of what tragedies may befall him, broke down in tears over your apparent hatred of camaraderie. Brendan, who is normally the portrait of calm, has turned into a rage machine, smashing everything in sight and complaining about everything as a result of your flagrant disregard for our company. Jennifer and Erica have become so confused due to your abuses that they have forgotten which is which. Erika now thinks she’s Jennifer and vice versa, wreaking much havoc. We’ve taken to calling them Jenniferika which is just degrading for everybody. Even Kevin is disappointed in you for your constant ditching. Only Daniel doesn’t seem to care, but he’s a jerkwad so his opinion doesn’t count. But this letter isn’t about chiding you or listing my grievances. It’s about trying to get you to come back, to address any past wrongs and renew our friendship. On that note here are some things that we’ll do for you if you come back: Zach will personally give you a hug if you come back if you so desire. I know he certainly does. For his part, Justin will go at least a whole day without telling somebody that their penis is small or we will duct tape his mouth shut. Lily also hasn’t been to BGC in a long time (though she has a legitimate excuse as I discovered), but if she does come back I’m sure she’ll bake you some delicious cookies! I’m pretty sure Aleck is dead, but if you come to BGC then that will fulfill the spell to bring him back from the grave. You do want to save Aleck, don’t you? And finally, I will bring any board game you request and play it with you, even if that means swallowing my pride and bringing Monopoly to play from beginning to end, despite the fact that it is explicitly banned in the club constitution. Also, we have a handful of new members who are all eager to meet you, so why not come on down and play some board games with us Joyce? It’ll be buckets o’ fun with plenty of friendship to go around!

Snake-Eyes Damascus

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

For many men, Valentine’s Day is a chance to prove to their girlfriends/wives/mistresses that they care by purchasing lame, meaningless, and expensive gifts for them. But for others, they really couldn’t give less of a shit, and the emotion that they feel towards their significant other can best be described as apathetic. So, for those of you who want to let your girlfriend know that it’s over, or who just want to test the boundaries of your relationship, then here are some great gift ideas in order from least to most offensive.

5. Chocolates
For this one, the first thing you’re going to do is buy a heart-shaped box of chocolates. As always, the bigger the better, but always stay within your budget. Next, open the box and eat all of the chocolates inside. If you can’t stomach all of them, then just give the rest to your dog/share them with friends and family/throw them in the trash. Now you’re probably thinking that you just give the empty box to your girlfriend, but that would be too obvious and simple. Instead, go out and buy as many mini Kit-Kats, Crunchies, and Reeses (especially is she’s allergic to peanuts) as is necessary to fill up the box. Then carefully wrap the box back up complete with bow and give it to her. She’ll be expecting that you got here a bunch of expensive and delicious confectionaries, but instead all she’ll get is some low-grade Halloween candy. Make sure to take her picture when she makes this discovery.

4. Flowers
For those of you on a very tight budget, this one will probably be the cheapest and easiest gift to give. All you have to do is go out, and gather together a bunch of dead flowers. There are numerous ways to do so. You could go dumpster diving behind the local flower shop, steal some from your mom, or, my personal favourite, go out and pick some dandy lions. Whichever method you choose, you’ll want them to be as smelly, droopy, and gross as possible. For an extra touch, wrap them up in black paper or a printout with pornographic images on it, and tie it all together with duct tape. Upon giving her the bouquet, be sure to say, “When I saw these, I thought of our relationship.”

3. Love Poem
Since time immemorial, men have been writing sappy love poetry for their beloved, and although this form of expression has fallen out of favour in recent years, I still think it holds its charms. But your love poem won’t have anything to do with how beautiful or charming she is, and will instead be designed to humiliate her and point out her many faults. For this reason it is recommended that you customize your poem to the lady in question. Since some of you may not have the poetic inclination, I’ve created my own that should work in most situations called “From Shakespeare to Coen.” For best results, read in public.

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
She ranks as the most deformed and foul wench;
The sound of her shrieks sets me at a run,
But I can’t escape her sulfurous stench;
Her lips taste like moist cardboard mixed with ash;
What can I say about her nose? It’s huge.
That rotten smile reveals teeth filled with trash;
On top, hair that crosses all three stooges;
When she walks, the earth rumbles underfoot;
Posterior, is a land best left lost;
Never showers, covered in grime and soot;
Its hard to believe, but her breasts are crossed;
To stroke her skin is to pet a lizard,
And her vagine hang like sleeve of wizard.

2. Money
You’d be hard pressed to find a gift as impersonal as money, which is why it’s the perfect gift for your formerly beloved on this most romantic of holidays. I recommend giving her a ten dollar bill, but if you really want to push it, then a five will do. Don’t go higher than twenty though as you wouldn’t want to make her feel like she’s worth something to you. The real kicker here isn’t in the gift itself, though it is quite insulting. If you really want to get the most bang for your buck, then you’re going to have to work on your delivery. Firstly, don’t hand it right to her, but instead throw it to the ground at her feet and make her pick it up. When she bends down to do so, tell her that she might as well get to work while she’s down there, implying that the cash is payment for her sexual services. Be prepared for physical violence.

1. Teddy Bear
Rather than relying on offending your girlfriend to get her to leave you, this one depends on disturbing her to the point where she’ll flee from you in abject horror. It’s also somewhat complicated and difficult to pull together, but the results are totally worth it. First off you’ll want a teddy bear, preferably one with heart stitched onto it. Next, you’re going to need to create a personalized recorded message from yourself similar to what you can do in some greeting cards (ie. when you push a button or open the card it plays the message). Once you have this you’re going to want to sew it inside the bear in such a way so that when she presses it in the right spot the message will play. I know that there are certain places that will make the personalized message for you, but I’m not sure if any of them will put them inside of teddy bears so you may have to do that part yourself. The message itself should be creepy as hell and suggest to the girl that you are stalking her, watching her sleep, and will potentially murder her. Here’s my example of what the bear could say. Note the voice I use as it contributes even more to the creepy factor than the words.

Bonus points to whoever tells me about the worst gift they have ever given or received (doesn’t have to be a Valentine’s Day present).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hong Kong Story

It’s been something close to a month since our good friend, Joanna Chan, embarked on her epic vacation to Hong Kong, and we can only imagine what crazy shenanigans and whacky adventures she’s been up to overseas. Below is my imagining of what crazy shenanigans and whacky adventures she’s been up to overseas.

Metropolis by any other name would be Hong Kong. On the surface it’s one of our planet’s greatest cities, filled with a large and vibrant population, a rich cultural life, and a booming economy, but what you see isn’t what makes the city. It’s what lurks beneath that truly makes it come alive. Joanna Chan came to this place seeking the former, but it was the latter that she would come to know the most. Hong Kong’s seedy underbelly would suck her in, chew her up, swallow her down, thoroughly digest her, and then puke her into a gutter for good measure. She went in a bright-eyed girl looking to see the world, but unfortunately she saw too much of it, leaving her with a cold stare that turns your very soul to ice. I don’t whether she lost or found something in the dark recesses of that city. All I know is that she came out of the shadows a changed woman. But here I am telling you how her story ends when you know nothing of how she got there, or how her journey began for that matter. Let us therefore go back to the start.

Upon arrival in Hong Kong from Vancouver, Joanna’s vacation seemed as though it would be like any other complete with fine dining, visits to family and friends, and exploration of popular tourist attractions. Indeed, her first week or so in the city was quite uneventful, or at least it was when compared to what happened that morning she woke up eager and excited to spend the day with her dear Uncle Jackie (Yeah, I went there. I couldn’t resist. Sorry). He was supposed to take her on a VIP tour of the city, showing her places that only the social elite normally get to see, but this day would not go as planned. The first sign of trouble was the apprehensive look on his face when he arrived to pick up his favorite niece. Joanna perceived his troubled expression and asked what the matter was, but her uncle just smiled and shrugged it off. But as they walked through the city he was constantly looking over his shoulder. Joanna was worried, but decided not to say anything. She got the sense that they were being followed and stuck close to her uncle of safety, but as they made their way through a large crowd they became separated. She looked high and low for him, but to no avail. Just as she was about to give up, she heard some groaning coming from a back alley. She cautiously made her way down it and much to her horror found Uncle Jackie lying in a pool of his own blood.

“What happened? Oh my God, I need to call an ambulance!”

“Forget it,” whispered Jackie in a hoarse, barely audible voice, “There’s something more important at stake. The Code…” here he began to trail off and it was clear that he was fading away.

“What? The Code? What are you talking about? Stay with me Uncle!”

“The Code. They’re after The Code. They can’t be allowed to have it. Go to the Playmobil area at Harbor City. The Pharaoh holds it.”

“What is this code for? And what does Playmobil have to do with it? You’re not making any sense. I’m getting you to a hospital.”

“No, there’s no time! They’ll be back here any minute. I’m sorry to bring you into this. Here, I can give you something to help along the way. Take my hand. I will pass kung fu powers unto you. That should give you the edge you need.”

“Ummmm… doesn’t that take like years of training and physical skill?”

“No, that’s just what we like to tell people. It’s really all just magic. I got my powers from Bruce Lee and he got his from Ip Man, and now I will give them to you. Please, take my hand.”

She did as he asked, and between tears she could feel her body becoming filled with mystical kung fu abilities. No sooner was the transfer complete when Uncle Jackie passed out one final time and died. Joanna would have sat there and cried all day, but the city wouldn’t let her. A dark and menacing shadow passed over her and the corpse of her late uncle, and she looked up to see a trio of burly, tattooed thugs standing over her. She knew that she was about to face the first test of her new skills and prepared for the fight of her life. They withdrew an assortment of knives and clubs from their jackets and advanced upon her, asking all the while where The Code was. She replied with a roundhouse kick to the nearest thug’s face. He went flying and the other two quickly jabbed at her. She managed to dodge both attacks and returned fire with a flurry of fists. Meanwhile the third got up and joined the fray. Joanna performed admirably at holding her own, but she wasn’t gaining much ground on the attackers and it was clear that she’d either have to run or go under soon. However, just as she was about to break for it, a gunshot rang out followed by swiftly by a second and a third. All three men dropped dead to the ground as a handsome young man stepped out of the shadows carrying a smoking revolver.

“It looked as though you needed some help,” he said with a wry smile on his face.

“I did. Thank you. Do you know who these men were?”

“All I know is that they work for someone called The Tiger.”

“Who’s that?”

“Somebody who you don’t want to find yourself on the bad side of. Come with me. It’s not safe here. Oh, and my name is Jae.”

“Joanna, pleased to meet you.”


Joanna instinctively trusted her attractive savior, and went with him as he led her up to his nearby apartment. He gave her some food and dressed her wounds as she sat by the window watching the day pass by over the city as she thought of her eventful day and how her entire life had just changed. She lounged there contemplating for quite some time before Jae broke the silence.

“So what do you plan to do now?” he asked

“Huh? Oh. I guess I’ll go get this thing my uncle told me to find before he died.”

“Oh, was Jackie your uncle? I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Thanks. It doesn’t look like I’ll have much time to mourn.”

“Unfortunately not. What is this “thing” he told you about.”

“I don’t know. Something called The Code. Apparently it’s at Harbor City.”

“Well first thing tomorrow morning we’ll head on over and look for it, whatever it is.”

“Cool. Oh, and thanks for everything by the way. I don’t know how I can repay your kindness.”

“Hey, just doing my part. You can sleep in my bed tonight. I’ll crash on the couch.”

“Oh, you don’t have to do that.”

“Don’t worry, it’s not a problem.”

After this they were once again silent and sat their staring into one another’s eye for some time until the door suddenly burst open. A man clothed head to toe in black and wielding a katana stormed in. He made straight for Jae, but Joanna was quick to react and delivered a well-timed punch to his gut before disarming him. But before she could pin him down, he rushed out of the room as abruptly as he had entered.

“Well it looks like I owe you now,” observed Jae.

“Who the hell was that? One of The Tiger’s men?”

“No, I don’t think so. I’ve seen him around a few times, but I have no idea who he is or who he works for.”

“Do you think he’ll be back?”

“I doubt it. He doesn’t have his weapon anymore, and you bested him quite easily. He’ll think twice before hitting us up again.”

“How do you know so much about all this?”

“I’ve been following The Tiger’s movements for quite some time now and it is my task to take him down.”

“Are you a police officer then?”

“Something like that. Anyway it’s getting late, and I think we’ve had enough excitement for one day. Good night.”

Considering the trauma she had just been through, Joanna slept quite soundly that night and woke up in the late morning feeling fresh and well rested. Jae had already made breakfast and was gathering some things together for their trip. She ate quickly, packed what little she had with her and, together with Jae, set off for Harbor City.

“So, Harbor City is a pretty big place. Did your uncle give you any clues as to where in there The Code is?”

“He told me something about a pharaoh and Playmobil.”

“Well that should narrow it down sufficiently enough.”

They wandered the mall for some time with Jae leading until they reached Playmobil exhibit. A cursory glance over the area revealed a zone dedicated to the Ancient Egyptian toy set and they made their way over to a live-sized Playmobil version of a pharaoh.

“So somewhere on this guy is The Code, eh?” said Jae looking the figurine up and down.

“I remember Uncle Jackie telling me that he holds it, but all this guy has in his hands is an ankh.”

“Maybe it’s inside the ankh.”

Neither of them had a better suggestion, so they looked around to make sure nobody was looking and then snatched the ankh and ran outside with it to a secluded area without a soul around. Joanna smashed the ankh to against the wall and amongst the shards was a slip of paper.

“This must be it!” she exclaimed excitedly, “Now I just have to figure out what to do with it.”

“I can help you with that,” said Jae in sinister voice. Joanna turned around to find that he had pulled his gun on her. “Hand it over,” he demanded.

“What? But Jae, I thought you were… I thought you…”

“Were trying to help you?” he finished for her, “Yes, you are quite the fool indeed. The Almighty Leader will be very pleased to finally have The Code in his hands. Finally, we will have a weapon to wipe the smirk off the faces of those American pig-dogs and their Japanese lackeys.”

“You mean, you’re North Korean?”

“Indeed I am. Now hand over The Code. I won’t ask again.”

Even with all her kung fu power, Joanna knew that there was no was no way she was going to beat a bullet, so with no other options she grudgingly handed over the paper. Jae then proceeded to chain her to a pipe and strapped a bomb with a fifteen minute timer to her chest.

“You know it would be a lot faster if you just shot me,” hissed Joanna.

“Yes it would, but I want to give you time to reflect on the boundless wisdom of The Almighty One and your own infinite stupidity.”

“You’re an asshole. I can’t believe I ever trusted you.”

“That may be, but I’m also beautiful and I can get away with murder,” he sneered and with a laugh and a wave he disappeared around the corner leaving Joanna to almost certain death. Or at least this would be the case if Joanna weren’t a kung fu master who simply broke the chain with ease and subsequently ripped off the bomb. Jae was not as clever as he liked to think. Not wanting to cause vast amounts of property damage and potentially injuring or killing thousands, Joanna took the bomb and ran straight for the ocean and hurled the explosive device as far out as she could. The explosion killed several fish and capsized a nearby fishing vessel, but otherwise no harm was done. After this somewhat disappointing climax, Joanna realized that she had no idea where to go or what to do next. As she cast her eyes around in vain searching for Jae, a hand fell on her shoulder causing her to instinctively grab it and throw the would-be assailant over her shoulder. Much to her surprise she found somebody she knew staring up at her in a daze from the ground.

“Snake-Eyes?” she queried as she helped him up, “What are you doing here.”

“I came here to settle some personal business, and by grace of an unusual coincidence I think you can help me. I’m looking for this North Korean guy named Jae. I heard that he was with you. Know where I can find him?”

“I’m in the same boat as you. He ran off with The Code.”

“The what?”

“Oh, that’s not what you’re after? Isn’t that what you meant by ‘personal business’?”


“I see… Well, Jae’s gone. He’s probably on his way back to North Korea now.”

“Well, he’ll have to stop at his apartment. I noticed that he left his passport there.”

“You were in his apartment? Wait, are you the Katana Man?”

“Yes to the first question, no to the second.”

“You’re being very mysterious.”

“Not really.”

“Whatever, let’s head back to his apartment, maybe we can catch him before he leaves.”

“We probably will. I took his passport from his apartment.”

“Smart thinking.”

“How so?”

“Well now he can’t leave the country.”

“Oh. Right.”

They rushed back to Jae’s place, but when they got there they found that somebody had already beaten them to the punch. The place was a mess with bullet holes in the wall, smashed furniture strewn about the place, and a number of bodies lying motionless including that of Jae’s. Joanna took his pulse, but he was long since dead.

“I guess you could say we’ve reached a dead end,” joked Snake-Eyes. One of the bodies slumped in a corner groaned in response to his terribly corny pun.

“This one’s still alive. Maybe he can give us some useful information,” suggested Joanna as she made her way over to the bleeding man. She held him by the collar of his shirt and began to demand some answers. “Who sent you here? Where’s The Code?”

“I ain’t sayin’ nothin’,” replied the thug with poor grammar.

“Hold on. I’ll handle this,” said Snake-Eyes as he took out his IPod and stuck some headphones over the man’s ears. Within a few short minutes the man began to cry and blurted out that The Tiger had sent him and that the rest of his crew was located in an abandoned warehouse on the other side of town.

“What did you play that made him talk so fast?” asked Joanna.

“‘Ms New Booty’ as performed by a girl who doesn’t understand the internet,” came the reply.

Without wasting another second they made their way over to the address given to them by the man who was probably dead by now. Stealthily they penetrated the warehouse via an open window and hid behind some boxes. A small gang of thugs were gathered anxiously in the middle of the room, apparently awaiting the arrival of The Tiger. Suddenly the doors flung wide open and a short figure strode into the room surrounded by four tough-looking bodyguards. Joanna’s eyes widened in surprise when she witnessed just who this Tiger was.

“Lily!” shouted Snake-Eyes as he stood up from behind his cover, “I’ve been looking all over for you!”

Lily (i.e. The Tiger) turned towards him with an inquisitive look on her face.

“You haven’t been to Board Game Club in months! What have you been up to? And don’t give me any of that having a job crap!”

“Well, you see, I’m actually the ringleader of a multinational criminal organization and I’ve been rather busy lately attending to some business,” Lily replied with a disturbing amount of calm.

“Oh, ok. Fair enough. Oh, and I have Joanna here with me. She’s looking for something called The Code. You have any idea what or where that is?”

“Actually, I just happen to have it right here in my hand and am about to leave the country with it. I’m sure that it will fetch a hefty price on the black market. I stopped here first to tell my associates to kill anybody else searching for me or The Code. And on that note, guards kill these interlopers, cut them up into little pieces, and throw them to the sharks.”

Snake-Eyes was about to say something else, but Lily’s retinue opened fire forcing him to dive back behind the crates.

“Shit! What do we do now?” Snake-Eyes asked Joanna.

“Well my original plan was to quietly sneak up on them, but you kinda threw that plan out the window. I guess now we’ll just have to fight them head on.”

With that she proceeded to take out every single ruffian in a truly epic and action-packed fashion that is impossible to describe here. Suffice to say, she did all the work while Snake-Eyes cowered behind a forklift. Once they were all disposed of Joanna looked around and saw that Lily had escaped with her four bodyguards during the fray.

“Alright, you can come out now Snake-Eyes. It’s time to take out Lily.”

“Na, I think I’ll sit this one out.”


“Well I got what I came for. I had to cross four continents and pay an obscene amount of cash in airfare and bribes, but I finally found out why Lily wasn’t coming to Board Game Club. Also, I can’t help but notice that things got a lot more dangerous to my well-being. And I can hardly condemn her for a being a brutal and sadistic crimelord. I pretty much fit that description. Besides, I'm not very useful in a fight anyway."

“Just take some of the guns her thugs dropped. C’mon, I need you on this one. I don’t think I can handle her bodyguards by myself.”

“You seem pretty capable.”

“If you bail out now, I’ll never come to Board Game Club again.”

“You wouldn’t dare!”

“Try me.”

“Man, you’ve changed Joanna.”

“Yeah, I’m a cold hard bitch now.”

“No, it’s not that. There just seems to be something different about you. Oh, I see! You got a haircut!”

“Ok whatever. Are you coming or not?”

“Fine, I’ll come. But I’m not happy.”

“Ok, now we just need to figure out where she went.”

“Probably to that airport next door where she keeps her private jet.”

“Dammit Snake-Eyes! Why didn’t you say something earlier?”

“It never came up in the conversation.”

They ran as fast as they could to the airport where they caught up with Lily inside the main hangar. She seemed surprised, but not all that perturbed to see them alive. She sent her elite bodyguards after them, each one a master of a different martial art. Unfortunately, none of them had any guns and were quickly disposed of by the magnum Snake-Eyes had picked up. Now Lily was scared. Joanna pounced on her and began demanding that she hand over The Code, punctuating each sentence by smashing her head into a wall. It didn’t take too many hits for her to cave. Joanna triumphantly held it above her head in victory, but it was to be short-lived as she felt something sharp jab her in the back.

“I believe you have something that belongs to me,” said a male voice as the slip of paper was snatched from her hand. Joanna turned around to see the Katana Man once again and Snake-Eyes standing disarmed in a corner.

“Pardon me for the nature of my behavior, but I’ve found that if you want to get anything done in this crazy city you need to use force,” he explained politely as he took off his mask to reveal that he was none other than Shigeru Miyamoto. “I’ve been looking for the code to access the secret level in Mario 3 for years. I can’t believe I lost it.”

“You mean it’s a video game code?” gaped Lily in disbelief, “I’ve spent all this time and effort and got a bloody face for a video game code?”

“Did you even look at this thing? The code is up, down, up, up, left, A, A, B, A, right, right, A, down, B. What the hell did you think it was for?”

“I can’t believe how many died over this. This is so stupid!” exclaimed Joanna.

“Well, that’s that,” said Snake-Eyes, “can I expect to see you guys at Board Game Club soon?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“Ooooooh! Bring Apples to Apples!”