I remember playing cards with Tim at a Bangladesh whorehouse in 1976. We were both on assignment tracking down opium smugglers. Tim was with the boys from Langley and I was with the Dept of Ag(riculture). The smugglers were laundering their money through the booming new industry of role-playing games. It was a change of pace for us in the DoA, but there was a new administration that year and we were trying new things. Anyway, we spent the summer posing as RPG creators looking for investors. The city was filthy with them.
Tim had the best cover story. He was peddling a dungeon adventure located on Kashyyyk, the home planet of the wookies. You had to escape from this woman’s prison, whilst fending off the constant attention of the amorous female guards. It was a great idea that opened a lot of doors for him. At the same time it was inherently flawed,* so he was never tied down either. I was stuck pushing a Lovecraftian monster campaign, which was just too ahead of its time. Anyway, that’s not where we met.
We first met during the Civil War. Tim and I were both second lieutenants under Sherman. We didn’t really see much fighting; Sherman kept us close both for our council and our companionship. We actually helped Sherman craft his famous quote supporting Ulysses S. Grant: “General Grant is a great general. I know him well. He stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk; and now, sir, we stand by each other always.” If my memory serves me, we were three sheets to the wind when we wrote that. It was during this period that I overheard Tim making Lady Gaga jokes, and I’m sure he was present the many times that I sang “When Doves Cry.”
No hard feelings though, I’m happy now at Solemn Oath. They’ve been great.
Turns out both Tim and I were teenage time travelers from the city-state of Minooka, circa 256 AG.** Obviously, we must have had more than coincidence in common. So we decided to pal around together on a voyage through time. We were young and cocksure, virtually omniscient, and we had the ability to time travel. The space-time continuum was our oyster. We decided that the best way to get to know each other was to go to high school together.
So we enrolled at Minooka Community High School circa 1992 (the heyday). We learned a lot and made some great friends. However, we weren’t very good athletes compared to the locals and it wasn’t like every week was band camp. Plus, some of the teachers did not appreciate our know-it-all attitudes. We did know it all, though. We were from the future. Either way, no matter how much fun math club was, we decided to go further back in time.
In 1911, we were actually able to make the basketball team. I took on the nickname, “Magic,” and Tim changed his name to “Michael Jordan.” Filling the backcourt, Tim and I led our school to the state title. I still get called “Magic” once in awhile by the old-timers
I was stuck pushing a Lovecraftian monster campaign, which was just too ahead of its time. Anyway, that’s not where we met.
Once we got our fill of athletics, we decided to just have fun and let the time blow through our hair. I remember late in the 19th, Tim suggested the first zeppelin as a joke. Who’d want to fly in a ponderously slow explosive? Teddy Roosevelt almost killed me on five separate occasions. Best night of my life. Aaron Burr was kind of a bitch, but he totally smoked Hamilton. Cleopatra was cute, but her milkshake definitely did not bring the boys to the yard. Da Vinci? Bad ass. Taft? Could belch the Gettysburg Address. Charlemagne? Kind of Nancy, but in all the right ways.
We had a lot of fun, but we got burned out and needed some time apart. Tim moved back to the modern day United States and started brewing. I bounced around some more in the past, but ended up in Bakersfield burying bodies for the local mafia. It was a very comfortable living, at least until my backlog of parking tickets forced me to turn state's evidence. No hard feelings though, I’m happy now at Solemn Oath. They’ve been great. As long as the Bakersfield crew doesn’t find out where Patrick “Potsticker” O’Reilly is, I plan on being here a long time.
Side note: Tim and I got around and definitely sowed our wild oats. So if my math is correct, at least half of the people reading this are our biological offspring. At least half. So, if you’re not a red head, then you’re mine. Don’t ask for any money.
*No gamer worth his salt would ever turn down the affections of a female wookie.
**AG = After Gods; the new calendar delineation created during the renaissance of free thought, once all religions were eliminated and all our excess time and money were spent on science.
(Ed. note: You can see why MOfferman has been a solid SOB addition.)
This is the sixth in a series of posts exploring the origins of SOBs. Read John Barley, Tim Marshall, Joe Barley, Paul Schneider, and wait for it...Honda's posts to get up to speed. Even if you choose not to look back, where you come from is important. How you got here is important. These are our origins, and sometimes they include time travel and an awkward shoulder hold.
Header image generously provided by Michael Kiser of www.GoodBeerHunting.com.