This post is a little bit less about WoW than usual – although it is, at heart, a WoW-themed anecdote. I apologise for the lack of a sissy robe.
On the other hand: Arthas: Rise of the Lich King just ruined my life.
There was an old British comedy show called Newman and Baddiel in Pieces – it’s pretty obscure these days because the critics spanked it to death and Newman and Baddiel discovered, during the making of it, that they hated each other and couldn’t work together. I mention it because one of Rob Newman’s sketches centred on the idea (and you’ll have to forgive me for vagueness, I can’t remember it very well and it doesn’t exist anywhere on the internet, that’s how badly this show sank without trace) that he was incapable of going to gatherings he knew he would hate because some part of him always thought it would be at the very same gathering he would meet the love of his life. His monologue goes something like:
It’s 3am in London, and my friends are all saying, yeah, let’s go to this place, you know, and I’m like, no, I don’t want to do it but then I hear the same voice in my head, and that voice is me, on the occasion of my ruby wedding anniversary, as I lean on the mantelpiece and raise a glass to my wife saying:
“And to think, darling, I nearly didn’t go to that nightclub, and we would never have met.”
Of course, from there it gets increasingly outlandish. “And to think darling, I nearly didn’t go to that satanic orgy, and we would never have met”. Etc. etc. Typical Rob Newman stuff, insightful, neurotic and very very funny.
I mention this, despite the fact it has little to do with WoW, because I think we all, secretly, on some level think like this. I am driven by, and attracted to, the shimmering possibilities of things that could have, but did not, happen. (Cresting a wave of profound self-indulgent here, I nearly quoted TS Eliot here, but I’ll spare you).
So, let’s take this out of the abstractionville: last night, I was walking home, and I was finishing off Arthas: The Rise of the Lich King. I don’t normally read when I’m walking along because, quite frankly, I lack the necessary concentration and coordination. So it amounted to a private insult aimed at the text. I was trying to let it know just how little I thought of it, and that I resented any real time given over to reading it.
While I was walking along, reading and resenting and not paying as much attention to where I was going as I could have been, I very nearly, very gently, walked into a Very Beautiful Person. The reason I didn’t collide embarrassingly with the VPB was because we were both reading books and, therefore, all that happened was that the spines lightly nudged against each other.
Our eyes met, and held, over the top of our respective, still-touching books.
Rob Newman went wild in my head. This was it! My ruby wedding anniversary was going to be along any day now. To think darling…
My eyes dipped to the book.
The world had long since stopped turning.
“You’re reading Roland Barthes,” I said, dreamily.
The VBP’s eyes did likewise.
“You’re reading…” a pause, a voice increasingly filled with incredulity. “World of Warcraft? Arthas? Rise of the Lich King?”
I have never seen attraction die so quickly in my entire life. Never.
It barely had time to gurgle.
Critted for 10k points of damage.
So, yeah, no Ruby Wedding Anniversary for me.
Fuck you, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, fuck you.
And, actually, fuck you VBP, you elitist, judgemental meanie who probably smells. I’ve read Barthes AND Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. I happen to think that makes me a more balanced human being, actually. And I didn’t want to have a Ruby Wedding Anniversary with you anyway. So there.
So, anyway, does anybody want my copy of Arthas: Rise of the Cockblocking Lich King? I will happily pay postage for the privilege of no longer owning it, and I feel a moral quandary about giving it to a charity shop lest it fall into innocent hands.