Confessions of a Shadesholic Hat

Phil Craven's confessions of a


Boy, am I miffed! There I am minding my own business, killing off this castle guard, a perfectly normal thing to do at 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning you might think when wallop...grrunnge... A finely balanced knife between the shoulder blades, and I'm a gonner. Huh! Not that I mind being stabbed, you understand. I'm no wimp. It's just that I could see the fella that did it didn't have any weapon let alone the finely balanced blade, so I thought it was quite safe.

After all, even though I was low on stamina, I would still have plenty of time to deliver the final death blow to the guard, and leg it somewhat hastily before he had time to launch an attack on my weakened but innocent body. Not a chance! Whilst I'm waiting there for the old man to record my kill in his ledger the mugger (correct spelling... but I was tempted) attacked with the 'invisible' knife and, by the time I discovered I was in another fight, it was all over. Yours truly was lying in a heap on the ground - very much dead. I thought, "That's enough of that," and put the kettle on.


Puzzled? I'm not surprised. I was playing a Multi User Game called SHADES on Micronet in which one of the hazards is being attacked and possibly killed by other players with a resulting loss of hard-eamed points. That particular mugging has given me a new insight into the meaning of MUG. Another piece of insight I desperately need, and would appreciate any help with, is an antidote to Shades.

Like alcohol, most people can partake without hang-ups but others get addicted and (again like alcohol) the habit can be pretty costly. Any sensible person would allow the disheartening effect of losing points in fights to deter them from ever going back to the land but, alas, I am not of this kind (bangs head on desk). I'm weak and haggard and need my nightly fix (sweat pours from brow). If I can just see who's in tonight I'll switch off (pant), I know I can (gasp), just five minutes and I'll leave... I promise... Five minutes (sweat)... I can do it......... You'll see (gibber)........... (ring ring)


Three hours later the stairs creak as a weary Shadesaholic crawls to bed, one thought swimming through his brain: "Never again. Definitely never again". Maybe a Shades Annoi Anom Anonyno Aminomy... Anti-Shades League might be worth starting. If anyone is interested let me know. You might also let me know why I found the Tree Sprite in the Wand Adjustment Area. Odd, that.


I would definitely have stopped (honest I really would) but I was just standing by the moat by myself, looking for the quit keys on the keyboard - when in pops little Bonnyface. I've changed her name to protect the innocent. Now I'm not the sort of person who will leave a lady on her own if she wants a bit of company and, as I could see she needed a strong macho type to protect her, I stayed for a chat.

"Hi", she said. I pushed out my chest, put on my deep masculine voice and said "Hello". Not easy to do that on the keyboard. I could tell she was impressed as she came back immediately with "Hello." (It builds nicely, doesn't it?) Next thing I know she 'kisses me slowly and sexily'. Then she begins to cuddle me...

'Ello, I thought, she's after my hard earned treasure. Can't she see my knight m shining armour uniform? Doesn't she know I'm British, treat a lady as a lady and she needs only to ask? I smiled to her, the sun flashed on my teeth. Standing my full height - as heroes often do - I told her she could have whatever she wanted. She said, "Go East," and disappeared. I went East, she was there. "go South East," and off she went again. Again I followed. "East," she said, then North. Just as I arrived on the landing she hopped off again only this time without leaving me any direction.

"If you want the treasure, you can have the treasure," I shouted, "but stop all this silly chasing around!" I felt a bit like a deflated, blow-up superhero doll and thought I'd leave - but, as I was about to, Bonnyface waved me into a room I'd never seen before. She stood close to me, put her arms around my neck and whispered, "It's not the treasure I want, silly boy. Take a look around." I did. I couldn't believe my eyes. We were in the Bridal Suite! There was a bed, the door was locked, and I was being cuddled again. "Flipping heck" I thought, and who wouldn't at a time like that? Now what took place there is not for the squeamish. Bonnyface moved in real close, pressed her...OI! STOPPIT, MR. EDITOR! DON'T CUT ME OFF...
[Sorry chum. You've run out of space. Maybe next time, but I doubt it - Ed.]


Richard A. Bartle (
21st January 1999: cpoct89c.htm