Friday, January 23, 2015

Murder She Wrote Recaps: S2E6: Reflections of the Mind

When a rich guy drives his sports car off a cliff just minutes after chugging his “traditional pre-travel cocktail,” the local sheriff suspects either foul play or mechanical failure caused his death. Not, you know, drunk driving. Later, a ghost takes credit for the murder. Things then get very Scooby Doo when Jessica Fletcher uses an elaborate scheme to reveal the murderous apparition as a frustrated rock star-turned-gardener.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Rumble Raffle: Official Rules and Regulations

Any wrestling fan knows that the Royal Rumble is the best match of the year. The reasons are many: 30 wrestlers! A countdown clock! People being thrown from high places onto the floor! Surprise entrants! Girls (sometimes)! Announcers (sometimes)! Strange bedfellows (always)! Fat dudes getting picked up via team lifts!

So what's the only thing that could make the Rumble better?


For the first time in recorded history, here is a complete rundown of the rules of the event.

The hardest part of the Rumble Raffle: gather a crowd of people that care enough about wrestling (or gambling, I suppose) to put some money on it, and then remind them to bring two $5 bills to the event with them. You could wager a larger amount, sure, but that's kind of embarrassing.

Since there are 30 competitors, you ideally want 10 or 15 participants. After you collect their money (crucial point! Do not let anyone enter without paying unless you have the Repo Man on speed dial), it's time to draw numbers. Let's say you have 10 participants. Everybody will get three random numbers from 1-30. The best way to distribute them? You could always go with the classic "scraps of paper in a hat" strategy, but for authenticity's sake, I suggest using a Deluxe Metal Bingo Cage Set (pictured).

Spin the wheel, make the deal!
The numbers you drew correspond with the wrestlers that enter the match at those numbers. If you're lucky, you might get John Cena. And if you're me, you might get David Otunga. Or an Uso. Or Jinder Mahal. It all hinges on the luck of the draw, just like in the Rumble itself.

What happens if you have an odd number of participants? If you have seven, each person would draw four numbers to get you to 28. Then put the last two numbers up for bids, starting at $5 per number. That way, a couple of people will get an extra number, but they'll have substantially more money on the line than the other participants.

There are two pots (thus the two $5 bills).

1. The victory pot. If one of your wrestlers wins, you get the pot. If a tie happens––see the '94 Rumble and the controversial Bret Hart-Lex Luger finish––you split it. Please note that as per usual in the world of wrestling, the referee's decision is final. It doesn't matter how much chicanery or skullduggery is involved, or even if the WWE board of directors overturns the decision the next day. Whoever gets their hand raised at the end of the night is the winner.

2. The elimination pot. This pot goes to whoever's wrestlers have the most cumulative eliminations (meaning they threw other wrestlers out of the ring, removing them from the match). Pray for Kane.

Due to the often crazy nature of eliminations, this is where things can get tricky. In fact, you may want to designate an official Royal Rumble Elimination Oversight Committee prior to the match in the event that any disputes should arise. The general rule: whoever physically caused the elimination gets credit for it. That means if Sheamus throws David Otunga like a missile at Heath Slater and that causes Slater to fly out of the ring, Otunga gets the credit, because he theoretically saved himself. If Otunga had gone to the floor with Slater, though, Sheamus gets both eliminations.

Team eliminations! Sometimes, several wrestlers team up to throw somebody out. In this case, each wrestler that had a hand in the effort gets credit for one elimination. No fractions or decimal points are allowed in the Rumble Raffle.

Important note: If someone has an extra wrestler due to an uneven number of participants in the Raffle, you'll need to make an adjustment to keep things fair for the elimination pot. The best way to do this is to make the participant determine before the event which of their numbers will count toward the elimination totals. Using the example above, five participants will have drawn four numbers, while two participants will have paid extra to draw five numbers. Those two participants must choose one of their five entries to be disqualified from the elimination pot before the match starts.

That covers it. Let me know if you host a Raffle and if you have any suggested rule changes!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Let's Talk About Rambo: Episode 23: Pirate Peril

After coaching KAT to victory in an MMA fight in Hong Kong, Rambo takes the team out for a celebratory dinner on a tiny fishing boat out in the harbor. It's literally just a junky little skiff with a fancy dinner table and chairs set up on it. And they have to wait to order until a "menu boat" pulls up alongside! The menu boat is also a junky little fishing skiff.

Here Rambo learns from his middle-aged Chinese fisherman friend (where does he meet these guys?) that the local fishing community has been having trouble with a bunch of SAVAGE pirates, who are launching strikes against them from their pirate ship, the S.S. Scurvy.

That's when the pirates fly in to attack.

I love that they brought in hang gliding pirates just three episodes after they had hang gliding ninjas. It's the transportation mode of choice for evildoers everywhere!

After fighting off the pirates thanks to Turbo's boomerang skills, Rambo and co. track the pirates to a tiny deserted island, then, once they land on the tiny deserted island, they track the pirates to the tiny deserted island's pirate bar. After Rambo duels the pirate captain Nomak to draw after an aborted ruse in which the Force of Freedom tried to pretend they were pirate recruits, the salty seamen chase them out of the pirate bar and across the tiny deserted island.

Good thing Rambo always keeps an RPG in his dinghy.
Long story short, Rambo eventually ends up a captive on SAVAGE's yellow submarine, which they stole from some scientists in order to look for a different submarine, a sunken French one. It's this second submarine that they plan to raise and then––in classic SAVAGE fashion!––sell to the highest bidder. Assumedly the yellow submarine is not worth enough to sell? It is not discussed. So where do the pirates come into play in this scheme? Well, they were hired to attack local fishing boats near the search location, of course. Because those tiny boats would surely spot the yellow submarine searching for the French submarine and then they would know something suspicious was up.

This is a complicated plan. It might be SAVAGE's most convoluted plan of all time, in fact. And remember, this is the organization that, in a shocking inversion of priorities, tried to hold all of the world's most famous landmarks for ransom in order to get the funds to get their School for Terrorism off the ground.

Back to captive Rambo. Somebody in SAVAGE has a super weird rat fetish. "Hey, we've captured Rambo! What should we do with him? Shoot him with a gun? Stab him? Drown him? Murder him in some other way? No, let's let a bunch of rats loose near him and see what happens!"

When will they learn Rambo is not weak to rats?
Now free, Rambo leaves the sub and gets into a jetski battle on the high seas! Despite driving a souped-up, rocket-powered jetski that would make Jerry Steve Dave the Magic Man extremely jealous, Rambo chooses a decidedly old-fashioned way to take care of his jetski adversaries.

You guessed it––he lassoed them!

Friday, January 2, 2015

What's Rambo Doing on His Day Off? #16

John Rambo stands outside the squared circle in a packed Hong Kong arena, coaching KAT in a women's mixed martial arts competition. After launching her opponent with several judo throws, KAT tires of playing with her meal and picks up the win with a vicious cross armbreaker. Eat your heart out, Ronda Rousey!

As seen in Rambo: The Force of Freedom episode 23: Pirate Peril.