It’s like there’s a monkey on my back. A gaming monkey, and he’s rattling dice in my ear.

One more From The Vault, because I'd completely forgotten about it, and it made me laugh out loud when I read it.

While Anne and I drove down the freeway today, Just Like Heaven came on the radio.

"This was my first CD," I said.

"I know," she said. "You tell me that every time we hear a song from it."

"And one day, you'll hear it, and I won't be here for some reason or another, and you'll wish I was here to tell you."

While we both pondered the macabre nature of that particular thought,
I realized that not only was this album forever linked to my first CD
player, but it also gave me hypernostalgic memories of gaming with my
group of friends in high school.

"I don't know what it is," I said, "but lately, I've wanted to get
together with geeks and do a weekend of serious nonstop gaming."

She glanced over at me. "Oh?"

"Yeah. But this is more than the usual 'I want to play Car Wars'
thing. This is a serious –" I searched for the exact word to describe
the overwhelming longing, approaching psychophysical need to play, and settled on, "Jones. Like an addict, you know?"

I wiggled around in my seat, and faced her, "It's like there's — hey, aren't we taking the 110?"

"Whoops." She said, as she quickly changed lanes.

"It's like there's a monkey on my back. A gaming monkey, and he's rattling dice in my ear."

"Like he's shaking them in a Yahtzee cup?" She said.

"Gamers don't use Yahtzee cups," I said, as patiently as I could.
"It's more like he's holding a bag of dice in his hand." I held my hand
up, and felt the invisible bag in my palm. "And he's rattling the dice

"Is it your bag of dice?" she said.

"Yeah! It's totally my bag of dice!" I paused for a moment, and
added, "but he's not opening it. Because if he opens it, and touches my
dice, I will fucking kill that monkey."

This is totally going into the gaming chapbook for GenCon.

32 thoughts on “It’s like there’s a monkey on my back. A gaming monkey, and he’s rattling dice in my ear.”

  1. Wil,
    How could I get in touch with you to maybe setup an interview? I work with Subspace Radio, an online radio station dedicated to Star Trek Online and we would love to do an interview with you.
    If you can contact me so we might could work something out I would greatly appreciate it.
    Hope to hear back from you.
    Scott Lowry

  2. I know it’s an addiction, but dag nabbit, that monkey loves you! He (she?) just knows that gamers need to game. So hands off the monkey, mister! People are watching!

  3. I was looking through my dice bag the other day. Weirdest place to find money … I had a half dollar in there. I miss my lovely purple/black/gold set … anyone fancy some D & D?!? :)
    And I *love* Just Like Heaven :)

  4. That feeling is so true! I get that every now again, but this time I’ve given in and found myself a gaming group. Damn you, Gaming Monkey! *Shakes fist* 😀

  5. I am so excited for GenCon this year. I’m not working and can just spend as much time as I want talking to gamers, playing new games, meeting friends old and new.
    We plan on spending a massive ton of time at Scotty’s Brewhouse due to their awesome menus, scheduled gaming and open gaming tables. PLUS COLLECTIBLE DICE.
    Hey Wil! Did you pick a day/time for a t-shirt meetup/photo op? I want to make sure I don’t miss that, even if I can’t get a seat in your panel. Actually, since I’ve seen you a couple of times, I’d rather have someone new take my spot and share the love. Still, don’t want to miss zee photo op!

  6. “And one day, you’ll hear it, and I won’t be here for some reason or another, and you’ll wish I was here to tell you.”

    Not to be a downer, but I just want to offer the sincere hope that neither of you learn how true this is for a very, very long time.

    I was exactly your age when my lovely geek of a husband was killed in an accident on his way to work, not even a month past his 34th birthday. Nearly six years later I’m still filling in those little bits of conversation, and I think I always will.

  7. Come to the Paint and Take booth in the Miniature Events area and we’ll add another monkey to keep the first one company. You get a mini to paint, and it won’t cost you anything, because the first hit is free!

  8. Since you mentioned Car Wars… Whenever I have a jones for death, speed and molten twisted metal, I fire up Dark Wind.
    It’s turn based, pretty easy to pick up and a lot like car wars. Only real dislike is that they send you email that “Your gang is starving…” if you don’t play often, so use a disposable email address.

  9. If you can get the rights back to the Dragon magazine back page you did about the time your son grabbed your dice bag, that would be perfect. It was the first time I’d read anything of yours, and it totally grabbed me.

  10. Any chance you MIGHT make it to DragonCon this year? As a fellow non-repentant geek, I have been hoping to see the guy who inspired me to not give up the geekiness when I became a soldier, but rather temper it with *gasp* real life. Many years and combat tours later, it’s a minor hero-idol story, and I’d like to shake your hand.

  11. Where will you be selling the chapbooks at? I want to make sure to grab one before they are all gone. Also, any word on t-shirt meet ups? I am flying out on a red eye tomorrow night and want to make sure I add them in to my schedule. Thanks man! See you at GenCon!

  12. Chapbooks will be at my table, wherever I'm signing stuff. The T-shirt meetup will happen on Friday, right before or right after my talk.

  13. My husband will be at GenCon working for the Cheese Weasel “ConQuest”. I know you probably won’t be able to do a convention-wide scavenger hunt, but if you get bored it is a lot of fun, and the prizes are redonkulus. I hope you have fun, and manage to get that gaming monkey off your back without the almost-inevitable death.

  14. I am so with you there… I was digging through the basement and came across my box of “obscure RPG” games and my binder full of Morrow Project resources popped out. I made the mistake of opening it..
    Now I am trying to convince 6 friends to play an evening of Post WW-III wasteland roaming with guns game.. It’s nice to change from swinging a sword at orcs to laying down suppression fire with an M60 from time to time…

  15. My personal Monkey isn’t a Gamer, but a musician..
    It hurts sometimes, to feel my own drumsticks played on my head and not been able to play with the band, cause our guitarrplayer is in jail….
    Oh…. please excuse my broken english, but I’m german …

  16. Just so you know, the “Wil Wheaton” dice we got for playing your delv at ECCC are my Go To d20s.
    When I NEED a good roll, I choose Will Wheaton.
    That doesn’t sound creepy at all….

  17. Excellent. Have fun at GenCon!
    I just watched the latest episode of The Guild and Fawkes’ “Journaling” bit cracked me up (I won’t mention specifics as there might be people here who haven’t seen it).
    Who came up with the idea of the prop? Felicia?
    Also, I have an admission to make, I do use a leather dice cup. It’s useful, especially in cramped conditions when you have to make sure your dice don’t touch the other players’, which is important.

  18. I haven’t had a steady gaming group for about three years now. And the monkey is not happy. Very, very not happy.
    I fear for my dice.

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