While living in Seattle, bored, looking for new interesting friends; I placed a personal ad in The Stranger, the weekly alternative paper. As a result, I met Greg aka “Talus Qur” and his middle-aged nerd posse.

Greg was a full-blown Klingon Trekkie; fluent in the lanquage and trivia of the Star Trek franchise. He had figurines covering his walls, a phaser from the original series, and a home-made uniform he wore to sci-fi conventions. During the time I knew him; he was seriously considering plastic surgery to have Klingon-like ridges inserted into his forehead.

Greg’s offbeat friends were passionate about the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. They spent countless hours developing characters, creating fantasy worlds, and enacting campaigns. As a social experiment, I decided to devote a winter of Saturdays immersed in this alternate adolescent reality.

My character was a pagan dwarf with low intelligence named SERADD (short for Serial Adder, a term from my engineering geek school days). SERADD was proficient in butchering and impaling; his main weapons were a head spike and battle ax.

A typical evening would begin with smoking copious amounts of pot followed by a confused discussion with the Dungeon Master concerning the objectives of the upcoming quest. Battles would ensue, treasures would be plundered and magic spells aquired. At the end of the night, a full accounting was made and experience points awarded to each character in order to advance to the next level of the game.

As spring approached, I grew impatient with my tedious experiment so I began planning my exit. At the next gathering, SERADD the IMPALER suddenly turned on his companions and attempted to gore them in the groin. When recovered from their shock; the other players rallied together and chopped my head off.

As I gathered up my dice and jacket to leave, I stared at their stunned and perplexed faces. I walked out the door and never saw those fantasyland fellows again.

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