Holy Smoke, Batman! – Chapter 7, Act 4, Strip 77

Interesting. Apparently, the bit of good advice that Biff once received from his coach involves the use of a smoke grenade – that is quite an original approach when you’re talking about footba…uh, sorry, ice hockey. I almost have to wonder whether it is, strictly speaking, even legal in sports…but I admit I’ve never really studied the hockey rules. And perhaps Biff’s coach hasn’t done that, either. But whether it’s strictly legal or not, I would bet that there is at least a handful of purists who would consider it unfair and unsporting…there always is. The biggest issue, though, would likely be the TV rights…it’s hard to imagine a TV network shelling out big bucks for the rights to broadcast a game nobody can see.

One person who definitely considers the smoke grenade unfair and unsporting in this context is the evil!Professor. But it doesn’t bother him – he likes unfair and unsporting, naturally. And he doesn’t view it (to the degree he’s still able to see it) as an insurmountable tactical problem, either, relying on his long-established experience with smoke and mirrors. While last Thursday I might have joked that all Professors are evil, today evil!Professor Dr. proves to me that he, at least, is a lot more evil than the next-best Professor. It’s not the opaque lectures and opaquer exams that set him apart, though – it’s the fact that he does that on purpose. In your run-of-the-mill Professor, the opacity is simply a byproduct of incompetence, fueled by carelessness. They don’t realize that no sane human being could successfully wade through the swamp of their obscure private argot – they understand themselves, if barely, so they suppose everyone else is capable of doing the same. Evil!Professor Dr. is worse – he purposefully scours old English-Sumerian dictionaries for new obscure words to throw his students off the track, then rephrases his exam questions with the help of English As She Is Spoke.

But, anyway, how will this increasingly opaque affair work out for the two sides involved? I’m hoping for some clarity on Thursday, but I’m not overly optimistic, what with all this smoke. ._.

3 Replies to “Holy Smoke, Batman! – Chapter 7, Act 4, Strip 77”

  1. It’s one of those “Air Bud” rules: Because it isn’t explicitly and strictly forbidden in the rule book, it’s allowed. It’s the reason why the bad-guy team can get away with things that SHOULD be banned or result in disqualification.
    Oh sure, wheel-destroying spikes should probably be easily identifiable before a chariot race even begins and removed; but can you really remember anything else from Ben-Hur? Likewise the ol’ throw-a-smoke-grenade is a generally frowned-upon tactic but still not explicitly banned in the rule book.

    Incidentally, dogs actually aren’t allowed in basketball for the same reason there are separate divisions for men’s and women’s sports. All someone had to do was note that the difference between a dog and a man is even greater than the difference between a woman and a man and that the dog should be in a separate dog’s league of basketball. Fortunately that would have come across as sexist and so the movie premise was saved!

    1. Yeah, rule-lawyering in role-playing can sometimes rise to nearly the same level of annoyance as real-world lawyering…a smoke grenade should be easy to slip by the rules, if you define it as a kind of torch that just has a very bad smoke-to-light ratio. (Although the smoke from torches is a real-life problem most fantasy settings like to ignore for the sake of convenience.)

      It would work similarly for Airbud…after all “dog” is a common phrase, not a taxonomically precise definition. It is usually applied to beings of the species canis domesticus, but also used for male humans, especially when pronounced “dawg”. By that logic, Airbud might be a male human just as easily as a canis domesticus, so…

      Concerning the Ben Hur example, though, I’m not sure it even took any lawyering. Everyone who’s ever seen how Italians tend to drive would agree that spikes are just a sensible and reasonable protective measure when driving anywhere near the centre of Rome…

      1. “Yo dawg. I heard yo like dogs and dawgs. So we put a dog in yo dawg, so yo dog can be a dawg while yo dawg is a dog.”

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