Thursday, April 14, 2011


For today, pretend you are an athletic coach in the far far far future. Space colonization has failed, and the Earth is dangerously overpopulated.

Among many other population-control measures, most forms of athletic competition have been refashioned into last-man-standing games, in which the winning team is the one that successfully slaughters all members of the other team without disobeying the rules of the game.

Imagine yourself as the coach of the Mozambique Tarp Plendor-Kilnetz (this is the far future), the year's Cinderella team in the World Presidential Alliance Gobelkiball tournament. Your team, originally composed of 27 players, is down to one final man after completing 78 Intervals. The game ends after 79 Intervals or until one team has lost every one of its players to death, whichever occurs first. At the end of the 79th Interval, the surviving players on the losing team are jettisoned into space. The coaches are spared, as they are World Government Employees.

You have one player remaining in the game, nicknamed Rumnif-Y. Your opponents have retained all but two of their players throughout the course of the game. Rumnif-Y is an asthmatic stable boy from the Upper People's Republic of Shericksway-Latvia. This is his first tournament and has yet to make a kill. He may have a special skill that has just come to light.

For some reason, you've become attached to the kid, even though he hasn't done much for your squad (your compensation depends on team stastics). He reminds you of your own son, Derriq-Pir, recently killed under mysterious circumstances. He's got something inside of him that convinces you completely, almost irrationally, that he can single-handedly win this game, killing the remaining 25 on the opposing team. You've just discovered this light inside of him.

For today, write a speech that will convince him that he is going to win, and suggest to him the best strategies for victories. Incorporate as many rules of the game as possible. And discourage Rumnif-Y from giving in to despair and resignation. Make him fight! Convince him, as you've convinced yourself, of the possibility that this might work out for him.

Send your pep talk to

Some elements of the game, to give you a better feel for the rules:

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