Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's

Figure this one out:

From Jungle sport in Ceylon from elephant to snipe (1914). The caption reads:
"Crocodiles Dissembling
The monkeys swarmed up their bodies and disappeared down their capacious gullets as fast as they could be conveniently taken in"


  1. The DM rolls dice. "Okay, you approach a clearing in the thick woods," he says, rolling more dice. "You've gained surprise. What you see in front of you are three crocodiles."

    "I shoot," the ranger says.

    "No no, I'm not done yet. The crocodiles are upright with their tails stuck down in the dirt. Their arms and legs are splayed open and their mouths are wide."

    "That's freaking weird!" says the halfling with a smile.

    "I shoot," the rangers says, rolling his twenty-sider.

    "Jeez, I'm not done yet," the DM the continues reading from the module. "There are over 40 little monkey around the crocodiles, some climbing on the crocodiles, and others climbing down the reptiles gullets. You can see from the movements of the crocodile's bellies that the moneys are squirming around inside their stomachs."

    "Dude, are you making this up?" the halfling shakes his head.

    "It's right here in the module!" the DM stabs the booklet.

    "I shoot everything," the rangers says, rolling his twenty-sider again.

    "No he doesn't," says the dwarf. "We all back up as quietly as possible, turn around, and take the left path instead of the right."

    "Oh come on!" the DM stabs the module. "It's so cool. Aren't you curious?"

    "No," says the dwarf.

    "Come on, I want to see! Let's go pet one of the monkeys" the halfling begs.

    "No," the dwarf shakes his head. "This is some sort of weird monkey Cthullu ritual and all of our characters are going to die."

    "Hey," the DM snatches up the module. "Have you read this one?"

    "I want to shoot something," the ranger grumbles.

    "We go down the left path instead." The dwarf stares down the DM, eyes steady.

    The DM sigh and throws up his hands. "Fine. You reach the dungeon entrance without further incident. Gosh."

    - Ark

  2. The grotesque trophies in that book are pretty inspirational too.

  3. Now I've got to find a way to squeeze this into an adventure.

  4. That looks just like I always imagined jungle sport would look. Now I know where Jeux sans Frontiers got their ideas from.

    I'm also getting an Aesop vibe; someone told the monkeys this was their only hope for surviving the flood. As for crocodiles pretending to be trees, cf. The Enormous Crocodile, IIRC Roald Dahl's first book.

  5. Thanks for the comments. I'd never heard of Jeux sans Frontiers, got a typical video link?

    Aesop vibe is right, which is sort of interesting never thought about how absurd some of those fables can be.

  6. JSF aka It's A Knockout on English TV in the 70s and 80s; teams of Ordinary Citizens of various European countries dress up as, well, monkeys and try to jam themselves into giant rubber crocodile mouths, for instance. Inspired Peter Gabriel to write Games Without Frontiers, a minor electronica hit ca. 1980. His thesis, that games are in general proxies for war, was first noticed in ancient Greece, but there you go; the Greeks wrestled naked and apparently never fully explored the advantages of floppy animal costumes

    Sorry, no linkery for now: on a phone, no real internet. .