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StickJock - Striking Misnomer
[11/01/2006] [Sutra]

So it's 8:32 pm on a slow Tuesday night, the summer's fighter practice at the local park has all but died away since school sessions began back in August and I am sitting in front of the only television in the house. It's more of a self imposed penance than economic penury. The movie is about half way through when the interviewing voice asks a gruff-looking guy what the difference is between a flurb and stickjock.

That's when it happens, again. The pock-marked teens who fancy themselves shaolin-spell-casting dragon halfbreed ninjas cast their ill-fated interpretations of what a flurb is. The twitchy stickjock rehashes the same hateful excuse why flurbs suck. Not only does flurb role-play reek of lame, on average, so does their stick-fu. Flurbs are left to deal with their dichotic ineptitudes.

I managed to finish the Swordplay documentary, shrugging my shoulders; impressed really. The flurb/stickjock debacle would rattle annoyingly in my consciousness for the rest of the week. Amtgard is a LARP, I circularly reasoned. It's the proverbial playground for the rejects of society, the 'Dead Ale's Wives Club' kind of guys who have decidedly taken their flights of fantasy and role-play fetish beyond the dice rolling and mounting mounds of Mountain Dew typical of a lonely Friday night. That's who the game is for, right? People who like to take this concept called 'role-play' and make it 'live action.'

In the opposing corner sits the game's other redheaded sibling. So let me get this straight: a person struts onto the field with their fluffy ego and non-period hockey/baseball equipment and wipes the field with your typical flurb and fellow stickjocks only to be looked at as a non-loser? When a stickjock shows up in a shirt and jeans, an over-priced company jersey, or riot grade police head-gear, does that constitute being in character?

I almost had an aneurysm trying to comprehend how a jock can mock a fellow noob for doing something that is natural to the realm of Amtgard. That's when the following analogy revealed itself to me. Take professional American Football. Flurbs are like football weekend warriors enjoying an annual game of touch or flag ball. Stickjocks are like the guys who play for an amateur hometown league. And then you've got your more intense breed who aspire to be professional players with contracts and salaries who make the real amateur league in hopes to catch a scout's attention. I hear there's a movement to take the best of the best of the boffer swingers in that route. Now that's weird. Televised pro paintball - that's a sport. Bunch of guys in sponsor-laden jerseys running around in a televised World Banner Wars XXV, smacking each other with Nu-Tech 100's(TM) Boffers - that's comedy.

I ask again, how and why is a flurb supposed to be shamed into submission for exaggerated role-play on some digital list, only to fall short of their self proclaimed tree-leaping, legion-leading, dragon-slaying skills on the field, when we have militarized stickjocks who jockey for battlefield supremacy in a game that involves components such as fun-noddle and cushioned spell balls?What's worse, a guy who badly plays a half-demon or a guy who has figured out the hit radius and striking trajectories around a medium shield?

Frankly, I think the game of Amtgard could use flurbs with better stick and stickjocks who are brave enough to role-play a little. But until that day, I say we stop calling stickjocks 'stickjocks' and properly identify them as 'shaftjockies'.

Flurb is a curse word in some parts. Dirty even. But shaftjockies, I can live with that.

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