Monday, January 14, 2008

Game Control

A memory from when John was on Game Control for the “Old West” Game

I didn’t know John well, but in our classbook from the reunion this year, I was very saddened to learn of his passing. One of my favorite Stanford memories involves John.

He was part of “Game Control” for “The Game” one year at Stanford. Not to be confused with “Big Game”, The Game, for those who don’t know, is a grand-scale scavenger hunt / puzzle contest spanning 24 hours (or more). John was part of a group that organized a Game themed around the Old West. Part of the instructions for registering—and they were VERY explicit about this—was that payments would be accepted only in gold, or, perhaps in rare cases under extenuating circumstances, in government-issue legal tender. NO so-called “promissory notes” would be accepted.

Registration day came, and all the team captains showed up to register. John stepped up, in full Old West sheriff’s regalia, introduced himself by some old-westy sounding name which I have long since forgotten, and called for those with payment in gold. No one came forward. He then, reluctantly, called for those with cash… no dice. To a man (or woman), we had every one us defied the instructions and decided to pay with a check. A look of consternation passed over John’s face. He said something like, “Well, tarnation!” and then said, “I suppose we’ll have to accept them, but we’re not havin’ any of OUR names put on those confounded things. We’ll have to use some crazy, ridiculous, made-up sounding name like… oh, I don’t know, something like, uh, say, (air quotes) ‘John Pilafidis’!”

I was very sorry to learn of his passing, and my heartfelt condolences go out to his family and those close to him.

Posted by rnickel on 01/14 at 11:30 AM