Clash of Clans Christmas Special

Editor’s note: Clash of Clans is popular with some of the Lunchsketballers, just as it is with the 2014 American League Champion Kansas City Royals. This article is otherwise entirely unrelated to Lunchsketball. For those who play the video game, Merry Christmas. Everybody else, hang in there – this is not going to become a full-time Clash of Clans blog.

State of the Village Address to the People of GMcFly32:

santaPeace to you this Christmas, my villagers! How I love each one of you. The eager smiles on the faces of the builders brings me joy. How proud I am of those bands of courageous archers, who with ever a watchful eye pace their towers as they survey the horizon on our behalf. What happiness it brings me to watch my harem of innumerable identical buxom wenches spend their days scurrying about the village grounds, applauding the plants, rocks and structures that delight them so. How effortlessly they leap, light as a feather, over the walls we’ve raised to deter the fiercest predators!

What sorrow to think that I should ever have had lead you astray. How it terrifies me to imagine ever bringing an unnecessary pain upon the least of you, who have trusted me so innocently!

“Hey Chief, come back! Your warriors need a leader!”, comes the distressed message from my village. Time and again, I’ve rushed back in response, thinking that I was coming to your aid.

I have been wrong. This morning, as I gazed out upon the splendorous tide of our majestic beach, I began to think. My thoughts are sometimes clearest when I am close to nature. The sound of the crashing waves, this endless, foaming, cycle of beauty, lead the mind to think in greater terms. I let those words sink in… “your warriors need a leader!” I thought about what it really means to be a leader and LEAD. My warriors need a LEADER.

And a leader is one who does first what he knows is best for his people. A leader makes decisions that can be painful. It can be the task of a leader to address his failings, to face his own weakness. A leader must do what is best for his people, and sometimes that means swallowing his pride. That means admitting a mistake.

I look upon my cherished land today, and lament a village that has grown weary. Wearied of fighting pointless battles for vengeance, elixir and gold. Wearied of mourning tombstones left scattered about the walls of distant cities. Tired of constructing defenses, ever insufficient to frustrate our enemies. Enemies of seemingly every race and creed, incomprehensible in number, and unrelenting in their cruelty, greed and blood-lust.

My people, I am tired of running. Tired of always looking to unlock a new warrior, build greater walls and larger coffers!

We offer them our gold and elixir, but no amount of treasures satisfies the enemy hoard; for that is the entire world beyond our bordering forests – a hoard of enemies, gleeful in our demise. They are fueled by pride, willing to burn down our Town Hall 6, civilians within it, for the mere sake of sport. It is our ruin they pursue.

Our defenses are upgraded to the max. A staggering fortune has been poured into these walls that surround us. Our resource collectors are a modern marvel. In just one day’s time, we mine 360,000 gold. Surely this is more than enough to sustain a dignified life for our people! And yet, from within our very walls, I hear this cry, that I am ever further convinced is a cry of a deranged and perverted people: “Let us go to war! Let us be a nation great in trophies! Let us amass wealth, to join the Champion league and cavort amongst the Leader Board!”

And there are those among us who promise that if we upgrade to Town Hall 7, we may there find a Hero King, and he shall be our salvation. I have heard this spoken of within our very own pink walls. Those who make their case for a Hero King do so with wile; they speak of his greatness, but neglect to reveal that he may only be summoned by Dark Elixir. What depravity, to meddle in the fell ways of Dark Elixir? What fruit can come from such witchcraft? I will tell you, for I have seen. I have seen him in foreign lands, as I have surveyed some accursed metropolis to measure the cost in blood for the spoils within, I have seen this “hero” king: He is a Barbarian.

In battles, I have seen him unmasked, standing idle and crossed-eyed whilst his village is trampled by invaders. A buffoon and a rascal is this Barbarian King. I have not spoken to you earlier of this, for at first I thought the hope he gave to your hearts a good thing, but the truth must be known. I have watched our allies, members of our clan, who have placed their trust in these wicked Heros. I question the judgement of these allies of ours. I worry for their souls, for I hear them speak flippantly of erecting an altar for this king of theirs to bask upon. This “hero” sleeps for hours on his “altar”, a fell thing purchased of Dark Elixir. These are not the ways of light. It has brought their villages no joy, and only darkness.

Well have I known many leaders of villages far greater than ours. They lament of how Town Hall 7 fails to satisfy them. They speak tirelessly of Town Hall 8. They tell me of adding this wizard tower, and upgrading that mortar, rabid greed ever in their eyes. I’ve seen such friends, once noble and sturdy men, transformed into pitiful creatures of envy and greed. What shame to see now that I have followed in their steps for so long. Far too long.

It ends today.

My people, there is not another upgrade that I can purchase for you at Level 6. We stand at a crossroads: purchase a Town Hall upgrade and continue to chase this elusive banner of worldly strength? Or set down our swords and our bows, and turn our minds to greater things. We have lived a baseless life and embraced foul ways for so long; but that does not mean it is too late to quit this path of folly.

No more shall we harvest nature’s splendor for the desperate hope of a handful of gems! Gems that buy us what? Destruction and death! Death in the name of trophies! Death to bring us esteem in the eyes of men? Death to climb the ranks of children with iPads and way too much time? What folly is this?

The sterile, manicured state of our yard repulses me. From now forward, let it be filled with stumps, bushes, mushrooms, and the splendor of mother nature unfettered!  How may the joy of resting in the shade of a giant 10,000 elixir tree ever be measured in gems?

The damage we caused by our violent ways is irreversible. How long shall we be scourged with invasions by exotic clans with hieroglyphic names? A steep debt of blood have we brought upon ourselves. For every Town Hall we have demolished, unprovoked, retribution seems exacted upon us ten-fold. Fierce is the justice of Supercell, and who am I to question it?

Nevertheless, I call you now to turn from this road of grief and suffering. May the consciences of our invaders be pricked by the witness of our peaceful village. May the contrast of our bursting gold mines to our humble Town Hall plant a seed of thought in those minds enslaved to violence. May our wild and un-manicured landscape be the gentle call of nature that reaches the hardened soul. May this village, our village, be transformed this Christmas, to a true symbol of peace and joy. Merry Christmas!

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WifeBeaters Will Continue Until Morale Improves

EL CAJON, CA — Another week of Lunchsketball, and another set of victories by an immodestly dressed Gary. He is putting together a sleeveless, form-fitting winning streak. On Wednesday, G’s team even notched a rare victory* over the formidable Dream Team (Kerry, George and Darin). During interviews before the game, Gary was clear in saying that he would stick with the new uniform as long as the wins keep coming.

Nissan Stanza

Lunchsketball gets a Stanza this year

In other news, as the annual company Christmas party approaches, buzz has been building over the soon-to-be-released, Christmas 2014 edition “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” parody poem from Kerry (aka “Animal Kracker”). On Wednesday, it was leaked that there will be one complete “stanza” devoted to Lunchsketball. While details remain vague, it has been revealed that that word “Lunchsketball” will be in the poem itself, as long as Kerry can remember how to spell “Lunchsketball”.

As a final point of news, there was some controversy during Wednesday’s game, when Kerry made a particularly exhilarating and acrobatic play that resulted in a scored basket. Members of Gary’s team protested that Special K had taken an extra step, and had traveled in the process. After some discussion, the refs got it right and allowed the play to stand because, while technically Kerry may have “traveled”, the rules should obviously be loosened in a case like this for the sake of making the game more beautiful and better for the fans, and especially when the play in question involves a marque star. This decision was validated later in the week by NBA officials who allowed a similar play to stand, as shown below.

Asterisk on the win because Darin and George are each limited by soreness in a shoulder (Darin – left shoulder, George – right shoulder). The Dream Team is down one full set of shoulders, and played remarkably well, considering.

Domestic Disturbing

EL CAJON, CA — It has never been an athletic apparel fashion show out here, by any standard. In fact, a new shirt or pair of shorts will usually get mentioned and discussed the first time it makes an appearance, just because variety is so rare. A man generally doesn’t buy a lot of clothing, and purchases even less for exercising in. Erik has been wearing only a handful of favorite shirts for years; he’s got the Blue Bear one, and the General Motors shirt with a Hummer and Corvette on it. Everybody knows that. Phil almost exclusively wears a blue T-shirt with a white jumpman on it. Some don’t even own shorts, and will use Gary’s cast-offs, this pair of blue shorts in the warehouse that have been worn by at least 3 different guys.

With the bar having been set so very low for style, you wouldn’t think there’d be such thing as a faux pax (with of course the exception of Franklin’s “Faux Paw” shirt) in Lunchsketball. They actually do happen, but it takes something outstandingly bad. The most notable one from the past was Kerry’s pair of shorts. He had one pair of shorts, that seem to have been acquired sometime before 1992, when men’s shorts were shorts. It was basically the only pair of shorts that he owned, for quite some time. There were some holes. And then there were more holes. And more. Finally, a company policy was instated at Kerry’s office, dictating that the men were not to be seen in the office in their gym clothes. A lot of mystery enshrouds  the appearance of that policy, but Kerry’s Swiss-cheese Stockton shorts are probably what got that process rolling (the Swamp Thing phenomenon has also been implicated).

Kerry got newer shorts, and that’s been that, until recently, when Gary (aka G-Money) decided that it would be acceptable to show up wearing a wife-beater. Is he just too warm? Has he been watching Die Hard? Is he joining LeBron and others in protest of sleeves? He is a shooting specialist after all. Maybe the sleeves where interfering with his percentage.

Whatever his reasons, G is sticking with the new look. It’s a bold statement now, but baggy shorts were too, once upon a time. Maybe in a couple years, we’ll all be wearing wife beaters. Probably not in the office though.

A sKerry Halloween Week

EL CAJON, CA — This week was all about Kerry. In not one, but two spooky games this week, Kerry made SIX 3-pointers each game. That was the high point. He also went to quite a low with another below-the-belt incident. But there’s no need to bring that up.

Despite his six 3’s on Wednesday, Kerry’s team lost in a nail-biter, victims of perhaps the craziest game-winning shot in Lunchsketball history. Gary’s nephew Michael spun into the lane, trying to drive to the basket for a game winner. Kerry stepped into his path, and in trying to spin away from him, Michael began to fall off balance. Whether it was desperation or planned, falling over with his back to the basket near the free throw line, Michael tossed a high-arching shot that fell through the rim to end the game.

 

Wow. Very circus. Such Dwyane.

With all of these tedious basketball highlights covered for the week, it is time to move on to more important news. As everyone knows, most of the Lunchsketball players share a single restroom. This is where everybody changes and gets ready to play. Unfortunately, an important part of everybody’s pre-game routine is to “get down to playing weight” by unloading breakfast (see last week’s article in which Gary missed this part of the routine and was completely useless on the court). To help with the situation, Jimbo has been kind enough to leave a can of Febreeze in the handicapped stall, but sometimes, particularly with certain people to remain anonymous (call them out in the comments), Febreeze spray just isn’t enough. With that said, consider the exciting new product “Poo Pourri. The Lunchsketball blog is considering starting a “Go Fund Me” in order to sponsor a test bottle. Commercial below will explain:

California Dreamin’: Fan Favorites Dominate Again

Tensions are rising on G-Money’s team in the wake of an ugly loss on Friday. Gary, Gary, Adam and Michael saw a 26-17 halftime lead disintegrate, falling 50-42, the latest victim of the Dream Team with its fan-friendly, action-packed style and chemistry.

In just the latest instance of social media creeping into the sports headlines, Gary sounded off on facebook, throwing teammates Adam and Michael publicly under the proverbial bus. He chose to voice his frustrations in the comments of a week-old photo posted on Jorge’s facebook profile. Apparently still mulling over the defeat at 9:30pm on Friday, G-Money wrote “my guys could not stop him in the second half……(Adam, Michael)”.

While the Dream Team brought their now-expected razzle-dazzle, including one of Darin’s signature “spin-cycle” plays, Big G brought some style of his own to the blacktop, throwing ridiculous “off-the-heezay” passes to teammates. Another bright spot was Adam’s long-awaited return to the court, after finally clearing physician restrictions.

In the victory, Kerry (aka “Special K”) struggled shooting the ball. His first made 3-pointer came in the second half. It had a perfect trajectory and made the most satisfying crisp “swish” sound as it slapped through the net. However, he was supposed to be in-bounding the ball, and so there was no way that shot counted. As it turned out, he was trying to pass the ball to Darin, who seemed to be open under the basket.

Kerry’s defense was superb, though. Any good aggressive defender will occasionally have the unfortunate mistake of making an inadvertent below-the-belt hit, and such was the case for Kerry on one particular play. It is important to just apologize and move on, but interestingly, Kerry argued brief-ly (pun intended) that he did not initiate the contact, and that, rather, his hand was slapped by the organ in question. That argument did not “fly”, so to speak.

Finally, in the midst of California’s historic drought, the El Cajon court is plagued with puddles. This is in violation of water restrictions. Expect the City of El Cajon to mandate that Jorge play less basketball during the water shortage.

Wawful Fries – Gary Has Worst Game Yet

EL CAJON, CA — Kerry put his team on his back and very nearly led them to glory, but in the end, proving that no man is an island, his team fell ever so slightly short.

Game-play has started to pick up with the arrival of autumn. The “seasons” of San Diego, CA are a sore topic for that eccentric breed of out-of-state transplant who finds the perpetually optimal weather here something about which to complain (somehow, the lack of cold, damp, gray, generally suicide-inducing weather makes some people around here homesick and upset). Nevertheless, there is evidence of the seasons to be found if you know where to look. For instance, if you play Lunchsketball, then you can definitely tell that summer is over, because the change in temperature might be subtle, but a drop from 88 to 78 degrees sticks out quite a bit to anybody that routinely runs sprints on a plot of exposed asphalt for an hour in the middle of the day.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that there’s been much more Lunchsketball being played of late. It was perhaps the worst summer on record for Lunchsketball, but it looks like the game is back to being a regular thing.

Friday provided a nice conclusion to the week of ball, with a super-rare 3-on-3 to 60 game. Kerry announced an expected attendance of 7 players, but that estimate included Scooter. Scooter hasn’t gotten a lot of mention on the blog, but one thing you should know about Scooter is that he bears no scruple about going back on his word to Kerry. In fact, if one were to begin to track the data on Kerry/Scooter email correspondence, it should continuously prove that Scooter is less likely to play on those days which he commits to play than on those days in which he does not. For example, in October, he has played in 1 of maybe 5 games in which he did not commit to play, and he has played in 0 of 1 games in which he said that he would play. He is thus 20% more likely to play on days when he does not promise to show up. Were it possible to expand this analysis to cover the last 4 years, one may presumably see consistent results during the vast majority of months.

Nevertheless, Kerry is always happy to announce that Scooter will be playing, as if it were a very likely thing to look forward to. Gary, for his part, then engineers teams based on the assumption that Scooter is coming. Finally, the game is delayed for a little while everyone waits for Scooter to arrive. It is a very Charlie Brown/Lucy/football variety of comedy.

All of this is an aside though from the main point of this article, which is that a game was played on Friday (Scooter or no Scooter), and Gary the Elder turned in a shamefully ugly performance. George, Gary and Son-of-Gary faced off against Kaptain Kerry Hook, Jim, and Micheal. Many an open look did Gary (aka “Big” Gary) have, and so few times did he score. The vast majority of his shots were off-target. His release looked terrible – it was clearly a miss from each moment the ball left his hand.

In a mid-game interview, Gary disclosed that he had enjoyed a heavy Chick-fil-A lunch a mere 20 minutes prior to game time. This is not something that Gary would normally do on a game day, and it seriously hampered him. Gary is a precision athlete, and he simply cannot afford the additional ballast of a fast-food combo meal, particularly Chick-fil-A’s famous signature waffle fries. He knows this better than anyone else, and his lack of confidence on the court this day was grounded in reality, and more and more evident as his shots chipped paint off of the rim.

With his team losing 58-59, saving his old man from a weekend of wretched infamy, Gary Jr. sunk a very clutch basket to seal a precarious win. Crisis averted, and a lesson learned: Eat less chikin, Gary.

Labor Day Weekend Special!

EL CAJON, CA — Labor Day marks another summer in the books, and when El Cajon cools down, Lunchsketball heats up! The summer’s been a slow one, but that just means the crew is well-rested. Here’s a quick summary of notable occurrences from the nearly four-month span of undocumented basketball:

  • Another goodbye, this time to Matt (aka “Matty Ice”). Somebody dislocate a shoulder in tribute to a beloved member of the Lunchsketball community, as the Franciscan grad parted trails this summer.
  • Richie now has shoes that cover his toes and feet all the way around. His game has seen a material level of improvement.
  • Darin has taken defense to a new level of intensity, with his soon-to-be signature practice of clapping, menacingly, at opponents. This doesn’t seem, in writing, like all that much, but you’ve got to be there. The clapping defense is intimidating.
    • Note: Supposing that Erik were to take up the clapping defense, then he might be called “Erik Clapping-ton”.
  • The game ball is starting to get kind of gnarly. It isn’t quite fuzzy yet, but it has entered a phase of the outdoor-synthetic-leather-basketball aging process in which it takes on the texture of a kitchen sponge. Gary has just gotten used to this ball, and it will not be easy for him to let it go in favor of a new ball, so SpongeBall SquareBasket might be around for quite a while.
  • Darin took a trip to the Philippines this summer, where the natives informed him that he looks just like Kevin Love.
  • Kerry, not getting his needs met by Lunchsketball, has been sneaking off to play with some friends he met on the internet. It is a meetup group called “Basketball for NonBasketballers!!!“. He’s described them as having a couple of “Georges”, with the rest of the players being “like us”. Admittedly, there is some resemblance in punctuation style.

That’s the news. Happy Labor Day, everybody!