Smile of the Day

Life is getting much too serious, yes? Who doesn't need a daily smile?

Tuesday, February 21

Eric and the Dread Gazebo

by Richard Aronson, edited by me - T

The story is told of Eric Sorenson, who played a Neutral Paladin in the roleplaying game run by one Ed Whitchurch (the gamemaster, or GM). Eric is said to have played something like a computer, methodically considering each possibility before choosing his preferred option. Eric's character was on some lord's lands when the following exchange occurred.

GM: You see a well-groomed garden. In the middle, on a small hill, you see a gazebo.
Eric: A gazebo? What color is it?
GM [pause] : It is white, Eric.
Eric: How far away is it?
GM: About 50 yards.
Eric: How big is it?
GM [pause] : It is about 30 feet across, 15 feet high, with a pointed top.
Eric: I use my sword to "Detect Good" on it.
GM: It is not good, Eric. It is a gazebo.
Eric [pause] : I call out to it.
GM: It won't answer. It is a gazebo .
Eric [pause] : I sheathe my sword and draw my bow and arrows. Does it respond in any way?
GM: No, Eric, it is a gazebo.
Eric: I shoot it with my bow. [roll to hit] What happened?
GM: There is now a gazebo with an arrow sticking out of it.
Eric: Wasn't it wounded?
GM: Of course not, Eric. It is a gazebo.
Eric [whimper] : But that was a +3 arrow!
GM: It is a gazebo, Eric, a gazebo ! If you really want to try to destroy it, you could try to chop it with an axe, I suppose, or you could try to burn it, but I don't know why anybody would even try. It is a @#$%!! gazebo!
Eric [long pause ... he has no axe or fire spells] : I run away.
GM [thoroughly frustrated] : It is too late. You have awakened the gazebo. It catches you and eats you.
Eric [reaching for his dice] : Maybe I will roll up a fire-using mage so I can avenge my Paladin.

At this point, the increasingly amused fellow party members restored a modicum of order by explaining what a gazebo is.

Thus ends the tale of Eric and the Dread Gazebo. A little vocabulary is a dangerous thing.


Blogger Crissy said...

Oh my Lord, that's the funniest thing I think I've ever read. My eyes are watering.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous C Olson said...

Just so you know, the story is actually copyrighted, and from what I've seen on the web he defends his copyright. All he wants is attribution. The author is Richard Aronson and if you do a search for Eric and the Dread Gazebo you'll find nearly everyplace attributes it to him.

Please respect copyrighted work.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Tenebris said...

Thank you for the information. It seemed, from the opening paragraph of the e-mail forward, that the material had been attributed. Editing it now to include your information - and if you have an original link, it would be appreciated.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous C Olson said...

Unfortunately, this has been reprinted so many times, it's almost impossible to find where it began. However, there is an interview with him about the story, and the actual story itself at

As a writer myself, I appreciate you adding the attribution. Thanks.

4:37 PM  

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