OK, well… not quite…
While browsing around, I came across this image for the Charmed #3 comic book and it made me think of Mike. I think that the likeness would be pretty close with a bit of a modification to the nose and chin!
Well… Once upon a time, Mike and I were driving down Huntley Road coming from Schrock road. There was a lot of traffic and it was a late summer day. There is a set of very seldom used railroad tracks that cross Huntley Road and go into a building dock area for mass transit of goods. Mike was driving his Chevrolet Nuclear X-11 Citation; the one with the Public Address system in it…
As we approached the tracks, Mike grabbed the mic for the P.A. system and tossed it to me. I pressed the button on the mic and started making train noises… chug-a-lugga chug-a-lugga.. (No train whistles, just making the noise of the engine.. It sounded pretty realistic!)
I kept making train noises until Mike laughed and yelled for me to stop. A guy had stopped before the tracks and was looking up and down the tracks for a train. The confused look on his face as Mike and I drove past him was priceless!
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Once upon a time, Mike, Rich, and me were waiting on a friend in a residential neighborhood. It was around 10pm or so and pretty dark. While looking for some music in the back of his Chevy Citation X-11, Mike found a VHS tape. I think it was a bad copy of The Wall by Pink Floyd…
He decided that it would be a neat idea to use the tape to build a spider web between two street signs at the entrance to a side-street. I argued against the idea and almost had Rich on my side on the grounds that it would be a sin against Pink Floyd… Mike was persuasive, though and Rich caved in and agreed to help.
They cracked open the tape case… I stood look-out while Mike and Rich ran back and forth across this street holding the tape ends and wrapping around street signs. It seemed to take forever and I yelled at them to hurry up a few times.. Eventually they were done and had a decent web-like structure built blocking off the entrance/exit to the street.
We went back to the X-11. Mike moved the car so that we had a good view, but were not obvious and we waited around for somebody to drive by.. The first car was some guy driving a small sedan. He slowed down as he passed the web and looked at it, but kept on driving.
We did not have to wait long for the next car. A middle-aged guy in a big station wagon approached the road and came to a stop as he started to turn in. He looked at the web through his windshield and must have figured out what it was, or he just didn’t care. He pushed down on his gas pedal and slowly drove right through it!
I think Mike was a bit disappointed. I still really don’t know what he had hoped to accomplish with the prank. He was just bored with time to kill and enjoyed messing with people’s minds! Rich thought it was cool and enjoyed it with a cigarette and a laugh. I just kind of shook my head and grinned.
Mike was always fond of pranks.
He also seemed to end up with a lot of cassette tapes of music from various people in his car… At least half of the time, he couldn’t remember if someone had left the tape in his car or if he had borrowed it from someone..
I would occassionally look around his car for any of my cassettes and always seemed to find at least one.. It seemed like he had multiple copies of The Beastie Boys tape ‘Licensed to Ill’ on loan from me at all times… Smile
I was never really sure what happened to the tapes that weren’t mine after I saw them.. I figured the owner probably claimed them at some point like I did… However, I got a clue as to the fate of some of the tapes one summer afternoon when we left a friend’s house near campus.
I had found a cassette in his car of some lame music and asked him what he was doing with it in his car. I don’t remember what the band or singer was.. It was someone that I considered un-playworthy though. If I was telling this story to our old friend, Rich, I would claim that it was Bryan Adams (heh heh.. Rich hated Bryan Adams).
When confronted, Mike shrugged his shoulders and claimed to not know who had left it in his car or how it had gotten there. He smiled a silly grin and cracked open the cassette case and carefully pulled out the tape spool inside…
He tied the loose end of the tape spool to his car antennae. When we got onto the highway, he tossed the other end with all of the tape out of the window!
We laughed for a couple of miles as the tape unwound into a huge streamer of thin cassette tape behind us…!
Check it out:
It has been a long year.
One thing that I have grown to appreciate about Mike was his great ability to just pass the time. Whether it was just sitting around and shooting the breeze, playing a video game, or watching a TV show like The Simpsons. Mike made time go by ‘quickly’ by his mere involvement.
For sure.. a long year..
We used to hang out a lot on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) back in the day. Mike picked a funny, but strange quote from The Simpsons as his sound. Every time that he would come online, the quote would play over my speakers. I have attached the .WAV file. WinAMP, Mediaplayer, or any decent MP3 player will play it.
Mookie & Barb gave me these pics to post.. They are actually pictures of the pictures that I took with my digicam because I didn’t want to fight with the scanner… So, the quality is only so-so…
Two of the pics have “1997” written on the back, so I believe that they were taken on 12-31-1997… The pic of Mike & Nicole has “1998” on the back of it, so it is from 12-31-98 (I think)…!
Left to Right = Karen, Denise, Gail, Mike, & Don
Mike cheating at Trivial Pursuit
Mike & Nicole
After a hiatus from playing, we got together one night and I (as Dungeon Master) placed the players into a situation where I didn’t have a solution on how they could become free. In the Dungeons & Dragons game, our friends, Terry, Chad, and Chad’s dog, Hemper, were placed in a giant levitating crystal ball. I placed Mike (as Hitlow) and myself (as The Eradicator) in another crystal ball within visual range of the other ball… The players were pretty clever and figured out ways to escape…
(maximum verbosity on)
The evil wizard, Hitlow, awoke and found that he was no longer where he last recalled being. He found himself trapped inside a large crystal ball suspended some 20 or 30 feet above the ground inside a huge cavern. A slight noise alerted his attention to the fact that he was not alone. Inside the crystal ball with him was a man wearing extremely flexible leather armor that was pitch black except for an insignia in white on his chest. The insignia was that of a skull above two arms crossed at the wrist with the hands balled up into fists. Only the man’s cold eyes could be seen. He knew this man from previous endeavors… The man was a known assassin whom they called “The Eradicator”.
Hitlow seemed to recall that him and The Eradicator had last parted on bad terms.. He was immediately suspicious that the assassin may have him targeted for the sizeable bounty that had been placed on his head… He fondly remembered flying over a town on an enlarged bird and attacking it. His fireballs had rained down destruction as he shouted the praises of Merrika to the heathens below. He giggled insanely to himself as he thought of the joy of destruction in the name of Merrika.
He also noted that there was another huge crystal ball suspended in the air a few dozen feet from the ball in which he was trapped. There were two men and a dog inside of the other ball and all three of them looked disoriented and quite perplexed. As he peered upwards into the darkness of the mammoth cavern, he could see no ropes or any mechanisms holding the balls in place.
Hitlow felt paranoid and unstable and began looking about anxiously for a way out. Seeing the danger in Hitlow’s eyes, The Eradicator cleared his throat and began speaking slowly and calmly. He offered a truce to Hitlow. The assassin claimed to have no knowledge of how he had gotten there and wisely advised that combining their forces against any common enemy would be more advantageous than fighting each other to the death. Hitlow thought outloud about casting a magic spell of fireball to shatter the ball… He told the assassin to stand clear because he wanted out of this prison immediately!
“Wait!!!” yelled The Eradicator, fearing instant death. A noise could be heard… It didn’t sound human.. It was the low wailing of a dog! Hitlow looked across the way to the other crystal ball. The two humans were encouraging the dog to howl. They were all three howling, but the dog was clearly the loudest. The crystal ball in which the howling three resided began to vibrate from the noise. Finally, the ball shattered and they fell to the ground below dodging and shielding themselves from the falling crystal!
The Eradicator began frantically looking through his belongings while keeping an eye on the disturbed wizard, Hitlow. Hitlow started pacing back and forth. He could wait no longer… He didn’t trust The Eradicator and he needed out of there!! He yelled “Look out, Eradicator!” The wizard produced some bat guano from a hidden area in the sleeve of his robe. Quickly rolling it into a ball, he threw it with all of his strength at the top of the crystal ball and cast the spell of Fireball.
Due to the intensity of his focus and desire, the spell took on tremendous force. Just before the ball of bat guano exploded into a huge ball of fire, The Eradicator found the item for which he had been searching. He quickly slipped on a ring of fire protection and covered his ears as a massive concussive force exploded about him. The crystal ball shattered and the intensity was so great that pieces of the crystal became liquified.
The Eradicator used his expert agility to land on the cave floor without taking much damage, but he was still in danger! Large chunks of flaming crystal were falling all about him. Like a ninja, the assassin went through a series of body twists and jumps to avoid taking damage from the falling shards of glass and liquified crystal. Even he could not avoid it all, and he suffered some minor scrapes. If not for the ring of fire protection, he would have been dead!
Hitlow was injured. He had been staring up at where he had thrown the bat guano when the crystal ball exploded. He took some severe damage from the falling glass and pieces of the liquified crystal had somehow attached to his face. He was laying face up. A small pool of blood had formed from his wounds. His robes were smoking. His entire body hurt and his head was pounding.
He was able to move his right arm and hand. He carefully reached into a satchel and pulled out a small corked bottle. He pulled the cork out with his teeth and spat it in the air. He quaffed the potion of healing and closed his eyes as he felt the charge of it instantly repairing some of the damage to his fragile frame. He sat up and clawed at the burnt crystal attached to his face… It was really stuck on there! After taking so much damage in the fall, he couldn’t afford to take any drastic measures to remove it from his face. At least he could see, so he would have to worry about his appearance later…
Hitlow was an insane, evil wizard, but he didn’t necessarily start out that way when Mike first began playing him… In one of our earliest Dungeons & Dragons sessions, the players came upon a temple of Merrika. Merrika was an evil goddess that controlled rain and had power over waters. The temple was not guarded very heavily and the players made their way inside with the intent of looting the place of any treasure.
During some brief skirmishes with some of the priests and worshippers, the group split up. Hitlow went his own way and soon came across a display of a necklace of golden peas and corn.
Being a greedy character, Hitlow quickly grabbed the necklace. Unfortunately, it was cursed! He was paralyzed, stupidified, and crippled. The paralysis was only temporary… but the negative effects to his main attributes (-4 to intelligence, wisdom, agility, strength, etc.) were permanent!
Hitlow remained in a confused, semi-intelligent state for several weeks. Eventually, he felt drawn to the main Temple of Merrika. The journey to the main temple was long and Hitlow faced several perilous situations along the way. Somehow, he prevailed and was taken in by the temple priests.
The high priestess took pity on Hitlow and prayed to Merrika to remove the curse. Merrika removed the curse, but instilled a fierce loyalty to her within him. Hitlow would serve as her unwitting messenger of evil by striking fear into the hearts of men in her name!