Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Mafia and Thing

05 October 2004

Sunday night, the night before the official start of Viable Paradise, there’s a large welcome dinner, a round of introductions, some idle time to chat, and then the ritual games of Mafia and/or Thing, designed to get people to remember each other.

During the idle chat phase of the evening, the knitters were discussing odd knitting.

“Have you seen the knitted uterus?” I asked.

At that very moment, an African-American couple approached the doorway. I looked over and the woman looked, well, surprised.

“Can I help you?” I asked.

“Church of Christ?”


We then realized that there would be another group meeting in the same building all weekend. How fun for them. And what a great introduction to us!

After that, the Mafia games started. Alas, I needed to go to the grocery store for gluten-free food supplies, so I missed the two games, returning for the one Thing game. I prefer the Thing variant; it has significantly more interesting strategy.

During this game, Jim MacDonald was the most vocal accuser — until he turned into a Thing. Then it was Patrick Nielsen Hayden, then he got quiet when he became a Thing. Then I became the most vocal accuser and, naturally, I was turned into a Thing as well. By Teresa Nielsen Hayden, who immediately sacrificed me. Of course, I wanted to yell, “You set me up!”

In retrospect, I wish I had — the humans may have won had I done so. But TNH manipulated the voting masterfully, having been the one remaining Thing at one point, building the Things back up to the majority.

Second best quote of the evening: “You just want to see Steve suck on Laura’s neck again.”

After that, I was tired, but I dutifully went upstairs to read the work I’d need to critique the following day (Valerie’s) and get to sleep.

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