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Friday, September 13, 2002

Tim Schafer Tim

Real Psychonauts News!!!

No, not HERE. What are you thinking? In print! I have just received advance word that the brand new XBOX Nation magazine has, within it, this big feature on Psychonauts and Double Fine. There are some pictures of us, and I think some holograms and maybe a scratch ‘n’ sniff section, and I heard this one rumor that they’ve stapled a real mouse into each and every copy. It’s AWESOME, or so I’ve heard. And I can imagine it, using my imagination. Shhhh. I’m imagining right now. Oh, man. This is great! Why, yes, I’ll totally sign your copy, recording artist P!nk. Yes, I have been working out, thanks for noticing! What’s that? You’ve lost all of the master tapes of all your videos, and they’re gone forever unless you find someone who has all of them saved on TiVo?

Tips for Mice

Here are some tips for any adventurous mice who are planning a vacation trip to Double Fine Productions.

Eating: There is a lovely box of almond cookies on Lance’s desk. The box is closed, but it is made out of a thin plastic that you could easily nibble through, and maybe you could even take it home and convert it into a little mouse hot tub!

Places to go: We recommend you try the programmer’s office. Though some humans would call it stuffy, homesick mice will appreciate its warm, nest-like funk. Also, the programmers have a ban on the death penalty. That’s right, they don’t kill mice! The capture them, feed them Doritos, and then set them free. Free to run wild and spread disease and eat up grain and be the filthy, beady-eyed, small-handed, snake-tailed, sewer-dwelling, razor-toothed poo nibblers that they all love to be!

Try to avoid: All mouse travelers are advised to steer clear of the Double Fine Level Designer Row. I don’t want to say who, but one of the level designers likes to catch mice alive, and then… Oh, wow. I really can’t even say. It’s just too gross. If I had been here that day I would have stopped it. Anyway, he only did it once, and he’s very sorry.

Here’s the thing:
There was a brief period here where I had no mouse traps set out. I thought the mice were gone! I started working barefoot again, and leaving half-eaten wheels of gouda on my desk overnight. Then, suddenly, three mice swarmed Double Fine in what we believe to be a planned, coordinated attack.

The first one ended up in the programmer’s office. Now, these guys play so much Quake, I would have assumed that murder would be second nature to them. But what do they do when a real killing opportunity comes scampering across the carpet? They gently lead it outside and set it free! Can you believe it? That mouse probably ran into the deli next door, accidentally fell into the meat slicer, and wound up in the chicken salad that I ate today. Probably. That’s what I get for hiring Mac guys! Whisker-kissing sissies, each and every one.

Then this second mouse busted in, and was not quite so lucky. It had to misfortune to come upon a stranger, a level designer, who we will merely refer to as “The Suffocator.” This second mouse was dispatched in such a slow, gruesome manner, that I’m just going to end this paragraph right now, without even taking time to use a period

And now we have this third mouse, pictured below in yesterday’s news item. Once again, it was caught by the programmers. (In case you’ve never seen one, that puffy pink thing under the mouse, that’s a programmer.) But this time, I CAUGHT the programmers who caught the mouse, and I didn’t want this one falling into my chicken salad. Yet, I didn’t side with The Suffocator either. Morally, I am on the fence. We can’t keep it as a pet. It’s chock full of the West Nile Virus for crying out loud. But I can’t kill it. How would I do that? I prefer to let mousetraps do my killing, while I am at home, asleep in my bed. Now I have made eye contact with the thing. How am I supposed to crush his little head with the heel of my shoe, and watch those tiny little eyes come popping out like caviar?

My brother used to say that when you die the first thing you have to do is apologize, one by one, to everything and everyone that you killed in your life, even if you killed them on accident. They stand in a big, long, single-file line, and beginning with the smallest amoebas and worms, you have to say, “I’m sorry I killed you,” to each one. And work your way up through the mice you’ve trapped, birds you shot with a BB gun, cats that ran in front of your car, dogs you’ve fed chocolate, horses you tripped with wires while filming Conan the Barbarian, and finally any people you had to bump off when you worked for the mob, or what have you. So if I killed this mouse and popped out his eyes, and then later I died, I wouldn’t even get very far down my own personal line before I came upon that little, eyeless thing. And I’d say, “I’m sorry.” And he’d say, “Sorry? Sorry? WHAT ABOUT MY EYES?!?” And then he’s hiss like a Skeksis and I’d say, “Look, I’m sorry. Really.” And he’d hiss, “What’s that? I can’t hear you! I’ve got NO EYES!!! Hsssss!” And then I’m like, “Whatever, dude.” And I’d move on and apologize to bigger animals, but the eyeless mouse would follow me on up the line, messing things up, hissing, “Don’t listen to him! His apologies are as hollow and empty as my eye socketsssssss! Hsssss!” And maybe I’d even make to heaven, and I’d be walking around in a white robe, and trying to make friends, and maybe right when I’m talking to this really cute girl about harps or something, and she’s laughing and everything’s going really well, and then the mouse would crawl up on my shoulder and hiss, “I don’t know what you see in him, but maybe that’s just because I’VE GOT NO EYESSSSssss!” And then I’d say, “Why do you always have to be so uncool, Dylan?” Because by that point, I probably would have gotten around to naming him.

Well, I just don’t know what to do. I could hide him in the coffee grinder, and then someone else might accidentally kill him and they would have to ride around heaven with him on their shoulder. But then the coffee would taste even more like mouse feet. Hmmm. Hmmm. Hmmmmmmm.

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