This is too good not to discuss ...
But before we do, I'd like to confess something of which many blogs seem to feel I'm unaware. Yes, I am an asshole. I am. And yes, it actually IS the reason why I am not a world famous something. I am aware of that. I feel I must indicate that I am aware becuase of the people writing me comments explaining that to me. If the gentle reader could, imagine the most exhausted voice possible being used when I say, "Yes, I know my failure to be rich and famous is because I am an asshole."
In my defense, it also has something to do with a lot of people willing to cheerfully exploit me and my efforts also being assholes. But no, no, no we do not want to concentrate on that. We want to keep my own assholesque nature directly in the path of the headlights here. We want to give YDIS a boner for inspiration on the very next post he writes about me. He deserves it. He works so hard.
So, you see, no one needs to tell me that I am. I know I am. And I have a theory about it that goes like this:
I don't think people mind that I'm an asshole. I think what people really mind is that I am unashamed of it.
Earlier today, on the post I wrote about Eric helping me with my equipment tables, I received a helpful comment from The Pon'farr Spock that went, "Opensource yoru equipment table project and people like Eric could contribute for free -- he seems to be doing that anyway."
Any one who jumps on the Pon'farr link above will take note that the fellow does not have a blog, so his contribution to the improvement of D&D is pretty minimal. That's how I took it, anyway. And I took it as an insult. I'm sure many people reading this wouldn't have a clue why, and they can if they wish ascribe that to my being an insult, or they might consider this:
Suppose that you have just won the lottery. Hey, it was pure luck, you don't even buy a ticket every week, the universe just turned your way and now you're $10,000,000 richer.
Now, suppose someone you've known all your life, that you've spent hundreds of hours getting drunk with, who attended your wedding, whose wedding you attended, who several times you helped with moving and with house repairs, came up to you and explained in a moment of woe that he needs $10,000 to help with his flooding basement. Hey, you'd probably give the money. You're pals.
Now imagine that someone who you've never met, who read about your good fortune in the paper, came up to you on the street and said, "Hey, you ought to give everyone you've ever known $10,000."
On some level you might think that's a good idea. "Ever known" might apply pretty specifically to people you've known well, and not the kid who used to live down the street from your parents. It's more likely, however, that you're going to look at this stranger and recognize a bit o' self-interest a brewin' there. And if this is the fiftieth person you've heard make a similar suggestion, you're probably going to say "fuck off" to the stranger's face, then have your attendant manhandle the fucker into a light pole.
Alas, I do not have an attendant, nor a convenient light pole, so I wrote this:
"Total time spent on trade tables:
Alexis (including conception, development & implementation): 14,000 hours over twenty years.
Eric: 20 - 40 hours, being generous.
Pon'farr (who would get the benefit): 0 hours."
Because, well, I'm an asshole.
The answer I got from Pon'farr later was unprintable. I would discuss it, but I deleted it, so I won't say what he said. He's probably pissed right now that I'm writing this post without having printed his answer. A lot of you readers out there are probably pissed too, at me, even though you wouldn't know about any of this except for me telling you. It is sort of like the Republican Party coming forward and admitting all the shit they've done, and the listener getting pissed off for the first time, as though it wasn't already plainly obvious what the Republican Party was all about.
I am not interested in popularity. I am not interested in being liked. With regards to my career, I have earned more money from my writing than 99/100ths of the would-be writers in the world who ever put words to paper in the hopes of the tiniest bit of recognition. With regards to my self-image, I am quite pleased with myself. This, I know, is appalling. It is as though the television universe you bought into about morality and comeuppance just isn't real.
No one, absolutely not a soul, reads this blog because I'm a nice person. This I promise you. People read this blog for only one reason, and that is because I put things on this blog that cannot be found anywhere else in relation to D&D. This is my single distinguished reason for existing as a recognizable blogger in the community. I produce unique, original material which you, the reader, cannot find elsewhere. And believe me, I know you've looked. How wonderful it would be to find all this great material on a blog not being published by an asshole.
Well, good luck.
For all the Pon'farr's in the world, let me make something clear. Don't ask me for stuff. I don't care if you're doing it for you, for some stranger you met on the 'net, for your pet Snippy or your grandmother that's got three weeks to live and desperately needs it to play the last game she'll ever play. You get what you get, and not a drop more. I'm not a tap you can turn on. I'm not your go-to guy.
You want me to work for you? Fucking pay me.