Friday morning, the NY half of the team, Ben, Jeremy and Erin, hopped into Kennyb's car and took off for Toronto. 10 hours later, we met Laura in freezing cold Canada:
We immediately took off for the RPS Players' Invitational for out-of-town players. It was at a bar in downtown Toronto. We showed up and were greeted by all the big names in the International RPS community, including Doug and Graham, Lisa, Master Rosh, C Urbanus, Lovering, and others. When we got there, last year's champion Rob Kreuger was being interviewed by CNN.
We met the Ukrainian National Team and they drank us under the table.
By the way, the drink of choice for Ukrainian players is the Irish Car Bomb. Who would have thought?
Doug and Graham (the founders of the RPS Society) gave a nice speech and posed for a picture with the Flat guys:
Enough drinking and shmoozing already! Let's get on with the Media Whoring!!! We gave interviews to CNN and Fox Sports Net, plus a couple of independent documentaries.
At the end of our interview with Fox Sports, one of the media guys asked one last question:
Fox Sports: (to Ben) Now, I noticed that you share your name with another, probably more famous, Ben Stein...
Ben: (in a sarcastic voice) It's funny you mention that! You know, I've always noticed that too, and I've been surprised that no one else have ever mentioned it to me. But you know, I actually hate Ben Stein. See, a few years ago I emailed him and suggested he have 3 contestants on his show all named Ben Stein. A few months later they did just that! Stole my idea, and I wasn't even invited on the show!
Fox: You know, I was the executive producer of that show.
Fox: Yeah. (Getting out cell phone) Do you want to call Ben right now and tell him?
Other Ben Stein: (Answering machine in dry monotone) Hi. This is Ben. I can't get to the phone. Please leave a message. <BEEP>
Ben: (Repeats story) ... And I hope that's keeping you up at night!!
That felt great! Possibly the most vindicating even in my life to date!
Afterwards, another one of the Fox reporters challenged Kennyb to RPS. Kenny tried out his (illegal in tournament play) Eagle Claw Prime. It worked well as he defeated the Fox guy trivially. It was looking good going into the tournament!
The RPS Player's Invitational emptied out and the evening ended with RPS Kareoke, which sounded about as good as you would expect...
On Saturday, we woke up early to prepare for our interview with NHK, which is like PBS in Japan.
They were very interested in our statistical analysis computer programs. I brought my Powerbook like they asked, but wouldn't let them get a close-up of our C code:
Afterwards, they had us take a test. It was 30 multiple choice questions. As far as we could understand, they are going to have a television program in Japan where contestants take the same test, and then they get to find out which of us jackasses they are most similar to based on the scores. I can see it now "Ha Ha Ha! You most like bald jackass! Ha Ha Ha!" and hilarity ensues!
They also asked us to put on diapers so they could throw custard at us, but we had to get back home to prepare for the tournament! Not going to let the limelight get to us this year!
Jeremy and Tali joined us on Saturday afternoon. The Lady Flat Players immediately set out to remedy the sewing debacle that the Flatmen had created and also ironed their capes:
As long as I'm on the topic, I'd like to point out that Lady RPS Superheros take a long time to put on their makeup and still go the bathroom in pairs.
In a twist of irony, the RPS guys couldn't get in and out of their unitards without help, so they too spent the evening going to the bathroom in pairs. The only problem is that we coulnd't come up with any good way to determine which of us was going to accompany the third on each trip. If only there was a way to make sure a decision...
After some last minute gluing and touch-ups on the capes, the RPS Team was about ready to hit the streets.
Next: On to the Tournament!