Here we're sitting, weak and weary, eyes bloodshot and vision bleary,
Staring at all the pieces scattered on the Diplomacy board.
Our game plans had a fatal flaw, the game has ended in a draw,
All of these things I'm sad I saw from exile on Africa's shore.
I did this when I could have just gotten up and walked out the door
Because the game was not a bore.
We had gathered 'round the table to be civil while we're able,
Reaching deep into a bag to pick the powers that we would play.
When it was time for the reveal, I looked down and made a loud squeal.
The army's colour was not teal, it was the red that wrecks your day.
There was cruel laughter when I begged "Anybody wanna trade?"
My dreams of victory decayed.
I thought I would curry favour with my lovely Russian neighbour
Whose eyes were the colour of glacial ice and just as cold.
She thought that I was a newbie she could influence with boobies
And the promises of whoopee, but I could tell, if truth be told,
I would get screwed, but not in a way that would make me feel less old.
With a polite bow, off I strolled.
If my neighbour, the Turkish gent, could to my purposes be bent,
I could save my fat ass and have someone with whom I could collude.
I made to him an offer fair, which should cause Russia to despair,
But all I got was a blank stare, and I was sure then I was screwed.
Though all their initial promises had verisimilitude,
My only hope was the Italian dude.
My western neighbour, Italy, did seem as friendly as can be.
Which, in the world of Diplomacy, means that I should run like hell.
I tried to sell him on a plan to put Turkey into the can.
Can we do it? Oh yes we can! I enthused that it will go well!
Despite my efforts, I could see that my great plan was not a sell.
My doom was sealed, this I could tell.
The time has come to write orders, to send units past their borders.
It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they are out to get you.
My only hope is the Hedgehog. Without it I'll be a dead dog.
I could not sit by like a log while all my plans got turned to goo.
"I will survive!" I roared, and opened up and downed another brew.
"A war with Austria you'll lose!"
The sordid details of the game would cause most players endless shame,
And I'm not proud of the things that I had to do to just survive.
To end the game with Tunis fleet needed much bluster and deceit
And backroom bargains most discreet that I could skilfully derive.
I was a key part of the stalemate line that kept myself alive.
One of remaining players five.
The draw agreed, we stood and stretched. We knew more beers must now be fetched.
Of all of us, the most in need was my exhausted, burnt-out self.
I grabbed my cold and frothy mug and tipped my head back for a slug,
Was interrupted by a tug from a cutie dressed as an elf,
"We need an Austria and no-one plays it better than yourself!"
Why do I do this to myself?
Thank God this was a different game, whose outcome was not the same
As the cutie who dragooned me learned in a most personal way.
With her as friendly Italy, we crushed all players we could see,
We worked well so naturally, that next year on our wedding day,
I told our crowd of gamer friends that playing Austria CAN pay.
I would have it no other way.
Twas the Night Before DipCon
Twas the night before DipCon, and all through the halls,
All the Dippers were bragging and scratching their balls (where applicable).
All the game boards were laid on the tables with care
In the hope that Saint Calhamer soon would be there.
The players had gathered all their favourite snacks
And were planning and plotting out sneaky attacks.
The boards and the powers had been chosen by lot
And the coffee was made in a ten-gallon pot.
The moonlight was shining with a sick greenish glow,
It's Larry bent over and his pants are too low.
Then out in the parking lot there was a loud crash.
It sounded like a car knocking over the trash.
We charged to the window and we saw an old coot,
Dressed up like a penguin in a decades-old suit.
He came into the hall with a smile and a wave.
"I'm a really good guy, not a scoundrel or knave!"
"I'm Allan Calhamer. I created this game.
"It causes much discord, but I won't take the blame!"
The Diplomats whispered and their phones all came out.
Web searches confirmed it, and they all nerded out.
His silver hair ruffled by the force of the breeze
Of all the Diplomers falling down on their knees,
"It's great you adore me, but it's only a game!"
And he picked up some pieces and called them by name.
"White Russia! Blue England! Red Austria is best!"
"Green Italy! Black Germany! Cyan French west!"
"To play yellow Turkey in the corner takes guts!"
Red Austria is best? He just proved he was nuts.
A voice came from the back, from a skeptic named Claude:
"Allan Calhamer is dead! I think you're a fraud!"
"A fraud? That is nonsense!" as our hopes ran aground.
"I'm the most authentic Calhamer around!"
He was beating a hasty retreat when he bounced,
Off two extra-large gents who'd come in unannounced.
"Come along Mr Hammer," the rightmost one said,
"Play time is all done now, please return to your bed."
"His name is Cal Hammer", said the other, named Bob.
"He wants to hang out with the Diplomacy mob."
"They will not let us play in the nursing home, man,
"So I must get my fix in what places I can!"
As he was taken away, we had to know how
The ruse was detected. Claude stood up and said "Now,
"It's a lesson I learned when divorced by my wife.
"It's much more than a game; it's a whole way of life!"