No Time To Squeal: Anything But a Post-Mortem
The last two years I had put together a post-IF Comp "essay" on the game that
I had entered which ended up becoming more of a diatribe than anything else. Chalk it up
to the fires of youth, I guess. Somewhere in the last 12 months I realized that was pretty
immature and was hell-bent on not doing something similar for Comp2K1. Although! This year
there were just a couple sub-references I wanted to touch on that were too obscure on my
part for 'No Time To Squeal.'
The beginning of the game sets Kieron up as the agent of the collegiate football player
Tavarian Pittman, and it's never really specified in the game what happens to him or if he
gets drafted by the New England Patriots or anybody else.
Back in 1999 I wrote a game called 'Chicks Dig Jerks' that had the following exchange.
(I'll just add it here rather than ask anyone to go back and find the conversation
reference, as its appearance is somewhat random. CDJ was written in the first person, so
the "you" is the character of Avandre Varick.)
..."Well, nothing. He called the next day and said that he was recruited, so
he had to leave for college."
"What was his name?" asks Keegan.
"Tavarian Pittman. Why?"
"Shit!" exclaims Keegan. "We know that guy! Holy Mother of Christ! He plays
for the Mean Streak! Or he did until he got banned from the league and thrown into the
clink. Hey, get this. Avandre had to take Anger Management Classes with the guy a
while back!" Keegan starts chortling, remembering how he and Pang had signed you up
for bogus 12-step holistic healing a while ago.
"That guy just went *off* on a fan a couple years ago," you say to the girl.
"Some guy was heckling him and he took the down-marker -- this giant orange pylon
thing that is designed to be big enough to tell everyone in the stadium exactly what down
it is -- and started creaming the fan with it. I mean, dude just *clocked* the poor sap.
It was brutal. They still haven't got all the blood bleached out of the seats. Criswell,
er, this guy I work with, he usually runs around in a 'FREE PITTMAN' t-shirt."
"Geez," says the girl. "I guess I'm glad that didn't end up going
"Me too," said Keegan. "If Pittman finds out we had this conversation he's
likely to break both our necks with his giant, steroid-enhanced hands. That is, in six
years when he is up for parole." Keegan starts laughing diabolically -- he hates the
franchise called the Regina Mean Streak. Mostly because he especially hates Pittman.
Just to clarify for those players who aren't fans of the NFL -- there is no such team as
the Regina Mean Streak but it's implied that Tavarian played for a future expansion
Canadian Football team rather than the Patriots or anybody else. It wasn't my intent that
anything Kieron did in 'No Time To Squeal' failed him as much as it was just the
reflection of the reality that a bunch of degenerates (in real life) have not made it easy
for anyone with a substantial attitude and mixed-up past to come in and play
professionally in the United States.
(Also, for what it's worth, there is a chain of movie houses in 'Fallacy of Dawn'
called the "Tavarian Pittman Urban Theatres," although it's not specified how
the character got his act together and did something good for the community.)
The next bit that I suspect came up as a unresolved plot branch was that of the nurse's
boyfriend Freddie. In the game Freddie displays a gun and ends up holding up traffic when
he loses it on the ride home from the hospital. The character of Freddie eventually grows
up to become Snowman from 'A Crimson Spring.' I attempted to just hint this here in NTTS:
Freddie's about 5'9", and 150 pounds. He's very handsome on the outside, in
a young-Robert-Redford way, but just not someone you want to be around because of what
he's like on the inside. He's a bit of an aspiring inventor, and tinkers around with
electronics but has no real formal education and gets frustrated easily. He's obsessed
with a girl being around while he works away at one of his many poorly-conceived
mechanical devices, but then goes into total ignore mode once you -- or one of his other
previous girlfriends -- comes over. And you stopped being That Girl somewhere between age
14 and 15. Also, when things start to go wrong with one of his projects he swears like a
blue-faced sailor. And he gets *mean*. Etcetera, etcetera. It just got pointless to be
I was working on the refrigeration unit -- you know, the one I was telling you
about before, he says, as he brings a hand up to brush his fair hair out of his
face. And I knew, really, that I had to have you back. I have a poem for you. Can I
-- is this okay?
At any rate, I was trying to match the description (and graphic) of him from ACS while
speaking to the girl-issues he later developed and having him working on the
"refrigeration unit" that would eventually become the snowsuit he uses to be a
super-villain with. Just a little ha-ha thing on my part.
Hopefully, if you've decided to clink the link you've made it this far: I just wanted to
state that obviously I wasn't intending the whole of the competition judges to be
intimately familiar with my earlier works, and stating that those are unresolved plot
threads is a valid criticism -- they are, when NTTS is played alone. However, as
an author I had a roadmap for each scene in the game and while I didn't want to put
together a "Fast Times In Ridgemont High"-inspired "where are they
now" bit in the game itself, I did want to address it somewhere on my website for
those people who are presumably fans of my games (and really, to find this article on my
webpage I guess you kinda have to be). At any rate, when it comes to author-player trust I
hope the IF player base has faith in me -- I definitely attempt to remember where all my
characters are (and in some cases their personalities are strong enough to give me no
choice on the matter) and where they end up. If not in the current game... well,