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Living like an Irvanian in a universe filled with Dweasels

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Still wondering after all these years

May 18, 2007

A few of you long-time readers may remember that the actions, words, behavior, and especially attitudes of the Dweasels in the Generic Legions novels are based on a small handful of people Iíve referred to as the ďreal-life Dweasels.Ē Over the past couple of weeks Iíve been doing the (hopefully) final revisions and rewrites on the chapters in the first book that introduce and explain the Dweasels, before sending the draft off in search of an agent/editor/publisher. Back in the throes of Dweaseldom, the very essence of what makes a Dweasel a Dweasel, it got me to thinking about an incident that happened 13 or 14 years ago.

You long-time readers will also remember that back in 1991-1998 I was involved with a small company called ArmourSoft that produced and sold wargames. There was a lot of changeover with the personnel involved in the first few months of the companyís existence, stabilizing to four of us for a couple of years (remember the ďWe Donít ExistĒ four guys in an alley cartoon?), then just two of us for the last few years of ArmourSoftís run.

When we incorporated the company in early 1992, as part of the process we got a book of blank stock certificates. This was a big pad with the pages perforated so you just tore Ďem out of the pad as they were issued. The certificates were fancy and quite impressive, and needed to be signed and dated and registered and stamped with the official company embossing stamp as they were issued. The stock certificates didnít mean much, they didnít represent any actual money or anything, they just indicated the percentage of the bearerís ownership of the company. There were four of us, so my share was 25%, fírinstance.

Sometime in 1994 or 1995, the book of blank stock certificates went missing. We looked everywhere we could think of, I went through all my possessions every time I moved since then, and to this day we still donít know what happened to it. Itís quite possible it just got lost. Such things do happen. Itís also possible that it got accidentally thrown away, but it was pretty big and obvious, so that option isnít very likely. Thereís also the unsavoury possibility that it was stolen, and if it was indeed pilfered, we donít know when, or where, or by whom, or how, or why.

We donít think that the real-life Dweasels, who were around during the early months of the companyís operations, could have gotten their hands on the book of blank stock certificates. They were gone before we got the book, and we know the book was in our hands for a couple of years after they left, and there was never any indication that they had anything to do with its disappearance. Still, I canít shake the notion that lifting it would be the sort of thing they would think of doing, since they did try (and failed at) similar operations.

And thatís the funny thing about the whole affair: the blank stock certificates are completely valueless. They have to be issued to have any value or meaning at all. Each certificate has a serial number and we werenít about to issue certificates that were unaccounted for. Blank, theyíre just nice looking pieces of paper. They could have the information and signatures and stamp forged, but that wouldnít do any good either because those serial numbers had never been issued.

The real value in the company, something the Dweasels could never quite figure out, had nothing to do with stock certificates or ownership or board meetings, it was in the creative energies that went into producing products that could be sold. Without that creativity, the company was nothing but papers and board meetings.

Writing about the Dweasels in the book puts me back into the Dweasel mindset, and thatís one of the top Dweasel traits: seeing value in something thatís valueless, while missing something else that does have value. This episode made it into the book, disguised heavily as the Jannitory attack on the farmhouse.

It doesnít bother me after all these years, but the curiosity is still there. If the book was stolen, I donít really care who did it; Iím just curious to know why. Did the pilferer think it had value, or might have value someday, or did they think it might thwart some future plans somehow, or was it simply to pocket a momento, or was it just a shiny object that looked interesting? Itís a lot like my curiosity towards whoever spams this blog and my discussion forum. I donít care so much whodunnit, Iím curious about why.

I suppose itís too much to hope for that someone out there would know anything about it? Any comments?

The old ďWe Donít Exist!Ē logo. Iím the one on the right with the radio. DIPCo was a subsidiary of ArmourSoft Inc., named after DIPCorp, a fictitious megacorporation from some of our long-running sci fi role-playing campaigns in the 1980ís. You may be seeing DIPCorp mentioned again at some point in the future (koff koff).

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May 2007 articles
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The content on this page was written: May 18, 2007
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