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"Is that ... the DEVIL?"


Dr.Bedlam
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A while back, I bought a ceramic dragon. A friend of mine had taught me how these little mom and pop ceramic shops worked -- you'd buy a green, you'd take it home, file off the mold marks, work on the details, and then take it back, and they'd fire it for you, and then you had a ceramic figurine to paint.

 

Well, I like dragons. At the time, this was the biggest dragon I had. I bought it for its potential use in gaming, in fact. It stood about a foot tall, and was quite well detailed for a ceramic figure. I painted it a fiery red, with dark red shadows, incendiary red highlights, and black webbing between the ribs of its mighty wings. Her belly plates were a molten yellowy gold, her claws a finely glossed black. Her eyes were an insanely detailed red, orange, and yellow. I've painted many a 25mm and 28mm figure, and I spent easily the effort and time and skill I've ever spent on ANY figure... on my great red dragon.

 

One day, my ex-wife and I decided to visit the Comal County Fair. The Comal County Fair prides itself on being a small-towny sort of event, for all that it's held in a major city on the IH-35 corridor, right between San Antonio and Austin. What I mean to say is that you could get free admission if you brought an "exhibit" to show off. Acceptable exhibits included antiques, foods, handcrafts...and ceramics. And best of all, after the fair, you could go and get your stuff back, free of charge, no hassle (except food items, of course). And who knows? You might even win a ribbon!

 

So she loaded up the antique coffee grinder, and I picked up my Great Red Dragon, and we toddled off to the fairgrounds to collect our free tickets.

 

The people collecting the exhibits for the expo were members of the fair committee... which I should point out, in Comal County, are basically retired people who invest a lot of time in community service. The lady who looked over our exhibits appeared to be in her eighties. She looked over the coffee grinder with some amusement and satisfaction, and pointed out that her mother had owned one just like it. "Does it still work? Oh, my goodness, it does! That's lovely! Here's your voucher. Just trade it in at the ticket office."

 

...and then the dear little old lady turned to me. And looked at my dragon. And her face got VERY odd all of a sudden.

 

She looked at my dragon. I handed it to her. She took it, and then IMMEDIATELY put it down on the counter, as if she were afraid it were contaminated. She carefully turned it with one finger. Her expression grew ever more dire. And finlly, she looked up at me and said, incredulously, "Is that... the DEVIL?"

 

I boggled. WTF? I looked at my Great Red Dragon. Did it LOOK like a devil? It lacked horns, having instead big frilled winglike ears and a sort of triangular plate at the crest of the skull. Its deepset yellow eyes did look a little evil, I guess. It did have wings. It was red. And, most damningly, it did have an arrow point at the tip of the tail, rather than the straight reptilian tail most dragons seem to have these days. But it didn't have the "guy in a red suit with horns and pitchfork" look at all. It was certainly reptilian enough for ME.

 

"No," I said. "It's a dragon."

 

The old lady gave me a look. Last time I saw that look on that old a face, it was coming from an elderly teacher who was quite sure I was trying to get away with something. "I thought dragons were supposed to be green."

 

"Dragons come in all colors," I said. "This one happens to be red. Does it look like a devil to you?"

 

She turned it again, with one finger, not touching it any more than she had to. "Well," she said, "all right. Here's your voucher. Trade it in at the ticket office."

 

On the way back to the car, we had a confused little laugh about the incident. It had never occurred to her that the dragon looked Satanic, any more than it had ever occurred to me. Then again, perhaps the elderly spent less time contemplating dragon art than we did. You perceive the things around you with a filter over your eyes, you know, and perhaps ours had more dragons than devils... and perhaps hers had more devils than dragons.

 

A few days later, we attended the fair and had a fine time. She won a ribbon for the lovely antique coffee grinder. Meanwhile, I was going nuts in the ceramics section, trying to find my dragon. Had they LOST my Great Red Dragon? I was going to be angry, if...

 

"Over here," said the ex wife. I couldn't find it in the display case, at first. Then, I saw a flicker of red wing, tipped with a shiny black wing claw. Hah? It was hidden almost entirely behind an enormous homemade ceramic plate covered with handprints and scribbled autographs of toddling grandchildren. I shifted my angle, but couldn't see it well from that angle, either; it was hidden mostly behind an enormous homemade beer stein. No matter WHAT angle you tried to see it from, it was carefully hidden. If it hadn't been such a fiery red, we'd never have caught it at all. It was that well buried behind other people's handicrafts.

 

Apparently, the old lady had not been terribly trusting of the hairy faced man who claimed that he was not attempting to defile their wholesome county fair with an ICON of SATAN!

 

I won no ribbons, but I did get my Great Red Dragon back, and it sits atop a shelf in my living room, even as I now type this story. And I suppose I learned a bit of a lesson from the incident:

 

IF YOU INVEST A GREAT DEAL OF EFFORT LOOKING FOR DEVILS .... THEY CAN BE FOUND PRETTY MUCH ANYWHERE YOU LOOK.

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Ah religious freaks & I mean the ones that take it waaay to far.......gotta love em :devil: :devil: :devil:

 

Look at this way, how long ago was it & how old do you think St. whatever her name was?

 

As Tracy Lawrence sings "Time marches Oooonnn!"

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The dragon to the left in the picture is the Great Red Dragon that D&D Miniatures issued. It looks much more satanic. It has horns, at least.

 

No, I wrote this down today because of the number of misinformed and their misconceptions. Webcomic artist Jennie Breeden tells about how her webcomic came to be named "The Devil's Panties" because she was told that she should not wear red panties, because those were the Devil's panties. (Ah, so the Dark Lord favors red underwear over white or taupe? What is his Dark Position on hose and bras, I wonder?)

 

I'm thinking about a boy my ex-wife knew who was forbidden to look into Dungeons and Dragons because his mother had "heard it was Satanic." I'm thinking about kids who would read Harry Potter, but are forbidden, because it is supposedly Satanic. Hell, I'm thinking about that list that circulated Facebook a while back, supposedly handed out at ComicCon, listing all the things one should avoid at ComicCon because they led directly to Satan.

 

(for what it was worth, if I followed that advice, durned if I know what I'd do with my weekends for the rest of my life).

 

There are a hell of a lot of misconceptions out there, friends and gamers. We're never going to clean them ALL up, I suspect, not in one mortal lifetime. But I think we owe it to ourselves, and to the next generation of us, to point out truths and misconceptions where we find them... and to note, again, that if you're one of those people who is determined that evil is everywhere, you are likely going to have no trouble at all finding all the evil you want.

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Ah religious freaks & I mean the ones that take it waaay to far.......gotta love em :devil: :devil: :devil:

 

Look at this way, how long ago was it & how old do you think St. whatever her name was?

 

As Tracy Lawrence sings "Time marches Oooonnn!"

 

...and to answer your question, I don't remember exactly how long ago the story took place, but I distinctly recall it was after the year 2000, because our daughter did not attend the fair with us. She was in college at the time.

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After that story I was expecting something much more...well more. That one is actually kind of cute. LOL

 

...and the dragon itself dates back to the 1980s, if I recall correctly. Dragons have got much more gnarly looking since then.

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This is my life right here. I as a Catholic who plays D&D, World of Warcraft, reads Harry Potter, and many other nefarious and sinful pleasures get a lot of this sort of thing from many people I know in the church. Our Bishop (also my uncle. :P *sigh*) is one of the many who is convinced that D&D is witchcraft and satanic, and is also "CONCERNED" about me playing World of Warcraft. One of the older members had seen some photos of sketches and whatnot that I had posted and took me aside one day and asked me if I was a devil worshiper. xD These are just a few of the many stories I have to share.

 

Excellent story mate. Gave me a good laugh. :)

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Glad you enjoyed it. And frankly, it both amuses and irritates me to hear that apparently Catholics buy into this line of crap, too.

 

Kind of makes me wonder... how many devil worshippers do these people know? And do these devil worshippers play Dungeons and Dragons and World of Warcraft? I've only met one actual Satan Worshipper in my life, and I'm pretty much convinced he was only doing it to drive his parents crazy. And his game was .... BASKETBALL.

 

Guess we know the truth NOW, hm?

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