Old Timer and the Rookie

by Joseph Kutz

[The scene opens in the old timer's garage. The rookie and him are having a
building session. We start in the middle of a long conversation.]

(old timer speaking) "We have been there, done that. You name it, we have
tried it. What he have now is the best that can be done. Just shut up and
build your boat and get it on the water so we can battle."

(rookie) "But, but..."

(old timer) "Com'on. You'll have fun. Let me help you with that."

(rookie) "Well, tell me this. How come my WWI Invincible, that could only
make 22 knots with the wind behind it in calm seas, gets to go as fast as
the USS South Dakota? The South Dakota went 26-27 knots and was a modern
WWII battleship, the precursor to the Iowa Class?"

(old timer) "We did it to make the game more fun for the junk..er.. older

(rookie) "Then why bother building a fast modern South Dakota at all?"

(old timer) "Look kid, there are still plenty of fast modern warships from
WWII to build. Pick one of them."

(rookie) "Okay, maybe I will build a North Carolina. But, how come the
North Carolina goes as 24sec, and the South Dakota only goes at 26sec. The
South Dakota was a later model and went 1/2 knot faster."

(old timer) "Kid, you're starting to bug me. This is a game, this ain't
real life. These aren't real battles. Speed is determined by the length of
the ship. We have decided that is fairer."

(rookie) "To whom?"

(old timer) "To everyone. Look kid, we did it by actual boat speed and it
didn't work."

(rookie) "The 'Big Gun' club bases their's on the actual speed. It seems to
work for them. They have a variety of boats."

(old timer) "Have you seen how slow they go? They move like turtles. It
would be boring."

(rookie) "I never said slow them down to turtle speed."

[rookie goes back to work on his boat for a while]

(rookie) "Hey old man, how come we can't rotate all our guns to a broadside?"

(old timer) "We used to do that and there was mass devastation. Do you want
thousands of bb holes to patch, instead of 50-100?"

(rookie) "But you wouldn't have any more bb's on board. How does turning
the guns broadside make more holes from the same fixed number of bb's?"

(old timer) "We had unlimited ammo back then. There was too much destruction."

(rookie) "But we don't have unlimited ammo anymore. 200 bb's can only make
200 holes. I don't understand the fear here (or the laws of physics being

(old timer) "Look kid, we been there, done that. It's taken us 19 years to
get the rules the way they are today. They are perfect and can't be
improved. Just build your ship."

[So the rookie finishes his ship and goes to the pond. There the old-timer
proceeds to blow him out of the water. The rookie sinks numerous times.]

(old timer) "See, now wasn't that fun. The rules are fine the way they are."

(rookie) "Yea, I see."