And now for the final bit, the curtain call, the cheese plate of my delightful Daviau Dinner. No spoilers, but let me say the following words: Coffee. 29 Helens. All Mighty Tallest. Leche. Morty the Mule. I can say no more.

RD: Well this year I’ve decided that I’m going to focus almost exclusively on Restoration [Games]. I’ve been doing two jobs: my own original designs…

DTD: Well you have done an awful lot with Restoration.

RD: I have. I’ve had two full time jobs. I put out 3 or 4 original games a year and 3 or 4 games with Restoration a year. And I’m tired of working that much. So, Restoration is in that intermediate stage, where we are not quite a startup, but we don’t quite have routine stability. And I’m like, I want to focus all my attention and get disciplined to it. Not that I bring discipline, but it would help to have the…

DTD: Direction.

RD: Well, it would help to have me not scattered. I would like to spend more time on it, to get it out of the startup mode. Now, a lot is going to depend on how this Kickstarter [Return to Dark Tower] goes in the next couple weeks, whether that was the right decision, or the decision I’m going forward. But assuming that goes well, I’m going to be spending time there, and what I’d really like to do, is do Restoration and 1, maybe 2, games a year. One for a publisher, and one that I just… I have this dream of just, when you are talking about doing a game for yourself, doing a game for myself, Kickstarting it, and never releasing it to retail. Just selling 3-5 thousand on Kickstarter for people.

DTD: Done.

RD: And then done. Maybe I make an extra 500, you can buy it from my website. And if it goes nuts, and everyone wants one, I will just run another Kickstarter. And if stores want it…

DTD: There’s a lot of companies that are doing that. I mean, that’s their model now, is just to run it off of Kickstarter.

RD: I know. I don’t; I’d rather make more money off of fewer products, fewer sales, then get a lot of dimes off of a lot of sales.

DTD: Sure.

RD: And its weird, because distributors will place their orders after a tenured warehouse, so you never quite know how many to order. And if you ask them how many they want, they go, “This seems pretty good.” What does that mean?

DTD: They don’t know either.

RD: No, it’s the type of thing where if I made a game and made my money, and then distributors were like, “You going to put this in retail?” I’m like, “What do you want?” And then they are like, “Well, I don’t know.” “You give me a purchase order, and I’ll print a print run. And if you don’t give me a purchase order, I’m not doing a print run. How much do you want it? You want to order a thousand? All right, Ill make you a thousand, and its going to cost this much. Or you can wait until I get a couple more orders and I run 5000.”

The closing applause to a gastronomic performance of extraordinary proportion is presented before us – a lovely cup of coffee.

RD: I’m not going to just speculate and put them in a warehouse. And it’s very disruptive to the economy. But I’m like, “Why does the publisher bear the burden of assuming they know how many to make, when the distributor won’t take the burden of knowing how many they are going to order?” That’s an onus on the publisher.

DTD: I have always thought there were too many steps.

RD: There are too many steps. Return to Dark Tower’s price point is because of the number of steps.

DTD: It kind of felt like Mechs vs. Minions shook that up a little bit. Made a really high-quality product, because, and they were vocal about it, there was no middleman.

RD: Right, which if were just doing Return to Dark Tower direct to consumer, and doing one print run, we probably could have shaved it down to $100. From $125. But you look at it, and you are like, OK.

DTD: Well that was what I was going to say. What you have got going for you is there’s an expectation there; people look at it, it is cool, it is electronic, it is moving, it has bits. There’s an expectation the price point is going to be higher.

RD: There is. It’s the usual thing I said earlier about handshakes and slaps.

And now the waiter returns to the stage for a last encore, a small, sultry bite of a lemon pistachio cake. Simple, elegant and beautiful. Unrequested, but severely appreciated.

RD: Thank you! The price really started to leak out yesterday, and immediately there was a board game thread. And a lot of people were like, “I’ll just wait for the retail. I’m not spending that much.” Now, a vocal minority, but our only data points.

DTD: But you only hear the vocal minority. Because they are vocal.

RD: You only hear the vocal minority because they are vocal. So you start to worry about it.

DTD: You have to consider it, but… I can tell you what I think until the cows come home, and its not going to matter too much, but I think it’s going to be a successful Kickstarter. The hype is there, the product is there.

And now, in April, I am doing my best to telepathically tell January-Rob that the future is both good and bad. The Kickstarter did great. $4 million and almost 24,000 backers. The rest of the world may have fallen apart a bit. I might not transmit that part.

RD: So, it’s hard to… Thank you. I think its more likely than not it will be successful. The reason I’m not committing to it, is I’m at the center of the storm. So even though it sounds like there’s a lot of chatter, there’s a lot of chatter because everyone is talking about it to me or around me.

DTD: So, they’re not going to tell you they think it sucks.

RD: So, I don’t know how big… One, they might not tell me it sucks. Two, I don’t know if all the chatter I’m hearing is this little bubble, and if I could move over here, a very short distance, no one’s talking about it?

DTD: Small pond.

RD: I don’t know how big the pond is, because I’m always at the middle no matter where I go. So, its hard for me to tell how big it is.

DTD: I get that.

RD: And two, I’m a New England… I’m a Catholic from Maine. Winter is long. I always have to do penance, and even if you’re successful, you just put your damn head down and take in the hay because its going to be winter next year.

DTD: It’s going to be very dark.

RD: I actually love the way Bill Belichick runs the Patriots.

DTD: How high up Maine? Real Maine, or Kittery Maine?

RD: Not that high. Real Maine, it’s called central Maine, I don’t know how much you know Maine. It’s the center of the populated part, Waterville.

DTD: I know where that is, that’s about as high as I have been.

RD: So, if this is the state of Maine [gesturing with hand], Waterville is here [center of hand], which is not that far off. All this is just trees and hunting and stuff. There’s this little loop of populated area, I’m in the middle of the populated area, but anything north of Portland is real Maine.

DTD: I’ll admit it, 90% of all the Maine I ever did was border Maine – Kittery, Kennebunkport.

RD: It’s fine, border Maine, anything along the coast is absolutely beautiful tourism.

DTD: Oh, it’s gorgeous. That was vacation.

RD: I loved growing up in Waterville, Maine. It was a small town of about 18,000 people. It had 2 colleges, 2 or 3 different shopping centers, this movie theater, a game store, a comic book store. I could ride my bike everywhere. It had a small river you could canoe on. It had lakes everywhere, like On Golden Pond, that old movie, was based on a lake nearby. Everyone had a camp, that’s what we called them, on a lake, instead of a lake house or a cottage, they all said, “Oh, my family has a camp.” And it meant they had this little 2-bedroom thing right on the water, and I can stay out late. It was absolutely wonderful. It wasn’t going to be for me after… It was also the coughing death rattle of the manufacturing age. Waterville was built on its water, its logging. It was right where the falls went up on the Kennebec river, and you couldn’t go any further. So, all shipping stopped there. It was a perfect place to manufacture and send stuff down and get raw materials back. This was its lifeblood in the 19th to the 20th century, and I was there the last quarter of the 20th century as everything…

DTD: You just saw the ghosts.

RD: And you didn’t realize it as a kid, but it was starting to fall apart as I grew up. Then in the 90s and the early part of the century it completely became a ghost, and it’s sad now. Its kind of coming back. Colby College was smart. Colby College was losing students because no one wanted to come to Waterville. So, they took their money; they are like on a hill on the edge of town. They invested heavily in the downtown, they put a dorm down there and conference rooms. They forced students to live down there, which has forced coffee shops to build up, which has forced stores to go around. And people are like, “It’s not Waterville. It’s Colbyville”.

Go Morty the Mule!

DTD: I have actually heard of Colby, but I didn’t really know where it was.

RD: Yeah, and people are like, “Don’t complain.” So, they are trying to revitalize the downtown. But Walmart killed Waterville. They opened up; there’s a highway, 95, goes on the edge of town. Its kind of a triangle, so there’s an exit here and an exit down here, and then the town is here. And the downtown is kind of on the third corner. So, they opened a Walmart here, which killed the downtown, and everyone build strip malls and urban sprawl. Then they were like, “Nah, we don’t like it. Shut it down and move to this exit.” So now this is a ghost town and this is a ghost town and this is the urban hub. Its not a big town, but they have 2 ghost towns.

DTD: Yeah, growing up in New Jersey we were at the tail end of chemical stuff. So we had a lot of ghost towns and terrible areas where the chemical manufacturers had moved on. And that has now turned into spillover New York City super high-end chic hipster-ville.

RD: What town?

DTD: This is central Jersey around Westfield, and then into Edison.

RD: Ok, I know Edison by name.

DTD: Edison has turned into new Little India, which is really delightful; the food there is amazing. But I grew up in Westfield/Scotch Plains/Plainfield, this little route 22 corridor in the middle of New Jersey. It has changed so much that I can’t go back really. It is so different, it’s ridiculously different.

RD: I go back and I drive. I take my kids to it, and there’s such strong nostalgia. Its so wistful. I could drive those streets for a day, and like, “Oh yeah, here! Oh yeah, here!” And this and that. But it’s all melancholy, it’s not, “This used to just be farmland and now it’s this great place.” It is, “This used to be a downtown and I used to buy my games here, and now it’s just abandoned. And over here was a comic book.. oh, that’s abandoned, too. And there was a supermarket, oh that’s abandoned, too. Oh look, a homeless person; we didn’t used to have those.”

DTD: That’s sad.

RD: It’s coming back, I think it’s hit its nadir about 10 years ago. Colby’s reinvestment has influenced some other stuff to reinvest. They had to move away from manufacturing, was just holding onto this middle-class union job that our country has really not been able to keep in any real way.

DTD: Well, that’s the thing, there’s a lot of jobs out there that tremendous effort and complaint goes into keeping them, but they are not viable jobs anymore.

RD: Like the coal industry.

DTD: Yeah, that’s the classic.

RD: There’s more people working solar than coal. It’s like… we are not trying to save the wagon makers and the horse and buggy makers.

DTD: Exactly. Like the horse manure shovelers.

RD: And the gas lamp lighters.

DTD: They don’t have a job anymore.

RD: This world slowly moves on. Now you need to outsource people, you need to figure out this is going to devastate towns that have one industry. And you need to plan for it. But your money is better spent repurposing than holding on out of this weird nostalgic sense of American belonging to gritty black-lunged salt of the earth people. Which it never has been.

DTD: No, but it has become the image of the hard-working blue collared American. People grab that nostalgic image.

RD: It’s weird. The boomers are weird.

DTD: We are all weird.

RD: Yeah, we are all weird. We are about to take a political tangent, but…

DTD: No, no. And I try not to get political. I’m a hippie, so you know I can go there.

RD: I live in Massachusetts, I’m pretty left wing. I would say, I was a pretty big centrist with moderate left leanings, and the current state of the Republican party, not its ideology, but its methodology, has driven me left wing forever.

DTD: Just the fear mongering?

RD: The fear mongering, the refusal to deal with societal and democratic norms. Refusing to hold a vote over supreme court justice. Like, the politicking.

DTD: The absolute contrariness. It doesn’t matter what it is, we are just against it.

RD: The contrariness, we are against it. Just the fear mongering, and the pettiness. I’m like, “You are not representing a viable, logical alternative.” Someone could come to me and say, “Government is a worse way to spend money, its inefficient. There are better ways to provide a safety net to the poor than government agencies, because of the squander and the bloat.

RD: And I would go, “OK, tell me about that”, which is a conservative viewpoint: smaller government. Right? That’s not the government we are having now.

DTD: There’s no conversation now. Its absolute just contrariness, to say it again. There’s no discussion, there’s no argument, there’s no deciding. Its absolute stubbornness.

RD: But it’s the lack of…you could say government is about suborning the rules to get what you want, but there was a limit. And I feel like that limit doesn’t exist on one side. And it’s like someone looking at the rulebook to a boardgame, while someone else lit your house on fire, and going, “No, actually you…ties are burn friendly, so you have to take that.” You burned my house down and moved out. Or like, you stole all my stuff and left. Someone is still trying to play the rules of the game, and someone had decided that the game is crap. And then complains to the other person that they are not playing by the rules.

DTD: It’s fifth grade…not even, it’s third grade politics. It’s the way children mediate.

RD: Yes, and that has driven me lefter and lefter as a result. More as a reaction, because I can see both sides of any argument. You can say, “What about this, and what about this?” Should convicted felons have the right to vote? Well, they went to jail, that’s part of the penalty of going to jail. Well, they fulfilled their role in society, shouldn’t they be given a clean slate after doing it? How long should parole last, what is the situation? Should it be a stain on their…these are wonderful, and there used to be this push and pull that kept you in the middle.

DTD: They were arguments, yeah.

RD: And there’s no longer arguments, there’s tantrums.

In a ninja-like maneuver, the check is stolen, payed and returned. I am a credit card Jedi.

RD: Oh, thank you.

DTD: Don’t even worry about it; this is part of the deal.

This is not the check you are looking for. Move along.

RD: I am staying with my friend, I don’t know, 15 minutes up the road. This morning, he doesn’t drink coffee…this is getting back to—you were talking about Little India.

DTD: Oh yeah?

RD: I woke up and said, “Oh, you didn’t get coffee.” “Oh, you can take my second car. I’m going to work.” And I google, and there’s a coffee place nearby and it says it’s Peruvian coffee, and it’s like 2 blocks away. And I drive under the highway, and I turn around, and I am immediately in an industrial zone. Like scrapyards, roads for trucks.

DTD: There’s a lot of that around here.

RD: Instantly you go from these 2-million-dollar houses to a junkyard. And I was like, “Well, alright. This neighborhood is…” And I went in. The woman didn’t speak a word of English. She was from Peru; it says Peruvian coffee.

DTD: All you need to say is “coffee.”

RD: She speaks Spanish, her market is Spanish, because it is an industrial worker, most of the day laborers there are immigrants, they speak Spanish. She didn’t pretend to speak English. And I had the entire 5-minute transaction in Spanish. She walked in and went “Hola!” and I went “Hola!” and I’m like, OK. And I thought it would be a little broken English, or something. We had the entire conversation in Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish. I speak a little bit of French. Now, luckily, I like languages. So, when she says, “Leche o crema”, I’m pretty sure I know it’s milk or cream. And I know “azúcar” is sugar. What a delightful interaction to have in a different language, and see this immigrant working, and just functioning and thriving in Spanish. So many people in our country would be mad.

Crema. Siempre crema.

DTD: I think that’s awesome.

RD: And I was like, “This is delightful. I got to learn how a different language works and a different culture.” I didn’t feel slighted.

DTD: But was the coffee good?

RD: The coffee was amazing! I’m going back tomorrow. I can’t wait to go get this coffee. But I was like, I was just thinking the number of people who are like, “You are in America, speak English.” And I’m like, “Why? You’re getting a coffee. There’s no real reason. You can figure it out. Point.” This is how Europe works, this is how most countries work. You point, you figure it out.

DTD: Americans just don’t like feeling dumb.

RD: But I was so struck by how cool I felt, and at what portion of the country would get mad.

DTD: I know…

RD: And anyway, I like puzzles. And this was a puzzle to solve. How do I have this transaction without having a common language? How do we have nonverbal communication? What things are common between our cultures?

DTD: I was just pulling you up on IMDB.

RD: I’m on IMDB?

DTD: You’re on IMDB. Hasbro Game Night [producer]. I wanted to see if any of the sketch comedy stuff had popped up.

RD: That I had done? I just did stuff in college.

DTD: Well, you were talking a little bit about your work on Letterman and…

RD: I worked on Letterman as an intern.

DTD: A side for Saturday Night Live.

RD: No, I managed to imbed myself as like a reporter, college, learning about stuff. So, I just visited Kids in the Hall and Saturday Night Live. Letterman, I could be justified as an intern in 1992.

DTD: That’s very cool. I liked Kids in the Hall a lot.

RD: They were out there.

DTD: They were great. And I would talk about it with people, and nobody would know what I was talking about. But I thought it was a great show.

RD: It was a great show. They did 4 or 5 seasons, I thought their first season or 2 was brilliant, and then they were doing too much too fast and it just got weirder and weirder.

DTD: Still when I see those guys pop up in other things, I get excited about it.

RD: Yeah, I do get excited.

DTD: That initial core group was so good.

RD: I just read their biography. I think I just got it for Christmas last year. It’s called “One Dumb Guy.” Because they said they are 5 smart people that combined made one dumb guy. They don’t really like each other that much.

DTD: I didn’t know that.

RD: Yeah, which always kind of breaks your heart a little. Just like Monty Python, there were 2 teams of 2 and a team of one. And they were always a little bit fractious among those teams.

DTD: And Python definitely had big clashes between the teams.

RD: Yeah, and when it works well, you get great stuff, because nothing crappy gets through. Just like Lennon and McCartney had better stuff together, because the other person would say, “That’s kind of crap.” And the other person would respect them. And then when they lost the person saying it was crap, they were giving in. So, I think it worked for Kids in the Hall. I think Python generally liked each other and would get fractious. I think Kids in the Hall…

DTD: There were walkouts. There were people quitting and coming back. Cleese left in the last season.

RD: There were 6 but I don’t count Gilliam.

DTD: Gilliam was always an outsider.

RD: He was an outsider, so I count 5 who were on film and working, and writing, and doing stuff.

DTD: No, they were magical. With Kids in the Hall, to this day, one of the inside jokes with my wife, is she will come to me every once in a while and say, “49 out of 50 Helens agree…”

RD: “Punctuality is important.”

OK, purists will hang me out to dry if I don’t correct this. In Season 1 Episode 6, Twenty-Nine Helens agreed “Promptness is Important.” It is generally agreed that Helen Forneay was late.

DTD: And one runs in from the side. That’s exactly the one we always quote.

RD: It was always 50 Helens agree, coleslaw deserves another chance, and then 49 out of 50 Helens agree…punctuality is important. And then the other one just comes into the frame.

DTD: That is delightful. I haven’t really thought about that in a while. We still, we say it to each other all the time.

RD: There’s a sketch with Kevin McDonald and Dave Foley, where they’re in a diner, and the guy can’t remember the name of the movie. Its just this wonderful sketch. “Oh, I saw a great movie last night, oh I can’t remember the name.” “Tell me the definition.” And he starts telling him, then he’s like, “Oh, its Citizen Kane.” And he goes, “Nooo…that’s not it.” And he says “Are you sure, does it have…it’s Citizen Kane! [high squeaky voice]” Because it’s Kevin McDonald. And it just goes off the rails from there. So, every once in a while I’ll just say to my wife [Kevin McDonald imitation], “It was Citizen Kane!” That high-pitched Kevin McDonald voice.

DTD: He was so good. I was even, I like following animation as well, and even when he was on Invader Zim.

RD: Kevin McDonald was, just Kevin, right?

DTD: Just Kevin McDonald, right. He was one of the Almighty Tallest [purple]. But his voice was so good, and just added so much to the character.

RD: And its weird that none of them…Dave Foley had a little success in the ’90s.

DTD: Well he went with Bug’s Life, and a lot of Pixar…he did other Pixar stuff besides Bug’s Life.

RD: And then he was on NewsRadio. So, he was one who sort of had breakout success, but then since the late nineties, none of them. Mark McKinney is on…

DTD: Superstore.

RD: Superstore now.

DTD: And he’s good. He’s still very good.

RD: And they are all a lot older than me, [older] than I thought. They’re born closer to 1960 than 1970, so Mark McKinney is 60 now. All of a sudden, I saw them and I’m like, “They are late middle aged.” I follow all of them on twitter and stuff, and they are all doing one-man shows, and they are still scratching it together despite that success of that show. 

DTD: They were great. I have the disks. I have to pull them out and watch them again.

RD: I tried to watch them with my kids. My daughter hates surreal comedy. Like, we watched this one about an Indian drum wanted the set, a cold opening. And I was howling, and she was “This is just weird.”

DTD: Some were insanely crazy.

RD: Some of them were just weird.

DTD: Because I went through all the Python episodes with my kids, and my daughter just walked out. Couldn’t hold her interest. The original TV episodes.

RD: I mean they were a lot of hit and miss, but the surreal nature…the hits are very big. And the misses are, “I get what they are doing, but it’s weird.”

DTD: Crazy weird. The western Toulouse-Lautrec, about the wild and lawless days of the post-impressionists.

RD: A little surreal, a little cerebral.

DTD: “No-Time Toulouse.” That is what it was. So bizarre.

This skit was from Season 3, Episode 12 of Monty Python’s Flying Circus titled “A Book at Bedtime”.

RD: I have seen most of those, but not in… thirty to thirty-five years. I could probably watch them all again.

DTD: There was some big thing, I think one of the big streaming services just got ahold of all of it and they are pushing it hard.

RD: I should go try to find it, because I could chew up a lot of time with that. There was one…

DTD: The time you don’t have.

RD: Yeah, the time I don’t have. Shhh…don’t ruin it for me. There was one where Eric Idle and Graham Chapman…Eric Idle plays somebody, he goes into a house, and he says, “[very British formal] If you wait here, sir, someone will be in for you.” And whatever he does, s–t is happening. Mirrors are falling off the wall, and eventually the whole house explodes, but he is doing nothing. But Graham Chapman’s deadpan…

DTD: He’s so good at that.

This was the “Accidents Sketch” which aired in Season 2, Episode 5 – “Live from the Grill-o-Mat”

RD: He just opens the door, and Eric goes, “The mirror, it just fell.” “[slow British formal] It fell, sir. It just fell off the wall.”

DTD: And people are walking in and just dying in front of him.

RD: And its all over the place, and Graham goes, “I’ll fetch a cloth.” Like that’s going to somehow fix the problem. Just the dripping disdain, because he thinks Eric Idle is lying.

DTD: Even, so Graham Chapman did an autobiography that was very good, and very crazy and weird, and they made a movie of it.

RD: Really?

DTD: Or a little short thing. And it is really weird, but good.

RD: Well he had his demons; alcoholism, being closeted, being gay. There’s a scene, it’s in one of the later Python skits, I think its from the TV show, he played a Scotsman who was a bomb or something. And, he was lying on the ground, and he’s shaking. And it’s the DT’s.

Now, this is the sort of thing you can’t preplan – I promise you. You had better sit down. The Monty Python skit referred to here is “The Queen’s Own McKamikaze Highlanders”. And it was in Series 3, Episode 12, DIRECTLY PRECEDING “No Time Toulouse”.


DTD: There’s a lot of stories about him just being nonfunctional for a lot of it, and you knew about Keith Moon with the Pythons?

RD: No, what did Keith do with the Pythons? I mean, Keith had his demons, and they took him early.

DTD: Kind of. He died of an overdose of the drug they gave you to get through alcohol abuse [clomethiazole]. It was very bizarre. But, in Life of Brian, there’s scenes in a crowd, where there are the zealots up on platforms, talking about “And this shall come to be!”

RD: Oh yeah, they are just kind of walking, camera pans across them, and they are all ranting.

DTD: And one of them is Terry Gilliam, all covered with mud, hair crazy, just expounding. That was supposed to be Keith Moon. That was his role in the movie. And he died the day of shooting. And they replaced him at the last minute with Gilliam. So, that was the crazy one in that.

RD: The obscure fact I know about that, and it’s a joke I use way out of context, and no one ever gets it. Was after Holy Grail, they asked what’s next for you, and Eric Idle said flippantly, “Jesus Christ, Lust for Glory”.

DTD: Yup. Which he was right.

RD: Then it turned into something, then it had to be underwritten by George Harrison, because no one would make it.

DTD: Exactly. And they wouldn’t take Harrison’s money unless he accepted a cameo in the movie.

RD: Does he have a cameo in the movie?

DTD: He has a cameo in the movie.

RD: I don’t think I’ve seen it.

DTD: It’s a crowd scene, like this crowd pushes by, and if you look for it, Harrison is in the middle of it just looking like a deer in headlights, just the worst camera presence ever.

George Harrison appears at 1:09 in the film as Mr. Papadopoulos, “owner of the Mount”, and had a single line. Unfortunately, it was so bad, the line was later dubbed over by Michael Palin.

RD: Well, he had been in Help! and Hard Day’s Night.

DTD: He just looked so uncomfortable in it. Yeah, they put him in a crowd scene. And that was Handmade Films I think, that’s how they started. That was the first Handmade Films.

RD: Even then, it had a lot of trouble. That’s probably their best actual movie, in terms of plot and coherence. I mean Holy Grail has better jokes, but it’s less of a movie.

DTD: Yeah, they were just having fun.

RD: And I think Meaning of Life.

DTD: Had better production, but it had no story line.

RD: It had no story line entirely, and just a lot of hit or miss. But, I mean, John Cleese as the sex instructor at the English school.

DTD: The intro clip with the buildings being pirate ships, and the accountants attacking. That was brilliant.

RD: I forgot about that. That’s a Gilliam movie. Like a precursor to Brazil.

DTD: And I love Gilliam as a director. As a person he’s a little weird, but his movies just blow me away. Brazil was his first movie, and again…get an artist, you give him the first thing, and they just go nuts. And that’s a classic first movie craziness.

RD: I don’t remember much except I liked Python, so I watched that, and I was a little young, and I’m like, “I don’t like this, its weird.”

DTD: It is so weird. Brazil was just insane. And its lovely insane. Then he did Munchausen. He had a couple terrible ones.

RD: Did he do The Fisher King?

DTD: Yeah. Which was very good, but almost impossible to watch twice. Man, that thing just wrecks you.

RD: I don’t even remember it.

DTD: Brothers Grimm.

RD: Has he made a movie this century?

DTD: Yeah, they don’t so well. He tends to have breakdowns, and they lose all the money, and disasters happen on set. He did…he did a science fiction one that was kind of cyberpunky and wasn’t that good. I don’t even remember the name of it [The Zero Theorem]. And then he…

RD: Does he just get overwhelmed, or…?

DTD: Yeah. He’s got a very strange process, and he’s not very good at seeing the whole thing through.

RD: Does he lose focus, or lose interest, or…?

DTD: Either that, or outside events. The famous one was he was doing a Don Quixote movie, and—

RD: Oh, I think I’ve heard of this.

DTD: Yeah, and the best part about it is they did a documentary while he was making it, and basically his lead actor got prostatic cancer and couldn’t ride a horse, weather came and destroyed all his equipment and flooded out all of his sets, and his backers all pulled out. So, every disaster in the world.

RD: I mean, not much you can do other than pack it in and go home.

DTD: And so, he packed it in and went home. But there’s a documentary called “Lost in La Mancha” that is that. But then, he actually made the movie, either this year or last year, that he originally tried to make, and I haven’t seen it, and I haven’t heard anything about it. Other than he actually did make it. I don’t know what else he’s done recently. Usually I like his stuff.

The research department informs me that I was wrong on so many levels. The film was eventually released – The Man Who Killed Don Quixote came out in May 2018. The documentary team even made a second documentary about the new movie, called He Dreams of Giants.

RD: It’s a little too surreal for me, a little too trippy.

DTD: Oh, I like crazy. [laughs] Was there other board game stuff you wanted to talk about?

RD: No, I probably should get back, because I have a friend who wasn’t in town last night but is in town tonight.

DTD: Not a worry. And you have a flight in the morning, right?

RD: Yeah, and wants to see me.

DTD: So, you want me to give you a lift?

RD: If you don’t mind.

DTD: Not at all.

RD: I don’t know if it’s going this way; I can call a cab if…

DTD: No, no, no. My car is right there. And you already know how to sit in one of those. It’s not a problem, you just need to tell me where you’re going.

When Rob was dropped off at the restaurant, he got out of the exact make, model and color car as I drive.

RD: Oh, I just need to find the address.

DTD: It’s funny, I ended…I’m going to stop the recorder.

And just like that Rob and I drove off into the sunset. OK, it was dark already, and I think we headed south. I cannot express how much fun it was to wax rhapsodic with this understated master of legacy, about games old and new. Hopefully, in a future time, ironically less pandemic, we can do it again. Stay safe, everybody.

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