As part of its 2019 retrospective series, the Peoria Times-Mail-Picayune recently featured a surprising article expressing surprise at how often it's been surprised over the past year by the surprising resurgence in popularity of tabletop role-playing games.
"One of the biggest stories of the year is how often we've expressed surprise, in print no less, at the truly remarkable popularity and resurgence of these top of the table role of the play games," Times-Mail-Picayune's resident ombudsman P. Trent Osgood breathlessly shared.
"Over and over, we've expressed surprise as if realizing in a surprised way for the first time that games such as Barrows & Bearowls now surprisingly seem to be the surprisingly cool and 'in' thing. One might almost say they are hip, if I may surprise myself by being so bold. Honestly, we're gobsmacked at how often we're gobsmacked by the same story."
In fact, the paper has run no less than a surprising seventeen different articles on the subject in 2019 alone, including "Triumph of the Tabletop! B&B Is Surprisingly Cool Again", "Hollywood's Joe Magnanimousello Spotted Rolling Dice With A-List Hotties In Surprising Jacuzzi Shenanigans!", "Put Away Your Pocket Protectors, B&B Is Surprisingly For The Cool Kids Now", and "Is That An Icosahedron In Your Pocket Or Are We Just Surprised To See You?"
"We just keep getting gobsmackingly surprised!" laughed Osgood. "It's like a kid who just can't believe that stove is hot and so touches it again, running to a befuddled mommy who is surprised by their child's continuing surprise! Oh, ha ha! Why, our veteran street beat reporter Cal 'Scoops' McCoy has written five pieces himself just this year on how surprised he is about these table game dice things."
"I used to be surprised by their surprise," shrugged Ferby Johnson, owner of Peoria games store The Dragon's Layer. He pointed to his floor space where every table was filled with people playing tabletop RPGs from every strata and walk of life. "Look, it's been like that for a few years now. Those news folks are welcome to pop in and play, I'd love to have them. I bet that Osgood guy would play a mean hobbit Barbarian."
"Oh, I might. I just might surprise him someday! Oh, ha!" Osgood responded when this reporter passed along the invitation. "But right now we're all busy preparing our third huge surprising exposé this month on how many people are using this new thing called smartphones. Have you heard of them?"
The Fumble is a satire/parody tabletop RPG news column. It's not real. Also, eagles may soar but weasels don't get sucked into a dragon's mouth.
"Surprised man" image is from "Jeffrey Isaac self-portrait", used by permission under CC BY-SA 4.0.