The Naked Judge: Last Minute Trip to Wizard World Comic Con Toronto

+2 starting life total for playing with Lucky Charms. The hourglasses work excellently as time counters on suspended cards.
Where all great adventures start...

It all began with an innocent e-mail…


My name is Rob Dougherty, and I’m running the Magic events this weekend at Wizard World Toronto. I’m still looking for a few more judges, and you were recommended.

I’m looking for help Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Let me know if you would be able to help out any of those days.



And with those hands he conquered many foes and many phos.
Blatantly ripped from the Hall of Fame page. His ring is really that big though.

As a Professional Tournament Organizer (he was the host for GP Boston 2009, the largest limited event in North American history, and one that I covered in a previous story), Game Designer (a little game called Ascension comes to mind), and Pro Tour Hall of Famer (you might have heard of his team, Your Move Games), an e-mail from him grabs my attention really quick. In addition, I worked this event last year with Steve Port of Legion Events, and had the glorious occasion to meet Jewel Staite of Firefly fame. Needless to say, I don’t need much encouragement. I fire off a quick reply saying YES!

Then I realize that I might have to do more than just that. As Regional Coordinator for Canada, I’m not just responsible for judging on my own, but for the awesome community of volunteers that holds court in this great white north. I call up the fellows in Ottawa and see what they’re up to.

“Busy – spending time with the girlfriend.”

“Busy – spending time with the wife.”

“Busy – flying to Sri Lanka.”

Humph… So far, no luck. Finally, I reach Vincent “Vince” Johnston:

“Umm… I have work to do on Friday, but I’ll ask my brother to take it over for me. Lemme give you a call in a few and we can settle the details.” Done! Boom goes the dynamite.

Of course, saying that one will attend is separate from actually attending. Also, I don’t have a car, which mean that things immediately got interesting. As my preferred form of transportation, teleportation, has yet to be developed for mass market distribution, I had to differ to a different one. Any PTQ Grinder knows that the cheapest way to get from home to tournament and back is a buddy’s car and two to five other reasonably hygienic companions. Unfortunately, there was only one seat left in the car leaving from Ottawa, so I told Vince that he could take it. I would travel a different path.

Basically how the average Canadian feels while commuting to or from work. Except that we don't drive convertibles during the winter.

The second best option is ridesharing. Craigslist, kijiji, or your local college have boards and postings by folks looking to ease the pain at the pumps. Go online and make a few calls, and don’t be afraid of random people. The folks you meet are the life of the ride.

Rushing out of work so that I might make it on time, I let driver-dude know that I might be late. The meet-up was in the lobby of some office building in Downtown Ottawa. If you’ve ever been to Ottawa, you’ve probably been through the tourist season, probably during the summer, and most likely not downtown during rush hour. Downtown Ottawa, between 3:45 PM and 4:30 PM, most closely resembles NYC in some disaster movie: everyone trying to flee at once, no thought given to the sanity of others, minds driven by a boundless fear of bureaucratic boredom. Otherwise normal people transform into animals hell-bent on escape at any cost. The streetlights are their prison guards, the skyscrapers the walls of their cells. Slamming their faces against the car horn, they cry out “Is there no justice? Why? Why me?”

Or something like that.

Driver-dude ended up being a mild-mannered and extremely tall civil servant who worked for Transport Canada, managing security at ports and border crossings. The Jeep filled up with a fellow who worked in health software, a law student who was about to start articling, and Quiet Asian Girl.

Quiz Time: You have two permanent on the board: a tapped [card]Cloneshell[/card] (exiling [card]Rusted Relic[/card]), and an untapped, inanimate [card]Inkmoth Nexus[/card]. Your opponent casts [card]Fleshbag Marauder[/card]. Can you get [card]Rusted Relic[/card] onto the battlefield? Why or why not?

Next time on the Naked Judge:

  • Losing the Quiet Asian Girl.
  • “Feel my underwear”
  • A belated birthday gift – socks.
  • Tim Horton’s
  • Standard – win with hardcast Emrakul
  • Chili effect and perfect timing
  • 15$ Internet
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