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Saturday 13 May 2017

Did I Just Unintentionally Alter Reality Itself?

So here's the story: in my Wild West campaign, which I regularly post play-blogs about on here, I've got a character named Cooter.

Cooter is an NPC, who started out as a fairly minor character in Dodge city. He was the jailor and caretaker in the Sheriff's office. He was a southerner, missing one eye, somewhat dim but friendly and well-meaning, with an obsession with brewing the best coffee in town.

At first, this was pretty much all the PCs knew about Cooter, but as he went on, Cooter became more and more central as an NPC in their adventures. They learned more about him: his propensity to be perpetually broke, and to mooch off his friends in an endearing rather than annoying sort of way. His fear of horses (as it turns out, he lost his eye when he was kicked by a horse) but his love for a good mule. His friendship/rivalry with the Marshall's jailor.
They also learned about his crazy family, all of whom were of the rustic goofball sort like himself, including some gun-crazy cousins, indomitable aunts, and neighbors from back home who were in a century-old family feud with the family.  They also learned that Cooter was both his first and last name ("Cooter Cooter"), in an unusual family tradition apparently.  And (this is the crucial part) at some point just where in the south he came from was determined to be Missouri, and that in fact he came from a place called Cooter.

Now, I should note, I've never been to Missouri, and out of the great states of the USA, it's certainly on the bottom half of the list of "States the Pundit knows fuck all about".  I could tell you quite a bit about New York, California, the Pacific Northwest or New England, or even Louisiana and Florida, but I'll admit that to me, Missouri is just really this blob of Mason-Dixon rustic stereotype. It just felt like the kind of place Cooter Cooter could be from, and a locality called Cooter could exist.

Now here's where shit gets weird: a couple of days ago, I discovered entirely by chance that apparently, Cooter, Missouri DOES really exist. It is, in fact, a small town in the southern tip of the southernmost county of southern Missouri.

The only question now is whether it already existed before this campaign; or if somehow, by memetic force, the power of Cooter in my campaign altered reality to make Cooter, MO a real place?

You have to be careful with RPGs: they create a virtual world. But if you're playing a world that is a very close reflection of our own, and if your GM happens to be a wizard, you never know what might happen!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Horn + Argento Latakia


  1. I'm fairly sure I've stopped in Cooter, or at least the Cooter exit, because when I drive to Memphis I like to fill up with gas and get snacks before I cross the Arkansas border. (I don't like giving money to Arkansas).

  2. I'd heard of Cooter. I've never been to the bootheel. Missouri is a relatively large state, I grew up there near Kansas City, MO.
    There are some interesting names of small towns in Missouri, such as Frankenstein, another place I've never been. There's even a Peculiar, MO.
    One town, Osage City, is fun to say five times fast. Once right before commercial, the weatherman pointed out the temperature in Osage Shitty. After the break, all the rest of the news team loudly and clear said, "It's Osage City!"
    I now live in Michigan and there is a town called Hell, and it regularly freezes over in the winter.
    Look at any of the small towns in most states, and you'll find a town with an interesting or odd name.

  3. You can tour capital Europe in Ohio. We have a Lisbon, Paris Township, Moscow, Athens, Dublin, London, etc. and even Lima, OH a name closer to your neck of the woods.

    The best name is KnockEmStiff, Ohio or Shady Glenn near Chillicothe. I also like Vandalia, which just sounds like some Vandals decided to settle down and make a village out near Dayton.

  4. Those of you who drove through or had heard of Cooter: How can you be sure? Maybe these are "memories" you only got a short while ago, when Cooter shifted out of my Wild West campaign and into reality?

  5. Inverness Florida also has a Cooterfest every year. It isn't as interesting as you would think. it is for a small swamp turtle.

  6. It was doubtless a side effect of the experiments at CERN. The Mandela Effect is real, and the Pundit has an inside track on it.

  7. It may be wizardry. In fact, I'm trying to get next year's GenCon moved to Alpha Blue... for the articles, of course.

  8. So you came up with this idea of a town named Cooter and the man-in-the-sky just allowed you to have narrative control over his established world, because why not? Man, this definitely breaks my immersion.