Fog of Love 2: Baby Boogaloo (or Unprotected Sex Simulator Board Game)

Time for round two of Fog of Love: Romantic Comedy as a Board Game! This time we’re playing the most challenging scenario “I Know What I Want”. Royce plays Betty, the parking attendant while Courtney plays Calvin, the internet celebrity. It doesn’t go well.

Fog Of Love board game (Twitter)


Courtney: Hello from cows! My name is Courtney. I’m here with my spouse, Royce. And together, we are The Ace Couple. And today, we are recording on location! We are recording from abroad. [laughs] We are not in our home, for the first time in many years. And we are in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by cows – more cows than people – literally, middle of nowhere ranch. That is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. [laughs] But we are holed up in a teeny tiny ranch in the middle of nowhere, and we brought a board game, so we’re gonna play it for you. [laughs] How’s that for an opening? [laughs]

Royce: I guess that works. We’re going to play another game of Fog of Love.

Courtney: [singing] Fog of Love.

Royce: And what we have today, I believe, is the last and potentially most challenging set in the base game.

Courtney: [dramatically gasps] So, we’re here for the drama, darling.

Royce: It’s called “I Know What I Want,” and it involves children.

Courtney: Children! Ohhhh!

Royce: So, we have a red flag pretty quickly. We talked about during the last game how this game can get a little too heteronormative. It does say under “Special Rules and Notes”: “At least one character needs to be a woman.”

Courtney: Ah!

Royce: No adoption.

Courtney: They say that as if men can’t have children. [sighs] We don’t love the trans exclusion around here. But we do love making fun of bad heteroromantic romance tropes. And you know, I don’t know when this episode’s going to be published, but as of recording, Aromantic Awareness Week is coming up. It’s – no, it’s ASAW, Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week, is coming up soon – Aro Week for short. That is – in an attempt to circumvent the amatonormative culture of Valentine’s Day, it is, in fact, the first full week after Valentine’s Day, starting the Sunday after.

Courtney: And I want to throw this out to the audience, because I want to know if anyone else has this issue: I always know when Ace Week is, because it’s the last full week in October, and if it’s October, I know it is October. My one issue with Aro Week is that I never fail need to google when Valentine’s Day is. For some reason, that day just will not stick in my memory. I don’t think [laughing] I’m capable of remembering when this day is. So every time I know we’re, like, vaguely approaching February, I’m like, “Oh man, [laughing] I need to know when Valentine’s Day is.” And that’s just sort of a weird thing, because I feel like when I was a kid, I always knew when Valentine’s Day was, because adults were always hyping it up. Like, adults always told me when Valentine’s Day was and that it was coming up. Like, there would be school events for it, and there would be, you know, TV and cartoons that had special Valentine’s Day episodes, so I always knew when it was Valentine’s Day. But as an adult who is married and we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day ourselves, I have to Google it now! How sad is that? [laughs]

Royce: Do you just not remember the 14th?

Courtney: No, never.

Royce: Well, I guess for me – without getting into too many details – there are a number of dates in the middle of months that I’ve memorized because of family birthdays and other events and things like that.

Courtney: Yeah, well, the thing is, too – because this is the extent of when I know Valentine’s Day is. Because actually my mother and my grandmother both have birthdays in February. One’s at the – near the beginning of the month, and one’s near the end of the month. And all I know, every year. is that Valentine’s Day is somewhere between those two. But for the life of me, my brain just absolutely refuses to remember the 14th. Oh, it would be funny if we do a Valentine’s Day episode, because I actually do feel like I have some Valentine’s Day stories.

Royce: I don’t think I’d have any. I don’t think I ever did anything special on Valentine’s Day.

Courtney: And no one ever attempted to do something with or for you?

Royce: No.

Courtney: Okay. [laughs] All right. Difference in [laughing] gender raised as, I suppose. So, maybe we’ll do that. Maybe we’ll do a silly Valentine’s Day episode before long. But right now, let’s get into this silly rom-com board game while surrounded by cows.

Royce: Okay, so let’s do a little bit of setup here. Before we create our characters, the opening for this synopsis is: “The no kids speed-dating service is perfect for you. You’ve made up your mind, very much so, and you want to find somebody else who has done the same, somebody who knows where they are heading in life.” And the challenge – we’re going to go through our list of destinies, the things that we are using as our endgame win condition, basically, which will determine whether either of us is going for some sort of solo victory or a group victory sort of thing and determine what the outcome is at the end of the game. But it does say we will “need to navigate the pitfalls of a relationship with two people with fixed minds. Can you make it work? Can you change? Are kids really not an option?”

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: “A new special event is introduced: a baby.”

Courtney: [laughing] A baby! Surprise!

Royce: That is a special card that is sitting right here that might get shuffled into the deck at some point if situations arise.

Courtney: Okay. So we might get a surprise baby.

Royce: Surprise, yes.

Courtney: Okay.

Royce: So you have Destinies in your hand.

Courtney: Yes.

Royce: Take “Heart Breaker” and “Honorable Exit” and put them aside.

Courtney: Okay.

Royce: Of the remaining five in your hand, mix those up and randomly discard three.

Courtney: Ooh, okay.

Royce: And I have also mixed up some of the cards specific to the scenario and put them in the deck. And I think we are ready to create our characters.

Courtney: So I only have two Destiny cards. So you’re telling me that one of these two is my destiny?

Royce: The two in your hand plus the two I told you to put aside in the beginning.

Courtney: Okay. So while we shuffle some cards and get set up, which of us is going to be the birthing person if we get a surprise baby?

Royce: Good question. I mean, the way that we have flipped the cards up, it appears to be you, but we could modify things.

Courtney: “Appears to be you” in the sense that I have the deck of pink cards and you have the deck of blue ones. [laughs]

Royce: No, you have your character card turned with the stereotypical female side up.

Courtney: Oh! Well, if I just flip it over, then I’m a man.

Royce: Right.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: But then the game yells at us.

Courtney: [laughs] The game yells at us if we’re both men.

Royce: Yeah. It’s like, “You can’t play this scenario.” I feel like I may have to – I buried this card already, it’s already in the deck – but one of the cards that was like, “The scene is: surprise, unprotected sex.” It’s like, “This card doesn’t count unless you’re playing with people of opposite sex.”

Courtney: Wow. [laughing] Wow! Also, like, that is just a random event that could happen. Like –

Royce: Sort of –

Courtney: I feel like you’re very much in charge of that situation as a couple. [laughs]

Royce: The game design reason that it is that way is because an aftereffect of that card is the “A baby” card that I mentioned.

Courtney: Oh, [laughing] “A baby!”

Royce: Like, that’s why. But –

Courtney: Yes, that is one of the two things my sex education class taught me.

Royce: Were the game more versatile, that could lead into other things.

Courtney: Ahh, I see.

Royce: Like, I mean, this is a game about having tough conversations. “Oh, you tested positive for an STI” is a tough conversation after having met someone and had sex unprotected.

Courtney: Mhm, [laughing] that was the second thing my sex ed class taught me.

Royce: Okay, so we will open back up. We will select three out of five traits for ourselves. And then we will select one occupation. Then we can actually start.

Courtney: [slightly mumbling] You be the uterus.

Royce: Did you just say I should be the uterus?

Courtney: [laughing] Yeah, you should be the uterus.

Royce: Okay.

Courtney: You be the woman. Because this game doesn’t have trans people. [laughs]

Royce: Right.

Courtney: You be the woman! Because if we’re getting really technical, I have the uterus, but I don’t have enough collagen to make a pregnancy work easily. And technically, you have never been told by a doctor that a pregnancy would be very difficult, if not impossible, for you, but I have been told that.

Royce: That’s true. Part of that is because I haven’t seen a doctor in a long time.

Courtney: [laughs] And fair’s fair. I was the woman last time, so. Okay, hold on a moment now. Before we get into the game, I have to comment on these absurd mugs that we are drinking out of right now. Because you’ve got a mug that says “Cowboy,” and [laughing] it defines cowboy. And I’ve got a mug that says “Rodeo,” and it defines rodeo, like, dictionary definitions. But your cowboy – you actually have, like, a phonetic, like, this is how it’s pronounced. Just how in the hell are you supposed to pronounce “rodeo” based on this mug? [laughs]

Royce: I’ve honestly always struggled with some renditions of phonetic explanations. I blame that on the dyslexia. But I see ro-DAY-oh: R-O-space-D-E-space-O.

Courtney: No, darling. In the parentheses.

Royce: I don’t know what the parentheses are trying to say. That doesn’t make any sense to me, so I ignored it.

Courtney: No, the parentheses are the phonetic… That’s supposed to be the pronunciation.

Royce: The thing with the dots in between the syllables is supposed to be the pronunciation.

Courtney: No, that’s just the word with the syllables spaced out. Because look at your mug.

Royce: I have no idea what “R-D-minus sign” is supposed to mean.

Courtney: Well, this is exactly what’s so weird. Because… [laughs] Look. Your mug says “Cowboy,” but it’s “Cow dot boy,” and then in parentheses, “K-O-U-B-O-I.” “Kao-boie.”

Royce: Which, by the way, [laughing] I think is a bad explanation.

Courtney: That is. That is. But no, mine is “Rodeo, ro-dee-oh.” But then, in parentheses, “R-D-dash, comma, R-dash-D.” What does that mean? [laughs] What does that – what does it mean? [pronouncing it] Rd rd. Ah yes, growing up in South Dakota, I often went to the rd on weekends, [laughing] barrel racing and whatnot. [laughs]

Royce: Okay, so now it’s time for us to define our characters. Do you want to go first?

Courtney: Sure.

Royce: You will be looking at your traits and occupations. You’ll pick three traits and one occupation, and those are secret.

Courtney: Okay. So looking at my professions, I have three options here. And… and just between you and me, audience, I have already been two of these three things, [laughing] maybe even two and a half of these three things. I have been a banker in real life. I’ve been a fashion model in real life. And the third one here is “internet celebrity,” and I don’t love that, but I think for the sake of fantasy, we’re going to have to go with that one. So I don’t think I technically have qualified of being a true internet celebrity. [laughing] In exceptionally niche circles, there are people on the internet who know me, but the world of Victorian hair art is not very big, but I have met people in real life who know who I am because they found me on the internet. So we’re going to go with that.

Courtney: So the funny thing about being an internet celebrity as an occupation is that I need negative points in discipline. I must be disorganized, reckless, and lazy. [laughs] So a trait I’m not going to pick is “perfectionist,” because that requires a lot of discipline. And all of my other traits deal with other personality dimensions. So if I’m an internet celebrity, I don’t think I’ll be shy, so I’ll discard that. Which leaves me being relaxed, manipulative, and down-to-earth. Can’t go wrong with that.

Courtney: Oh, and my four potential win conditions: Honorable Exit is you break up, meaning you weren’t meant for each other and that the separating is a little more mutual. There’s Heartbreaker, where you break up and you’re the one who wants out, the other person does not. And then we have two that are a little more rom-com-y. We have Unconditional Love: you will stay in the relationship, but you will only be happy if the other partner is happy. And Love Team: you will stay in the relationship, but your happiness depends on your shared outcomes. So one of those four is my destiny, as an internet celebrity. We’ll see how this plays out.

Royce: Okay. So, I hope Courtney just finished delivering a bunch of difficult, bad news, because my hand, and thus my character, is… kind of fucked right now. [laughs] I think I have no choice but to play someone that I would not like to personally know, as a person, or spend much time around. My traits are impulsive, pretentious, hypocritical, worrywart, and spiritual, being the odd one out there. But if I’m trying to actually put something together here that makes sense for a personality and a game plan, I end up with a pretentious, hypocritical… something. I think I’m going to have to go with someone who is pretentious, impulsive, and hypocritical.

Royce: As an occupation, I think I’m going to go with parking attendant, because why not. Parking attendants are probably angry at the world. My other options were teacher and flight attendant, and neither of those seem particularly interesting.

Royce: But for endgame: the two end games that were given to both of us were Honorable Exit and Heartbreaker. The other two that I have are Equal Partners and Unconditional Love. And I am expecting that those latter two will not happen, given the hand that I was given. So, I’m going to try to push towards being a hypocritical, pretentious heartbreaker, but we’ll see how that goes.

Royce: Also, I’m going to see if I can get Courtney to name my character again, just like last game, because I don’t like naming things.

Royce: So, at this point in time we should reveal our occupations to each other.

Courtney: Okay!

Royce: And then select features for each other – three of them. And along with the features, we are supposed to sort of describe the situation where we first met.

Courtney: Well, we can arrange that. What is your occupation?

Royce: I’m a parking attendant.

Courtney: Wow! I’m an internet celebrity.

Royce: Who parked in the wrong place.

Courtney: [laughing] Apparently.

Royce: You double-parked.

Courtney: [laughing] What even does that mean? [laughs] Oh, some of these traits.

Royce: Do you want to go first?

[throughout the game, when Courtney is in character, she uses a lower-pitched tone of voice.]

Courtney: Well, hello there, Madam Parking Attendant, you’re looking awfully cute today.

Royce: Sir, you have parked directly in front of a fire hydrant.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: Everyone knows that that’s illegal. And I’m not at all distracted by that gold chain you’re wearing. You’re going to need to move your vehicle.

Courtney: But this is my new Tesla! I can’t park it near the other cars. What if we get, you know, door dings? You know, I see what you’re doing. You’re doing this whole parking attendant schtick, telling me to move, yada yada. You’re trying to look angry, but you can’t fool me. Behind your anger, I see those bedroom eyes… gazing upon me… lustfully. [laughs] What does that mean? What are “bedroom eyes”?

Royce: Sir, I don’t know what you’re getting at. I don’t understand the slang that you’re using right now.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: But I’m already going to have to write you up for being parked here, again, in front of the fire hydrant. I’m going to have to write another ticket if you don’t move your car immediately.

Courtney: And if I just… left my car here and started walking in the direction of an upscale diner, would you have to chase after me? I wouldn’t mind seeing how fast those, uh, jiggling legs can carry you. [laughs]

Royce: Why, I can’t tell if that’s a compliment or an insult?

Courtney: [laughs] It’s a compliment. I’m a man of the internet, and I’m a feminist.

Royce: But either way, I may take you up on that offer, due to your sensuous voice.

Courtney: Ah, yes. I am a feminist. In fact, I collabed with a vlogger not too long ago, and she really opened my eyes. I know that “fat” isn’t an insult.

Royce: Vlog? But I’ve already established I don’t understand the slang you’re using.

Courtney: Are you telling me you don’t know who I am? Who am I, by the way? What’s my name? I’d love to – I’d love to hear it from you.

Royce: But Sir, I’ve never seen you before in my life. [laughing] How am I supposed to know your name?

Courtney: [laughs] Let me try to guess your name.

Royce: I’d like to see you try.

Courtney: You look to me like a… Betty. [laughs]

Royce: [laughing] How does the naming part of your brain work? “Betty”?

Courtney: Are you asking Courtney or the internet celebrity?

Royce: I’m asking Courtney.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: What was the name of my last character?

Courtney: I don’t remember. [laughing] That was like a year ago that we played that.

Royce: I don’t think it was Beauregard, but I think it had a “Beauregard” type of feel.

Courtney: [laughs] It had “Beauregard” vibes.

Royce: It was a similar name that you would never encounter just walking up to someone in this, the year 2023.

Courtney: Coming from you, Royce. How many “Royce”s have you met?

Royce: I actually left an apartment situation once, and the first person to try to take over my room was also named Royce, and my roommates were like, “Yes! We don’t even have to learn a new name.”

Courtney: [laughs] What are the chances? That’s absurd. Fine, so you don’t like “Betty” – is that what you’re telling me?

Royce: [laughing] I don’t know, am I 93?

Courtney: [laughs] Oh come on, that’s – “Betty”’s cute.

Royce: I mean, you did use that feature.

Courtney: Yeah, you’re cute! And “Betty”’s a cute name. Shout out to all of our listeners named Betty out there.

Royce: Specifically, Bettys who are cute with bedroom eyes and jiggling legs. Thanks, Courtney.

[both laugh]

Courtney: So, now that I’ve guessed your name, wanna take a crack at mine?

Royce: Oh no, I won’t bother. I’m sure at the rate you’re at, I’ll need to see your ID before too long anyway.

Courtney: Damn, Betty, that’s cold. [laughs] So I’m an internet celebrity who wears a gold chain and uses slang with a sensuous voice. Impeccable. [laughs]

Royce: Okay, but what is your character’s name?

Courtney: You’re gonna make me name both of the characters?

Royce: Yeah.

Courtney: Okay.

Royce: [laughing] Just like last time.

Courtney: Betty and… Calvin.

Royce: Calvin?

Courtney: Okay, are you gonna judge all of my names?

Royce: Calvin’s fine. I’ve known a Calvin in present day.

Courtney: [laughs] Have you really never known a Betty?

Royce: I don’t think so.

Courtney: You’ve known a Calvin but not a Betty?

Royce: Uh-huh.

Courtney: Oh my goodness!

Royce: Yeah. Calvin was a programmer. He’s younger than I was, I think. I say “I think” because my big “Oh, I’m getting old” moment was when I wasn’t the youngest person at the company. [laughs]

Courtney: Yeah, that is a weird shift, when everybody is older than you, and therefore, you assume everybody is older than you –

Royce: Yeah.

Courtney: – and then one day, all of a sudden, they’re younger than you now. Yeah, that happens fast on the internet. Internet celebrity life.

Royce: Of course, Calvin. But yeah, I was among the younger people in my grade, growing up.

Courtney: Me too. Yeah.

Royce: And then I got through college faster than most people, because –

Courtney: You did. You breezed through it.

Royce: – my school was set up in an abnormal fashion. So, my bachelor’s degree came pretty quickly –

Courtney: What, like, like two and a half years?

Royce: Yeah, a little under. But that got me into my first job early, compared to most people who actually completed their normal two-semester-a-year, four-year degree. But then after a few years, I was getting… It was weird when I started getting job offers for Senior Programmer, because the word “senior” is very weird to hear when you’re in your 20s.

Courtney: You were also called an “Elder Ace” in your 20s. [laughs]

Royce: So were you, more specifically.

Courtney: [laughing] Yes.

Royce: I’m kind of an afterthought in that most of the time. It was mostly “Courtney is an Elder Ace” –

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: “– and I am also present.”

Courtney: Yes, I’ve also often been the youngest one in all work situations, but I also started working, like, incredibly adult jobs at age 10.

Royce: I was gonna say, before it was legal to do so.

Courtney: Shh. Let’s not admit to crimes on the podcast.

Royce: Well, you didn’t commit the crimes. Your employer committed the crimes.

Courtney: Mmmm.

Royce: So that’s fine.

Courtney: Mmm, yes. Also, we may or may not be in the middle of nowhere because of a top secret mission.

Royce: Playing Fog of Love at midnight.

[Courtney laughs]

Courtney: No, no, top secret mission aborted. Therefore, [laughing] we are playing Fog of Love instead. [laughs]

Royce: And getting into this: Chapter 1: No Kids Speed Daters.

Courtney: Oh, so you’re telling me we met under the pretense that we don’t want kids?

Royce: Apparently. Maybe I should have read this Chapter 1 start –

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: – before we went through the process of you almost getting arrested for parking in front of a fire hydrant.

Courtney: Well, I was on my way to the speed dating, and your shift is about to get over.

Royce: Oh, I was going to say, maybe we met twice. Maybe we met randomly, and then we met second time –

Courtney: You!

Royce: – at speed dating. Because the organizer says, “Ready? Now spend 30 seconds introducing yourselves, then go straight to the important stuff: kids. Why don’t you want to have children? First, both, tell a bit about your characters. Then, choose your opinions about children below.” The options here are: “A) You know what, kids don’t fit my lifestyle. It’s that simple. I live a rich life and won’t give it up,” which I cannot in all honesty say, as a parking attendant.

Courtney: [laughs] Hey, I don’t know what you do in your off-hours.

Royce: True. I could have a part-time job doing something else that is very lucrative.

Courtney: [laughs] You’ve got a – you’ve got a side – you just do parking attendant work for fun.

Royce: Yes.

[both laugh]

Royce: I was about to say, I do parking attendant work for the joy of it. I am resolving the simple rules of society.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: Park where you’re supposed to park. If you get a tire on the line, you’re getting a write-up. I’m specifically out there every day looking for those massive trucks that just feel like they can park right on top of a line.

Courtney: Yeah, all those scofflaws out there. All those ne’er-do-wells.

Royce: “Option B) Children are great, but the world is terrible, and it’s getting worse. I don’t want to give them a miserable life.” When did this game come out?

Courtney: Too real.

Royce: I feel like –

Courtney: We’ve had it for years.

Royce: We’ve had it for a while. I feel like this game doesn’t even understand.


Royce: Like, this was –

Courtney: This was pre-pandemic.

Royce: They thought they were on to something, and if they could rewrite it… But “Option C. Honestly, I would be a horrible parent. I can’t even manage my own life well.”

Courtney: Yeah, you know, I mean, kids just don’t fit my lifestyle. It’s just that simple. I mean, the life of an internet celebrity is very exciting: lots of traveling, get to make my own schedule, gotta feed the algorithm, gotta be posting every single day, and…

Royce: The algorithm, and much, much more, is why the world is so horrible right now. I couldn’t imagine raising a child that would grow up to watch the sort of platforms that you’re on.

Courtney: You know, what, Betty? Based.

Royce: At least we agree that we don’t want kids because those are the only options presented to us.

Courtney: Did I use “based” correctly? [laughs]

Royce: I don’t know. “Based” is especially one of the words that trips me up on a regular basis.


Royce: More so than other modern slang.

Courtney: Well, I have to use slang. You did this to me.

Royce: “Based” is one of those words where I want to try to reason the etymology out of it and it just doesn’t seem to work.

Courtney: I’ve never had it explained to me, and I’ve never looked it up, but the way it’s been using, I’ve created my own personal headcanon that it short for, like, “Based in fact,” “Based in truth.” [laughs] I’m sure I sound approximately 100 years old right now, but you’d be wrong. I am, in fact, 187 years old. I’m not even still regularly teaching dance lessons to teenagers, because when I did that, I would come home every week with the new slang word that they taught me. So, I’m sure every slang word I’m hearing, I’m either going to be wildly misusing, because I’ve just seen it on Twitter, heard it on TikTok, or it’s gonna be, like, five years old by this point.

Royce: Well, since we have just met for the second time at a speed-dating event and have had very little opportunities to talk, I thought we should go to a remote cabin in the woods where no one else is around. So I already booked a trip to Fantastic Place. It’s close to nature and far away from any disturbances.

Courtney: Where have I heard this before? [laughs] Looks to my right to see the herd of cows outside the window.

Royce: So the way that works: we each reveal a random destiny, and the next scene has double impact.

Courtney: Well, you know, while we’re at this remote cabin, we brought a couple bottles of wine, and we poured them into “Cowboy” and “Rodeo” mugs, and, uh… you know, those bedroom eyes just got to me. We had, uh, drunk sex. But what do both of you think happened?

Royce: Oh, so you found one of the special cards for this scenario in the initial draw.

Courtney: Surprise!

Royce: Great.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: The card says on it: “Discard if there is not a man and a woman in play.”

Courtney: Now, I do not claim to be an expert on drunk sex, but I didn’t know that only cishet people can have it.

Royce: Yeah, as it turns out, if you’re gay, you are completely incapable of becoming intoxicated.

Courtney: [laughs] Okay.

Royce: And your response was?

Courtney: Mmm, nothing happened, I think.

Royce: Or I hope.

Courtney: It’s double impact, right?

Royce: It is double impact.

Courtney: Does that mean if you accidentally get pregnant, it’s twins? [laughs]

Royce: Hopefully not. So, I have a question for you. It’s a bit random. What do you think is the most romantic quote? A) “People call those imperfections, but no, that’s the good stuff.” B) “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” C) “You will never age for me nor fade nor die.” Or D. “If you are not too long, I will wait for you all my life.”

Courtney: I’d have to say… “People call those imperfections, but no, that’s the good stuff.”

Royce: That’s the good stuff.

Courtney: Because, you know, like, on your platform, it’s really good to show a little authenticity. The viewers really eat that shit up. Well, since we’re having such a romantic getaway out in this remote cabin, and we’re talking about our favorite romantic quotes. What’s your opinion on sex in the outdoors? This is a nice hike. Nobody else has been here for ages. I think that grass is quite soft.

Royce: Why are you drawing all the sex questions?

Courtney: I don’t know, but I felt like I had to play them, because… [laughing] furthest from real life, I guess. [laughs]

Royce: Yeah, I have no problem with it if that’s your thing.

Courtney: That’s perverse. I really hope you’re joking.

Royce: You suggested it!

Courtney: It was a joke.

Royce: A joke?

Courtney: Yeah. It was for my prank channel. I’m recording this whole interaction.

Royce: Is that what passes for comedy on your channel? This is why you’re never going to make it in the big leagues.

Courtney: I don’t have a response for that, but saying “big leagues” took me right back to when I worked at a bank – and one of the occupations I drew – I drew “Banker,” and I was like, “Well, I can’t do that, because I’ve been that before.”

Royce: It’s too real.

Courtney: It’s too real. Well, and then the other one I drew was “Fashion model,” and I was like, “Also too real.” And I was like, “Internet celebrity… we can work with that.”

Royce: It’s easier for me. I have had two jobs.

Courtney: [laughs] So, I have had all of them, apparently. Like I said, I started working at age 10, and I’m now 187. But when I worked at a bank, there was a manager who just said, “Big league” –

Royce: All the time.

Courtney: – just all the time. And sometimes it’s just a general, like, affirmation like, “Hey, totally deescalated that difficult client. Big league.” All right. He was also a Quiverfull. [laughs] Hey, my prank channel is dope. Don’t knock it.

Royce: How many new viewers have you gotten this month?

Courtney: I’ve got 7.7 million followers on TikTok, thank you very much.

Royce: Oh, on TikTok?

Courtney: And just for the record, if we did have sex in the outdoors, it would be absolutely poggers.

Royce: I thought you said it was perverse. Did you misspeak earlier? I didn’t hear you saying “poggers” earlier. I heard you saying, “perverse.” As far as I’m aware, those are two very different words.

Courtney: How would you know? You never understand what I’m saying.

Royce: Because you don’t speak the common English! [laughs]

Courtney: Hey, just because I don’t speak the King’s English – the King who I disagree with, by the way –

Royce: [whispers] What are you talking about? We live in America.

Courtney: I also don’t know what “poggers” means, [laughing] but I’ve literally only heard it in comedic TikToks about sex being poggers, so that’s the only context I know how to use that word. [laughs]

Royce: Calvin, do you have any secrets I should know about? I’m getting concerned with all of your online activity.

Courtney: Oh no, that’s private. I share a lot of things online, but some things are just for me, you know. I’m learning that it’s good to have boundaries. So, Betty, we’ve been seeing each other for a while. I think it’s time we make this Instagram-official. Let’s take a photo of us together. I could hold you protectively from behind?

Royce: No, no. Why don’t we just hold hands and smile? That will be better for the picture.

Courtney: I mean, I guess. What do you have, like, 27 followers?

Royce: Oh, I don’t care about the social medias. It’s fine. This picture is just for us.

Courtney: Ok. That’s the end of Chapter 1. I am at 3 relationship satisfaction.

Royce: I am at 5.

Courtney: Mmm.

Royce: Both of those numbers are quite low.

Courtney: [laughs] Onto Chapter 2: Grandparents meet. [stereotypically elderly voice] We’re so glad that all of us are finally meeting, and you’re such a lovely couple, dear grandchildren. So what are your plans in life?

[regular voice] We are supposed to tell a bit about our two present grandparents. Discard two scenes and draw two new scenes. And then we choose between A or B. A) “Not to be rude, but we want to live our lives a bit differently than in the old days. First of all, we don’t want any commitments, you know, like kids.” Or B) “Everything about your lives is so amazing. There’s so much love. We want to live just like you did, just without kids. Hope it makes sense.”

Royce: So I just got off the phone with my family again, and yet again, they were telling me how I just need to settle down and have kids, and I’m just not into that. I was telling them how, like, I get it, back in the old days you were married off when you were still a teenager and you just had to have kids, and that’s just not for me.

Courtney: You know, talking to the grandparents really got me thinking. I mean, I definitely don’t want kids, but is everything else really so bad?

Royce: What do you mean by “everything else”?

Courtney: Just, you know, I feel like maybe I do want to live like them, just, you know, without the kids and and obviously with the internet.

Royce: [whispering] How is that like them?

[Courtney laughs]

[speaking] With the internet but no kids. Basically exactly like it was 60 years ago, but in the modern day?

Courtney: Yeah, exactly. You know, if I did an episode on my podcast about how relationships were actually better back in the day, because the internet is making us less connected, that baby would chart.

Royce: Okay, so that’s great and all, Calvin, but I think we need some new furniture. How about we go to Ikea together?

Courtney: Ikea. Excellent. Let’s make it a shopping vlog. I’m sure we can find something that suits us both. What kind of things are you interested in?

Royce: Well, all kinds of things. Let’s get this, and this, and maybe this too. I mean, I’m sure that one of these could be in your video for sure, and one of these.

Courtney: Yeah, right on. Take that, KonMarie. Did you know that Ikea is Swedish?

Royce: Oh really, Swedish? How fancy.

Courtney: You know what else is Swedish?

Royce: What’s that?

Courtney: PewDiePie. I’m gonna have more followers than him.

Royce: Oh, really.

Courtney: More subscribers than PewDiePie, someday. And I’m going to be less problematic.

Royce: That sounds impressive.

Courtney: It is.

Royce: Who’s PewDiePie?

Courtney: You know, that’s what they’re going to be saying when I dethrone him as the King of YouTube.

Royce: You’re going to get the throne too?

Courtney: Yeah.

[both laugh]

Courtney: I’m gonna get the… all the play buttons.

Royce: I was trying to make a throne joke of Ikea furniture, but I think we should just move on.

Courtney: Oh! [laughs] Does Ikea sell thrones?

Royce: Maybe!

[sound of tokens dropping]

Courtney: Oh no!

Royce: Maybe you have to put them together yourself.

Courtney: I don’t know if Ikea sells thrones, but you know what they do sell? Blåhaj [pronounced “Blow-high”].

Royce: You’ve actually been inside the local Ikea around here. I have not.

Courtney: Yep, I got lost.

Royce: I remember –

Courtney: Way lost.

Royce: I remember when Ikea came to Kansas City, people around work were joking about how they, like, came in against the flow, against the Ikea directional flow.

Courtney: Yes, that was me. Hi, I’m the problem. [laughs] Because Ikea came to Kansas City, like, the same time I did.

Royce: Coincidence? You started learning Swedish shortly after coming to Kansas City, where there was an Ikea.

Courtney: And Blåhaj is a shark, and we have a friend named Sharky.

Royce: Is this all a part of the Swedish agenda?

Courtney: [singing] Do-do-do-do-do-do [laughs] Illuminati confirmed. So, uh, Betty, since you got that haircut, I think more people are flirting with you. So you answer how you’ll respond, and I answer how I hope you’ll respond.

Royce: No, I don’t think so. Really? Really? I haven’t noticed anyone flirting with me. Not more than normal.

Courtney: Hmm, good answer.

Royce: Uh, so apparently, we have been living together for some period of time, and it has not been explicitly established. But it’s so messy in here! We need to do something about it.

Courtney: Well, we went furniture shopping. Did you forget that?

Royce: Yeah, but we still need to clean up the old furniture.

Courtney: Yeah, but you forgot we live together. Is Ikea that traumatic? You blocked out the entire experience?

Royce: We’ve had a couple of random “This probably means we’ve lived together” –

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: – all of a sudden sort of situations. It’s best you do it, though. I’m not very good at cleaning.

Courtney: Well, hold on there, Betty. I mean, I was inspired after seeing how our grandparents lived. Why don’t we divide things up the traditional way? I mean, why change something that works?

Royce: I mean, but, but I could pick the things out.

[sound of tokens dropping]

Royce: Oh my God, Courtney.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: How did you even do that? That shot all the way across the room.

Courtney: I just tried to pick up a token and it did, it flew all the way across the room, into the slots between the boards on this table we’re sitting at. That was impressive. I couldn’t do that again if I tried.

Royce: [distant] Where did it go?

Courtney: [laughing] I don’t know!

Royce: I am both impressed and disappointed.

Courtney: [laughs] Thank you, love.

Royce: It shot surprisingly fast, but disappointingly far.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: Well, I think this is the lowest relationship standard we’ve ever had in this game.

Courtney: [laughs] It’s not looking great.

Royce: So, hold on a second. I feel like we poked fun at this game last time when we were taking a look at the traits and how they affected things. I feel like there was something about – during the last game – like, short –

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: – somehow a bad characteristic, but being tall was a good characteristic.

Courtney: Yes.

Royce: But in this case… so, all of my characteristics are completely superficial, and I feel like my character could have society’s view of those characteristics projected onto them. But they don’t really speak of any sort of internal personality.

Courtney: Right.

Royce: Like, being cute and having whatever the fuck bedroom eyes are –

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: – like, that doesn’t say anything about them as a person. But jiggling legs here.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: Jiggling legs is a positive in sensitivity, which means that you are more sensitive, more anxious, and more sentimental. Why?

Courtney: [laughing] I don’t know. I mean, having a gold chain makes me deceitful, pretentious, and self-centered, with a negative on sincerity.

Royce: Yep.

Courtney: Using slang –

Royce: That’s –

Courtney: – gives me a negative in discipline? Which is…

Royce: Racist.

Courtney: [laughs] Yes. But having a sensuous voice gives me a positive point in curiosity. Curious, creative, and unconventional. Why?

Royce: I like that [laughing] being an internet celebrity gives you an equally undisciplined, disorganized, reckless, lazy –

Courtney: Yes.

Royce: – point as using slang.

Courtney: Yep.

Royce: As if it doesn’t take an enormous amount of work to create content online – says the people who are currently recording a podcast.

Courtney: [laughs] Take that!

Royce: – Game creator.

Courtney: I got a great job offer in another city. It’s not that far away. We could probably see each other every week.

Royce: So, I have another bone to pick with the game creator. Just looking at the options and what they mean –

Courtney: Lay it on him!

Royce: Because every option here has effects that deal with personality traits.

Courtney: Mhm.

Royce: And the top choice, the choice that I’m actually going to choose as a player –

Courtney: Hey, me too.

Royce: Let’s resolve this first.

Courtney: [laughs] So, we both want to pick A, which is “No problem, that’s what video calls are for.”

Royce: But saying “Hey, no problem, that’s what video calls are for” is deceitful, pretentious, and self-centered.

Courtney: Yeah. And also thick-skinned, calm, and unsentimental.

Royce: So, the game creator is saying that long-distance relationships are bullshit, and that if you’re trying to engage in them, you’re… cheating? Probably?

Courtney: Or that you’re saying you’re okay with talking by video call, but you’re not actually okay with it. Like, you’re lying?

Royce: To a certain extent. I mean, it’s the “deceitful” part of this that is ringing out to me.

Courtney: Which is interesting to us, because we started long distance.

Royce: And I’ve talked to lots of people over the years – like, before we met – from far away.

Courtney: We’ve only hung out with people via video calls or voice calls –

Royce: Mhm.

Courtney: – for the last three years! Until we came to the cows. Now, the cows are our friends. Cows don’t know how to Zoom.

Royce: I mean, mostly. They didn’t exactly come up to visit. They were just doing their whole cow thing.

Courtney: Cows often do their cow things, yes. And I should know, I was a zookeeper once. I would tell you the story of wrangling a rogue zebu once, but I fear this episode will already be far too long.

Royce: So Calvin, close your eyes. In a minute, you’ll get everything your heart desires. And I’m talking about breakfast and nothing more.

Courtney: What does Calvin want for breakfast?

Royce: This – [laughing] very difficult question.

Courtney: Of all these options…

Royce: None of them seem quite right to me as a Midwesterner.

Courtney: Courtney can only eat one of these four. I don’t know if Calvin has any dietary restrictions.

Royce: Courtney is not a player in this game.

Courtney: That’s true. Courtney is gone.

Royce: [laughing] Courtney is –

Courtney: Calvin is here.

Royce: [laughing] Courtney is visiting the cows right now. She will be back sometime tomorrow.

Courtney: Maybe. She might run away with the cows, if we’re being perfectly honest.

Royce: So, the options here that we are struggling with are: “A) A soft-boiled egg, a slice of bread with fresh butter, oatmeal, and some strawberries.”

Courtney: See, that’s, like, a good continental breakfast.

Royce: It’s pretty expansive, but yeah. “B) Chinese breakfast noodles.” I don’t know what that is.

Courtney: Yum.

Royce: I don’t know what breakfast noodles are. I have never been served noodles for breakfast.

Courtney: You’ve probably eaten noodles in the morning.

Royce: I have absolutely eaten noodles in the morning, but I don’t know what makes noodles “breakfast noodles.”

Courtney: Well, we watched Koisenu Futari, and they ate udon –

Royce: Udon!

Courtney: – for breakfast every day. Right.

Royce: C) is “Creme brulee French toast.” And then “Baked beans, scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausages,” which would be normal Midwestern American breakfast if not for the baked beans. Who has baked beans for breakfast?

Courtney: Well, that’s the thing, too. Is this – are these British baked beans or are these American baked beans? Because that’s a big difference.

Royce: It doesn’t matter for breakfast, you know?

Courtney: I love beans on toast. I will defend the Brits on this.

Royce: It’s bad.

Courtney: No!

Royce: British Heinz beans are bad.

Courtney: Absolutely not!

Royce: They’re so bad.

Courtney: Absolutely not! I was teaching at a conference in the UK, and they had breakfast every morning, and all of the locals convinced me that I had to try beans on toast before I left. And I, silly Midwestern American Courtney – I was like, “I can’t eat beans. I’m a vegetarian.” And they were like, “Why wouldn’t you be able to eat beans as a vegetarian?” I was like, “Because they, like, all have pork in them.” And they were like, “No, they don’t.” [laughs] “That is tomato sauce and nothing else.” [laughs]

Royce: I was going to say, these are tomato beans, and they smell awful.

Courtney: No! Absolutely not! I got back home and I was like, “Royce, we need to find Heinz beans.” And our stores don’t sell them. I had to find a British store in Kansas City. And it’s called Redcoats.

Royce: Yeah, Redcoats.

Courtney: I had to go to Redcoats to get beans, so I could eat beans on toast. [laughs]

Royce: Courtney is a redcoat!

[Courtney laughs]

[laughing] And she has beans on toast, occasionally, and I can’t do it. Not for me.

Courtney: It’s… I don’t know what to tell you, it’s great.

Royce: Like, I can make my own. I can season and bake my own black beans, and they are great. But beans on toast is awful.

Courtney: Are we gonna, are we gonna, are we gonna throw hands here? [laughs]

Royce: [laughing] I think we’re at that point.

Courtney: [laughs] Beans on toast are great, as long as you have the right beans. You should not ever try beans on toast with American beans, because American beans are bullshit. [laughs]

Royce: I have had British beans on toast. They are bad. [laughs] England, in general, is known worldwide for bad food.

Courtney: Mmm, more beans on toast for me. That said, I’m gonna answer… Chinese breakfast noodles.

Royce: Betty doesn’t know what the fuck Chinese breakfast noodles are.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: You’re getting a soft-boiled egg and some other things.

Courtney: Oh, okay. It’s Christmas. I love this time of year. Everything means so much more. We are to both secretly reveal a – secretly – select a scene from our hand to give to the other, and then trade scenes simultaneously, and the next scene has double impact.

Royce: And that gets us to the end of Chapter 2 out of 4. Chapter 3: You’re Always Fun to Be Around. “A shared friend comes along. I envy you so much. You’re the perfect couple. Hope you don’t forget me now I’ve got a kid.” We should both tell a bit about this shared friend, discard two scenes, and draw two new.

Royce: Aw, you’re so adorable. Of course, we won’t forget you. We will continue sharing stories and perhaps revive your boring life with a bit of fun.

Courtney: I promise I won’t forget you. I’ll be happy to see you whenever I’m not out with my love. You’ll never bore me.

Royce: We didn’t match. Again. [laughs]

Courtney: Yeah, we’re really bad at matching.

Royce: We are awful at this. I feel like in most games, we’d be at, like, 20-ish general –

Courtney: Yeah, I’m at 2. [laughs]

Royce: – general romance points. I’m at 3.

Courtney: My satisfaction in this relationship is 2.

Royce: We are dragging along. We’re making it… work? I guess? Well, Calvin, surprise, we’re going to a masquerade ball.

Courtney: Oh, that’s nice.

Royce: Basically, you’re going to play a card, but it’s going to be resolved as if I played the card.

Courtney: Well, the card I am playing – on your behalf, I guess – is a fortune teller. Will you look at that? An old-fashioned fortune-teller. Do you want to take a closer look?

Royce: That might be fun.

Courtney: Mmm. Never. I’m not superstitious.

Royce: So, Calvin.

Courtney: Yes, Betty.

Royce: We’ve been together for a little while, and I would really want to know more about what you would want to avoid in a relationship.

Courtney: I don’t see any reason to talk about this. Everything’s fine! I’m going to play a secret card.

Royce: Well, you, Calvin, with all your secrets. I’m going to take you to my old neighborhood. It hasn’t changed at all. And it’s a bit overwhelming being here again.

Royce: So, during that little exchange, I had to change a character trait, and it was unfortunate –

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: – for the game plan that I’ve been going along.

Courtney: Oops, we’re a very negative couple, just, like, all across the board. I’m looking at all of the personality traits, and they’re nearly all negatively weighted.

Royce: Very, very, very negative. They’re definitely not sincere.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: They’re definitely not disciplined, or curious, or sensitive. And our individual happiness is also very low.

Courtney: Yep. [laughing] That’s the state of things.

Royce: But we’re still together, for some reason.

Courtney: Hey, do you think we should attend the Pride parade this year?

Royce: Probably. I mean, actually, once I read the responses: Why on Earth would we go to a parade? I’d rather hang out with you at home.

Courtney: Well, then.

Royce: So a friend of ours asked us to babysit, and once we get into there, two small kids are just saying, “We want ice cream! We don’t want to sleep, we want ice cream. We don’t want to sleep.” How do you respond to that?”

Courtney: Here are some ice creams. Stay up as late as you want.

Royce: Yeah, I know, right? It’ll be fine. No big deal.

Courtney: It’ll be fine! It’ll be fine.

Royce: Finally, we can agree upon something. I feel like we’ve been in such a rut lately.

Courtney: Yeah, we have a whole 5 relationship satisfaction.

Royce: Now, I have a question. Why does this say, “If we agree upon how to deal with children, the ‘woman is pregnant’ card gets shuffled into play”?

Courtney: [laughing] I don’t know. Mmm. Be honest. Do these new pants fit me?

Royce: Perfect! They fit just perfect.

Courtney: You know, that’s what I was hoping you’d say.

Royce: They accentuate your…

Courtney: Manly calves.

Royce: [laughs] Bottom parts.

Courtney: [laughs] “They accentuate your bottom parts.”

Royce: I really had a breakthrough with my psychologist yesterday. I’m going to change a few things about how I approach life.

Courtney: You saw a text message on my phone that says “Tomorrow at 10:00.” What do you do?

Royce: Okay, so what the fuck is this? Who are you meeting at 10:00 tomorrow? And I slam your phone down in front of you.

Courtney: Oh, no one.

Royce: [laughs] But who? Who is it at 10:00 tomorrow?

Courtney: Mmm, my publicist.

Royce: You know damn well you haven’t been published.

Courtney: [laughs] Okay, you clearly don’t know the industry lingo. A publicist is not just for book publishers.

Royce: I know what a publicist is! And no publicist worth their salt would meet you.

Courtney: They haven’t paid publicists in salt in, like, a long time.

Royce: Oh, don’t get all historical with me! I know a bit about the ancient Roman Empire and the value of salt. Now, who was this person?

Courtney: Yeah. Do you also know about the ancient Roman practices about parking?

Royce: Much more than you do, considering you parked in front of a fire hydrant the first day we met!

Courtney: The Romans didn’t even have fire hydrants, probably.

Royce: They did have aqueducts!

Courtney: Quack.

[both laugh]

Royce: So, I have completely lost control of my character at this point.

Courtney: [laughs] We have lost the plot.

Royce: I don’t know who Betty is. Who is she?

Courtney: Well, Betty’s still finding herself. I mean, she just overhauled some personality traits after going back to her hometown, and then again after seeing a therapist.

Royce: Right.

Courtney: So Betty’s in the process of self-discovery and coming into her own. And we can respect that.

Royce: Okay. Shh. Shh. Relax. Breathe in.

[Courtney breathes in]

Royce: Feel the life force entering you. Breathe out.

[Courtney breathes out]

Royce: Feel all the bad memories leaving. Just let me hold you for a moment. And I’m going to completely remove this section of the board for you.

[sounds of game pieces moving]

Royce: Boom.

Courtney: Some of these cards are, uh, heating up, and we’re already so miserable. [laughs]

Royce: [laughing] We are not – we are not having a good time.

Courtney: Did something change? You seem so different. What happened?

Royce: Oh, it must be the stars, or the moon, or Earth’s magnetic field. Perhaps destiny. I don’t know, I’m just a different person. I’m on my way to finding true happiness.

Courtney: Ditto! How’s my slang?

Royce: Pretty good.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: Top-tier. Based.

Courtney: Based slang? Oh dear. Alright, discarding two random destinies. We won a trip to Italy. How much time can we take out of our busy calendars?

Royce: Let’s go for a month! Let’s live it up.

Courtney: Yeah, I don’t think I really have the time. I just started streaming every single day.

Royce: You can stream from Italy. They have internet there. But speaking of the internet, your mom’s friend just posted pictures of us on Facebook. She is claiming that you’re possessed by the devil. She’s revealing facts about our private life to everyone she knows and asking them to pray for your conversion. This is insane.

Courtney: Wow.

Royce: Yep.

[sounds of game pieces spinning]

Courtney: You know, I bet I can get this trending if we fight her publicly on this. That could be great for my follower count.

Royce: We should totally call her out on Facebook in front of all of her friends. Look at us bonding by mutually –

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: – being aggressive to other people.

Courtney: We at last found the key to happiness!

Royce: To slam others together, cooperatively.

Courtney: Big league. [laughs] What is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done in front of a crowd?

Royce: Why – why, Calvin, I guess – I guess I can admit this to you now. You’re the only person I’ve ever told this to you before. But I accidentally kissed a kid for my class at a school play, on the mouth, in front of the whole school. It was seventh grade, and I still have nightmares.

Courtney: Word.

Royce: Calvin, if anybody asks – like the police, for instance – please tell them I was with you last Thursday.

Courtney: No way, I’m not gonna lie for you.

Royce: Boooo.

Courtney: I was livestreaming last Thursday. They’re going to take me down with you.

Royce: Maybe I was live streaming last Thursday.

Courtney: You don’t even know how to work a computer. Do you even know what Discord is?

Royce: That hurts through the facade of Betty.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: Well, I’m gonna play… Well, that was an easy password, and I’m going to look at one of Courtney’s secrets.

Courtney Calvin’s secrets.

Royce: I’m going to look at one of Calvin’s secrets.

Courtney: I bet you feel bad that you didn’t want to go to the Pride parade now.

Royce: Calvin, why didn’t you tell me you were Bi? Like, I don’t know why you even kept that secret to me. I mean, I’m Pan.

Courtney: [gasps] You’re telling me we were both queer this whole time?

Royce: This whole time, you should have just spoken up!

Courtney: Well, you didn’t exactly –

Royce: I still love you.

Courtney: You didn’t tell me that you’re Pan either.

Royce: That’s not my problem.

Courtney: Maybe that would have helped me come out, if I…

Royce: You should have just said something.

Courtney: Look, it’s harder for men. You don’t understand.

Royce: That’s not an excuse. Literally, everything else is easier for men.

Courtney: [laughs] Hey, your clothes make me look great. Look at this. Your clothes look better on me than they do on you!

Royce: Hey, what the fuck?

Courtney: [laughs] I call this “parking attendant chic.”

Royce: Oh, you do look like you could write some people up in that attire. You think those look good on you?

[sound of game pieces spinning]

Royce: To me, it looks like you’re pretending to be something you aren’t: stylish. [laughs]

Courtney: You take that back.

Royce: All of your TikTok subscribers know.

Courtney: Don’t you bring my subscribers into this. My subscribers are loyal.

Royce: They know you do not know how to pull off that outfit.

Courtney: Well, whose closet did I take this out of? If there’s a styling issue here, then maybe I should write you up for a fashion violation!

Royce: See, I can pull this outfit off. You cannot.

Courtney: [quietly] Take it back!

[both laugh]

Courtney: Tell me I’m pretty.

Royce: You are pretty, just in other clothes. [laughing] Just swap a destiny.

Courtney: [laughing] I have to swap a destiny?

Royce: [laughing] Why do our characters suck?

Courtney: [laughs] Okay, I have swapped my destiny.

Royce: Well, good, at least we’re on the same page now. And actually, I have something I need to admit to you. You see, I’m actually still married. Sorry, you found out like this. It wasn’t meant to be a secret.

Courtney: We have been living together for how long? [laughs] You make me happy no matter what. Because I am gentle. I’m gentle now. [laughs] I know you haven’t seen this side of me before.

Royce: And thus we reach the finale. Is this getting serious? You just need love. You don’t need to ruin it by having a serious relationship. Other things can ruin it too.

Courtney: And it wasn’t even a baby.

Royce: Now we reveal our destinies.

Courtney: Moment of truth.

Royce: What is your destiny, Calvin? Heartbreaker. I also played Heartbreaker, but I didn’t meet the conditions. I was –

Courtney: So we both tried to break each other’s heart?

Royce: I was too sincere! Barely.

Courtney: Well, neither one of us made the condition, because the condition for Heartbreaker is: you break up, you have at least 4 negative points in sincerity, and your partner’s Love-o-meter is 15 or less, and your partner does not want to break up with you. So we both simultaneously want to break up, but we want the other person –

Royce: You can’t break up with me –

Courtney: – to be devastated.

Royce: – because I’m breaking up with you.

Courtney: That’s not what I signed up for. Because the thing is, the only, like, mutual breakups – where it’s like you both leave, but it’s on good terms – you still have to have, like, a much higher higher love score than we do right now. Because I’m sitting at 7.

Royce: Yeah, this whole relationship was a disaster.

Courtney: It was! But yeah, most of the mutually beneficial things need a minimum of 15, and a lot of them need more than that, even.

Royce: So we don’t have any secrets. Those have all been revealed. In fact, the one secret that was at play was probably, like, the best revelation in our entire relationship.

Courtney: Yeah! [laughs]

Royce: Okay, so what about traits? Betty is impulsive, pretentious, and insecure. And I succeeded on impulsive and pretentious, but not the other.

Courtney: Calvin was down-to-earth, which I succeeded in; manipulative, which I succeeded in; and I did not quite make nurturing, which was one I actually had to swap out. So I needed our shared balance of nurturing to be 5 or more, and we almost made it! We got to 4, just, like, within the last round. So that was… I didn’t think there was any chance until you played one card that gave us quite a bit.

Royce: It was kind of the same for me. My third trait got swapped out –

Courtney: Mhm.

Royce: – multiple times.

Courtney: Yeah.

Royce: But that gives you plus 7, which won’t matter because Heartbreaker.

Courtney: Yep, that doesn’t matter at all.

Royce: So, what’s the conclusion to this story? Both Betty and Calvin are just miserable, and –

Courtney: Pretty much.

Royce: – and had a failed relationship.

Courtney: Yeah. And even though we both wanted to break up, it still wasn’t a happy breakup.

Royce: It wasn’t a happy breakup. We stayed together too long, and neither of us got the satisfaction of properly breaking up with the other, who we had presumably come to resent.

Courtney: It’s probably for the best that there wasn’t a baby thrown into the mix.

Royce: Yes. I –

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: I was sitting on the baby card for literally the entire game.

Courtney: Oh, you had the baby card!

Royce: Yup.

Courtney: Ohhh. Wow.

Royce: It just didn’t seem appropriate.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: Well, plus, the baby card is, like… There’s no lead up. It’s like, there’s a baby, surprise.

Courtney: Surprise!

Royce: Surprise, we are nine months into the future.

Courtney: And yet they’re saying no adoption.

Royce: Yeah.

Courtney: Like, this has to be conceived in the normal means, but also by accident. Fascinating.

Courtney: So that’s Fog of Love for you. The fraught story of Betty and Calvin.

Courtney: And so, that’s going to be that for today. We will catch you next week, same time, same place, when we will no longer be remote, sadly, but we will enjoy our time with the cows until then. And remember to make your darn games trans inclusive. And also, don’t be like Betty and Calvin. [laughs] The end. Goodbye.