Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sorry, Charlie, I Won't Play

The Interwebz are all atwitter over the latest idiotic fad, in which a pair of pencils are used to summon a Mexican demon named Charlie.

Let that sink in for a moment.

I believe this may represent a true watershed moment in human history, in that 'the Charlie game' marks the place in time at which humanity as a whole became dumb enough to believe just about anything.

Honestly. First, Charlie isn't even a Spanish name. Second, pencils are bits of wood surrounded a core of graphite. As occult devices go, they're -- well, they're bloody pencils.

All around the world, dim-wits are placing one pencil at a right angle across the other pencil, and scaring themselves silly when any or all of the purely mundane forces acting on the top pencil cause it to move.

A slight motion on the table-top or floor. A nearly imperceptible breeze. The shock wave of an IQ dropping a hundred points nearby -- any of these things can and will make the pencil move.

This whole thing is especially galling to be as a fantasy author because I agonize over my magical systems so the magic in the books will make sense, but a near-panic has erupted over a pair of pencils and a story so dumb I suspect Congress had a hand in crafting it.

As the Charlie game spread via social media, so too came the warnings from paranormal groups about playing it.

I'd like to add my own warning to this chorus.

If you play the Charlie game, you will look like a knee-biting mouth-breathing knuckle-walking idiot. 

Here is a list of other ways you can't contact non-corporeal entities in your spare time, at home:

1) Scrying via a tub of mayonnaise. Won't work no matter how many black candles you light.

2) Using restaurant menus as Ouija Boards. "Look, he's telling us to get Moo Shu Pork!"

3) Consulting a Medium, based on their shirt size. 'Medium' used to denote clothing size is not the equivalent to the 'medium' applied to psychics, which explains why the guy at Auto Zone acts so confused when he's asked if any dead people are nearby.

4) Don't combine a traditional seance with aerobic exercise. Unless you do so in yoga pants, and in that case, send me the video so I can check it for orbs.

5) Don't hold a lighted candle before a mirror and chant the entire text of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings saga three times very fast, because that bit with Tom Bombadil cracks you up every time and you have to start all over.

That's my rant for this week. Next week we'll explore methods for summoning Lovecraft's Old Ones using nothing but Cool Whip, a small wooden dowel, and the collected works of Barbara Cartland!


  1. It won't work repeating Lord of the Rings, but I have heard if you recite the entire series of Game of Thrones, the spirits will demand to talk to George R.R. Martin about plot lines.

  2. I bet this game when you heard it made your toes curl. So funny. Everyone knows you have to use blue point pens, not pencils, to summon Charlie. Geez.

  3. *giggles*

    Funny--my Ouija Board always recommends sesame chicken.

    I particularly liked the "shock wave of an IQ dropping..." line.