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Pick Up Ax

"Pick Up Ax" is a short play by Anthony Clarvoe that follows two friends (Keith and Brian) though their troublesome computer business experiences. It is really a very quick read but it may not appeal to those who are not 'hip to the culture' of Star Wars, Star Trek and Dungeons and Dragons. I am reminded of the comment that Dr.Jerz made to a student that was somewhat confused by these references. The student stated, "I have never seen Star Wars," and Jerz replied sincerely, "My heart bleeds for you right now."


I was doing a little bit of original research about this play and I ran across some very valid points that were made in regard to the interaction between the characters and the audience.

"None of these characters has a life beyond the set. The audience learned nothing about their pasts and how they came to be where they are. They exist only in the moment and it is difficult to care about them; they have about as much humanity as the machines that they depend on for their livelihood and which give the only meaning to their lives."-Dudley Stone The only thing that we do know about Keith and Brian is that they are old friends that used to play DnD together.

Comments (3)

I can't relate well at all to Star Wars or Star Trek (I hate them both), but I can definitely relate to DnD; I've never played the PnP versions of the game, but I have played plenty of computer games based upon the DnD settings and ideas.


Hey Chris,
I've been interested in DnD for a while but never actually had a chance to play. Have you ever heard any of those old stories about people playing Dungeons and Dragons and then going out and murdering someone? I hear that once from some random person. They said that when the game first came out people took it way too literally and actually killed some kids.


Kristen, I really believe that you may enjoy this novel a bit more if you pull out the "dork" context of the novel and focus just on the relationship between Keith and Brian. Think of it this way: two bets friends work side by side together until one day; a new fellow comes into the mix. It then ruins the relationships between the two best friends and they are left with nothing. In essence that is what this play is about.

However, you might enjoy it more if you understand more about "dork language," so to speak.

http://www.wizards.com/default is the official site of Dungeons and Dragons, which is commonly mentioned din the play. You can go their in order to understand exactly what the references mean so it doesn't seem so foreign to you.
Or, check out some books in the library on computers in the 1980's. It may help.

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