An Interview With The Booga
I can’t help it but there is something soothing about sitting in the kitchen. The fountain gushes and causes a gentle soothing sound that slowly puts you to sleep. I used to hide in my grandmother’s kitchen, she didn’t like me to much, but I enjoyed the smells and sounds of her kitchen.
A hint of vanilla floats past....
Mmm, vanilla. My grandmother always put vanilla in all her pastries. I didn’t realize I was missing that crazy prejudice old woman, but I guess I am if I am smelling vanilla.
“Shall we take a walk?”
I open my eyes and see no one around. I rub them trying to focus them.
Someone is snickering softly near by.
That’s when it dawns on me, it isn’t my grandmother who caused me to smell vanilla, it’s the Dark Lord himself. My heart beats a little quicker as I rush to stand up.
“'I would love that, but where too?” I try to do my best and address my question to where the Dark Lord would be standing.
”'One of your favorite places. Surprise me.” His voice comes from slightly left of where I was facing. I readjust and think.
“'My favorite places...”
I was going to ask my interviewees what their favorite places are, but how can one deny the Dark Lord. I guess I can’t. But where is my favorite place, I love the kitchen, but its not exactly a favorite place. I need a place that is comfortable to sit and listen to stories. That’s when it hit me, I do have a place where I enjoy hearing stories.
“There is a porch with an old man and his old dog. I like going there to ponder.”
"Sounds like a wonderful spot.”
I smile happily at the spot I assume the Dark Lord stood or sat.
I’m glad he thinks so it would be just terrible to suggest a place that he didn’t like.
I stand up and started the walk to the old man’s porch. Out of Guild Hall and into the Nydian Temple, through the cobblestone courtyard, and down Magician’s Row. I consult my map, this actually isn’t my birthplace, I moved here after I couldn’t stand living with my mother and her eleven family. So the streets are still a little unfamiliar to me.
I arrive at Ammer Street and know I’m heading the right direction, the old man lives at the end of the street. I rush down the street and see the farm house fast approaching.
The farm house porch is made of heavily weather wood, with an old swing built for two above it. The old dog barely looks up to see that I have arrived, his owner looks up from his whittling for a moment and then returns to his task. I turn around and see the Dark Lord himself.
Kerriariadne smiles happily, and I can’t help but smile back.
He is holding a tiny monkey which he hugs tightly. I giggle at the sight of such a little monkey.
“Well we must start with the monkey.”
I quickly pull out my little booklet and search for a pencil. I rummage through my pouches but find nothing, I have lost my pencil. I lean over to the old man and take on of the discarded larger bits of wood. I char the wood a bit and use it to take my notes.
The Dark Lord tickles the whittler while I find a blank page, the poor old man looks around startled, I realize that only I can see the Dark Lord.
”Where did you get your monkey from?” I am I confess a bit obsessed with the idea of the Dark Lord carrying around a tiny monkey.
“Hmm.” He thinks about it for a moment.
“'It came from a follower, back in the day - though to be sure I do not remember which follower…'Probably one of those I quested often…Belsambar, Kaleyah, Indiga, Legionaire...'
I take down the names of the followers and ask, “Does the monkey have a name?”
I hope it is a short simple name, I don’t think I could figure out how to spell another long name like Kerriariadne, that’s twelve letters.
“Squirrel.” Kerriariadne nods.
I clap my hands. Squirrel is easy to spell.
“Have you ever looked at the tiny monkey?” Kerriariadne holds out his monkey for me to look at.
I see a small note that the monkey is holding, I look down to read it.
One inch tall, this poor monkey is doomed to fail in his heroic quest: To grab a Mango! He began his life in a tree deep in the jungle, and almost the very day he attained his juvenile height (one-half inch), he realized what great future lay before him: to be the first in his tribe to capture the prize that dominated all their thoughts, dreams, and myths: the great and mighty Mango. Hanging on a branch always just out of reach, swaying, tantalizing, orange-red and almost glowing in the shade...the Mango. Now that you, oh mighty one, have picked him up, you, with your great height, you, with your long arms...you can lift him up to grab...the Mango. Once he realized that you would be the means to help him achieve his goal, his tiny monkey heart overflowed with love and gratitude. He will stay with you forever...he will be your friend...don't you like your new monkey?
”Have you given him a mango?” My heart breaks at the thought of the poor tiny monkey never getting a mango.
“Sadly, no. I presume he came from the lands around Skull Top originally. Mangos are plentiful there. I usually focus my diet on metals and silly items of clothing. Hmm…” Kerriariadne looks at me intently for a moment.
“Poor monkey, never getting the mango he wants.” I sigh.
Kerriariadne hugs his tiny monkey.
“He loves me, still.” He grins evilly.
“I’m sure he does.” How could he not is carried around by the Dark Lord.
“So. Tell me...Can we make this long?” Kerriariadne snickers softly and gets comfortable.
I nod while I sit myself on the porch swing.
I giggle softly at his enthusiasm.
“I read your note on the Forums. A good attention-getter. Such a creative young mind!”
I blush at the compliment he has given me. My only hope was to give people the pleasure I received by reading my aunts interviews.
“Thank you” I said with still burning cheeks.
Kerriariadne eats a resilient vortex relic.
I blink at what I see; I have a resilient vortex relic.
I look in my bag and see my relic still sitting there.
“Your pummel may be worth a drop or two of teriyaki sauce soon.” Kerriariadne whips out his bottle of teriyaki sauce.
I didn’t have time to make vanilla cookies, but I’m sure he would enjoy a pummel stick much more, so I remove it. And instead hold the black dagger I was given as a gift.
I give the pummel stick to Kerriariadne.
He gulps... “For me?”
“I would be honored if you eat my pummel stick.” I smile at him, “I know its not a vanilla cookie, but its something.”
“You are too kind.”
Kerriariadne puts a few drops of teriyaki sauce on the pummel stick and eats it.
“So shall we begin during your mortal years? Your earliest memory?”
Kerriariadne leans back and begins to recall.
“'My earliest memories would be poking around Malenest, missing the gold disappearing from my pockets...'and getting knocked around by the guards. I didn't know they helped each other out, you see.”
I nod, “I encountered the same problem, I didn't know they protected ghosts, which honestly seems a bit odd in my opinion.”
Kerriariadne nods in agreement.
“The folks insisted I take a job at the grocer in Malenest, but that just was NOT my style.”
“Why the grocer?”
“You know - good honest work.” Kerriariadne grins.
”What did they do?”
“My pops was a baker - taught me a deep appreciation for Elven breads and pastries. My mother had some covert thing going on - not quite sure what. I'd try to spy on her and she'd kick me out of the tree to go wander. So wander I did.”
“So if not a grocer what did you decide to become?”
“Well, at the time, there was a new god that I thought very highly of...His name was and still is Tokugawa. I wanted to be like him. He had magely skills, was an excellent tracker, and knew a lot about a lot.”
I nod, Lord Tokugawa is very helpful, earlier today he was helping me understand the intricacies of being a bard.
“I wanted to be under his tutelage. 'I hope I pronounced that right.” Kerriariadne snickers softly. “He wouldn't accept me until I was better in the magely arts - I'd begun to understand tracking ways of the Ranger, but little experience in magic. Magic was a prerequisite for Lord Tokugawa.”
“Why was that?”
"To be in Balance, you had to have magical ability of 10th level, if I recall correctly. And then he didn't like the fact I had a long, long name.”
“Yes I suppose I should ask the questions, why did your parents give you such a long name?”
”A darn good question. Elves work in mysterious ways.” Kerriariadne sighs loudly. “I think they just thought it flowed well. Unfortunately it did put me in a position to beg Lord Tokugawa, "Please Lord, you only need say my name once…”
I giggle at the thought of a younger Kerriariadne begging Lord Tokugawa entry to his following.
“And so he accepted you?”
“He did indeed. He graciously accepted me - I was very eager and he had a moment of divine kindness. He then proceeded to guide me -- what to wear, how to wear it, what to wield and how to wield it...He was one of the greatest of the rangers, you know.” Kerriariadne smiles happily at the memory.
“Were your folks upset that you didn't become a grocer?”
“Not really, no. I think they recognized a bit of adventurer in me.”
“Tell me more about your time in Balance” I’ll admit I have a strong urge to write a very bad pun here.
“I learned quickly - which was good because my time in Balance was short.”
“Why was it short?”
”I suppose everyone's time in Balance was short. Lord Tokugawa in his wisdom had taken a higher seat, and left the ways of FLI-dom behind. Now I can't say I was too pleased with that - very happy for him, but I wanted to learn more.” Kerriariadne sighs loudly.
“Had you made many friends in Balance?” I hope so, that way he wouldn’t be completely all alone.
“Oh sure, yes. Three of us ... ambitious, knowledge-hungry, power-hungry as we were... We three went to the throne of the Arch Lich seeking his acceptance. Morimox and Ramza, as it were.”
Kerriariadne grins evilly at the memory.
“Why did you choose to seek the Arch Lich?”
“The omnipotence of Lord Nash called strong to me then - I knew I could learn and eventually master my chosen pursuits in his shadow. Kerriariadne leans close and whispers “--a very little known fact, if you wish to know... I still pay homage to Lord Nash once or twice a year. Arch Lich does not have the power to excommunicate me completely.”
“I owe much of my success and talents to Lord Nash, though I have gone my own way since.”
“Why do you still pay homage then?” I must confess the ways of Lord Nash confuse me very much, but he does seem to command devoted followers.
”As I said: I owe much of my success and talents to his teachings... I must respect that.”
That makes sense I suppose, but I guess unless one follows Lord Nash one can never fully understand.
”I will never claim a Nashite title, but I will remember where I came from.” Kerriariadne winks suggestively.
“What was it like in your new following? Any tales of daring adventures or mishaps?”
“Oh sure, I grew quickly in knowledge and strength - 30/30 Ranger Mage in about 200 hours.”
Kerriariadne grins evilly.
“Care to share?” I ask. All that work has to lead to some very interesting adventures.
“I would walk with Trinity and Rath sometimes. I remember we took apart a young minotaur shaman once... I cannot remember the name - Fulcroth or something. It was messy. Very fast, very messy...”
Kerriariadne looks at the dog and starts to tell another story.
“I remember walking with Ramza and Morimox once, into a nasty little house of Velalisier.” Kerriariadne giggles at himself nervously.
“Velalisier?” My father would be ashamed to hear that I had not walked every corner of the realm, but I confess I am only half Roamanari and my feet do tire.
“They took quite the beating from Myrrhine - I had to entertain her while they retrieved their belongings.” Kerriariadne continues lost in his memories. “I was the only one to not die that day.”
Kerriariadne pats himself on the back.
“I remember walking with Trinity - we had killed an adventurer known as Rubicant. She would not hand me his corpse, and Rubicant wound up stealing it off her.” Kerriariadne sighs loudly.
“Why wouldn't she give it to you?"
”She wanted to walk it back to the guild and loot it, but she hadn't planned how to get back, and she was in an area she did not know...I knew the zone well, and could have walked out or portaled easily. She was stubborn and would not follow my lead.” Kerriariadne sighs loudly. “When she walked out, she left herself open to theft.”
That truly must have been frustrating, although lucky for Rubicant. Hopefully I can find both him and Trinity to hear their sides of the story.
“Any humorous mishaps?” I ask.
“Do you know the only time I remember dying as a mortal was to the Seer of Aran?” Kerriariadne snickers softly. “I suppose that was humorous. I didn't think the Seer had such power. My bad!”
Kerriariadne giggles at himself, he seems nervous or something.
“I think it was over in 2 rounds - I was simply not prepared.”
I giggle, I have over extended my attacks a few times. Many times.
“Lord Nash kept my ego in check on that one.”
Someone keeping an Elf’s ego in check?
“No offense, but with Elves that is sometimes something hard to do.”
“Indeed.” Kerriariadne snickers softly.
“Kind of reminded me of the day Whoz was going to kill Amirth, the Great Artificer...Are you familiar?” Kerriariadne winks suggestively.
I shake your head.
“Whoz' kung fu was strong, back in the day. I remember him gossiping ‘Okay, here goes’...Moments - no, seconds later - Whoz gossiped, ‘oooookayyyy...’ Amirth had laid him low with a single rift. That was pretty much my encounter with the Seer.”
I giggle at the thought of a young Kerriariadne attempting to attack and dieing after a single swing.
“Any enemies which you could not stand? Or loves that broke your heart?”
He seems very charming I can see a few young girls setting their hearts on him.
“Hmmmmm…..The first question is easy. The second, not so much... So let me start with the first: No. I am sure there were those that may not have thought highly of me - unknown who, but I just did my own thing. The House of Bala'Bandienne holds few grudges, if any. We do not hate.”
That sounds wonderful many people cannot help but hold grudges in the name of family or race or even town.
“As for loves, lost or never realized... I had some affection for three women in my lifetime. I have never openly admitted my affections for them.”
Unrequited love. My heart aches at the idea of his unspoken love.
“If you don't want to share that is fine, I will not pry.”
“You may ask.” Kerriariadne grins evilly.
“Who where the three women and why did not never openly admit your affections?”
“The first was quite bull-headed -- you'd have thought she was a minotaur instead of an elf.” Kerriariadne giggles.
I laugh as well, not only cause is joke was humorous, which it was, but because you should never let a God laugh alone. Even a retired one. Especially a retired one.
“If only she'd let me hold Rubicant's corpse of Neat Things...” Kerriariadne snickers softly. “The second was a surprise.”
“To who?” I ask. I have not experience love and not sure how surprising it can be.
“A surprise to me, as she was a half-elf…So intelligent, witty, resourceful - always aiming to please...Who would have thought I would ever develop feelings for a half-elf?” Kerriariadne snickers at his own evil thoughts.
I sigh. This same prejudice kept my mother and father apart, and causes my grandmother to hate me.
Kerriariadne hugs you.
Well you can’t help but like him, silly charismatic elves. I grin wickedly at him and hug back.
“I made a skirt for her once - a Skirt of Swords. She was one of a kind.”
“When did you meet her?”
Kerriariadne thinks deeply, “I had ascended and offered her a place in the Dark, before I really got to know her. As I watched her grow, so did my appreciation for her."
I nod, “But you never shared with her your affection?”
I can’t understand why he wouldn’t tell her.
“I never felt it was an appropriate thing to reveal.”
I nod. I suppose that is a very valid point.
“And who was the third and final?”
“The third...I had the pleasure of watching her grow in the Dark as well.”
“What was she like?”
He seems to like strong minded confident women, I wonder if she is the same.
“She was, is, and will always be the most amazing elfess in my eyes. She was my second ordained and my first love. Unknown to her, of course.” Kerriariadne snickers softly.
“Strong. Intelligent. Fierce! Clever. Lovely. The Dark Phasma.” Kerriariadne sighs loudly.
I blink, “But I thought she was the third?”
“My feelings for her are strongest, so I consider her the first. Maybe only.” Kerriariadne winks suggestively.
“And with her too you never thought to share your feelings?”
“That is correct.”
I sigh at the thought of his secret hidden emotions.
“I left them to their own thoughts and desires, to not be aware of mine. They never chose another and were always loyal. That is something I will always remember.”
“That is both beautiful and sad.”
I got so wrapped up in his love stories that I have forgotten to ask about his ascension to Godhood.
“I suppose we should backtrack a bit and go back to your mortal years.”
“As you wish.”
“When and why did you decide to become immortal?”
“Aaaahah! The desire had always been there, but when I reached the top of my food chains, I did some self reflection. A few moments of introversion...I had to ask myself if I was done wandering as a mortal. Or if I felt I'd accumulated enough knowledge and wisdom that I might, in turn, guide others. True to my elfish ego, I concluded the latter.”
“All this time you were still with the Arch Lich?”
“I was, yes.”
“Did he look favorably on your decision?”
“I believe he did. Ex post facto. It occurred to me a good bit of the immortal pantheon spawned from his tutelage...”
“Oh? Who else has he spawned?”
“Such an awkward word...” Kerriariadne snickers softly.
I only used it because he did.
”You used it first.” I giggle at the childishness of my defense.
“To be sure, I do not remember all, but looking at the list...there are a few I can still say for sure. And a few that are forgotten.” Kerriariadne snickers softly.
“So why did you chose not make your following one that followed Lord Nash?”
“To truly lead is to not follow.”
Those are very wise words.
“So you created Dark.”
Kerriariadne nods, "There is a lot of my own essence in the following I led. I have always felt more at home in the dark. I can see better. I hear better. My body feels better...The darkness is a good cloak.” Kerriariadne grins evilly. “The darkness is a good protector.”
“But wait before you could have your own following you had to be an attendant.”
“Who did you attend?”
Kerriariadne smiles a deep smile... “Bliss”
“How was that?”
“It was great.” Kerriariadne snickers softly. “She and I used to play a game. Poke the aggro mob! Back in the day, the aggro mobs would actually attack us back.” Kerriariadne throws back his head and cackles with insane glee!
“As immortals or mortals?”
“As immortals.” Kerriariadne winks suggestively.
I nod and giggle at the thought.
“As mortals, too, of course. Just messier and with a worse outcome. Lady Bliss also used to let me rift her followers. That was, is, and will always be Fun.”
I giggle, I’m sure both were messy affairs.
“What was the most valuable thing you learned from attending her?”
“The power of disorganization... She always seemed so disorganized.” Kerriariadne snickers softly. “Her following was a bit the opposite. I also learned a lesson any mortal aspiring for immortality should come know... The strength of the following directly parallels the availability of the following's leader(s), including the immortal.”
That makes sense, would be difficult to have a leader who isn’t around.
“What was the funniest thing that happened while you were with her?”
“As for the funniest thing, hmm…I am sure there were several, but that is the time I picked up my nickname.” Kerriariadne twitches.
The realm screams out “BOOGA!”
“Yes, that one.”
“How did you get Booga?”
“You see, I had just seen a new movie (at the time) ... "Meet the Parents" with Ben Stiller. There is a scene in the movie where he is standing in front of a hidden camera, pretending to scare saying ‘Booga booga’ So I'd sneak up on Bliss's followers and do the same. And the legend began.”
Kerriariadne throws back his head and cackles with insane glee!
“Just randomly yell at them Booga?”
“Pretty much.” The Booga grins evilly.
I giggle, who knew that those who wear a red aura had such a sense of humor.
“Actually, I believe it was Rubicant that created the moniker. See what happens when you pk someone and lose their corpse back to them?” The Booga rolls his eyes.
“What was the most memorable reaction to the Booga?”
“As far as my wide-ranging scare tactics?”
I nod this must definitely have an interesting answer.
“Hmm….May want to ask Lord Phantom that question.” The Booga giggles inanely. “But I'll venture a quick story about it: Back in the day, he was known more commonly as Isolas. And he would group with some other Darklings like Beowulf.”
My aunt interviewed Isolas, I remember her telling me interesting stories about him, I am certain this will be promising.
“They would go hunting in Wintermeet, ‘thank you, Bliss’. And I would make them think they were not alone...perhaps a strong Ordained of another following was there, to kill them.” The Booga giggles. “Solaron arrives from above!" --- in a room with no up exit or entrance, of course...”
I giggle at the panic it must of sent through Isolas and Beowulf.
“Beowulf and Isolas scatter, Isolas dies to a centaur.” The Booga sighs loudly.
“I guess they didn't realize the room had no up entrance.”
The Booga smiles happily, “It's all about keeping folks on their toes!”
“Is that why you would do it?”
“Partly. Partly because it was just fun. I'd track my followers and rift where they stood -- those that had the power to not leave tracks. That was fun, too.”
My body screams as Kerriariadne's booga ***ANNIHILATES*** you!!
“And I'd do that.”
I pat myself down and realize it was just an illusion, I was still in one peace.
“Scary messages! Oh no! Recall!” The Booga snickers softly.
'Who was your first follower?”
“Ah, that would have been Miss Harmony.”
“Why did you pick her as your first?'.
“She was the first to ask if she could be.”
“Is it nervous waiting for your first follower? Or did she ask while you were still an attendant?”
“Not for me, not nervous at all... And yes, she did.”
“And did more follow quickly?”
“They did indeed.” The Booga grins. “They came to the darkness in droves.”
“And you got a monkey.”
I giggle, so much happiness and silliness in darkness.
“Yes, I did!”
“Your followers seem to love you greatly.”
“..That makes me feel good, if true....I miss them greatly.”
How can he doubt if they love him. I have only heard wonderful things about The Booga’s following, plus you don’t give someone you don’t love a monkey.
“First there was Harmony, then Thingone, Indiga, Kaleya... That was the first five minutes.” The Booga snickers softly. “I could grow clerics, I tell you. We grew them BIG. STRONG. And smart.”
“And with many mushrooms I’m sure.”
I giggle at the idea of growing clerics.
“Tell me your fondest memories of you and your followers.”
“Hmm…There are so many.” The Booga sighs loudly. “Some came out of retirement to play in the dark. Clelf. I am honored. Some had some of their biggest achievements in the dark... Or maybe I just consider it so.” The Booga snickers softly. “Malakost killing Rath, when Malakost was 22/21 Warrior Mage and Rath was Big Bad. Winning one of Khore's Golem Quests. Watching Belsambar die and regain his corpse --- over and over and over. Forming the Dark Triad...”
The Booga sighs loudly.
“Were any of his deaths results of you rifting or boogaing?”
“Oh, probably. I rifted freely - shared the love, as it were.” The Booga winks suggestively. “It was sort of a badge of honor to get rifted. Some folks had LOTS of badges."
“Tell me more memories?” Did you have anyone who attended you?”
“'Oh definitely. I just wish I could remember all of them.” The Booga sighs loudly.
“You had that many? Who was the first?”
The Booga tries to remember. “Gavin, maybe?”
“Perhaps I should have asked who was the most memorable attendant.”
“That would have been Lady Cordir... She was a Lesser Goddess prior to me immorting. 'Then there was an issue...and she was mortal again, then promoted, then my Attendant, then back where she belonged. But it was strange having her as my attendant.” The Booga grins evilly.
“I can imagine.”
I can’t believe how nervous I would be if my Aunt Eliste was sent to be my apprentice in interviewing. I would feel very awkward and very nervous.
“Stories... memories... tell me.”
“Watching Lexie get into trouble all the time.” The Booga snickers. “Always had someone or something chasing her. Watching lots of my followers immort... Very proud of that. Conducting a wedding with Nextel phones. ...and forgetting to have them exchange their wedding rings. Watching Silence, level thirty thief, blow himself up reciting scrolls I'd quested him to...” The Booga throws back his head and cackles with insane glee!
He truly enjoyed watching his followers suffer.
“You did enjoy tormenting your followers.”
“Tormenting? No... Encouraging!”
“They would always ask questions, and my response was ‘Only one way to find out.’ A.k.a. Go do it and see.”
I underline the encouraging words in my small booklet.
“I was there to pick up the body parts as needed.” The Booga snickers at the memories.
"Any regrets in your mortal or immortal life?"
“I regret getting retired sometimes. The joys of having witty, ambitious followers ---- greatly missed. Such a great ftell I had... I'd do it all again.”
“Would you ever though?”
If he is willing then what is stopping him, surely not a lack of followers support.
“What is stoping you from doing so if I may ask?”
“Others who have never had their own ftell.” The Booga winks at me. “I willingly step aside so these new ambassadors can have their chance at the joys I've experienced.”
He is very generous and understanding.
“Not that I do not have the interest. The Greaters are aware. 'But for now, I stay retired.'”
“Do you randomly booga people when they cannot see you?”
“If they are out of the guild - you bet!” The Booga twitches at the idea. “And you know what -- they don't know who I am...”
The Booga sighs loudly, “How quickly folks forget.”
“Some folks never forget, but some folks are forgotten it is true.”
Atleast after this interview everyone will know what it means to be booga’d.
“Wise words, those are.”
“Any last stories or memories?"
“Too many to focus on any single one at the moment...” The Booga sighs loudly.
“Will you ever get your monkey a mango?”
“Hmm…You know - I believe I will.”
I clap my hands in joy at the poor little monkey getting his wish granted.
The tiny monkey looks about excitedly... The Booga hugs his tiny monkey.
“I'm glad he will finally get the mango he has been dreaming of his whole life.”
“Thank you for your time this day.” The Booga stands up. “I hope you have enjoyed it as I have.”
Of course I have enjoyed myself. The Booga has payed me a great honor by allowing me to interview him.
“No thank you. I have loved it.”
The Booga bows gallantly.
I hop off the porch swing and curtsey slowly and low before him.
“May I give your tiny monkey a hug?'”
“Of course. 'If only he'd let me let go of him... You'll just have to reach over.”
I lean over the Booga hugs the tiny monkey he is holding.
“And it is now 10pm on Zoardryn the 25th...”
The Booga hugs me.
“Good night...” The scent of vanilla wafts past...
“Good night, and please keep boogaing in the dark.”
I guess I was too late, he already left.
In the distance I hear a voice yell, “Weeeeeeeeeee!”
I giggle imagining the Lord of the Dark hiding in the shadows ready to booga at any moment.