It's All Kathy Caruso's Fault, Blame Her!

by Harry Cameron Andruschak

So there I was in 1994, barely alive.  Now I know most people do not like to read or hear the sordid details of somebody else's health problems, so let me just say that had I belonged to a penny-pinching  HMO, I'd probably be dead now.  Blue Cross/Blue Shield to the rescue, but, by the time I was well enough to write again, I had NMRed all my games and had a lot of subscriptions to Diplomacy zines had run out.

"For Idle Minds and Idle Hands, The Devil Finds a Work To Do".  Such as re-reading the beginner's pamphlet MASTERS OF DECEIT and re-reading Kathy Caruso's article titled "Diplomacy---A Man's Hobby".   Go re-read it yourself now before continuing with this article.  PLEASE remember that all this was six years ago, and my mind was fogged with drugs, so I am not sure just what my mental processes were at that time.  At first I found it hard to believe Kathy's basic premise of how gullible males can be around women players.  Being of a scientific nature, somewhere in all this I wondered about an experiment. And so was born Sara Reichert.

Most people knew of my PO BOX address.  Few knew that I actually lived at 20805 Margaret, renting a room from a lady with the very real name of Patricia Reichert.  So my landlady suddenly had a new daughter, age 16.   And things ran away from me.  Boy, did they run away.

For example, here is what Kathy had to say about starting out:  "As a female novice you can use the 'dumb broad" routine by playing helpless and stupid.  You can write and ask some 'macho" man if he can help you because you are so confused.  You'd be surprised how many knights in shining armor play DIPLOMACY."  Such as Eric Ozog in Sara's very first game in the zine CHEESECAKE, where she was France, Eric was Germany, and Sara went on to an 18 center win after stabbing her sweetie Eric for Munich and rolling over him to victory.

Kathy's next paragraph read:  "Once you figure out how to play, never let anyone know.  Continue to play the part of the dizzy female and just wait to catch them with their pants down (to coin a phrase).  Then strike, and make it a stab they'll never forget.  When they write and complain just say, 'so-and-so made me do it.  He told me that you were going to stab me, and if I made these moves I could save my country.  Why would he lie to me?'   Then apologize for falling for so-and-so's line.  Then stab the sucker again.

And that is not quite how Sara won her second game.  Playing England, her ally France NMRed a winter season and did not get two builds.  Sara stabbed for Holland and Belgium and apologized profusely to the standby who took over.  After kissing and making up, the alliance continued a few more years until Sara was ready for her second stab of France, which took her from 11 to 14 to 17 to 22.

And in the paragraph after that, Kathy has another paragraph about flirting, which explains why Sara's third game was a 2 way A/I draw with her as Austria. After that, the word was out that Sara had brains.   No more easy wins or draws.  The hoax continued more out of inertia then any real need.  Simple as that.

Reprinted from (July 2000)


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