A Mummy Playing Tennis
First published: January, 1993.
Posted Online: December 01, 2005.
For years, we were concerned. Should we refer to these arachnid-worshipping subterranean evil elven matriarchs as
“The DROW”? We weren't entirely comfortable with this whole
argument that they're
public domain; that drow have been around human tales since Celtic prehistory, derived from the
“Duerarrgh” or some such charming, similar
name, so there's no need to think that TSRWizards Hasbro, or their assigns, is going to give us
any trouble over it. We were just not convinced. Sure, Icelandic sagas refer to "dark elves", and even Tolkien has
one in The Silmarillion, but we seriously doubted whether an entire generation raised on
hot powerwymyn could tell the difference between confusion in the marketplace and a witty reference. Until very
recently, we didn't think the word "Drow" existed before about 1978. Not D-R-O-W surely that's
trademarkable. We weren't going to be your guinea pigs. An EXPURGATION would have to commence, and if you readers
wanted to see your precious trademarkable word alive, you were going to have to
buy the book, where it's all licensed and
safe from the terrorists. Oh, you could hide behind
your OGLs and fair use all you liked, and yell at us for messing with your childhood memories by editing scenes so
that Glathheld shoots first, but we were just not going to call those %!#¢#@$ by
unless there was a direct satiric reason to do so, and then, y'know, um... uh, we guess we would
have to do that.
So. The dark elves in Yamara? We reached a clear, rational conclusion of what to refer to
We're gonna call 'em "dark elves".
And another thing. You young'uns with yer marathon-speed zombies, and mummies doin' the ka-ra-te,
don't know nuthin' about making th' funny.
Time was, an undead would know how to shamble. It showed respect. And back in the day, we'd have
Roger Moore on the floor of his Lake Geneva office, side-split with laughter over the image of a Universal-era mummy
trying to compete in a tennis match. It's just-- it's just--