Category Archives: My Neighbour Errol
About a year ago, Errol was still in a band and thought it would be a grand idea to hold a massive online puzzle hunt for the Debs and Errol community. And so we all ventured forth, curious to see what sort of little puzzles we’d get to to try out.
He made many enemies that month. Myself included.
We had thought the madness over. But then Errol and myself discovered Escape Rooms and the excitement with puzzles only grew. Because it’s Errol and he must create a community with whatever hobby he takes up, we soon discovered other reviewers who shared our money draining obsession.
And so there we were, three of us reviewers in a chat one day when Errol brought up the idea of doing another puzzle hunt at some point for his new comic. I don’t know who said what, but eventually someone suggested that oh, wouldn’t it be a grand idea to involve escape rooms somehow?
You can see where this is going. Read the rest of this entry
Oh dear…oh oh dear…
People…I am lost…I am utterly gone…
There is a new addiction in my life. A money sucking addiction that promises to ruin my bank account and steal my life away. Friends will wonder whatever happened to me. My family will worry and fret. Interventions will inevitably follow.
You see, I have discovered….Escape the Room.
For those that don’t know, Escape the Room is basically a live action adventure game modelled mostly after the actual virtual Escape the Rooms that are popular on mobile devices. You and a group of friends are locked in a room, usually with a theme (Mayan Temple, wine cellar of doom, vampire room, you name it). In the room are clues and puzzles that you have to solve in order to finally find your way out. You have one hour to solve it.
These things are popping up everywhere in Toronto now and are exploding in popularity. It…has pretty much consumed my life. And of course who else could have brought this amazing doom down upon me than Errol.
Being Errol though and being unable to do anything by halves, it only makes sense that his obsession runs even deeper than mine. I have so far been to four rooms. He claims he has been to six, but that’s either because his fish brain can’t retain the actual information or he’s actually a little embarrassed of the actual figures.
But in this case, I can’t really blame him for the obsession. They are an adventure game come to life. Who WOULDN’T love them? Well…probably many people…but for us gamers, it’s a dream come true!
There are simple puzzles, there are ridiculously complex puzzles, sometimes the room is fairly simple with nothing more than a table chair and a bed and some posters, sometimes it’s super involved with secret compartments that slide open when you place an idol on a pedestal or a bookcase that moves to reveal a secret room. Sometimes you’re even handcuffed!
But that’s not the most fun part about the rooms. The most fun, by far, is that you get to see Sergeant Errol.
Sergeant Errol is a far cry from the happy go lucky egg loving maniac the internet knows and loves. Oh, certainly, outside the escape room he is all laughter, teasing and loudness. But then he gets inside the room, and the moment that timer turns on there is a mission that must be done. And he will tolerate no dilly dallying.
There we were, trapped in a tomb with locked chests, doors, strange wall paintings and panels to explore. Sergeant Errol immediately got to work.
“You, examine that chest. You, find out what those symbols mean. You, hold this lantern. I need to look at this padlock.”
You would think that someone that insane would simply be running around the room screaming at all the pretty decorations. But when it comes to puzzles, the jokes stop and the extreme focus starts.
Sergeant Errol has no time for crackpot theories or insecurities. Even his sister wasn’t safe from Sergeant Errol, which led to one of the many hilarious exchanges of the evening:
Errol: Lizette, I heard a voice coming from over there. Go and listen to what it says.
Lizette: You heard a voice? Really?
Errol: Yes! Go and listen! I heard “three” and “six”. I have to work on this!
(Two full minutes pass)
Lizette: I HEAR SOMETHING!
Errol: What did it say?!
Lizette: Um…I forget!…I think I heard “six”
Errol: THAT WAS WHAT I SAID EARLIER! YOU HAD ONE JOB!
It’s funny because I sometimes forget that people don’t really see all that much of Focused Errol. For all his insanity, when it comes to working and puzzle solving, Errol suddenly gets SERIOUS and is freaking machine of efficiency.
Which is very good, considering that there are people like me who are not exactly the best when it comes to things like time limits:
Errol: Okay, we have to figure out this code…
(30 seconds pass)
Me: We need to ask for a clue!
Errol: What?! We barely started!
Manda: I’m stuck!
Errol: Me too, but that doesn’t mean we can’t figure it out!
Manda: We only have 35 minutes left!
Errol: That is more than HALF THE TIME LEFT! WE DO NOT NEED A HINT!
(30 more seconds pass)
Manda: We need a hint.
It’s a weird sort of role reversal where instead of us “putting up” with a bumbling Errol, Errol is suddenly surrounded by incompetent and neurotic fools.
Escape the Room is all about the team you gather. And I’m not just talking about who is “smart”. I’m talking about who you can work with, who you can collaborate with, who might take things too seriously, who you won’t try to strangle on the way out.
Luckily, Sergeant Errol is an ideal Escape buddy to have around. Sure, he orders you around and probably has the urge to smack you when you spend too much time spewing crackpot theories or panicking, but even if you were to fail, he would still have had fun and doesn’t take it to heart.
Besides which, it’s one of the few things I can actually exasperate him. I mean come on, who WOULDN’T take advantage of that?
Now…if you’ll excuse me…IjusthavetogoandseeifescapeisopenyetSEEYA!
Okay, so this is a bit of a lie. It’s not reaaaaaallly a My Neighbour Errol. But it does involve a conversation with Errol AND it’s about the play I wrote with him so I’m putting it under this category. Because it’s my blog and I can do what I want!
Ahem…anyway, so this week our play opens. It’s called Sidekicks and Secret Identities, a collection of three plays about superheroes performed in one evening. Errol and I ended up doing a theatrical adaptation of our webseries.
Opening weeks…are not my friends…they are in fact the worst thing for a naturally nervous person to have to endure. This experience has been especially odd in that basically my job for the show was done two months ago, and I have no clue how things are looking so far although I do know that I like the cast and that anyone who can handle Errol’s dialogue deserves a medal.
At any rate…we’re opening. I’m extremely proud of this accomplishment, but with my personal pride comes all of the worst case scenarios that could possibly happen in a play, up to and including the audience throwing rotten eggs.
Errol has now dealt with my nerves for every one of our projects. The worst was perhaps NaNoMusical, where I was certain we would be banned from the internet by angry NaNo fans everywhere. It wasn’t until he told me to log into a chatroom and see the reactions that I was convinced otherwise.
Comforting words and empathy are not really Errol’s thing to begin with. They are even less so when he has a creative partner who has the same panic attack every time a big project is about to launch. And so these are the comforting words he offered this morning upon learning of my anxiety:
Errol: Think about it this way. If you’re right, and the show does fail, I don’t get to be smug about it.
Errol: But if you’re wrong, then I’ll be smug.
Me: …I really don’t know how to feel about this.
Errol: But if it fails, you get to be right! And I’ll be sad I can’t be smug.
Me: So no matter what happens, I’m still going to feel bad and guilty at the end of it.
Errol: (happily) Yup! Have a good day at work!
But yes…regardless of the “Errol is a smug jerk” story…we have a play this week. If you are in the Toronto area, you should come check it out. You can also check out a blog I wrote for Monkeyman Productions about some of the process here. If you would like to see Errol’s smug face firsthand, I would highly suggest coming out. Wish us luck!
You know…despite what this blog might suggest, I have always considered my pal Errol a decent sort of person.
Yes, he has a love of teasing and pushing buttons. But that has always been in good fun and I have never, ever thought of him as an actual jerk.
Until last week. You see, Errol has deeply and maliciously wounded me. Read the rest of this entry
In this First World of ours, there are a few things which we know will never change. Milk will never go on sale. The PlayStation will always have better graphics but Nintendo will still kick its butt. And internet ads will always be a mildly annoying presence in our lives.
We know that to a degree, advertising is a necessary evil. People have got to get paid somehow. They need to get their product out there. Heck, it’s how most actors manage to survive in this world.
But that doesn’t stop us from sighing in exasperation when our Youtube videos are rudely interrupted by the same Cheerios ad for the twentieth time in ten minutes. Even the mildly funny ones lose their potency fairly quickly. Yes, it can be safely said that most people dislike internet ads.
My friend Errol abhors them.
Not just abhors them. You might as well be pulling his nails out.
The other day we were watching the latest episode of Doctor Who. There was the Doctor, spouting some whitty quip that would more than likely be quoted for years to come, when suddenly, BOOM, a Yellow Pages ad pops up.
Based on his reaction, this was the greatest betrayal in Errol’s life.
There was moaning.
There was wailing.
There was gnashing of teeth.
Keep in mind that this is Errol. The happiest man on earth.
If he doesn’t get to eat eggs, he might be a bit sad but then he’ll see a Totoro and be happy again.
If a concert goes terribly? He smiles and shrugs it off.
If some personal tragedy happens, he somehow finds a bright side and talks about how important it is to move on in life.
If a Youtube ad comes on, it’s the end of the world.
If it has no option to “Skip” it, God help you.
Once I had decided to try and monetize our Youtube videos (you know, because I needed an extra 5 cents just in case).
Of course those of you with a channel of any sort know the deal with monetizing. It enables advertisements.
About three hours later I got a google chat from Errol.
Errol: There are ads! Why are there ads?!
Me: I thought we could monetize…
Errol: No! We can’t! Take them down!
Me: But they don’t actually play a video…it’s just a pop-up you can exit…
Errol: NO ADS! GET THEM DOWN NOW!
It remains to date the only time he’s ever been sincerely upset with me.
I’m not sure what internet ads did to Errol. I assume they hurt his children somehow because “crazy protective parent” is about the only explanation for the Shakespearean rage that occurs every time they are on.
Or perhaps it’s simply that the repetitive, lengthy sequences have stripped away all patience and joy from the happiest brain on earth. That’s a feat.
Whatever the reason, watching television online has become a new sort of experience with me. I play a game now. It’s called “Can I guess when the ad will pop up and brace myself before Mount Errol erupts?”
The answer is almost always: No.
Errol: Is there something on my face?
Me: No, why?
Errol: You keep looking at my nose and mouth.
Me: No, there’s nothing on your face, I just can’t look you in the eye.
Errol: How is it that I STILL intimidate you?
Me: I thought that would be obvious.
Errol: (sticks out tongue)
Me:…what are you doing?
Errol: If you can’t look me in the eye, you might as well look at my tongue!
Me: This is your ploy to get me to look you in the eye?
Errol is not known to suffer in silence.
If there is something he dislikes doing, he will let you know, at length and in great detail, just how much he abhors an activity/food. Like mushrooms, which he describes as “Nature’s Odour Eaters”. Read the rest of this entry
Morning commutes with a full grown man child:
Errol and Manda board incredibly crowded subway.
Errol notices his elbow is in Manda’s face.
Errol goes out of his way to make sure that elbow continues to be in Manda’s face.
Manda attempts to move.
Errol moves his elbow further in the way.
Manda is thankful she didn’t have Errol as a brother growing up.
Errol calls Manda from bus.
Manda talks to Errol.
In the middle of the conversation there is a giant fart noise.
Errol asks Manda if she heard that.
Manda asks Errol if he held the phone to his butt….again….
**Posts over the next little while will be infrequent and small as Manda gears up for filming her new webseries, SIDEKICKS! Exciting times!