I’m pretty sure I never thought about using the word ‘commencement’ in an English sentence even when I was graduating high school and college, so it never occurred to me that the word actually had a meaning other than signifying a graduation celebration. Strange that about a week ago as I was daydreaming about this day – the Deep Water mail day – as I’ve done for so many days in a row, searching the depths of my brain for the perfect title to this blog post for the dozens upon dozens of people checking in with angst, that the word ‘commencement’ would pop into my head and would register as the perfect word for this day. Not only is this the actual beginning of the Quest, but the ritualistic and deeply personal opening of a package like this is nothing short of ceremonial. I’ll bet MG himself knows what I’m trying to say when he thinks back to the day he finally got the package containing the crimped Beta Chaos Orb. Or probably anyone who’s ever received their first Black Lotus by mail can relate too. It also could be these fucking edibles talking again, I honestly can’t tell anymore after 2+ months of quarantine.

Step 1: Find a quiet place. For me that’s waiting until about 11:00 PM when everyone is asleep and there’s no chance of the 2 month old waking up.

Step 2: Roll out your playmat to examine and enjoy the contents of your mail day in true Old School fashion.

Step 3: Pour a bourbon, neat. Tonight’s pick is actually a rye and I would highly recommend it!

Step 4: Crack the pack. Smell it. Feel it. Let the excitement wash over you.

Step 5: Carefully examine the contents. I can barely even look at the cards because there’s a letter. I read it 4-5 times to take in every glorious word. It’s from MG – signed and dated – and will look impressive sleeved up right next to the letter Ben Farkas wrote to me (well technically to my wife) when I (she) won the Beta Mind Twist.

As I dive deeper into step 5 it’s important to note that I’m about 20 minutes into this opening and I’m pouring myself another drink. The contents are taped up with care and backed by a hard case. Clearly this is not his first rodeo. I peel off the top layer protecting whatever is in the actual hard case from sliding out in transit.

The next move involves cutlery. One slice up the side and I have what I came for: one n00bcoM champion copy of Deep Water sign by MG. I immediately text Adam Lemke who lives 2 miles away. Perhaps he can sign tonight even though he’s notorious for going to bed at 8PM even on Sped Weekends.

Step 6: Slowly reveal every card in the package. This is a unique step even in a tier 1 mail day because usually you know what you’re getting when you open the envelope. I had no clue what else was in the pack, so I felt like my 12 year old self again slowly peeling through every card in the common section of a Revised starter looking for a Craw Wurm. Thank you MG for gifting me this feeling of youthful exuberance. If anyone ever sends cards to anyone else ever, you should always include a pile of thoughtfully assorted cards in addition to what they ordered. Trust me.

Step 7: Lay your shit out and take a picture so you can brag to your friends.

Step 8: Got there! (Inside joke, ask a Sped).

Wish me any luck you can afford to spare because the Quest for the Shark commences now. As always, I hope we are gaming over an in-person beer way sooner than later and in the meantime stay safe and keep having fun doing whatever you’re doing! All the best, misers! – Jeff

P.S. I can’t help but link my favorite commencement speech here if you’re in for a little heavy thinking and introspection.

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