See here for a brief introduction to the Gateau Method.

Today’s post is otherwise a short one, so I thought we might first recap what we’ve come up with thus far:

  • Somebody is carving whopping great images into the Earth’s surface in order to summon forth the technologically advanced denizens of a subterranean civilisation. And the subterraneans—who we’ve dubbed Kn’yanis for the moment—are signalling back, but the American government is trying as hard as it can to suppress knowledge of them.
  • The American government in question is a one-party, quasi-fascist régime descended from the Business Plot of the 1930s. The world is divided into Anglo-French-Japanese and Italian-German-American blocs, with the Soviet Union ostensibly neutral (although quietly meddling everywhere to bring about worldwide proletarian revolution).
  • A strange group descended from black-skinned, antipodean slaves lives hidden in the Carolina marshes, shunned by even their Gullah neighbours. Originally, they dwelt near an entrance to the Hollow Earth, so they may well have encountered the Kn’yanis in the distant past. What’s more, they now have the bomb.
  • There are four secret US Highways. One delves into the depths beneath Oklahoma, and the other three converge in—to quote Tool’s Disgustipated—”the spaces betwixt the air itself” near the town of Meridian, Mississippi.

And now, our next instalment: the Tube Bar Prank Calls. Do you remember the early episodes of The Simpsons, where Bart would ring Moe’s Tavern and ask for “Amanda Huggenkiss” or “Mike Rotch”? They were inspired by real-life pranksters in the mid-1970s, who recorded their calls to the Tube Bar in New Jersey. The tapes made their way around the traps and became something of an underground classic, eventually being incorporated into Porky’s and finally falling into the hands of The Simpsons’ Matt Groening.

Not only are such prank calls a great opportunity to indulge in juvenile humour around the gaming table—and there really aren’t enough opportunities to do so, are there?—but they’re also a novel method to innocuously deliver activation codes to sleeper cells. Suddenly, when the barkeeper holds the phone aloft and screams “Alec Yerbholz!” it puts an entirely more sinister spin on things.

Speaking of sinister, I recently came across a game called 44: A Game of Automatic Fear, available for free download from 1KM1KT. As such, it’d make an excellent addition to the list of games I previously suggested for running the Gateau Method, on the proviso you don’t mind adding an evil conspiracy of robot replicants to the mix. And why the hell not?