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Reprinted with the permission of the Editor of the Word Play Chronicles

Note: Since this was written in early 2002, DaBag has become one of Word Play's  Co-Administrators and Tournament Director.

By Dorcasa

      "Apollon deux mille zero defaut vingt et un an, C'est l'homme ideal charme au masculin." A quotation to intrigue the Wordox profile surfer, these words recently appeared in the profile of longtime Word Play member DaBag. The quotation's origin reveals all: it is from the lyrics to "Sexy Boy" by Air. "They put dopey lyrics in it on purpose," says DaBag. "Good song (and album) though."

       DaBag answers to many names, including his real name, Mitchell, but in the Experts Room he is also known as DaBIRD, official word judge for the popular BirdOx tournaments. Wearing the formal tuxedo of the penguin avatar, DaBIRD performs his tournament duties with the gravity and dignity befitting his position. His pronouncements range from "Give your opponent the Bird!" to "Don't ruffle my feathers!" to "Squawk!"

       A musician wannabe who quotes sexy French song lyrics and calls them "dopey," DaBag generously offers his analysis of this article so far. When the reprise of the sexy/dopey theme is brought to his attention, he compares it to a musical composition. "Very nice! A-B-A. Good song structure."

      DaBag's love of music is evident from his home decor, which includes piles of music industry magazines and stacks of CDs, many of them still wrapped in plastic, unopened. "They're on my to-do list," he jokes. A motley crew of gargoyles and koalas keeps silent watch above the piles and stacks.

      As a member of his local public radio station WXPN, DaBag frequently attends tapings of the World Cafe, a program featuring live performances and interviews. Many of these sessions are held in a studio where the audience sits on a garage-sale collection of comfy old couches and chairs. In this intimate setting DaBag has beheld performers like Rufus Wainwright and Jewel.

       In April DaBag bumped into Elvis Costello after a taping of the World Cafe. "I had to go back inside to go to the bathroom and I just ran right into him." What happened next? "I just kinda put my arm around him and he said he was sorry."

       Bumping into people is not surprising, given that DaBag has a tendency to change direction suddenly. When walking or driving anywhere with DaBag, be prepared for a last-second change of plans. Have you ever seen a little red sports car cutting across three lanes to get to the exit ramp that was almost missed? Yep, that could have been DaBag.

        Inside DaBag's red sports car the passenger must sit with the broken glove compartment door resting on his or her knees. Why doesn't he fix it? "It's a handy shelf. I just toss things in there... see?" Other permanent features of DaBag's car: Scrabble paraphernalia in the back seat and beer in the trunk.

       Like many Wordoxers, DaBag enjoys a good game of Scrabble, but he is more than just a casual player. DaBag has been a tournament Scrabble player for about eight years, and several successful tournaments this spring have brought him to the brink of an Expert rating!

      The bluffing aspects of Scrabble remind him of poker. Last year he assuaged his affinity for both games by traveling to Scrabble tournaments in Atlantic City and Reno. "Just don't mention my jail time... I was framed (really!)"

     Moving right along, it is clear that toys and games are a big part of Da-Bag's life. And one of his favorite new toys may be his "fax/scanner/copier/printer." This toy produces hours of fun as DaBag plays a game called "Shoo, Amy!" Amy is DaBag's cat, and her favorite game is to chew on electrical cords wherever she finds them.

       Whether writing computer programs (he actually does that for a living) or playing on his new computer, DaBag is never far from a keyboard and his online connections. So even though he is a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, he is truly a citizen of the online world like the rest of us, another valued member of the Word Play community of friends.