The object of the game is to knock over the Milk Buckets, as many
as possible. At first this will be fairly easy. The two Milkmaids
will stroll leisurely up from the pond and set the Milk Buckets down
on the unprotected slope. They will arrange the Buckets in tight
‘clusters’, in recurring spots on the slope. You’ll be able to fire
your Colorballs uncontested.
When a Colorball strikes a Milk Bucket it will flip over with a
dull electronic clack. This signals the Milkmaids to scuttle back to
the pond (to the cow that placidly grazes there) for a refill. Both
the brunette (Gloria) and the blonde (Giselle) have loose strands of
hair dangling from their bonnets; both appear buxom under loose
fitting smocks. Their long, hairless forearms are taughtly muscled
from years of farm living. They wear the grim, intent expressions of
Poverty, especially now that their milk is going for naught. The
Buckets will clack over, one after another, flustering the
Milkmaids, spattering cream on their crisp bibs.
The playing field is high in a desolate mountain range, on a
plateau surrounded by ominous serrated peaks.
You are a Giant Mobile Islam Head.
Strung between you (Giant Head) and the scurrying Milkmaids is a
Volleyball Net. It is not of the beach variety; rather it appears to
be made of a dense mesh of barbed wire. The Net is lashed to
deep-sunk poles and hangs at a fair height. As in a regulation
volleyball game, Colorballs can be played off of the Net.
The BLUE and PINK (in most versions) Colorballs will fall in
succession from above your Giant Head, which you can maneuver
forward and back, and side to side to make contact with them. For
best results, contact should occur near the middle of your roiled
Forehead, just under the lip of your piled turban. Directly behind
your end line is the base of an insurmountable kliff, leaving you
less room for deep saves.
The landscape is standard in all versions. On the Milkmaid side
of the Net, there’s the gentle slope, the pond and the lugubrious
cow, with the sharp peaks in the distance. There is also a wooden
stool near the cow which the Milkmaids generally ignore, preferring
to squat on their haunches to do their milking. Also (to the right
side of the pond in most versions) there is a Continually
Regenerating Stack of Buckets. As the contest proceeds, the
Milkmaids will speed their pace. They will fill the Buckets and
hurry from the cow down the slope and back again at Increased Time.
Bucket placement becomes more random and farther spaced,
necessitating heightened Colorball Accuracy. Colorball Drop-Speed
from the kliff will, in accordance, adjust to increased time.®
When you are faced with four to five ‘clusters’ or
‘semi-clusters’ of Buckets on the slope, your firing must be fast
and precise. The furrows in your Giant Mobile Islam Head will
tighten with concentration. If the Milkmaids succeed in getting any
part of eight ‘Bucket clusters’ on the ground at once, the game
ends, and your Head will turn red and make an angry expression.
At the Net, just on your side, a Large Wooden Captain’s Wheel
will appear, hanging in mid-air. Though the handles of the Wheel are
liberally spaced, it will turn unpredictably, and frequently reverse
direction. For those with AudioHint2, a Heavy Creaking Sound
slightly precedes any Wheel motion. Your Giant Head must skillfully
direct Colorballs past this challenging obstacle. Timing becomes
critical, and due to the distracting Wheel, the Milkmaids will be
able to deploy more Buckets along the slope. Strategic hint: raise
your Head slightly and use your Islam chin to knock Colorballs under
the Net, where they will roll along the grass to the targeted Milk
Buckets. Do not overuse this tactic, however, as Underballs move
slower than Overballs.
The game becomes more difficult when the Milkmaids begin playing
as a TEAM. They now will react aggressively and strategically.
Depending on your upgrades, the Milkmaids will begin to offer
varying degrees of Moral Support, using Screechy Non-Stop Banter©,
and interjecting feverish commands such as “PAIL LEFT, STACK
FORMATION PROMTO!” They will combat you with Swift Cutting Insights,
like “TOWELHEAD’S GOT NO SHORT GAME!” Again, depending on your
upgrades, Giselle and Gloria may sound cruel and bigoted, showering
your Head with Derisive Laughter after a mis-fired shot, or yelling
Insensitive Taunts like “BLIND OSAMA!” when you’ve only missed a
Bucket by inches. Try to remain calm and do not allow the
Provocations to distract you from your ultimate purpose.
When they learn they cannot defeat you with Insults alone, the
Milkmaids will resort to their Surest Strategy. Simultaneously they
will shrug out of their outfits. The frumpy skirts, the bonnets, the
stiff blouses, the black wool stockings, the buckled shoes. With a
sound like a shaken canvas, the clothes will all topple off at once
and gather in two Carefree Slinky Piles. For underclothing, the
Milkmaids will be wearing Beach Volleyball uniforms. In particular,
Nike® Sport Bikinis. Giselle’s long luxurious hair will be tied in a
Fun Bun and tucked under an NYFD (or NYPD) jockey cap. Gloria will
have opted (2005 versions) for a peach pastel Lucky Jeans® Bandana.
Both will wear wrap-around Revo® Sunglasses.
Giselle will play deep rover, Gloria will smother the Net, and
both will ferociously protect the Milk Buckets. They will
communicate in Short Breathy Grunts. Gloria will send you an
impossibly High Lob while Giselle sprints off for more Buckets,
which she fluidly manages to carry back ten-high per trip. They’re
nearly unbeatable at this level; you may find it ‘hard’ to topple a
single Bucket. You will receive many spikes to the Face. Your Giant
Mobile Islam Head will redden and quake with effort, it will strain
with Third World Rage and Frustration©. Your turban will loosen and
unravel, blocking your vision.
Remember, once eight full or partial ‘Bucket-Clusters’ are
grounded, the game ends in the Milkmaids’ favor. Depending on your
version and upgrades, defeat is signaled by a Chorus of Muffled
Applause and Appreciative Mooing. Giselle and Gloria will hoot,
holler and embrace, and do a complex series of High-Fives and
Somersaults. You will fall Face first into the grass and curse in a
cartoonish imitation of Arabic.
To avoid this Unsavory and Undignified Ending, simply hit the
No one has yet reached this level. The Makers of “Evil Sheik!” do
not presume to know what the higher levels are like, or whether they
exist at all. The makers of “Evil Sheik!” assume no responsibility
for repercussions beyond this point.
We hope you persist in trying and urge you to return often to
Sullivan works in advertising in New York City. He has been
widely published, most recently in Sycamore Review,
Fiction and The Journal, which nominated him for a
Pushcart Prize. He has a story in the current issue of Minnesota
Review. “Evil Sheik” is his first piece to appear online, and
currently is being considered (funds willing) as a short stage piece
by the Ontological-Hysteric Theatre in the East Village. He
graduated Harvard with a degree in Psychology.