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April 1, 2012

The Hunger Gambit

-- In an all out war among Grangerians, who prevails?

What would happen if you stuck a group of similar-aged folks in an arena and had them fight to the death until only one man was left standing? Huh? What’s that you say, someone ran through this idea already? They even made a movie of it? Ah crap. Oh well, I've already written this much, might as well continue on.

The twelve competitors detailed below share one thing in common - they all grew up in West Valley City, which is as close a simulation to the Hunger Games as someone living in Utah can get. While no student deaths were reported during our collective time at Granger High, the kill-or-be-killed atmosphere was always palpable. Or at least it was in Gym class. And so I wonder. What would happen if I plus ten of my high school associates (and honorary Grangerian KC) were pitted to battle to the death?

In the coming week we’ll forecast exactly what would happen if this group were to be Hunger-Gamed, but for today we’ll start with the profiles of the 12, listing the strengths, weaknesses, or weird facts for each of the participants in their quest to be the last killer standing.


Bunna Veth: Few know the desk-throwing side of Bunna that was buried after a particular incident in first grade. The competitors will meet it soon enough.

Reason for optimism: No one runs faster. Always shot well with the bow on Zelda.

Reason for pessimism: Likely to be racially targeted.

Ian Wright: A cowboy will always have a chance in a game of kill-or-be-killed. A very good chance.

RFO: Withstood 18 years of torture in his growing up days. Feels no pain.

RFP: No one likes cowboys these days.

Nathan Ballard: A man with many enemies, Ballard enters the game riding the underdog status.

RFO: Possesses a history of ruthlessness. Once said he’d mow down a dog if it meant saving his own skin.

RFP: Years of card games, board games, Mafia, Werewolf and even tag have proven that this group will team up in an instant to prevent Nathan from having any — and I mean any — shot at success.

Rebecca Squire: One of only two girls in the arena, Rebecca will look to use being underestimated to her advantage.

RFO: Benefits from automatic alliances (Landon, husband; Nathan, relative; KC, gal pal).

RFP: Participated in Madrigals in high school.

Landon Squire: What do comic books teach a person? How to destroy your enemies without feeling bad about it. Squire will enter the tournament with Batman, Superman and many others as his mentor.

RFO: Capable of killing a man with a tennis ball.

RFP: Unlikely that tennis balls would be found in the arena.

Spencer Hansen: Accountants have never been known for … well, anything. It’s unlikely that Hansen’s foray into the arena will change that.

RFO: Possesses an encyclopedia of survival skills bred from watching 18 seasons of Survivor.

RFP: Will die if fails to consume pizza once every two days.

Zac Roner: A fan favorite entering the competition, Zac will have to tread carefully to avoid being targeted early.

RFO: Could survive without food longer than most (save Frederick!). Expert wrestler.

RFP: Surely he must have some back injury after this happened.

KC: Girl number two, and perhaps even further disadvantaged as the only competitor to have not attended Granger. Never doubt the underdog.

RFO: Captains a ship. Does P90X.

RFP: Doesn’t play video games.

Bryan Farnsworth: A leader of men, women, and the other class of Wal-Mart employees, it remains to be seen if Farnsworth can lead himself to ultimate victory.

Pro: Been to China - the land where Mr. Miagi learned karate, if that means anything to you.

Con: Honors the Honor Code, which frowns on murder.

Carlos Santana: Named after Charles Ingles, this philosopher has little in common with the Little House on the Prairie Star. Unfortunate, because Charles would be well-suited for a battle of this nature.

RFO: Displayed extraordinary endurance while playing basketball in slacks and button-up shirt.

Noteable: Last name starts with Santa.

Devon Smith: Another fan favorite, Smith hopes to funnel his cutthroat baseball experience into a game-winning skill set.

RFO: Has never struggled in any athletic competition.

RFP: I couldn’t think of any either.

Ryan Pearson: The hands down bet to take it all. A man who would sell his family for doughnuts should have little trouble in eliminating his “friends” in order to stay alive.

Pro: Has no conscience.

Con: Heavy breathing may reveal potential hiding spots.

Coming Wednesday: The First Victims

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