Skip to the Good Part, March 2019
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Hello, and welcome to Skip to the Good Part for March 2019! March was a bit of a hectic month for a lot of people on the site thanks to JamCon. Well over a hundred new articles over a few days means lot to read, and far too many articles to possibly go over for my humble little column here. So with that in mind, with maybe one exception, I won't be featuring articles from JamCon this month. You can check out the results, along with the judge awards, for an interesting selection.

So, let's get to it!

SCP-4585 - Literally a Hambuger, by Akzal1231Akzal1231
This is actually the second version of this article - the original was deleted, edited and re-posted later after some feedback - and I'm glad it was re-posted. I'll say upfront, this article is far from perfect. There are grammar issues and weird word choices, and its tone isn't perfect, so if that's an immediate deal breaker for you, you're not going to enjoy this one. Personally though, I love it.

The concept of this - a talking burger that can summon smaller burgers as guards, which throw french fries as spears - is so wonderfully up my alley that it would have to go pretty wrong for me not to like it, but the concept isn't the best part of this. The interview logs with this, and especially the first one, are so hilariously, weirdly surreal that they wouldn't look out of place in a Monty Python sketch.

There are a lot of other small touches about this that I enjoy, like the spears being harmless (because they are just french fries), or the burgers "dying" when you take their meat out, that help smooth out some of the rough edges of this article and add a sense of internal consistency. It might not be for everyone, but whether intentional or not, the level of absurd humour in this really works for me.

SCP-4068 - Buzzword, by WhatapunkWhatapunk
An SCP about infectious corporate jargon and the weird shit that happens as a result of it. It's a solid idea but there are a few bits that really stood out for me. The use of repeated phrases, like "a lovely little hotel in the Rockies", as part of an anomaly is a pretty consistently creepy effect for a number of reasons, and immediately lets you know that some kind of mind-fuckery is going on.

The table is fun because a lot of it is the close to the kind of corporate nonsense you could almost believe large companies actually implementing, but that final interview, with the knowledge that the guy is at least partly aware of what is happening to him, is genuinely chilling. Ending with that repeated phrase is just the cherry on top.

This one briefly dipped below 0 votes early on, so I'm glad it managed to come back and stick around.

SCP-3788 - Titanic Super Soaker, by Weryllium
This one is short and sweet, and has a very Series 1 vibe to it. The setup is fine and interesting enough but the meat of it is in the six lines of text making up the incident log. I won't spoil anything - it's short enough, so just go read it yourself! - but amongst everything else going on in that incident, my favourite part is the idea that they tested this thing constantly for 4 months. The Foundation works in mysterious ways.

From Weryllium's point of view, this was actually posted in February. Thanks to time-zone shenanigans though, it counts as being posted in March for me! Weryllium posted 10 SCPs during February and I didn't feature any of them - so now you get this one on a technicality!

SCP-4402 - The Permanent Shopping List, by BaranXLRBaranXLR
Another article that's short and to the point, I just really like the concept of this one. It does quite a lot with relatively few details - there's a guy named Daniel who is apparently very forgetful, to the point that this note gained anomalous properties - and it all plays out in an interesting way. I'd question whether that incident could have actually happened in the first place, but I enjoyed the rest of it enough to overlook that.

Do yourself a favour - go back to the containment procedures after you've read the article. A nice little example of pre-loading some low-key horror in your con-procs.

SCP-4902 - Keep Your Cool, by Alces_alces
This is the one JamCon entry I decided to feature, just because the base concept of it is so clever - an intelligent fridge that communicates by moving around the fridge magnet letters stuck to its front. I don't really have much else to say about it, it's another very short piece and the bulk of it is an interview log, but the idea really tickled me. Nice stuff.

SCP-4776 - REAGANWEAPON, by Rounderhouse
There's a lot going on in this one that I really like. Looking at how a Cold War era United States dealt with anomalous stuff is usually an interesting topic, and this one has the added plus of featuring the Pentagram, a group that doesn't have many articles yet but I love for just the name alone. The article does a good job of conveying that Cold War mentality of the time, and has a fairly cold tone to it that I really like.

The meat of this article comes in the form of interactions between the Foundation and the US Government. There are a lot of cool world building details in here about the relationship between the two, and the overall feeling is that the Foundation isn't quite as powerful as it is these days, a fact that the government uses to try and bully them around.

And then we get to see how the Foundation responds when it's directly attacked. It's honestly a pretty rare thing - a lot of cases where the Foundation tries to throw its weight around never seem to be received very well for some reason. Regardless, in this case, the Foundation are the underdogs and it gives an interesting look into how they might have risen to their current state. Very enjoyable read.

SCP-4275 - The Old Man of the Sea, by Agent FishAgent Fish
I really like this one, and there's a quite a lot going on in it. Functionally speaking, it's divided into two parts - the set up, which describes the object and what it does, and the event logs, which really get into what is actually happening here.

The first part paints an interesting picture of this old underwater statue that causes bad things to happen nearby if you damage it - even ongoing natural erosion of its stone can trigger this effect. The details do a good job of establishing the importance of not damaging the statue - earthquakes and horrible transmutations being the high end - but it's the little details left unexplained that I like here. There's a line about it affecting bulls, which is weird because this thing is in the ocean, and it never elaborates on the fact. It mentions specifically an incident involving horses, so you can probably draw some conclusions, but the lack of specifics on the mention of bulls lets the mind wander.

It also mentions that, in severe cases, this can cause people to mutate into… something. It never actually says what, but between what it does say - that it took full scale naval bombardment to destroy the results - and what is revealed later on, you can sort of draw your own conclusions. I'm not normally a fan of this kind of vagueness, but it really works well here.

The second part of the article deals with a diver who apparently salvaged something from this statue, and the person who comes to talk to them about it. I won't go into too many details to avoid spoilers, but this is where all the details start to click into place, moving from a fairly disjointed collection of things to a single contiguous whole.

By the time you hit that final reveal, all the pieces have (hopefully) clicked into place, and you're left with this very cool "oh shit" moment as you go back over it all and realise what was going on.

This really is a very good article, and at +41 at the time of writing I find this to be woefully underrated. The only real issue with it is that, if you don't have a basic knowledge of Greek mythology, this might not quite land as well as it could. None the less, this is a great piece of work.

That's all for this month! If you want more of this kind of content, consider checking out the SCP Cafe podcast, by pxdnbluesoulpxdnbluesoul. It's a weekly podcast where bluesoul goes over interesting articles that caught his eye from the previous week. He has some interesting insights and is easy to listen to, so check it out!

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