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Ted from 2030: Kids, something you might not know about your Uncle Marshall is that he's always been good at games. I mean, unbeatable. Gin! Yahtzee! Poker!

Ted: You don't have to shout out "poker" when you win.

Marshall: I know. It's just fun to say.

Ted from 2030: We all finally agreed Marshall should be running our game nights instead of playing in them. Which he took to mean, "invent your own game."


The Bar

Marshall: It's called "Marsh-gammon." It combines all the best features of all the best games... Candy Land, I Never, Pictionary.

Robin: Backgammon, obviously.

Marshall: No. Backgammon sucks. I took the only good part of backgammon, the "gammon," and I left the rest of it in the trash where it belongs.

Lily: I'm so excited Victoria's coming.

Robin: I'm going to go get another round.

Ted: Okay, I want to lay down some ground rules for tonight. Barney, I actually like Victoria... a lot, so don't say anything embarrass... Don't say anything. And guys, I haven't exactly told Victoria that I used to have a kind of thing for Robin, so we you could just avoid the...

Barney: Well, well, well. How rich. You make me promise to be on my best behavior around your girlfriend, yet, you have been lying to her since day one. Excuse me.Hi. Leg Warehouse? Yeah, my friend Ted needs something to stand on. So, nothing for him to stand on? Okay, and thanks so much. Ted, doesn't Victoria deserve to know that you once had the hots for Robin? I have half a mind to tell the story of the re-return.

Ted: No. I-I swore you to secrecy on that.

Lily: Ooh, I am smelling dirt. What is the story of the re-return?

Ted: Nothing. It's nothing. And speaking of digging up dirt, can I count on you two to behave around Victoria?

Lily: Us? What would we do?

Ted: Look, um, you guys have always been like the parents that I still have and, in fact, moved here to get away from. However, could we skip the traditional interrogation of the new girlfriend tonight?

Marshall: Fine.

Lily: Fine.

Ted: Thank you.

Lily: I should go help Robin.

Robin: Hey.

Lily: Hey. So, are you going to be okay hanging out with Victoria tonight?

Robin: Oh, sure. She's great. Oh, what? Because of the whole thing where I said I liked Ted? No. Victoria's great. She's fun, she's free-spirited, she's great. I said, "She's great" too many times, didn't I?

Lily: You must really hate the bitch.


The appartment

Marshall: But if you roll an even number while adjacent to the Peppermint Forest, then you "Marshall out," and all your chips go into the pot, and remember, if you ever ask the question "What?", then... you got to drink. Got it?

All: No

Marshall: Okay, okay, no, no, we'll just start, you guys'll pick it up. Newbie goes first. Roll.

Victoria: Okay.

Marshall: Three! You got Autobiography. Now, that's where you have to answer a personal question about your dating life truthfully in order to move on.

Ted: Marshall, come on.

Marshall: Hey, she's the one who rolled a three. Victoria, "Have you ever cheated while in a relationship?" Wow, good question.

Ted: You don't have to answer that.

Victoria: It's okay. Um, well, I was in a really crappy relationship in college, and I wound up kissing this guy at a party one night, and I felt terrible about it, so, I came clean, and we broke up.

Marshall: Victoria, that was an honest and mature answer. You may advance to The Gumdrop Mountains.

Barney: So Victoria, did you ever re-return to this guy?

Victoria: What?

Marshall: You said what, you got to drink!

Lily: Oh, Barney, by the way, I went to a party in that new building on 82nd, and the host said she knew you. What is her name? Sharon? Shannon?

Barney: Shannon?! Shannon, Shannon... No, don't remember any Shannon.

Lily: Really? Well, 'cause she gave me a videotape to give...

Barney: Where's the tape?

Lily: Fine. I'll go get it.

Barney: Cool, okay. You know, whenever.

Marshall: Okay, Robin, your roll. Five! Another Autobiography... for the player to your left, which... Victoria!

Ted: Of course.

Marshall: Victoria, "How many boyfriends did you have before you started dating Ted?"

Ted: Wait, the card actually says "Ted?"

Victoria: Okay, uh, well, boyfriends--I guess I've only had... two.

Robin: Prude alert.

Victoria: Well... that's serious boyfriends. I've dated other guys in between.

Robin: Oh, slut alert!

Barney: Oh, great, there it is. Thanks, Lily. You're a peach. Oh, wow, look at that. Robin landed on the Chocolate Swamp. That's five chips for me.

Marshall: Thank you! Finally somebody understands Marsh-gammon.

Lily: Barney, what was on that tape?

Barney: Too bad you'll never find out.

Lily: Oh, damn it! If only I'd given you a fake tape and hidden the real tape in my purse. Oh, wait. That's exactly what I did.

Barney: What?!

Marshall: Drink!

Lily: Yeah, you were acting so weird about it, I gave you Ted's graduation tape instead. So, should we pop it in?

Barney: Give it to me, give it, give me...

Ted: Play the tape, play it, play it!

Barney: Ted! Fine, fine. You cannot play it. Shannon! I love you! I love you so much. What about us changing the world together? Don't tell me you've forgotten. I know I haven't. Will I ever see another rainbow? Will an eagle ever soar through this tempest of woe? Baby, please Don't go There's a thief in the palace, she's stolen all my love There's a thief in the palace and she's...

(Barney stands up and leave the appartment)


The Bar

Marshall: Did you try his cell phone?

Ted: Yeah, I left two messages. I checked the cigar club, the Lusty Leopard. He's off the grid.

(Barney arrives)

Barney: Hey, guys, what up?

Robin: Barney, where have you been?

Ted: Yeah, we're-we're really sorry about that.

Lily: Yeah, so sorry. But seriously, what was up with the tape? No, no, stay.

All: Come on. Stay!

Barney: I'm sorry. I don't want to talk about it. It was the most embarrassing, and humiliating thing that ever happened to me.

Marshall: Well, we all have embarrassing stories. Sometimes it's good to-to talk about it.

Barney: Oh, really? Then why don't you tell us your most humiliating moment, Marshall? Show me how good it is.

Marshall: All right.


[FLASHBACK]

Marshall: I was stopping by Lily's kindergarten class to say hi, but they were all at recess. I really had to pee, so I went into the class's restroom. It was a-a smaller target than I'm used to, so I figured I should sit down. What I didn't realize was, it was a shared bathroom. I wish I'd pulled up my pants.

[END OF FLASHBACK]


Lily: The kids still call him Funny Butt.

Barney: Okay. I'll tell you my story. Believe it or not, I was not always as awesome as I am today.


[FLASHBACK]

Barney: It was 1998. I was just out of college, and I was working at a coffeehouse with my girlfriend. My girlfriend... *Shannon. Yeah, you were meant for me And I was meant for you. Ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh.* Thank you. All right.

Shannon: I love your singing, Barney.

Barney: And I love you, Shannon.

Shannon: Joining the Peace Corps with you is gonna be legendary.

Barney: I know. Only five short weeks till we're down in Nicaragua.

Man: Hey, nonfat latte to go.

Barney: Mellow order, bro, mellow order.

Man: Dude, that your g-friend? All right, high five!

Barney: Sorry, I only give high twos.

Man: Whatevs. As long as you're nailing that.

Barney: Listen to you. That? You know, wo<men aren't objects. They're human beings. And FYI, Shannon and I have decided to wait till we're married. You can read about it in my zine.

Man: Hey, haircut, right here. Open up your knowledge basket, 'cause here it comes. Forget that touchy-feely crap. You get money, you get laid. End of discussion.

Barney: I feel sorry for you, man.

Man: Peace out, hombre.

Barney: Suits. Five weeks later, we were all set to leave for the Peace Corps. Only problem was... she never showed up.

[END OF FLASHBACK]


Robin: She never showed?

Ted: So, what happened next?

Barney: You know what? This was a mistake.

Lily: Wait... What if somebody else told their most humiliating story?

Marshall: Oh, I know just how to decide who.

Lily: You brought the game to the bar?

Marshall: Well, we're not quitting just 'cause Ted's so far ahead.

Ted: I was winning?

Robin: Fine. I'll go next.


[FLASHBACK]

Robin: I was doing a report on live TV about a hansom cab driver.

[END OF FLASHBACK]


Barney: Not the slipping-in-horse-poop story!

Ted: Yeah, we all know that one.

Victoria: Okay, how about this? I will tell you my most humiliating story.

Marshall: Yeah, Victoria, way to step up!

Victoria: Okay, it involves a game of truth or dare, a squeeze-bottle of marshmallow ice cream topping, and the hot tub at my grandparents' retirement community.

Ted from 2030: Kids, I tell you a lot of inappropriate stories, but there's no way in hell I'm telling you this one. Don't worry, though, it wasn't that great.

Marshall: That is the greatest story ever!

Lily: Oh my God!

Ted: Wow, wow!

Barney: Victoria, I deem your offering... worthy. My saga... continues.


[FLASHBACK]

Barney: I went back to the coffeehouse to find Shannon.

Shannon: Barney.

Barney: Sugar Bear, where were you?

Shannon: Oh, I'm sorry. My dad won't let me go.

Barney: But the Nicaraguans need us!

Shannon: It's just, he's still supporting me, and... Look, he's coming by soon to talk about it, but I think you should go on without me.

Barney: Shannon, there is no...

Shannon: Barney, it's your dream. It's only two years. I know we can make it.

Barney: As I walked away, I realized Shannon was an adult. Her father couldn't control her life. I had to go back and confront him. She was in the middle of a heated argument with her dad.

[END OF FLASHBACK]


What?!

Marshall: Now we all got to drink.

(They all drink, except Barney)

Ted: Oh, my God. What happened next?

Barney: I don't know, guys.

Lily: Okay, okay. Marshall's mom sent us cookies...

Marshall: Lily, no!

Lily: For the team, Marshall, for the team.


[FLASHBACK]

(Lily's on the phone)

Lily: Hey, Mrs. Eriksen, it's Lily. Thank you so much for the delicious cookies. Mayonnaise. Really? Never would have guessed. Well, I will definitely give Marshall a kiss for you. Okay. Take care.

Marshall: Oh, crap. My mom sent cookies?

Lily: Yeah. I wish we had a dog, so they wouldn't go to waste.

Marshall: So we've got the whole place to ourselves.

Lily: I'm thinking floor sex.

Marshall: Sounds reasonable.

Lily: Ooh, floor's cold. Grab that afghan your mom made.

(Marshall's mom was stil on the phone...)

[END OF FLASHBACK]


Robin: The whole time?

Lily: The... whole... time.

Marshall: Barney, that was really embarrassing for both of us. We just earned a huge chunk of story.

Barney: Right. So where was I? Oh, yeah. Shannon was sucking face with her dad.


[FLASHBACK]

Barney: How can... With your dad? I mean, I know judge not lest ye be judged, but gross!

Shannon: Barney, that's not my dad. His name's Greg. I've been seeing him for a few weeks. I was hoping you'd just leave, and we could avoid all this.

Barney: We're breaking up? But what about the Peace Corps?

Shannon: Yeah, all this granola business, it was just a phase. Greg's older. He's successful. He buys me all this cool stuff.

Barney: But I love you.

Shannon: But he has a boat. You should go to the Peace Corps and forget about me.

Barney: I didn't go. That night, I recorded my video and mailed it to Shannon. I didn't see her until a week later. There's sugar in the basket. Shannon! Shannon, you came back!

Shannon: I'm just picking up my last paycheck.

Barney: Oh. Did you... did you get my tape?

Man: Oh, she got the tape.

Barney: You? It was you?

Man: Will I ever see another rainbow Oh, man.

(Barney leaves the coffee shop, crying. A man gives him a flyer on which you can read "Suit up". He grabs his hair and cut them short. He then shaves and put on a suit)

[END OF FLASHBACK]


Lily: Oh, you poor thing.

Barney: The story's not over. I did see Shannon one more time.

Robin: When?

Marshall: Sorry.

Lily: You've got to tell us.

Barney: I don't know, I think I might need one last story to get me through it.

Ted: Fine. Um... oh! The green testicle story. So I was playing ultimate frisbee in college and there was this barefoot dude with weirdly sharp toenails...

Barney: Oh, come on, Ted! You know what story I want to hear. Everyone else here has manned up tonight and told the truth. Why can't you?

Ted: You're right. Victoria, I'm sorry I haven't told you this yet, but a while back, I was kind of into Robin. In fact, on our first date, I might have said, "I love you." Understandably, she freaked out and I left. But unfortunately, the night did not end there.

[FLASHBACK]

Ted: We all ended up at the bar with our cab driver Ranjit.

Ranjit: To one hell of a night!

Ted: And I drank... a lot. So you guys think I should have kissed her? Well, I'll tell you what, I'm gonna go kiss her right... now.

Barney: Yes! Do it!

Ranjit: To the cab.

(Ted arrives in front of Robin's door, he throws up on her doormat)

Robin: Hello? Is someone out there?

( Ted, Barney et Ranjit run out. Robin opens her door, et sees her doormat...)

[END OF FLASHBACK]


Lily: You ralphed and ran?

Marshall: I thought you were vomit-free since '93. So that was a lie?

Robin: You re-returned for me. That's really sweet. Though you kind of ruined my customized Scherbotsky doormat.

Ted: Sorry.

Robin: It's okay.

Ted: Victoria, I know this must be...

Victoria: Yeah. It kind of is.

Barney: Wow, Ted, you were right. You shouldn't have told that story. But you did earn yourself the right to the end of mine. We fast-forward eight years into the future.

Marshall: Wait, eight years, that's, that's this year.

Barney: Marshall, not only is it this year, it's tonight.


[FLASHBACK]

Barney: Hi.

Shannon: Barney?

Barney: Hi, Shannon.

Shannon: What are you doing here?

Barney: Just listen. When you left me for that guy Greg, it changed me. Now I'm this. I-I know this is crazy. It's just, you were once such a big part of my life. And it just seemed insane that you didn't know who I am now. So here I am. And then she told me about her life.

[END OF FLASHBACK]


Barney: She and Greg dated for a while and then split up. But here's the real kicker: Shannon's a mom. She has a little kid named Max. That's crazy. That could have been my kid. But instead, what do I have? My whole life's some money in the bank, some suits in my closet and a string of one-night stands.

Lily: Hey. Come on. I mean, just because her life went one way and yours went another, it doesn't make your life any worse.

Barney: My life rocks! Money, suits and sex. These are tears of joy! I could be cooped up in some tiny apartment changing some brat's poopy diapers. But instead, I'm out in the world being awesome 24-7, 365! You let me dodge a bullet, Big Guy. Plus, here's the mini-cherry on top of the regular cherry on top of the sundae of awesomeness that is my life. After Shannon and I talked, I nailed her.

Lily: Nope.

Barney: Yeah.

Lily: Nope.

Barney: Yeah.

Lily: Sorry. Don't buy it. You're making it up. You're just trying to cover the fact that you actually had a profound moment of doubt about yourself and... Oh, my God.

Shannon: Oh, Barney!

Barney: Video's pretty good on this phone, huh?

Shannon: Is your phone on?

Barney: Oh, no. It just takes a while to power down.

Lily: Ew, gross. Just stop it.

Barney: Ladies, gentlemen... Ted. This has been a wonderful evening. I got great dirt on all you guys. I got Ted to tell the re-return. I finally nailed Shannon! Told her I'd call her tomorrow. Yeah, right. And I rediscovered just how awesomely awesome my life is. Peace out, hombres!

(Barney leaves the bar)

Marshall: I think Barney just won game night.

Ted from 2030: We spend so much effort trying to keep parts of our lives hidden even from our closest friends. But those rare times when we do open up, it's amazing how minor those secrets all end up seeming. Of course, not every secret was told that night. But that's getting ahead of the story.


[END]

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