Last winter I was going over to my parent’s house for supper one night. It was one of these terrible winter afternoons, complete with blowing snow, black ice, and a wind chill somewhere around -35 degrees Celsius. My sister came to pick me, and in the back seat sat a little boy, clutching an industrial size tub of KFC. He is mentally handicapped, and is loveable and pleasant and better company than most people I know without his challenges.

On our way to my parent’s place, we hit a patch of road that is known for its blowing snow drifts, obscuring the road and leaving the ditch’s location entirely to chance. My sister slowed to a crawl and we crept along carefully, but from the other direction came two big-ass trucks in a row. The first one blew us off course, sending us drifting to the right. The second blew us onto a patch of black ice, hidden under the blowing snow, and we weren’t drifting anymore so much as sliding.

My sister and I remained completely calm. She steered as best she could and the car gently glided onto its side into a ditch full of new snow. No damage to the car, we dodged the sign we might have hit otherwise, and nobody was hurt. We were both very pleased with ourselves for having remained so calm. The little boy, of course, was having a heart attack in the back seat, panicking the whole way into the ditch, clutching that KFC tub like his life depended on it, but he is young and easily frightened. Because we remained calm, it didn’t take long to convince him that we weren’t dying, and the car wasn’t going to blow up, and we would just climb out the side and call mom and everything would be fine.

And lo, it was.

Had we been panicking or screaming too, had we been frightened or freaking out, it would have made things so much worse. My sister might have jerked the car the wrong way to overcompensate and sent us into a spin. We might have hit the sign instead of nothing. We would never have been able to calm the little boy down.

So now, to bring this back into Warcraft territory, which is presumably what this blog is about, pretend that that those two big trucks are mistakes made on raid bosses. And pretend the ditch is a wipe.

What would you rather hear over vent? What’s more likely to be helpful?

A calm, controlled voice, gently guiding the raid into a clean wipe without any damage to morale or egos?

Or a mentally retarded child, screaming blue murder into a microphone far too close to their mouth?

Take your finger off the push-to-talk key.

Thank you.