Every Man Needs A Shed

Life and games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Independent UK games designer, self-confessed Agricola-holic and Carl Chudyk fan-boy. www.surprisedstaregames.co.uk
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The Prodigal Fong

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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1Jesus gathered is Disciples around him, on bean-bags and a delightful selection of embroidered throw cushions, and began speaking.

2There was once a gaming group with many sons and a daughter – amongst them Carl known as Pickle, Richard known as Smok, Wai Sing known as James, Iain known as Bone-idle Fop (who begat a long line of ropey vehicles), Anthony known as Anthony (who begat too much), Blaine known as ‘annoying small child’, Elizabeth known as ‘the missus of Carl known as Pickle’ and Raymond known also as Raymond (who begat-not in a long time). 3The younger one, Raymond (also known as Raymond of Fong) said to the others “Give me my games back and that tenner you owe me from having no change last week when we ordered the take-out – I’m totally skint and want to destroy Power Grid: The First Sparks”. 4So, the group divided up the items between them.

5Not long after that, the younger one Raymond (known as Fong, who begat FML and FMLL) got together all he had, set off for a distant country (Warwick) and there squandered the tenner in wild living and Thursday night Agricola sessions and too much 7 Wonders. 6After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that country and he began to be in need. 7So he went and hired himself out to TCG Organized Play reps, who sent him out around Europe to answer asinine questions about ‘the Attack Phase’, perform deck checks, eat terrible food and make passes at the Cosplay group. 8He longed to play board games but no-one had any with them – just boxes of shiny, but shit, rares.

9When he came to his senses, he said: “Legion are the medium-weight games that they play in Wycombe and here I am mentally starving to death! I will set out and go back to my old group and say to them: “Mates, I have sinned against Uwe and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called ‘a gamer’; make me like one of those people you look down your nose at because they love Munchkin or Monopoly.”

10So, he got into his car and drove down to the house of Richard (known as The Bearded One, who begat ale and strong coffee). When the group saw him they were filled with compassion for him (not pity, no – absolutely NOT pity...or schadenfreude...not that either) and a burning desire to crush him at games they had gotten only-slightly better at and they almost kissed him, but not quite.

11Raymond, known as Fong (who begat a hamster with a taste for WoW commons), said to them: “Mates, I have sinned against Uwe and against you. I am probably – note: I said probably, you can step in here at any time and correct me - no longer worthy to be called ‘a gamer’; make me like one of those people you look down your nose at because they love Reiner Knizia fillers or ask you to pull their finger immediately before they break wind.”

12But the group said to each-other: “Quick! Bring Alien Frontiers! Put Agricola on the table. Put Saint Petersburg aside, ready, and pull up the JustEat.co.uk curry page on the (stupidly-weighty) laptop! Bring forth the tikka masala and the rice and the nan bread and the ale and the cherryade. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 13For this son of ours was dead to us and is alive again; he was lost – well, we always knew where he was plus he’s our Friend on Facebook – and is found!”. So, they began to celebrate.

14Meanwhile, another of the group was thirty miles away. When he heard of the food and the games and the low-level partying he became angry, saying: “Look! All these years I have been gaming with you and never king-maked and never took turns out of sequence and never asked for a recount of the scores. Yet, when this son of ours, who has squandered a tenner with Eurogame noobs in the pubs of Warwickshire, ‘tinkles your doorbell’ you get a home-delivery and break out the thinky games! No fair!”

15“Mate”, the group said, “you are always with us and every game we have we share with you – apart from the really collectible ones because of ‘that thing you do’ – but we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was figuratively-dead and is alive again; he was lost – yes, figuratively again...really just up the M40, I know – and is now found...so fucking lump-it, bitch. 16When the feast was over, and the games complete, Raymond – known as Fong, of the line of Judges, Scribe of the Head of the Game – exited, as is his wont, quicker than an après Madras stool into the Wycombe night.”

17Jesus, when he had completed the telling of his parable, lay back on a paisley-print poof and lit up an enormous bifftah: “Any questions?”, he asked.

18“That parable was totes amazeballs, O! Lord, but who won Alien Frontiers?” spake Simon Peter. “Ray, on the second tie-break: 8, 7, 7, 7” He replied.

19“And who won Agricola, my Lord?” spake Dennis (the substitute Apostle). “Tony by a point from Ray known as Ray” He replied.

20“And who won St Petersburg?” spake Judas, clanking the change in his pocket. “It was Raymond, again, 10 points ahead of Anthony”, He replied, adding: "Spectacles, Testicles, Wallet and Watch - now, lesson over - who's got the munchies? I fancy some chips myself...Judas? Nip over to Jerusalem Fried Chicken and get us a Family Bucket, will you...AND NO STOPPING TO DO A BIT OF BETRAYING!"

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