(we are in an FLGS; the lights are off, however, and the sign on the door reads 'Open-ish'. The street outside is almost completely deserted apart from the occasional itinerant and, inexplicably, fully-loaded Traffic Warden. The cashier, in full face-shield, is sat behind the counter with a cup of tea - which he is stirring, slowly; occasionally, he will raise the cup toward his lips, hit the perspex, sigh and then lower the cup again. The cashier is reading the latest edition of Rahdo Writes Down!: it is 64 pages of 6 point text with no pictures, no punctuation and is laid out as one, single paragraph. A potential, mask-wearing customer - glancing, suspiciously, from side-to-side - wanders in to view and tries the door: the glass rattles in the frame, startling the cashier.)
(the customer rattles the door handle again and crouches down to talk through the letterbox, which is located at the bottom)
Cashier: (putting the cup down but still stirring the air with the spoon) Hold on, Sir! I'll be with you in a moment!
(the cashier crouches down also; he lifts the letterbox flap)
Cashier: Good morning, Sir; can I help you?
Customer: I was just wondering if you're open? What with it being lockdown and all?!
Cashier: Strictly speaking, Sir, board games wouldn't normally be regarded as "essential" items but -ironically - most of the Government are big fans of Euros and have exempted them from the embargo. Along with truffle oil, clay pigeons and ball-gags.
Customer: (relieved) Oh, that's great! I was hoping to get a copy of Hanabi in time for Christmas. For the family. Seeing as it's 100% population isolation and everything.
Cashier: No problem, Sir! (fetches a copy from the Small Games section) And it's a good thing it fits through this letterbox! (posts it) - that'll be £6.99, Sir.
Customer: Lovely, thanks! I don't suppose you've got Hey?! That's My Fish!, have you? That's always good for imposed, non-criminal incarcerations.
Cashier: (talks as he scuttles back-and-forth) It's a staple product, Sir; I'll just fetch one for you.
Cashier: (returning) Oof, Sir! It's a bit of a tight squeeze! (the box just about gets through the aperture; some of the shrink-wrap tears but the rest is fine) That'll be £6.99 plus £14.99, Sir.
Customer: Bloody marvellous! I'm so glad I decided to stop by!
Cashier: Anything else, Sir?
Customer: (nervously) Well, actually...I don't suppose it would be possible...to get...Agricola? Farming inside instead of out is the closest we can get at the moment, eh?!
Cashier: Ah - well, I do have one but it's a rather big package, Sir.
Customer: (optimistically) You could take the metal frame out of the letterbox?
Cashier: Well -
(time passes; the aluminium flap, frame and lots of screws are strewn across the carpet. The last part of the Agricola box is being pressed through the gap)
Customer: *phew* Good job!
Cashier: Indeed, Sir! So, that's £6.99 plus £14.99 plus £39.99, Sir.
Customer: Just one last thing.
Cashier: I fear that Sir is taking the piss, isn't Sir.
Customer: Not at all. I promised my young lad, you see; it's been on his wish list for ages.
Cashier: I see.
Customer: It's the very last thing on my list.
Cashier: I see.
Customer: We could take the glass out of the door frame?
(time passes; there is a sheet of glass leaning against the counter and chips of scraped putty littering the floor. The cashier is handing the large box to the customer through the open jamb.)
Cashier: Right; the final total is £6.99 plus £14.99 plus £39.99 plus £99.99.
(a credit card-based transaction ensues. The customer departs while the cashier regards the wreckage of the door mournfully. A new customer approaches.)
New Customer: Do you sell dice, mate?
Cashier: Yes, Sir; we do.
New Customer: Could I have a d20 then, please?
Cashier: Just the one?
New Customer: Aye - I lost my last one on the bus.
Cashier: A d20, you say?
New Customer: Yep. For my roleplaying group.
Cashier: I'll just be a tic, Sir -
(the cashier retreats in to the Stock Room; presently, he returns rolling a d20 the size of a Yoga Ball)
Cashier: - one d20, Sir.
Customer: (chuckling) Looks like you're gonna have to take the door off its hinges to get that one through, mate!
Cashier: (drops to his knees and howls) Aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh!
Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Dad, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer, Agricola fanboy and jealous admirer of Carl Chudyk.
Archive for FLGS
- [+] Dice rolls
(we are in an FLGS and it's a sunny Autumn afternoon; and, as one would expect and fervently hope, a customer enters. There is a steaming cup of tea and a small stack of biscuits on the counter..)
(the cashier is elbow-deep in a piñata shaped after Chris Handy, merrily stuffing chewing-gum-sized boxes in to the back end)
Customer: (approaching the counter, cheerily) Good morning, shopkeep!
Cashier: (pulling his arm out) *Phew* Excuse me just a tick, Sir; I've been packing these Pack O Gamess for nearly an hour and there's still plenty of room in "Chris". Probably best that I take a break!
Customer: (a flicker on his furrowed brow and it's gone) Indeed.
Cashier: How can I help Sir, Sir?
Customer: Well, I've been playing modern board games for a while now: Carcassonne, Stone Age, Wingspan and so on -
Cashier: - Good for you, Sir -
Customer: - and I think that I'm very much ready to go to the next level!
Cashier: (delighted) Splendid, Sir! What excellent news! Might I suggest Agricola? Terraforming Mars? Or, perhaps, a foray into the Gloomhavens for Sir. Mrs Sir and Sir's gaming group?!
Customer: (a little doubtful) Well, yes, um - of course that type of game is laudable, yes; but I was thinking of something a bit more...well, um, "merch"-y.
Cashier: (confused) "Merch-y", Sir? As in Merchants of Venus? Merchants and Marauders? Dale of Merchants?
Customer: (shifting his weight from leg to leg) Not really. More like Tee-shirts, Badges (pin, cloth or button), stickers and/or dice.
Cashier: (still confused) Do you mean promos, Sir? We do have a variety of Essen and Gencon 'specials' but only for a limited number of games.
Customer: Again, no; I was thinking more of a Drickerslips eye-patch, a Hadron Shouts Thru mousemat, an Uli Lusts After Wargames "I'm only here for the Critical Misses" sleeveless tee, an Anarcho Syndicalist Meeple Shanty Town Podcast Cookie Cutter. That sort of thing?!
Cashier: Well...(looks about)...I'm not really sure that we -
Customer: (points to a high shelf behind the counter) What's that up there?
Cashier: It's a spare teapot, Sir.
Customer: Oh - I thought it might be a self-straining leaf-tea porcelain mug with the printed signatures of the "Shut The Fuck Up, Sit The Fuck Down And Play The Fucking Game" YouTube Channel presenters.
Cashier: No, Sir.
Customer: (perks up) Well, that's exactly the kind of thing; you don't have any Official Licensed Material for No Pus Included, do you?
Cashier: Well not really, Sir; this is a game shop -
Customer: (a little indignantly) That seems a little narrow-minded, if you don't mind me saying?
Customer: This is the digital age, after all! Where would designers and publishers be without the enormous community of supportive media types?
Cashier: Well, they'd be exactly where they are al-
Customer: - they'd be stuck with warehouses full of product and empty Bank accounts!
Cashier: That's not strictly -
Customer: - this is the 21st century! Folks don't wander about in shops / surf the wide Internets just buying things!
Cashier: Well, that goes rather against why you're here, Sir -
Customer: - one has to be told, nowadays! To be frank, I have absolutely no respect for my own opinions - I don't even go to gaming websites unless its by following a Social Media-posted link! I depend, entirely, on the auspices of the media community!
Cashier: I'm not sure I can help you, Sir.
Customer: Surely you must have a Rules of Gaming! coaster, at the very least?! I mean, Phil is everywhere nowadays.
Cashier: Sorry, no -
Customer: A My Brain Hurts! Dennis the Hippopotamus musical jewellery box? A The Apocalypse Playlist mirkin?
Cashier: None of those things, no.
Customer: (disappointed) Well, that's disappointing -
Cashier: (has an idea) Hang on a moment, Sir! (picks up his mug, tips the hot tea on to the floor and grabs a marker pen) By sheer luck, I've just found a very rare 'FLGS' mug (scribbles on the ceramic); it might even be (scribbles) one of a kind!
(the cashier hands it over to the customer)
Cashier: That'll be £39.99 please!
Customer: (reads out the fresh writing) "My FLGS thinks I'm a proper mug!" - that's BRILLIANT! Thank you ever so much! (the customer pays and leaves)
Cashier: (picks up his remaining biscuits then realization dawns) Bugger!
- [+] Dice rolls
(we are in a newly re-opened, spick-and-span FLGS; there are signs on every shelf, hand-sanitizer dispensers and directional arrows stuck to the carpet tiles. The cashier is sat at the PoS - behind a floor-to-ceiling perspex sheet; gloved, he is reading a copy of Spielbox, which is still in it's plastic sleeve so he can only see the front and back covers. He sighs and his full-face visor mists up temporarily)
Cashier: (looking up) I should probably put new batteries in that.
(a customer walks in; he is entirely naked apart from a flourescent pair of Speedo swimming trunks)
Customer: (chirpily) A-wright, mate? (he coughs)
Cashier: Um - might I draw your attention to the signs?
(the customer walks up to various signs pasted around the doorway and presses his nose against each)
Customer: I didn't bring my glasses, sorry...(reading aloud, slowly) "Po-lite notice you will be refused entry if not wearing a mask" - oh, didn't realise.
Cashier: I'm sorry but I'm going to have to ask you to leave, what with Covid-19 and all -
Customer: I just want a couple of the new Keyforge decks and a dice, though?!
Cashier: No mask, no sale - it's the new normal, apparently. What with Coronavirus and everything.
Customer: (disappointed) Oh - (suddenly has an idea) Wait a sec...
(the customer removes his Speedos, loops the 'leg holes' around his ears and adjusts the 'gusset' over his nose and mouth)
Customer: (slightly muffled) Howzat?! Two Mass Mutations and a d20, if you please!
Cashier: - and the hand sanitizer? It's not me, you understand, it's the advice from the Chief Medical Officer.
Customer: Oh, yeah.
(the customer walks over to the dispenser and squidges handfuls of gel and rubs it in to each armpit, his crotch, his chest and - removing the mask temporarily - around his nose and mouth)
Customer: All done! Clean as a Nun's nipsy!
Cashier: Thanks -
Customer: A brace of Garfield's latest pifflery - and a polyhedral randomization unit encompassing the range 1 thru 20, ta.
Cashier: (pointing to the paper on his Counter shield: "Please stand on the arrows, maintaining two metres distance between customers and staff.") You know it makes good, honest, Great British sense!
Customer: (looking at the floor) Whoops! Dear me, what a lot of rules and regulations, eh?!
(the customer chuckles and steps back; he accidentally elbows a stack of roll-and-writes, which tumble to the floor)
Customer: (most apologetic) Damn! I'm really sorry about that!
(he starts picking the boxes up)
Cashier: (calling out) No! No! Please don't touch anything! I'll be right out!
(the customer steps away, hands up in a 'mea culpa'; the cashier struggles through the airlock pod. Re-stacking the games, he sprays each one with bleach and wipes it with a fresh cloth; when done, he returns to the PoS and drops the cloth in to a Hazardous Waste bin.)
Cashier: Right! Where were we, Sir? Oh yes! Keyforge and a die - just a moment. (he fetches the items by reaching through a resealable vent in the counter screen using an extendable claw; he drops them in to a paper bag)
Cashier: (when done) There we are, Sir!
Cashier: That'll be fifteen pounds, please!
(the customer reaches behind his ear, he pulls out a crumpled £20 note; he unfolds it and waves it against the screen)
Cashier: (crestfallen) Oh dear; I'm afraid it's contactless payments only at the moment - what with the pandemic and such.
Customer: - but I've only got this note?
Cashier: 'No cash payments', Sir; what with the global plague and so on. You can't be too careful, you know?
(the customer slathers the note in sanitizer - both sides - and presses it flat against the perspex barrier. It slides, slug-like, slowly downwards)
Cashier: (watching it) Oh dear; I still can't accept it, Sir - even with all that gel, Sir?
Customer: (outraged and confused) Because it still might be INFECTED?! Because it might be an asymptomatic twenty?! Because it's within two bloody metres of the cash drawer?! What then? Why?
Cashier: (pointing at the sludged currency) We don't accept Scottish notes in this shop, Sir.
(both the cashier and the customer turn to face us, laughing, and give a hearty thumbs-up)
- [+] Dice rolls
(we are in a friendly-local game store; there is no-one about. The door is locked; there is a poster hastily-sellotaped to the glass which reads "CLOSED, DUE TO COVID-19, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE". The sun-shades have been pulled right down to protect the window stock. An analogue clock is mounted on the wall above the point-of-sale register and the counter)
Clock: - tick -
(there is a fly buzzing somewhere in the dim space; the sound stops occasionally - and for just a brief moment - before beginning again.)
Clock: - tick -
(on, and stacked in front of, the counter are several large parcels; they remain unopened but the bright, white labels are clearly-visible - they are the March 2020 'New Arrivals')
Clock: - tick -
(On a felted table - against the back wall - several flat, pizza-box-style cartons filled with spare Magic: The Gathering 'Basic Land' cards; they have slipped from their orderly stacks and spilled over the trestle and floor. A poster advertising 'Friday Night Magic' and 'Draft Wednesdays' has lost adherence on a top-corner and folded over itself)
Clock: - tick -
(there is post on the doormat: white, windowed envelopes with a typed address and the word 'Demand' just visible; rough manilla envelopes with HM Revenue & Customs pre-printed along with the 2nd Class postage symbol; and someone has posted their chip paper and foam-plastic tray too - remnants of curry sauce and 'scraps' have oozed on to the letters and dried out there)
Clock: - tick -
(the drinks vending machine - "Donations" - has been leaking constantly; the drip-tray is full to the very top like a tiny infinity pool. Each 'plop' - slower but no less rhythmic than the clock - pushes a sliver of water on to the shelf; from the shelf to the floor and from the floor it has stretched and spread across to the counter to soak the underside of the as-yet-uncatalogued inventory)
Clock: - ti -
- [+] Dice rolls
(with apologies to Athletico Mince)
The historic Market town of town of Chippenham sits at the edge of the Cotswolds and serves as a cheerful stop along the railway route between London and Bath / Bristol. Nestled amongst the usual collection of thrift stores, nonsense potteries and tea shops is the Friendly Local Game Store of local entrepreneur Neil Hunt. On the morning of the 13th March 2019, Neil was restocking the Keyforge decks - and facing up the shelf of novelty chocolate RPG dice - when a celebrity visitor appeared and would change Neil's life forever.
Doorbell: *clang-tingle-ting-tang -
(a large, cheerful man sporting a bright waistcoat and a tiny, green-velvet bowler hat enters)
Doorbell: - BONNNNNNNNGGGGG!!!*
Customer: (he has an American accent) Hey there, y'all!
Neil: (looking up from his work - a machine-generated deck in each hand - Neil's natural tone of voice is a bit tetchy) What? What did you just say to me?!
Customer: Good tahmeetchah; my name's Tom -
Neil: (brushing the customer's hand aside) Tameetchah?! What the Hell kind of language is that? Are you an illegal immigrant?!
Customer: - um, well it's 'Merican.
Neil: (dropping his stock and standing up straight to face the visitor) Mirkin?! Isn't that some kind of vaginal toupée?
Customer: (shocked) No, Sir; I said 'Merican' - I'm from the you ess of ay.
Neil: (brushing himself down) Well, why didn't you say so at the start (makes air quotes) "Tim" - I thought you were one of those wind-up Tod Warriors from the Round Table.
Customer: (worried) It's Tom - and, um, 'Tod'?
Neil: It means "shit" -
Customer: Oh my, Sir; there's no need for profanity!
Neil: (bubbling under) "No need"? I'll mind you to know that this is my fucking local game store -
Customer: (interrupting) - the 'F' usually stands for 'Friendly', Sir -
Neil: - game store and I'll speak as I wish!
Customer: Please don't that tone with me, Sir!
Neil: What are you going to do about it if I do, Tim? Are you going to try and sell me some nylon stockings and cheap cigarettes then run off with my girlfriend?!
Customer: Now you're being silly, Mister; and a might aggressive.
Neil: Oh am I, "Tim"? Well, I'll have you know that my brother's got a sword shop and my nephew teaches Judo at the Youth Club!
Customer: It's "Tom", Sir; and I don't resort to violence because I am a Pastor. I have obviously caught you at a difficult time and so am willing to forgive you -
Neil: (beginning to go red) - Forgive me? Did I ask you to forgive me, you fountain of liquid Yankee shite!
(Neil lunges at the customer with a fistful of sculpted cocoa polyhedrae)
Customer: (stepping out of the way) Sir! That is quite enough!
(Neil crashes against the counter with a sickening thud and rebounds in to the spiral-fanned stack of Exit games; they scatter in a shower of crushed cardboard)
Neil: (rubbing his sore head) Oh no! Why does this always happen to little old me?! I sing Vera Lynn covers for free in the pop-up choir at the Pensioners' Rest Home every Sunday AND I never take change from the collection plate when putting a note in!
(At once, both of the men realise that Tom's hat was knocked off in the fracas and has been sat upon by Neil)
Tom: (aghast) Oh my, Sir! Oh woe and lawks, Mister!
Neil: (triumphant) Ha! It serves you bloody well right - coming in here and being all Christian!
(Neil picks up the squashed titfer and throws it at Tom's chest)
Neil: (jubilant) Take it! Take your tiny contraceptive cap and your ridiculous accent and GET OUT OF MY SHOP!
(the customer scurries out of the door and down the street)
Neil: (raising his chocolate-smeared hands and wrists to the sky) Yes! YES! I'm Neil Hunt and I'm LOVING MY LIFE!
- [+] Dice rolls
- [+] Dice rolls
(we are in an FLGS; it is quiet outside in the main street and it is quiet inside this shop. The cashier is alone and sat behind the counter reading a copy of "Black Market Entrepreneur Monthly"; it has cover stories about "Medicines: storage for the long-term" and "The Apocalypse doesn't have to mean the End of the World". The cashier is wearing a WW2 gas mask and, occasionally, mutters dialog from The Empire Strikes Back in a booming baritone. Presently, a customer - wearing a HAZMAT suit replete with oxygen tank and litter-picker - enters.)
Customer: (waving the litter picker claw in the air) Mm-mmff-eh-mmmm-nnnn-umphh!?
Cashier: (putting the magazine down) Mmmf-wumphh?
Customer: (points to a general area of the shop and then cups his palms) Ymmph-nnnnn-ummpha-doomph?
Cashier: Ah, Umph (he points to the window)
(the customer walks over to the window, leans in and picks something up with the litter picker; he stumbles back in to a stacked display of miscellaneous Escape Room/Mystery games and they collapse)
Cashier: (shouting) Imm-dooo-umph-de-plooooomphh?!
Customer: Oh! Imm de troomph-boomph-umph-mmmmfff.
Cashier: (ringing it up in the Till) Umph?
Customer: (points at the Match Attax boosters on the counter) De-dumph, wumphhhhhhhhh?
Cashier: (chuckling to himself) Oo-umph-de-floomph-de-boomph, eh?!
Customer: (chuckling too) Boomph? De-floomph!!!
(both the customer and the cashier begin howling with laughter: slapping their thighs, bending double and steaming up their masks)
(eventually they calm down)
Cashier: Klummph, eh?!
(there is an exchange of monies; the customer takes his items and leaves with a cheery wave)
Cashier: (removing his mask) Well, I have absolutely no idea what that was all ab- (he clutches, suddenly, at his throat) eurgh!
(the cashier falls behind the counter, gasping)
Narrator: (stepping in to shot, he is wearing a Victorian diving suit; at the bottom of 'the screen' there is a scrolling banner with the words "Public Service Announcement") So! (he raises a thickly-gloved hand) Umph pluumph de-doomph-er, eh? De-mmmff-wumphh-unk-bumphh im mmmph-nnnnnff!
(he points at us directly)
- [+] Dice rolls
(we are in a game store which is both 'friendly' and 'local'; a close inspection of the structural elements will reveal that it's comprised of bricks and mortar and a great many other resources besides. An elegant sufficiency of social interactions are completed on a face-to-face basis. The cashier is perched on a generic swivel chair and spinning, slowly, around and around and around and around and around and around and stopping for a split second to change direction and then spinning, slowly, around and around and around and around and around and around. A customer enters carrying a parcel.)
(the cashier fixes his gaze upon the customer and maintains it as he spins, flicking his head around like a dancer)
Customer: Good, er, morning?
Cashier: (still rotating) Good morning, Sir; how can I help?
Customer: Well, I - (puts parcel down on counter) - bought this from the shop a couple of weeks ago -
Cashier: - Nice -
Customer: - um, yes - and when I got it home -
Cashier: Is it a good home, Sir?
Customer: Well, it's not too bad really.
Cashier: (slowing down notieceably) Needs a lick of paint, windows washing, weeding between the paving stones - that kind of thing?
Customer: I suppose so, yes.
Cashier: Great! Well, don't let me keep you...have a great day!
(with a tremendous push-off, the cashier whizzes around like a dervish; the customer moves to walk out then changes his mind and comes back to the counter)
Customer: (pointing at the parcel) Actually, I really need to sort out this game.
Cashier: (grabs the counter top, bringing the chair to a sudden and violent stop; he topples from the seat on to the floor) Ouch!
Customer: (leaning over to see if the cashier is okay) Oh dear! Are you okay?!
Cashier: (standing up and rubbing his head) I'll be fine, Sir.
Customer: Good. Now - I'd like to sort out a couple of broken bits that came with 'Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea', please?
Cashier: (pointing) THIS game, Sir?
Customer: Er, yes. Several of the worker pieces are stuck together with the paint, some snapped completely in two and the English rulebook is completely missing.
Cashier: Goodness me, Sir; that's quite the list.
Customer: Indeed.So, what are you going to do about it, please?
Cashier: (strokes chin) That's a difficult one, Sir.
Customer: (peeved) Is it, though?! Quite clearly this is a defective product under the terms of the Sale of Goods Act (1979)!
Cashier: That's as may be, Sir
Cashier: In this situation, I am forced replace the parts or, indeed, the whole game -
Customer: - as one would expect -
Cashier: - but all of this would be at my own cost!
Cashier: Well, under new distribution rules I will be unable to claim my own recompense from them, Sir; I would need to go back to the original publisher, Sir.
Customer: Again: so?
Cashier: They're not supplying 'spare parts' either, Sir; only complete games.
Customer: Well, I'll take a complete game then!
Cashier: There's the rub, Sir; I would need to pay for sending to the Publisher and they would send me a replacement which would, in all likelihood, generate a customs/postage charge - which I would have to pay - leaving me considerably out of pocket!
Cashier: (sniggers) You said 'butt', Sir.
Customer: But I have a game that's entirely unplayable!
Cashier: That's not true, though, is it, Sir? You could snap or saw the stuck pieces, apply glue to the broken ones and download/print a copy of the English rules from BGG.
Customer: (indignantly) A broken game loses all of its value!
Cashier: (air quotes) "Value", Sir? This sort of game is printed in the tens-of-thousands and is readily available in both the New and Second-hand markets. Like an expensive car, the game instantly-depreciated by a third the moment you handed over the original purchase price, Sir.
Customer: (spluttering) Never have I -
Cashier: To be honest, Sir, you'll probably find this 'broken' copy is more unique than the other twenty nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine copies that rolled off the conveyor belt in the Summer, Sir. I'd hold on to it 'as-is': it's a collector's piece!
Customer: (furious) This is a disgrace! I shall complain to my local Trade Association! You've not heard the last of this, young man!
(the customer storms out, leaving his parcel behind; a new customer enters)
Customer 2: Good morning.
Cashier: Good morning, Sir.
Customer 2: I bought a copy of Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea from you, yesterday, and I'm seven rubble cubes short according to the list of components.
Cashier: (picks up the copy that was left behind) Well, you're in luck, Sir - I happen to have a box of spares right here...
- [+] Dice rolls
(we are in an FLGS – ‘G for Geek’ - it is festooned with tinsel and baubles, fake boughs of holly and sprigs of mistletoe; there is quite a crowd of browsing punters drifting, in a slow-current, around the stacks and shelving. Through the large, plate-glass window, one can see a grey-lit street outside with a gentle dusting of snow settling in to the gutters and on to the cobbles. A customer (be-scarved and be-bobblehat-ted) trudges in to view, glances at the window display, pauses and then changes direction to enter the shop)
Doorbell: *dink* (there is a scratch and then the chorus of ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham! Plays loudly)
Customer: (looking up at the door jamb) Oh shit on it!
Cashier: (smiling from behind an edition of Spielbox with a promotional Eric Lang ‘Frizz-Wig and Pointy Beard’ mask stapled to the front ) Oh dear, Sir! What seems to be the trouble? (he tenderly strokes the soft, downy beard)
Customer: (pointing at the bell apparatus) Your bloody door just Whamageddon-ed me!
Cashier: (chortling) Well sorry about that, ho ho ho, Sir; just trying to maintain the ‘Exmuss Atmoss’ and so on.
Customer: (unravelling his scarf, removing his gloves and muttering) I’d managed to make it through three weeks –
Cashier: (cheerily) Well, it’s all just game, isn’t it Sir? A jolly jape a bit like that one where if you think about ‘the game’ then you’re knocked out of ‘the game’!
Customer: (looking up) What?! Sweet Jesu you’ve done it again! (throws his gloves on to the counter)
Cashier: (crestfallen) Oh my stars, Sir; I am most dreadfully sorry.
Customer: sighing() Well, ok; never mind about all that as I couldn’t help but notice, as I was walking by the premises –
Another Customer: (calling out across the room) At least he didn’t mention the chicken game!
(everyone else in the room turns to that customer and their mouths drop open)
All: Oh for Fuck’s Sake!
Another Customer: (blushing) oh, er, um –
Cashier: (trying to change the subject) Well, what – in the window – can I help you with?
Customer: Yes indeed. Can you tell me more about The Christmas Game, please?
Cashier: Certainly, Sir! It’s a Euro-game take on all the tropes and clichés of this most special time of the year: it mixes traditional customs, historical facts and all of the usual fictions and made up stuff we associate with the Festive Season.
Customer: Fictions? Such as?
Cashier: You know: ‘Krampus’, ‘The Grinch’ and – of course – ‘Father Christmas’
(a small child accompanied by her Mother by the Haßa display bursts in to tears)
Child: (wailing) Mummy – that horrible man just said Santa isn’t real!
Mother: (scowling at the Cashier) Don’t listen to him, dear! (they hurry, quickly, from the shop)
Doorbell: *dink* (‘Last Christmas’ starts up again, followed by the door slamming)
Customer: (tutting loudly) Christ on a fucking bike!
Cashier: (mortified) Um –
Customer: What have you got to say for yourself, eh?!
Cashier: (burbling) Er, um, eek
Customer: Well? Speak up!
Cashier: (embarrassed) I wish the ground would swallow me up, Sir - (pauses, briefly) - like it does with that girl at the end of the movie ‘Drag Me To Hell’, Sir.
A Further Customer: (holding a DVD copy of ‘The Complete Sam Raimi) What the actual fuck?! (throws the box-set down and storms out)
Cashier: (picks up the promotional mask and puts it on) Oh dear, Sir. Oh very dear.
Customer: (softening) Actually, that last one was very niche; I’m not sure you can be blamed for the unfortunate serendipity there.
Cashier: You’re very kind, Sir.
Customer: At least all Hell didn’t break loose! (chuckles)
Cashier: Indeed no, Sir – unlike at the end of Seafall, eh?
JUMP CUT TO SPINNING NEWSPAPER. IT COMES TO REST WITH THE HEADLINE: “GAME STORE RIOT RESULTS IN SHOPPING ARCADE FIRE AND MULTIPLE ARRESTS”.
- [+] Dice rolls
(we are in an FLGS; the cashier is looking in to a microscope, which is next to a box of sample glass slides labelled “Content Providers and Other Bacteria”)
(the cashier looks up; a customer enters, striding assertively)
Customer: (places an opened game box on the counter) I want to register a complaint!
Cashier: You want to register a complaint? I worked 3 hours overtime last Sunday and I’m only getting time off in lieu.
Customer: Yes, but –
Cashier: If you complain then nobody does anything –
Customer: Well, I –
Cashier: - and I’ve got no pound coins in the till –
Customer Er –
Cashier: - and that bloke (points to a quiet man in the corner who looks up briefly) has been browsing through the Christmas jigsaws for over an hour –
Browsing Customer: (protesting) They’re just not Festive enough!
Cashier: - and I’m sick-and-tired of this Industry!
(the cashier pushes the microscope over, leaps the counter-top while grabbing his coat and marches out of the shop)
Customer: (crestfallen) Oh. (looks around) Um?
(the cashier comes marching back in with a huge grin on his face and resumes his place at the point-of-sale)
Cashier: (double-finger guns the customer) Gaaaaaaaaaaaah! I got ya! Gimme five! (he presents the flat of this palm)
Customer: slowly raising his own hand() Soooo?
Cashier: (slaps) All part of the service, Sir! (makes air quotes) “A Jape A Day Keeps The Blues Away” and all that! What’s the problem, old buddy, old pal?
Customer: (pushes the game box across the counter) It’s this copy of Tapestry that I bought from you yesterday.
Cashier: (looks at box) Oh yes? An elegant and simple implementation of a Civ game from the master of the modern boardgaming arts? What’s wrong with it, Sir?
Customer: Well, when I opened –
Cashier: (continuing) – from the stable that brought us the gorgeous Wingspan, the visually-stunning Scythe and the thematically-coherent and exemplary worker placer Viticulture? What’s the trouble, Sir?
Customer: Okay, so I took it to my club –
Cashier: (continuing) – utilising a beautiful collection of enhanced playing pieces, the intuitive yet minimalised iconography and graphical presentation style so enamoured of Stonemaier fans -
Customer: - we set it up and read the ru –
Cashier: - and let us not forget the innovative take on the Legacy genre with the ground-breaking Charterstone –
Customer: (tetchy) Are you going to let me explain or not?!
Cashier: (whispering behind his hand) You’re going to say that it’s an absolute dog-pile, aren’t you Sir?
Customer: (caught out slightly) Actually…yes, I was.
Cashier: (still whispering) Only…I wouldn’t recommend that you say that to loudly, Sir; only I’ll get geekmails!
Customer: (confused) Geekmails? Geekmails from whom?
Cashier: From them, Sir (he points at you, dear reader)
Customer: (turns to look at you too) Them?! (points in the same direction as the cashier)
You, dear Reader: Us? I mean, me?
Cashier: (conspiratorially to the customer) They’re ever so sensitive, Sir. You have to watch what you say around these parts otherwise they lose their shit!
Customer: (looking straight at you) Really? They don’t look threatening!
Cashier: Don’t let appearances ‘deceive’, Sir; one whiff of a Knizian sleight, a quality of Feld’s recent output query and/or a ‘pop’ at Jamey and they’re all over the [Comment] button like cheese on a Chicken Parmo*!
Customer: (whispers) I see. So what should I say instead?
Cashier: (whispers) Just say one of the pieces came broken or something.
Customer” (whispers) Okay. (aloud, glancing briefly behind him at us) Um – one of the pieces came –
Cashier: (prompts) Broken, Sir
Customer: - “broken” and I wonder what you’re going to do about it with regards to a refund?
Cashier: (whispers) That’s very good! (aloud) Well, I can offer you a replacement copy or the equivalent value in Store Credit, Sir.
Customer: (forgetting himself) Well, a replacement is no good because the game is liquid shite raining on the faces of babies forever so I'll take the refu-!
Cashier: (ducks under the counter) Now we’re for it!
*see MrShep's description from a few days ago
- [+] Dice rolls