(we are in a crowded, Saturday afternoon FLGS in the heart of a bustling City; the professional, genuine-Italian coffee machine is steaming like The Flying Scotsman as it sputters out espresso after espresso. There is standing room only as the flakes from cinnamon swirls and other pastries drift to the floor like golden brown snow)
Doorbell: (if a bell could shout, it's shouting) *DING-DING-DING*
(a customer enters)
Customer: (smiling) Jesus, that bell is loud!
Cashier: (taken slightly aback) a-beg-pardon?
Customer: (points to the door) I was just remarking that your door bell: it's quite noisy! (chuckles)
Cashier: (brow furrowing) And that's funny, is it?
Customer: Well, a bit - yes...
Cashier: (addressing a nearby punter who is leafing through the remaindered Charterstones bin) Did you hear that?
Punter 1: Eh?
Cashier: (pointing) This guy says our bell is intrusive, bordering on offensively-so!
Customer: Whut? I didn't -
Punter 1: (umbrage taken) Really? That's an appalling thing to say!
Customer: - but I never -
Cashier: I agree; it's awful! (to the customer) What's the bell ever done to you that you should be so damning?!
Customer: Nothing at all; I was just -
Punter 1: You should be ashamed of yourself.
Punter 2: (listening in) I don't know what he said but it sounds disgusting!
Customer: (frustrated) Look! All I -
Punter 1: (interrupting) Oh, now he's going to double-down on his original hate-speech!
Punter 3: (leaning in from the TCG booster syringe recycling booth) They always do, the racists!
Customer: No; you're misunderstanding me -
Punter 2: (hands on hips) Bloody typical! Now he's going to try and back-pedal as well -
Punter 1: - back-pedalling AND doubling-down: that's the worst kind!
Punter 3: To be honest, I'm also expecting a so-called apology that's not an apology at all -
Cashier: (to the customer) Can't you see the emotional damage your small-minded, bigoted snipes have caused? Have you no shame?!
Customer: (dumbfounded) But it is, demonstrably, a very loud door bell!
Punter 4: So say you, you utter fucking shit! I happen to be an Acoustic Technologist and its dB range is well within expected - and legal - parameters!
Punter 2: (punching the air) You tell him!
Punters 1, 3, 4 thru 65 and the Cashier: (in unison) Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
Customer: (panicking) This is bloody insane!
Punter 5: (puce with rage) Now he's having a pop at Mental Illness!
(There is a surge forward as the assembled masses lurch at the customer; he retreats to the door, opens it and flees in to the afternoon)
The Mob: (pressed in to the open doorway but not actually leaving the shop) Yeah you'd better run, you monster! (they begin chanting) How. Dare. You! How. Dare. You!
(presently, the screaming dies down and folks wander back to their tables/shelves/browsing corners. The cashier shakes his head briefly and then returns to some paperwork on the counter)
(a customer enters; he ignores the clang of the door chimes and approaches the cashier)
Customer: Good afternoon.
Cashier: Good afternoon, Sir - can I help you at all?
Customer: Yes, indeed - wow! It's a bit crowded in here...
Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Dad, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer, Agricola fanboy and jealous admirer of Carl Chudyk.
- [+] Dice rolls