Everyone Needs A Shed

Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Dad, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer.

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FLGS 70 (Father's Day)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Today is Father's Day: "a holiday of honoring fatherhood and paternal bonds, as well as the influence of fathers in society".

Yesterday, though, in an attempt to do nothing (but usefully so), I mowed the lawn but - halfway thru - the starter cable snapped: two thirds of the lawn was cleanly-shorn, the other third daisy-sprouting and unruly. Obviously, there's no way on the gods' wide Earth that I was going to leave it like that so: a trip to the local DIY centre for a socket spanner set and a replacement cable was required. In every department selling tools of some kind, there were suspended banners and standees proclaiming "The Perfect Gift For Father's Day!" and "Great for Dads!" and "Don't Forget Dad on Sunday 20th June!". Apparently, as a Father I am to be entirely considered as a pottering craftsman; obsessed with drills, strimmers, power washers and/or gas-powered barbecues. In the supermarket over the road, various War, Soccer and vehicle-based DVD documentaries awaited my species-male-who-has-sired-offspring attention. Thus...

Doorbell: *skronk*

Cashier: Good morning, Sir -

Customer: Good morn -

Cashier: - no, wait, shut your face: I haven't finished yet -

Customer: - oh -

Cashier: - Good morning, Sir; a-a-and a Happy Father's Day to you!

Customer: Well, um, thanks very much.

Cashier: I assume you are a Father, Sir?

Customer: Well, yes, I -

Cashier: Phew - that's a relief! Now: what can somebody's son (points to himself) do for a Father (points to the customer) on this most esteemed of days?

Customer: Well, I was looking for a new game and wondered what you might recommend?

Cashier: For you, Sir, the fertilizer of eggs, it would be a pleasure!

Customer: Are you alright?

Cashier: How about a miniatures war game, Sir? It's got guns and fighting and stuff PLUS you need to assemble the figures and paint them in your Shed on a Sunday afternoon prior to play. Sir.

Customer: Well, I do like painting - do you have any painting-themed games like, for example, Fresco or Starving Artists?

Cashier: "Painting themes", Sir? I'm afraid we only have such things as are suitable for Mothers and other females, Sir.

Customer: You have nothing in that vein at all?

Cashier: Not today, Sir. Not for the "Day of the Dad", so to speak.

Customer: Well, then; what have you got?

Cashier: We have various table-based golf products? The Top Gear Trivia Challenge? FIFA 2021: Das kartenspiele?

Customer: Have you got anything more 'Euro'-y?

Cashier: How about Meerschaum Pipeline? Star Wars: Outer Strim? Near and Father? Dad of Winter? Black & Decker Stories? Through the Garages? Glen Mower? Igloo Poppa? Otac!!! Père-to Rico? Pa-drenaline?

Customer: *tchoh* Those aren't real games at all! They're just an excuse to list out a whole lot of puns!

Cashier: Caught me bang to rights; mea culpa and so on.

Customer: pointing up Then: you'd better go to your room and think about all the trouble you've caused.

Cashier: Yes, Sir. (he leaves, muttering under his breath) motherfucker

Customer: I heard that and, strictly speaking: yes.
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Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:06 am
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FLGS 69 (Closedown)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Please note: what follows is a satire - much exaggeration has been used for attempted comic effect.

(we are in an FLGS like many FLGS' - the accoutrements and the paraphernalia of this most gorgeous of hobbies adorn the premises; the Sun is shining and casting a warm, dust-moted glow into the Display. The cashier is sat behind the counter in pensive mood: rolling a die across the counter-top but not looking at the results. A group enters: gabbling excitedly)

Doorbell: *ding!*

Cashier: (snapping back into 'the room') Hello everyone! Good morning to you all!

(the group ignores him; they continue to chat amongst themselves)

Cashier: (coughs a little fake cough) *Ahem* Good morning to you!

(the group mills about the shelves and cabinets; the bureaus and the tables)

Cashier: (persisting) Welcome to my FLGS! Is there something I can help you all with?

(the group falls silent; one individual whispers to another and they giggle)

Cashier: Well, that seems a bit rude; if you don't mind me saying?

Group Member: Are you verbally-abusing me?

Cashier: No, I was -

Another Group Member: He's gone into denial mode already!

Cashier: But, I -

Group Member: It's this kind of EX-clusive and UN-accepting attitude that we have to fight against every day, you know.

Cashier: I only said I thought you were behaving rudely -

Another Group Member: We stand for tolerance, acceptance, good manners and tolerance.

Yet Another Group Member: (whispers) You already said 'tolerance'.

Another Group Member: It bears repeating, though; doesn't it?! He - (points to the cashier) - is the reason we have to be so vigilant!

Cashier: (peeved) O! for Gods' sake, stop being a bloody idiot!

(there is a collective gasp, then silence)

Cashier: Can't we just have a conversa-

Group Member: What did you just call me?!

Another Group Member: He called you a fucking idiot.

Cashier: - er, I didn't say 'fucking' -

Yet Another Group Member: Wow! Completely out of the blue you jump straight to calling me a fucking idiot?!

Someone else in the Group: I'm pretty sure he said 'Twat' too.

Cashier: Look: I didn't say 'fucking' - OR 'twat' - I called someone an idiot, yes, but you're not -

Another Group Member: Condemned from your own mouth!

Cashier - listening -

Group Member: We're not welcome here, my friends; we must leave immediately!

Cashier: No, but -

Another Group Member: I'm going to tell all my friends about this place and how unwelcoming it is to folk like us.

Cashier: Hang on; no, that's not what I - look: I am really sorry I called you an idiot. I got a bit 'het up' and said the first thing that popped into my head.

A Group Member Hiding At The Back: Thanks for the apology; I think that's a good start on a better road - ow! (they cry out, suddenly, then grab their shin with a grimace)

Group Leader: You don't get to "take it back" so easily, you know; you need to show us you've changed.

Cashier: I will. Please - enjoy the shop.

(the group mingle and shift amongst the wares; ten minutes of browsing passes)

Group Member: (picking up a copy of a medium-weight Euro) The scumbag publisher of this wouldn't send me a free copy for my Channel so we should boycott them from now on.

Another Group Member: I agree - and so does everyone else, don't you?

(everyone else nods; the group member at the back is now, visibly, limping)

Cashier: Whoa! That's a bit harsh calling the publisher a 'scumbag', isn't it?

Group Member: (glaring) What?!

Cashier: Well, I mean: maybe the publisher has a good reason for not being able to send you a free copy? If they sent a free copy to everyone who wanted to rev-

Group Member: (glaring, fiercely) What, what?!

Cashier: I'm just trying to put across an alternative view.

Group Member: Well, don't. You don't get to lecture us on name-calling, Mister! Not with your history!

Another Group Member: (pointing their finger at the Cashier) You should piss off; and take your toxic attitude somewhere else.

Cashier: But, this -

Doorbell: *ding-ding*

(the group begins to leave, in silence; someone mutters "Pig!")

Cashier: (deflated) For fucks' sake.

One week later...

(we are outside an FLGS; the window display is empty and there are stacks of packing boxes visible if you squint through the whitewashed glass pane. On the door there is a sign that reads: "Closed Until Further Notice". The group of gamers re-appears, pauses to read the sign then moves away down the street)

Group Member: (sighing, melancholic) It's such a shame that so many FLGSs are going out of business these days.

FIN.
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Sun Apr 4, 2021 7:34 am
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FLGS 68 (Assist)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(we are in an FLGS in New Zealand. The sun is shining brightly, the streets are bustling with joy and optimism; the shops are busy, the atmosphere happy and Covid-free. The cashier is sat between the counter and a wall arrayed with a variety of calling notices for local game clubs, 'open' TCG tournaments and conventions. Browsers are happily browsing: reaching in front of others, passing each other boxes, breathing in the same sweet, fresh air. A customer enters: he keeps his gaze to the floor and is carrying a parcel.)

Doorbell: (ringing out, joyfully; as if God's own Heaven had thrown open its gates so that all could hear) *DONGGGG!* *DONGGGG* *DONGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG*!

Cashier: (to the new arrival) A very good afternoon to you, Sir!

(he breathes out, lengthily, into the customer's face)

Customer: (in a very quiet, nervous voice) Good afternoon, shopkeeper.

Cashier: (licking both palms and sliding them down the customers cheeks) How may I help you on this glorious, Pandemic-free day?

Customer: (places parcel on the counter and reveals a copy of Wingspan) I wonder if you can help..?

Cashier: (putting an ear-trumpet up to his lips, he blows hard; wisps of dust coil into the air between him and the customer. He places it to his own ear) You'll have to speak up a little, Sir; the noise of the entirely-content and non-infectious horde out-and-about is making you rather difficult to discern. Sir.

Customer: (his voice magnified by the ear trumpet) I WONDER IF YOU COULD HELP ME OPEN THIS BOX, PLEASE?

(the deafening request blows the cashier back against the wall, dislodging several request cards for "GAMERS WHO LIKE TO TOUCH EVERYTHING, ALL OF THE TIME")

Cashier: (picking himself up) Help, Sir? Why of course...

Customer: Thanking you.

(the cashier opens the box, carefully, revealed a punched-and-ready-to-play copy of the game inside)

Cashier: (surprised) Oh, my! The rulebook has been put in upside-down -

Customer: (worriedly) - um, is it showing the Turn Summary and the Credits?

Cashier: (with brow furrowed) Indeed it is, Sir; would you like me to flip it the right way up?

Customer: Will that incur an additional cost?

Cashier: Well yes, Sir; I am afraid so. Though, we do a special on "Paperwork Reorientation" this month: rulebooks, decks of cards with some back-to-front (or, perish the thought, upside-down), cardboard chits that have fallen out of their baggies and so on.

Customer: Then yes. Please, if you would be so good.

Cashier: (cheerily) Of course, Sir!

(the cashier lifts the rulebook, turns it over in his hands and is about to replace it when he notices something else - deep with the plastic insert)

Cashier: (shocked) Oh dear, Sir.

Customer: (shakey-voiced) What is it?

Cashier: I beg your pardon, Sir? (he holds up the ear trumpet again)

Customer: I SAID: "WHAT IS IT?"

Cashier: (picking himself up, brushing his hair flat and straightening his collar once again) I see. (points in to the box)

Customer: (confused) Um -

Cashier: Can you see it, Sir?

(the customer looks for a moment then cold realization dawns)

Customer: (stepping, slowly, away from the box) Oh! My! Goodne-!

Cashier: Please don't panic, Sir!

Customer: (flustered) Bu..but the bird cards have drifted among the bonus cards AND - (gasps)

Cashier: (lifting something from within) - the dice tower styled as a feeder has come apart at the back, yes.

Customer: (tearful) I'M SHALL BE RUINED! I SHALL BE COMPLETELY DESTITUTE! I HAVE MADE NO FINANCIAL PROVISION FOR THIS EVENTUALITY AT ALL! OH MY GOODNESS!

(the ear trumpet is thrown against the wall)

Cashier: (sympathetically) There-there, Sir; don't worry because we can implement a payment plan AND we offer a monthly subscription service to cover the cost of the most common situations.

Customer: (calming down) Thank you. Thank you ever so much.

(the contents are re-organized satisfactorily; documents are signed and a small down-payment exchanged. The customer departs, cradling his package, to the clangorous clarion of Cathedral bells)

Cashier: (smiling) I love my job.

(a new customer arrives and pulls a battered Yahtzee set from his pocket and slams it down onto the counter)

Customer: (angrily) Right, tosh! You sold me this from the Bring and Buy table last week and when I get home I open it to find that ALL of the dice, stowed in the dice tray provided, are showing different pip values: WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?!?!?!

Cashier: (looking at us) *sigh* Well, maybe not all of the time.

(The sun is shining so bright - and the excited, happy chatter of the Kiwi crowd - is amplified to the point of visual and audio pain)

FIN.
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Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:15 am
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FLGS 67 (Mutton Jeff)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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(we are in a local game store; the door is open to the elements and a flurry of snow is blowing through into the room. There are drifts accumulating against the jamb, the point-of-sale position and the stacks of Pax {whatever} and High Frontier piled high in the bay window. The cashier is reading the latest issue of "Self-Awareness Monthly" with fingerless gloves on; he has an icicle hanging from his septum. Behind him, the wall is covered in pen strokes. A passer-by - dressed in thick coat, scarf, mittens and bibbly-bobbly hat - trudges into view, pauses at the entrance and leans in.)

Doorbell: (frozen solid) *

Passer-by: Good morning?!

Cashier: (looking up, brightening)Ah! Good morning, Sir -

Passer-by: (pulling their scarf down to reveal a female face) - I'm a Madam, actually -

Cashier: (fear flits across his eyes for a moment) - Madam.

Passer-by: Is this funagain Games?

Cashier: (breezily) Why, yes it is!

Passer-by: Your boss and his designer mate are a misogynist dicks.

(the passer-by turns, replaces their scarf and crunches away)

Cashier: (picking up a marker and scrawling on a rare, empty space on the wall - and that's another one.

From gallery of tonyboydell
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Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:06 am
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FLGS 66 (Flippant)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Klemens Franz fan
(we are in an FLGS; it is the week before Christmas and the shelves are adorned - positively cascading - with boxes, blister packs and cartons. All are brightly-coloured, glossy with shrink and twinkling with festive, glittered price tags. Tinsel and streamers dangle from every inch of the polystyrene ceiling tiles: at their ends are TCG boosters, promo cards, purses of roleplaying dice and Kickstarter coins. Around the point-of-sale counter - where the Cashier is currently sitting with his nose in a dog-eared copy of "Board & Table Games Volume 2 by R.C.Bell" - are twisted stacks of Codenames, Kingdomino, Exploding Kittens and Pax Pamir 2nd Edition. A sign dominates the wall behind the cashier with the words: "Give a Game for Christmas! 10% off all items!".)

Doorbell: *ding-dingalong ding-dong ding*

(a customer enters from the cold and gloomy street outside)

Customer: (shivers) Brrrrrrrr! My, but it's cold out there!

Cashier: Looks very much like it is, Sir.

Customer: Well, now: is this the board game shop?

(the cashier, surprised, cranes his neck in an exaggerated manner and looks around the crammed shop: up and down, left-to-right. His gaze returns to the customer, whom he fixes with a glare.)

Cashier: (sarcastically) No, Sir; this is an independent bakery with a remarkable line in pies and pasties, Sir.

Customer: (profusely apologetic, mortified even) Goodness me! Well, in that case I am awfully sorry that I have wasted your valuable time - good day to you!

(the customer departs; the door closes softly behind him)

Doorbell: *ding-dingalong ding-dong ding*

Cashier: (returning to his book) *Tchoh* Sarcasm is wasted on the young nowadays.

The rest of the World, in unison: Oh, is it really? I didn't know that.

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Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:25 am
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FLGS 65 (Hole)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Klemens Franz fan
(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.)

Door: *rattle*rattle*rattle*

Doorbell: Hey?!

(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: Ye-es?

Customer: Gloomhaven?

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?

Cashier: Hmmmm...

(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.)

Customer: Fantastic!

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!

FIN.
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Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:20 am
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FLGS 64 (Merch)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Klemens Franz fan
(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..)

Doorbell: *shpingle-dingle-dong*

(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?

Cashier: Eh?

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!
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Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:30 am
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FLGS 63 (Normal)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
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Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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Welcome...to my Shed!
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Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Klemens Franz fan
(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)

Doorbell: *toink*

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!

Customer: Lovely!

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)

FIN
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Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:30 am
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FLGS 62 (tick)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
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designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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Welcome...to my Shed!
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Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Klemens Franz fan
(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)

Doorbell: (silent)

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 -

Clock: -

-

.
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Tue May 26, 2020 6:20 am
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FLGS 61 (Crime Files)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Every homo sapiens needs an outbuilding within the curtelage of their property
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Welcome...to my Shed!
Avatar
Microbadge: I love Europe!Microbadge: 5 Games for Doomsday fanMicrobadge: Talk Talk fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Klemens Franz fan
(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!

From gallery of tonyboydell


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!

Fin.
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6 Comments
Fri Apr 3, 2020 6:30 am
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