(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 -
Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Dad, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer, Agricola fanboy and jealous admirer of Carl Chudyk. www.surprisedstaregames.co.uk
Archive for FLGS
- [+] 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
(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...
- [+] Dice rolls
Door Bell: *ding-ding-a-ling*
(a customer enters)
Cashier: (looking up from the steaming machines) Good morning, Sir! Welcome to Frothy Dobbers - the board gaming café – and how may I help you, this fine morning?
Customer: Yes; indeed; I’d like a nice cup of tea, please.
Cashier: (fetches an attractive, green box from a nearby display) There you go, Sir; that’ll be £49.99
Customer: (looking perplexed) Um – no, I meant that I wanted a nice cup of tea, as in the drink.
Cashier: Oh – well, in that case what blend would you like?
Customer: What have you got?
Cashier: Well, we have Darjeeling, Ceylon, Chai –
Customer: (interrupting) A bit of chai sounds good; I’ll have that, please
Cashier: (fetches a box from under the counter) There you are, Sir; ‘Chai’ by Dan and Connie Kazmaier – forty quid to you.
Customer: (confused) Er – now, then; that looks like it’s still a board game to me
Customer: Well, I wanted a drink; a beverage.
Cashier: (mortified) O! Forgive me, Sir; I’m so used to the ‘old way’ of doing things in an FLGS
Customer: Okay, okay; actually, I’m not feeling like tea anymore – do you have an coffee?
Cashier: Of course, Sir; we’re Frothy Dobbers - the finest board game café -
Customer: (interrupts) Well, what have you got?
Cashier: We have Machu Picchu, Java -
Customer: (interrupts again) Do you have any Sagada?
Cashier: (looks on drinks menu) Why, yes we do.
Customer: Ok – one Sagada blend, medium, please – but no foam.
Cashier: (pulls colourful box from a shelf) One for only £29.99, Sir!
Customer: (tetchy) Another board game? I wanted a coffee!
Cashier: Whoops, Sir; I thought you said “Sagrada”, as in the colourful game of stained glass windows.
Customer: (frustrated) I think I’ll dispense with the drinks (sighs) Do you have any cakes, at all?
Cashier: Quite a selection, Sir.
Customer: Black Forest –
Customer: - but not the Werewolf variant!
Cashier: (dismayed) Er, no.
Customer: How about a non-Rüdiger Dorn Genoa?
Cashier: (forlorn) Er, no.
Cashier: Yes! We definitely have Maderia!
Customer: And it’s not a board game called ‘Madeira’?
Cashier: (eying the menu again) Nope – definitely not the What’s Your Game release.
Customer: Right, I’ll have some of that please!
(the cashier fetches a generous slice of cake and places it on a plate in front of the customer)
Cashier: Would you like it with cream?
Customer: Yes, please.
(the cashier reaches over his should and gets a copy of “…aber bitte mit sahne”)
Customer: (pissed off) What is your problem, buddy?
Cashier: (seeming to tear up, looks down at his shoes) I can't help it, Sir. (sniffs) Selling food and drink is anathema to me - it's a commercial aberration, a betrayal, a violation of our fundamental raison d'être, Sir.
Customer: (sympathetically) I see. Would it make you happy if I bought a game to go with my brunch, then?
Cashier: (brightening up) It would fill my heart with unbounded Joy, Sir.
Customer: In that case...could I please have a Terraforming Mars bar and a massimo Hot Chocolate Factory.
Cashier: (grins, widely) Coming right up, Sir! (he scurries off to the stock room)
Customer: (turning to face us) I love a happy ending, don't you?
Cashier: (pops head out of stock room door) Happy ending? I'm afraid that I draw the line at wanking you off afterwards, Sir.
- [+] Dice rolls
(we are in a FLGS. The hideously-patterned carpet is invisibly-strewn with chits, cubes and ‘chads’ (from ‘punching’); the gaming tables are liberally provided with smartphone charging points – for when the ‘Torch’ app is used to locate a dropped component – and the cashier is sticking a laminated “We Buy Any Kickstarter Pledge” sign on the PoS wall. A young customer approaches, hesitates momentarily, and then enters)
Door bell: *dink*
Cashier: (looking up from blutac-ing a “Please Do Not Ask For a Refund As A Refusal Often Offends” sign) Morning, Chief.
Customer: (nervously) Um -
Cashier: (tersely) Spit it out, Scout; I haven’t got all day, you know.
Customer: Well, er, I recently bought a copy of Ticket To Ride from you and –
Cashier: Tee-tee-are, eh? Lovely game – what’s wrong with it, Champ?
Customer: Nothing, actually, I just have some rules questions.
Cashier: (puts the sign down; places lump of blutac behind ear) Yes?
Customer: Well, um, can I take tickets and then build a line in the same turn?
Cashier: (pauses for a brief moment) Did you read the rules, Buck?
Customer: Er, “the rules”?
Cashier: Yes. The rules.
Customer: What do they look like?
Cashier: Well, they’re a bit like a thin book and they usually come in the box, Friend. Did you get the rules in your box?
Customer: The square, papery thing with writing all over it? I threw it out.
Cashier: That’s the one; threw it out? Why?
Customer: I paid over £40 for the game; I shouldn’t have to ‘read the rules’ as well, surely?!
Cashier: You’re not a millennial, are you, Buddy?
Customer: (affronted) What’s that got to do with anything?
Cashier: Did you check ‘on line’, Mucker?
Customer: Well, I went to the publisher’s web site.
Customer: Something was available to download…but it looked exactly the same as the papery thing.
Cashier: (sighs) Have you tried looking on the Boardgamegeek forums?
Customer: Not really, but –
Cashier: But what, Pal?
Customer: I created a post asking the questions.
Cashier: Did you get any replies, Mate?
Customer: I have no idea; I’ve not checked back since. I assumed someone would Geekmail me in due course.
Cashier: How many questions have you actually got, Skipper?
Customer: (pulls a sheaf of A4 papers and a pen from his pocket) Er, about seventy –
Cashier: (incredulous) Seventy?!
Customer: Give or take.
Cashier: (sighs again) Go on then…
(a not-insignificant amount of time passes)
Cashier: - yes, but you have to keep at least one of them. Now, is that all, Amigo?
Customer: (pleased) Wow! Yes, indeed! Many thanks for all your help!
Cashier: I noticed that you didn’t write any of that down
Customer: Why would I do that?
Cashier: So that you can remember all of the answers the next time you play?!
Customer: Oh, I’m not going to play it! Now that you’ve answered all of my questions, I don’t really think it’s the kind of game for me. Shall I give the person who buys it off of me your number?
Customer: (spies something out of the corner of his eye) Ooh! Gloomhaven! I’ve heard some great things about that! I think I’ll take a copy!
(the cashier collapses underneath the counter; there is the sound of a quacking trumpet)
Customer: Was it something I said?
- [+] Dice rolls