Welcome...to my Shed!
(we are in an FLGS; the window is adorned with streamers and glitter and those plastic tooty things with the curled tubes on the end; there are signs propped up against be-clothed plinths proclaiming “Essen 2017!”, “Spiel Games!” and “The Hotness from Germany!”. A customer walks in to view from the right-hand side of the window and gets shorter as if descending a hidden staircase; he pauses, looks about and then backtracks: ascending. He stops, looks around curiously and tentatively takes a step forward…down a bit. He rocks back-and-forth on his feet, alternately rising a bit then falling a bit. He disappears along the way he came…there is a pause…then he comes sprinting in from the right and launches himself in to the air! Instead of landing, he completely disappears with a stifled shout.There is a crash and the door bell rings.)
Door bell: *ding-ding dinga-dinga-ding-dong ding-ding*
(the door opens and the customer falls through, executes a spectacular forward roll and stands up straight. The cashier, his nose in a care-worn copy of “Wicked Willy” and wearing a pearlescent paisley waistcoat, looks up)
Cashier: (putting the book to one side) Ah, good morning, Sir!
Customer: (brushing himself down) Er…good morning.
Cashier: Don’t worry, Sir; those imaginary stairs are a bit tricky – especially when there’s been a severe frost.
Customer: But there hasn’t been a frost –
Customer: Well, um, I understand you’ve just come back from Essen Spiel?
Cashier: (enthusiastically) Yes, indeed! It was an amazing experience! So many games from so many publishers! Great new things for us (gestures to himself) to share with you! (gestures outward). It’s the best chance for your friendly local game store to get the hotness in to your hands in time for the holidays!
Customer: Fantastic! So, I have a list of things I am interested in (pulls paper from pocket) and hope you can help.
Cashier: I can certainly try, Sir!
Customer: Right...Azul has been getting a lot of buzz…
Cashier: Unfortunately sold out on the Saturday morning, Sir; we hadn’t yet made it to Hall 3 with our trollies!
Customer: Oh, then how about The Gaia Project?
Cashier: Available only in German after the first two hours on Thursday –
Customer: - German would be fine –
Cashier: - only we didn’t get to the Messe until Friday by which time –
Customer: It had sold out?
Cashier: - it had sold out. Completely.
Customer: I see. Any luck with Friedemann Friese’s Fast Forward series?
Cashier: Oh yes! -
Customer: - great -
Cashier: - let me finish: Oh yes…we saw plenty of copies, but they weren’t selling to ‘shops’ due to limited stock.
Customer: Hmmmm – Santa Maria
Cashier: Pre-orders only, Sir.
Cashier: (raises eyebrows) I don’t know that one, Sir – was it a popular game?
Customer: Well, it was in many of the top vloggers’ anticipation lists!
Cashier: Really? Oh, well I suppose I should check some of those out next year then!
Customer: (muttering) Yes, you should. (louder) You must have Nusfjord, though?
Cashier: The new Uwe Rosenberg ‘big box’-er?
Cashier: The one about fishing in Norway?
Cashier: The one with ‘shares’ in it that’s also a bit like Glass Road?
Cashier: …never found it, Sir; I tried ever so hard.
Customer: But it was on the huge Mayfair/Lookout stand in Hall 1!
Cashier: There was a Hall ONE?!
Customer: Heaven and Ale?
Cashier: The queue was very long when I stopped by.
Cashier: Too big to bring back in my People Mover, Sir.
Cashier: Um, well, er…let’s just say that Richard Breese and I have had a “falling out”.
Customer: A “falling out”?
Cashier: (coughs) You haven’t asked me about The Sands of Time?
Customer: Is it worth it?
Cashier: It might be.
Customer: (waits) The Sands of Time?
Cashier: Ha! Got you, Sir! It never made it to the show, Sir; it’s had production issues. Just a little joke of mine.
Customer: A Nice Cup of Tea?
Cashier: Prototype only, Sir; not out until 2018.
Customer: Altiplano? Fields of Arle Expansion? Photosynthesis? Terraforming Mars: Venus Next? Trans Atlantic?
Cashier: “No”, “Nein!”, “Nope”, “In the negative” and “Again, no”…Sir.
Customer: The 7 Wonders Anniversary Packs?
Cashier: They were on a very high shelf and I couldn’t reach them down, Sir.
Cashier: Yes, Sir! We have Charterstone!
Customer: (warily) In English?
Customer: With the Recharge Pack?
Customer: Actually in this very building?
Cashier: It’s right under the desk next to me, Sir!
Customer: Great! I’ll take one, then!
Cashier: (takes it out and lifts the lid off with a spectacular box fart) This is my shop demo copy, Sir; the pallet arrives in a fortnight just as soon as it’s cleared Customs. Will you be collecting or should I pop it in the Post for you?
Customer: (seething) So did you bring anything at all back from Essen Spiel with you?
Cashier: (gestures to his waistcoat) I got this rather natty waistcoat, Sir?
Customer: You didn't go to Spiel at all, did you?
Cashier: (blushing and ashamed) No, Sir; I overslept and missed my flight. I'm sorry.
Customer: (leaving) What a disgraceful waste of my time!
(the customer departs, slamming the door behind him; a moment later he rises - as if on a lift - in view of the middle of the shop window, shakes his head and walks off)
Cashier: (calling after him) I apologise again, Sir! (he looks down at the open box on the counter) He didn't ask me where I got my copy of Charterstone from...
(the cashier begins to giggle; it develops in to a belly laugh and, quickly, to maniacal roaring. He walks over to the Stock Room door and swings it open: inside are stack-upon-stack of Spiel goodies - all of the major products are there, glistening in their shrink-wrap!)