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Baron_Samedi

Roll of the Dice...Part II...

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Its 11:15, too early in the day to deal with the comings and goings of those who know not what they speak of. Its been 10 minutes since i left the desperate housewife in a quandry about the classifications of games. I think she shed a neuron when she came up with this clarification...

'Oh, THOSE games, like monopoly!' she concluded, a sly grin of mediocre acheivement chisled to her botox-injected face.

I just nodded, fearing that anything i say at this point would just lead to a rant that could psychologically damage the child asleep in the stroller. I'm not smiles and giggles, but i'm not in this racket to disenfranchise children, they can't help their parents are stupid.

Alright, i thought to myself...that doesn't count...i'll just wait here until a REAL customer comes in. I saunter over to the table where my paints and brushes are stored, carefully de-case my figurines and begin to work on the drybrushing phase of my projects...after what seems to be only minutes, another person walks through the door. A regular, i recognized...and his four year old kid. (We gamers tend to breed prodigiously it seems...)

'Hey, man' i mutter in monotone. 'What's up?'

He pauses for a moment, readjusting the Houston Astros cap on his brow before responding...his kid is now run amuck through the store making a b-line for the display of minis on their handcrafted terrain, her face staring two inches from them, the light in her eyes eclipsed by the crude sign that says, 'Please don't touch, this means you.' that rests near one of the orcs readying to fire his bow into the oncoming ranks of elvish spearmen crossing the hobbystick bridge that took me a total of three hours to assemble and paint from scratch...

'Oh, just picking up a few packs of Magic, you get the new set yet?' he replies...'Hailey, what does that sign say?' he bellows...

'Yeah, i said...over here, haven't put them out yet...' i answer slowly making my way up from my work, making my way to the counter...keeping my figures and the little girls dirty hands in my periferal vision...

'Do-not-to-touch. Th-This-means-y-y-you.' she read allowed. 'Do not touch this means you!' she exclaimed in a not-to-indoor voice with much excitement. (Damn kids, i thought, even with a sign that oozes condescention, some of them still think the world of reading...theres hope for her yet.) Realizing the contents of the sign about five seconds later, she jumps back, clear of the display as if she were going to be burned by some unseen fire. She runs back to her father's side....

I reach down for the just opened case of cards and as i begin to open a booster box, he waives his hand, 'No no man, i'll take 'em all...' as if dropping $120 dollars on a card game were picking up a dollar burger from McD's or something...

As i said he was a regular, and like all of us gamers dream of, but very, VERY few of us attain, he had managed to take his love of games and turn it into a job. Somewhat. He was a semipro player of Magic: the Gathering and had turned it into a part time job...playing odd weekends in sponsored tourneys across the Metroplex. If what he said was on the level, and i have no doubt that it was, he pulled in almost $500 a month, from only three days of weekends playing a thrice damned game...not bad.

In response to his request i pulled out the case at the bottom, that showed the least amount of damage, celophane intact. And handed it to him. He grinned at his purchase and handed me his debit card...'Hey man,' he started again, with a slight chuckle to his voice; his daughter clutching his pantleg as she stared horrified at the newest zombie board game on the rack...'You see Seamus around anymore?'

I rolled my eyes at him...this was a sore subject...'Hell no, i haven't seen that guy...we kicked him out after he put on that show at the last tourney...he's lucky we didn't call the (expletive deleted) cops!

Seamus was a-unique person. Clad in the latest homeless atire, with a smell to match...he used to be a frequent patron of the store. Purchasing Magic cards and other related accesories, haunting the clerk, whomever he or she was about gods know whatever crossed his mind. He even went so far as to argue with other customers about the gameplay value of a particular module, or decry their belief that a certain card series was any good. We finally had to kick him out because he couldn't control his need to tell other people what HE thought. This is back in the day where the store would sponsor game tourneys and let players come in a have it out on a Saturday afternoon...it was good for business...energy drinks flowin'. Good times.

On one auspicious occasion, Seamus had entered this tournament we were hosting...(suprising that someone who smelled of the street could still boast 1800+cards to his name, they're not cheap you know...) and had done well, he had gotten to the final eight players out of the thirty or so that had started...their was trash talk, some braging, but nothing serious...until from his table...

'What? What! No...What?!?! (expletive deleted) NO!'

'Uh sorry, but you lost...man', his opponent mumbled, barely audible over the rant taking place...out of embarassment that everyone in the store was staring at their general direction or more out of fear from the rants of a smelly card player...

'No! I-You-You know how much i spent on these cards? These (expletive deleted)-ing cards? No! I didn't lose, you cheated!' he exclaimed at the top of his lungs casting an accusing finger at the poor bastard across the table...

Now, let me pause here and tell you more about me, briefly...I used to work for the State of Texas at a facility that housed mentally retarded people and others with 'mental defect'. Not Hannibal Lecter, lets say...but people kept up at night because the velvet picture of Elvis in his room is farting too loud at night...that kind of thing...and others who will knock your head off because you can't give them milk because their lactose intolerant...

I know a violent incident is coming...you see it in their eyes like a storm thundering before the veil of rain falls...this is one of those times...

'You (expletive deleted)-ing cheater...NO!'
'(Expletive deleted)', i said to myself making my way towards this guy...didn't think i'd have to do a restraint in the private sector but here we go...

I make my way towards Seamus as tears fly from his eyes in wrath, a little bit of spit pooling at the corners of his mouth from the yelling...he wanted blood...real blood...not from a video game, not D&D hack and slash blood...real, i (expletive deleted) you not, BLOOD. Before i reach him, he flips the table over, cards flying everywhere...fortunately the guy across from him was already standing well away from Seamus before the cards scattered. He grabs a pen from his shirt pocket, and ever so briefly brandishes it like a butcher knife from some cheesey hack horror flick from the sixties...

Here we go, i say to myself...this kid is d-
And in a surprise...Seamus, stabs himself with the uncapped pen...in the chest...a lot...no lie...this kid is now stabbing a bic into his thorax over a gods (expletive deleted) card game...a couple of people run past out of the store, not even bothering to take their stuff with them. (I think one did come back a few moments later after he realized that his stuff was laying on a table...)
Blood pooled in ringlets under his white shirt...his breathing calming...as if he had been hit with a double dose of morphine. He dropped his pen...and calmly left...walked out of the store and out the access door that let to the outer service ways of the mall. One of my co-workers called security and i righted the table up with a few of the other players...and the tourney was halted until the next weekend when everyone was done pissing down their legs and throwing up in their mouth from fear...

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