Price Breaks and Heartaches
A journal of retail and failed romance
Panties Half Off
...It was just another day in the nondescript city, none of the generic citizens heading into the local bank would ever have expected a bank robbery but our heroes were ready for it.
This bank got robbed every week.
A man wearing a dark fedora and a trenchcoat charged into the bank. He felled two of the henchmen with his wrist-mounted ice ray and then smirked, “I’m Frost and you two better cool off!”
The next man through the door wore a flashily colored hazmat suit. He shot waves of fast-acting bubonic plague from the palms of his hands. As another pair of thugs collapsed the man in the hazmat suit said, “Hi guys! I’m Patient Zero and I’ve got a feeling the urge to surrender is getting pretty infectious!”
Then the front window of the bank crashed inwards and a man wearing a pointy-eared cowl snarled at hostages and criminals alike. He pulled a sawed-off shotgun from beneath his flowing black cape and began firing wildly. “Die motherfuckers!” he screamed as the air was filled with screams and bloodstained deposit slips, “Diiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”...
I looked up from map covered with miniature cardboard super heroes, villains and ordinary citizens. Gordon was holding his CHAMPIONS rulebook against his chest. Adrian was the first of us to speak, “I thought you were playing Batman.”
“Oh no,” Daniel said, “My guy is named Bat-Shit, because he’s like Batman but he’s batshit crazy.”
“Well...” I commented, “you can’t say he wasn’t roleplaying.”
Adrian nodded, “Right now I can’t say anything at all. I’m kinda stunned.”
That’s right folks, we were playing another role playing game. Back in my days these pen and paper games were the closest thing we had to the shared world mayhem of something like THE WORLD OF WARCRAFT. You didn’t need a computer, or a broadband connection, all you needed was the kind of creativity that can only come from social maladjustment and soul crushing loneliness.
While we might not have to deal with monthly fees or server crashes we pen and paper role playing gamers still had to deal with moments like this. Adrian you see was the game master, he had written and planned out an adventure for our heroes and now it was completely derailed.
Trust me, all of us old-school nerds have been there at one time or another.
“Talk amongst yourselves for a few minutes OK?” Adrian began pawing through his ring binders and game supplement books, “I just need to make a few quick changes.”
Daniel grinned, “My character is even more awesome that you expected right?”
“Riiiiiiiiight.” I said.
“So how are things with the Panty Patrol?” Gordon asked as he opened up his second 2 liter bottle of Mountain Dew for the day.
“Busy,” I explained, “busier than I expected really. Working in women's’ clothing isn’t as easy as I thought it would be.”
Adrain dropped his pencil, “I knew it!”
“No it’s not like that,” I explained, “I’m working at the Julia Shop now.”
Daniel snickered, “Are they paying you in merchandise?”
“Up yours!” I cleverly retorted. (I think it was Shakespeare that first used that particular retort.)
“Hey!” Gordon said, “Show the man a little respect. He landed a job that puts him in close contact with women every day. Women with money and needs that only he can fulfill. Woman eager to take off their clothes right on the premisses.”
“Wow,” Adrain’s hand tightened around his dice bag.
Daniel gave me an apologetic look, “I didn’t know...”
I blushed, “Actually I mostly work in the stockroom all by myself.”
“I KNEW IT!” Adrian and Daniel shared a high-five.
Gordon punched me in the arm, “What the Hell is the deal? Do you want people to think you’re a doofus for the rest of your life?”
“I’m not sure if I have a choice,” I said, “this could be one of those nature versus nurture things.”
Daniel rolled his eyes, “Come on, everyone in the class of 1986 knows who he’s still pining away for Lilly.”
“Lilly?” Adrian stroked his chin, isn’t she still hooked up with Jessie Manson?”
“The guy that can crush walnuts against his abs?”
“Wow Al,” Adrian nodded ruefully, “is your life really that sad?”
I sighed with exasperation, “All I know is that I wish that I had Jessie’s girl...”
“Jessie's’ girl?” Gordon asked.
“Why can’t a find a woman-” a sob caught in my throat, “why can’t I find a woman like that?”
“Ok guys... lets get back to the game!” Adrian said.
...the three costumed men stood among the bodies arguing about the fine line between costumed crimefighters and masked vigilantes. Patient Zero and Batshit were starting to shove each other, Frost was looking for a convenient side exit.
“Nice try you young whipper snappers...” a voice interrupted them. One of the customers stood, her dowdy dress was peppered with buckshot holes, there was blood in her blue rinsed hair. “But my healing powers are more than a match for you.”
“And who the Hell are you supposed to be?” Batshit laughed as he reloaded his sawed off shotgun.
Steel claws popped out of the backs of her hands and she lunged at them. The last thing the heroes heard was her name...
“Auntie Mame?” I scratched my head in confusion.
“No,” Adrian said, “Auntie Maim.”