Mayor Wilkins here with a nightmare-free Goldmine. I promise kittens and sunshine and rainbows this week, but instead I'm delivering a story about blossoming romance between gaming nerds, people who play Magic: The Gathering and...

Wait, come back. Where are you going? Don't go. I promise it'll be worth it.

Do you remember TheSwami? He wrote a story about dating a Rocky Horror cast member a while back. Well, he's written a few stories since then, and this week I'm treating you to one of them. It's a story about lust, gaming, and violence. Surely you will enjoy it.

But before we get there, let me take a moment to remind you that this story did not happen to me. I have nothing to do with it. I wasn't there. I've never met these people. This is not a personal story. This story was written by TheSwami. Why? Because it happened to him. So if you e-mail me congratulating me on having this interesting thing happen to me, you will be wasting your time, since it did not happen to me. It happened to TheSwami, a forum member. Not me. I remind you of this only because every week, without fail, at least four people e-mail me thinking that the story is mine, or I did every single Photoshop, or that I had approximately three hundred nightmare jobs which I wrote about. I thought maybe I'd remind you that this is the work of someone else, not me, so I can save you the effort of composing an e-mail that I'll simply delete.

Now, on with the story...


"Can I get three Mage Knight boosters, please?"

It was a bright, sunny and unbearably hot Saturday in mid-June and, as usual, I was trapped behind the counter in the gaming store I worked at part-time. The skinny nerd in front of me requesting Mage Knight boosters was covered in acne and wore a stained Punisher tee-shirt, his sweaty, eager palm clutching a slightly damp 20 dollar bill. His name was Billy and he was in here all the damn time. Half-lidded, I grabbed three boxes of that accursed clicking-figures game and tossed them on the counter. He picked one of them up.

"No, dude, hand me the box of them. I need to test the weight, I'm looking for a rare." said Billy.

Somebody fucking shoot me. It's not that I hated gaming nerds; hell, a sizable percentage of them were surprisingly friendly and decent people who had an incurable obsession, like lovable alcoholics. Unfortunately the latest craze was a game called Mage Knight, which is a game where Wizards of the Coast takes money from teenagers in exchange for a box of poorly painted little action figures where you incessantly click the numbers around on the base and pretend the toys are killing eachother. I thought it was retarded, mostly because it attracted the worst kind of gamer: the obsessive collector. The kid in front of me was clearly one of these.

The bells we'd attached to the door rang and in stepped a slender redhead wearing nude lipstick and a babydoll tee-shirt with Edward Scissorhands on it. Her name was Nicole, and she was surprisingly attractive, which meant she probably wasn't here to pretend she was a dwarf or click little figures and shout obscure rules at a fat bearded guy in suspenders.

"Someone's girlfriend is here to pick them up," I thought to myself. We had girls come in to the store but nine times out of ten they were someone's mother or fiancee or wife, an enabler that couldn't break their beloved's crippling nerd habit. If they were there to game then they either already had a boyfriend or were 500 pounds and balding.

So when this girl came up to the counter and asked if we had the latest Magic: The Gathering booster set, you can imagine my confusion. If it were in my power to have summoned a question mark to stand boldly over my head, I surely would have.

"Sure, we've got it." I took the box down from the shelf and set it in front of her, finishing up the other nerd's transaction.

"Whoa, a girl who plays magic!" said Billy, a sort of derisive sneer crossing his scarred-up adolescent face.

Nicole rolled her eyes and rooted through the booster box. Billy stood there staring at her a while.

"Did you need something else, man?" I said, sitting back on my stool and picking up my newspaper.

"Oh.. uh, no.." he stammered, still staring at Nicole, who was rifling through the box like a coke addict scrounging in his couch cushions for change. Billy scuttled off back to the Gulag, which was the big free-gaming area we had in the rear of the store.

Nicole selectred three packs of cards and pulled out her wallet just as Tom came swaggering from out of the Gulag.

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