Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Strange Requests

A list of strange requests over the years:

  • Player's Handbook (SC). A woman once called about buying a softcover D&D Player's Handbook. Her brother was in prison and they don't allow hardcover books. The next year WOTC came out with the Player's Kit, which had a softcover version of the book. I still refer to it as the "prison edition."
  • The Frog Guy. A very nice customer who probably kept me afloat in the early days would buy cases of rubber water frogs. He gave them out with his business cards at large social events, like rotary clubs. This resulted in some amusing conversations with my sales rep, who made me promise NOT to tell him what I was doing with all those frogs. Unfortunately, I can't get the frogs any longer.
  • Adult Games. I've had some interesting conversations with people looking for "adult," X-rated games to play with their spouses ... or in groups. As a general rule of thumb, I avoid those types of games, although I caved on Dirty Minds, which is a best selling board game for us.
  • Real Magic (good!). I've had people coming to the store looking for books on how to cast real spells on people. I would carefully explain that the books are for games, and will not allow you to cast authentic thaumaturgy, including the book called Authentic Thaumaturgy.
  • Real Magic (Bad!). I've spoken with people (very few actually) who think D&D books or Magic cards are real and that we're involved in some form of devil worship. As I told one woman commenting on the D&D Spell Compendium, "Ma'am, if this book had real spells, I would be making a heck of a lot more money at this."
  • Floor Wax. The painting formula for "magic wash" calls for Future Floor Finish. A bottle of this stuff is about $10, but we ocassionally re-package Future in small dropper bottles and re-sell them. It was someone else's suggestion, but it has worked out well for us.


  1. Adult games generally fall into one of two categories. The first is a standard game with an adult theme, ala Busen Memo, or Dirty Minds. I don't see much of a problem in stocking games like this (well, maybe not Busen Memo).

    The second is simply a method of randomly determining a sexual position or activity using cards, dice, and/or a board, but with no actual game involved. The latter are generally made by adult novelty companies, and are best left to the adult book stores that carry the rest of those kinds of products.

  2. There is a third type that attempts to bridge the gap. I saw some at a trade show last year and I was very tempted to pick some up, as was one of my distributors. After a full day of hemming and hawing, we both decided against it.

  3. Interesting. I didn't mention that third type only because I've never actually seen any that fit into it.

  4. Heh, he said "fit into it".

  5. I tried to explain MTG to a conservative christian at my college in Kansas.

    I'm not entirely sure she still isn't convinced it was intended to be a form of real-world divination.

    I guess I'm a bit skeptical, but I just can't understand how people believe in 'magic' in the real world. I know they do, I just don't get it.

  6. "A very nice customer who probably kept me afloat in the early days would buy cases of rubber water frogs."

    Heh - afloat, frogs, get it?