…we had family at the house over the entire Imperialism Day weekend, like Wed-Mon, so there was no World of Warcraft over the break. This alone is staggering to me: I mean, I was somehow willing to not be horrendously rude to our guests by ignoring them for four hours at a time. (I only ignored them for two hours at a time, when I would get distracted by my piles of Vampire cards. More on that later.)

I hadn’t played since the previous Monday, so the extended break accumulated into a ten-day hiatus. And, I feel very, very strange.

I have no strong urge to play.


I do have an urge to meet my commitments to my guild, however, so I will be going in tonight, to raid Blackwing Lair. However, I thought this streak was worth mentioning, as it is completely unprecedented in the past nine months.

Okay, so I will admit that there was another factor that went into this that might be having an impact.

I mentioned recently that my infatuation with Vampire: The Eternal Struggle (a card game that myself and a whole two of my friends care, or even know, about) re-exploded when I was exposed to the contagion that is the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game.

My inflammation has only gotten worse. And, on Saturday, something bad happened. As in “make the Bad Man go away” bad.

(For those of you who are watching this blog with the fascinated horror that one lends to trainwrecks and movies like Trainspotting, seeking after some kind of comprehension of how human beings can be so blatantly self-destructive, I offer for your voyeuristic digestion this morsel: in these pre-confessional moments, just before I am about to explain something that both horrifies and excites me, I experience an intense anxiety, like a hand physically grasping my heart. Most times, when I sit and begin to write about something, the topic seems amusing, and hopefully interesting. But right here, just before I describe the actual thing itself and I’m unwrapping in my mind the whole chain of events… it often seems funny in the same way that Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives was funny. Like, “ha ha ha ha, holy shit the way that guy is slashing people is hilarious, ha ha ha ha”. Like, there’s a part of you that is screaming under the laughter.)

[As an aside, Ft13thPt6 was pretty goddamn hilarious. If you haven’t seen it, don’t, but do understand that it’s really funny. In addition to being incredibly gory.]

Anyway. Where was I. The other reason I might not be craving WoW…

Oh, yeah.

The Bad Man
On Saturday, I made the mistake of going to the games store. This store has been undergoing a strange conflagration of events of late, and these factors combined on that day into what can only be described as a Vortex O’ Doom. Here are the principal facts for your consideration:

  1. The owner of said store has been away with some kind of debilitating illness for what is going on months now. She has thus been forced to leave her store to the care and feeding of her employees.
  2. Some of these employees disagree with the profit tactics of their Imperious Leader. One of them in particular (who was running the store on this day) wants to clear out some of the detritus, and is willing to negotiate to accomplish this goal. Even though it’s not his store.
  3. This fine fellow believes that Vampire: The Eternal Struggle is largely a dead game as far as his profits are concerned. He may be right on this, for reasons that have to do with online availability of cheap cards for those who look, which is pretty much everyone who actually plays.
  4. Thus, the store’s stock of leftover Vampire boosters is robust.
  5. I have Superior Presence.

I knew we were sliding into a bad place when this fine fellow expressed to me that, in the spirit of simplifying our conversation and his stock in one swoop, he would be interested in figuring out what his current lowest price on Vampire card stuff was in the store, by weight, and then offering to let me take however much I wanted of all of it, at that rate.

You might think I’m making that up. I’m not. Turns out that the lowest price in his store by weight netted out a price of $1 per booster pack.

That’s roughly 70% off. I could resell those boosters for twice that, on eBay.

After about fifteen minutes of calculation, I took half the stock right there. Went home. Stewed. Went to Safeway… and went back. Took the rest.

I bought roughly three hundred boosters.

[Those of you with sensitive constitutions may want to avert your eyes at this point: we’re going to NERDCON 2 here.]

I ended up with 9 packs of Bloodlines, 22 packs of Anarchs, 19 packs of Black Hand, two boxes (36 boosters each) + 3 loose boosters of Kindred Most Wanted, two boxes minus three boosters of Legacies of Blood, 33 packs of Gehenna, a box of Nights of Reckoning, a box of Third Edition, and about ten starter decks.

[Okay, returning you to NERDCON 5. Close the silos and stuff.]

My good friend the druid wondered recently as to how I managed to engage in this lunacy without destroying my household. I assured him my wife’s constitution was part of the alchemy. I can further assure him, and you: this event has tested that alchemy. She is a remarkable woman, as it turns out.

What Does That Have To Do With WoW?
You see… when I say that I haven’t played WoW in ten days, I may have given you the impression that I was somehow temporarily cured of my insanity.

You may draw your own conclusions as to whether or not that is the case. Either way, I spent Saturday, Sunday, and a good portion of Monday and Tuesday opening, sorting, alphabetizing, recording in my Excel database, and filing, over three thousand new cards.

For a game that something like twenty people in the greater Bay Area play.

Does anyone know if there is a pill I could take? Some kind of supplement?