Here’s the setup.
Theres this guy, Cameron, he’s a huge Star Wars fan, and he’s got this massive collection of Star Wars stuff and vintage figurines that he loves and collects and keeps safe and sound.
He’s even got some of the really rare and valuable stuff, you know what I mean? He keeps his stuff in his guest bedroom, a room full of awesome.
Does Cameron sound familiar to you? Does this sound a little close to home?
I know I can turn my head right now, and while I don’t have any super valuable collectibles new in box, hey, look there, an entire array of lead miniatures from fantasy games, Warhammer 40K, Mechwarrior, stuff I’ve assembled and spent hours painting. There in pride of place is my Druid, my original ancient human druid from AD&D, carefully painted, a figure that I’ve had since, good lord, since my first year in the Marines, and that means the little lead bastard has been following me around all over the world since 1987.
How about you? Do you have stories that YOU could tell of the things you’ve collected, fragile, precious little things, collectible and worth thousands or valuable only to you for the memories they hold? Things you’ve gathered over the years that are part of your love of fantasy, science fiction, anime, films or novels?
I just bet you do.
So, this guy I’m talking about, Cameron, he’s out in Las Vegas for a bachelor party that went down last night. He got drunk, he had a roaring good time.
While he’s out of town, his sister, Therese, was watching his house for him. Water the cats, pet the plants, make sure the refrigerator didn’t catch on fire, you know.
Therese has a darling little son, Dillon, age 6.
The story goes, Therese plopped Dillon down in front of the TV, and then went outside to water the plants.
When she comes back in, why, little Dillon has mysteriously vanished! Poof!
Therese gets in a panic and goes hunting for her son. Whatever could he be doing? Wherever could he have gone?
She has barely begun her journey of discovery when what should she find, but that the door to the guest bedroom, which had been closed, is now, miraculously, open.
Little Dillon is in the guest bedroom, oh yes he is. And he is standing amidst the debris of ripped open toy packaging. He opened the door, went inside, grabbed some toys and opened those suckers right up.
Hey, he wanted to play with Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker, and who can blame him?
How valuable might these toys once have been? Well, Therese makes a point during her side of the story by saying one of them was an “AFA80” Luke Skywalker… and I thought it would be nice to give you some extra facts of the case, so I found one of them on ebay.
Oh, yes. That would be a thousand bucks. Gack.
So tell me, if you were Cameron, and you were hungover in the early morning hours after a massive bachelor party in Las Vegas, and your sister called you to tell you this, how would YOU handle it?
Really, what would you do? What would you say to her, your sister whom you presumably asked to watch your house for a few days, her and her darling son Dillon, aged 6.
Answer that for yourself now, but before you write a comment, you might want to ask yourself, how do I know the details about what happened to poor Cameron?
I’d be delighted to tell you.
I happened to hear this story on the radio this morning, on my way in to work.
The Dave Ryan in the Morning Show on KDWB does this incredibly stupid bit called “How will they take it”.
People call in who’ve screwed something up, and instead of telling the person they screwed over face to face, or via postcard from France while enroute to enlist in the French Foreign Legion, they instead choose the healthy and mature option of calling in to a radio station, and have a comedy-focused morning show setup the big reveal.
I imagine that the idea is, if pain shared is pain halved, then maybe death threats made over the radio in front of 15,000 listeners are death threats that won’t ever get carried out.
Anyway, so this story is real. Therese is real. Her son is real. Her brother Cameron, God bless him, is real, and he IS in Las Vegas, and his action figures? What happened to them, that be real too bro.
Yes, right down to the AFA80 Luke Skywalker.
Therese called in to a radio show, and asked a radio show DJ personality to help her break the news to her hungover brother at 6:00 in the morning in Las Vegas. On the air.
You don’t have to take my word for it. You can still listen to it yourself. It’s all right here at this webpage, where they provide the entire thing for your listening pleasure.
It’s about 12 minutes long. Not too bad, right?
So make the call. What would YOU do? How would you handle it?
And after you’ve decided, why not listen and find out how the real Cameron handled his own personal Camarón?
This story brings to my mind the immortal words of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, who said, “The horror… the horror….”
A little coda.
I found it fascinating how quickly the morning show crew changed sides.
They’re in the business of pleasing people who listen to contemporary music in our area. Most of these people mock us geeks, video game players, and basically anyone that doesn’t think the height of sophistication comes from going on a cruise with strippers and a parlor psychic, getting drunk, and passing out in a pool of your own vomit. Which, might I add, they are doing at this very moment on their second “Booty Cruise” of the season, and more power to them. I’m singing “I’m on a boat” while they really are. More power to them.
I expect some mocking out of them. Dude collects action figures, still in the box. I respect that, you respect that, but morning show people are supposed to mock the geeks. At least, they do in the world where people live as if they were plastic people stereotypes.
Well, that’s how they start out on the show. “Oh, your son opened them up, that’s sad, but geez, they’re only toys, he’s a little boy, it’s just a mistake, and it’s not like it was important, it was just some toys”.
And then Lena, bless her, comes up off the back deck with the elbow to bring the “Oh, HELL no” perspective to the party. She turned on Therese while Dave Ryan was still playing kissass, bringing OUR point of view.
I could tell that she related.
On a normal day, I know she’d have been ripping on a grown man collecting Star Wars stuff with the rest of them, but this story, you could tell, she flashed back to something SHE collected, and she got it in her gut what it would have felt like if, say, her Hello Kitty collection took it in the wood chipper. For a few minutes, she dropped the mocking, and empathized.
Doesn’t matter what it was the man collected, it mattered to him, he was the one that cared about what he collected, and you don’t dismiss how he might feel just because you or I or some DJ might think collecting Star Wars stuff ain’t ‘cool’.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go move my miniatures to a higher shelf. Not that I’m worried or anything, you understand. Just, er, I suddenly thought they might like to be closer to the light bulb. Get some more of that glow.