|Can I help you...?|
Quite nostalgic, really, in an off-beat kind of way. I see from this blog that the last time I dared set foot in our nearest Games Workshop was in February 2013. I have some kind of nervous illness which makes it very difficult for me to function normally in these stores, I think.
Anyway, on Wednesday of the week-before-last I was feeling a bit giddy – demob-happy? – since I had just been told I was not required after all for jury duty on what was scheduled to be a 5-day trial in the High Court. It did take them 3 days to get around to deciding this, in fact, but I now found myself with some spare time on a nice, sunny afternoon, in suitably good spirits, and within easy walking distance of the aforementioned store.
I had some misgivings, so went for a preliminary cup of coffee to settle my nerves, and there I decided that it was well within my capabilities to just walk calmly into the shop – I even took some small delight in the fact that I was wearing sports jacket, tweed cap and big knitted sweater – I might just scare the Darklings into a compliant state.
So I did it. First surprise was that it is now called Warhammer. The place was unusually quiet – there were three black-clad young men sitting around a large game in the centre of the room, and I think that they all work there – or worship there, or whatever it is. My arrival usually sparks some unrest, since the obvious conclusion is that I must be an elderly wino who has wandered in to get out of the rain. On this occasion, however, they were very polite – charming, even. The nearest young man said, “Were you looking for something?”, and I said, “I’d just like to have a look at the paint racks, if that’s OK.”
|Have to admit I wasn't really looking my best|
“What kind of paint?” [tricky question that – I have only an approximate idea what the various paints are called, never mind what they do – on another day I might have been unnerved enough to run out of the store]
“If I can just have a browse around….?”
No objection, so I carried on. Eventually I was asked,
“What you working on at the moment?”
Here we go. “I’m painting some units for a Spanish army – Napoleonic period – I have been building it up for a few years now.”
“Oh – right – erm, cool!” came the answer, and that ended the discussion.
I was hip enough to know that my favoured Citadel Blood Red is now called Evil Sunz Scarlet (discuss), and I found my way around the racks without hitch, so was quite relaxed by the time I took my three chosen pots to the checkout.
|Happy as a pig in wassname...|
The manager (or Arch Lord, or whatever) served me at the till, and he was polite and articulate and quite a few things which took me by surprise; in particular, he was very pleasant, and not patronising at all, and his eye-contact levels were very good.
I returned to the real world with my little bag of paints, quite chuffed with my success. No complaints at all, but it is faintly disturbing to have one’s prejudices shaken like this. Is it possible that the Warhammer lot are [and I apologise for the use of the term] growing up? Are they now, in turn, threatened by some newer, younger, even spottier phenomenon? The shop was very quiet – could they have reached a point where they are forced to treat visiting winos as though they might be potential customers?
I sat on the train home, my mind filled with wondrous thoughts, and dozed off in the warm sunshine. Fortunately I live at the terminus…