Misadventures in Funcoland: Gotta Catch Em All

July 21, 2009


Store: Sterling Heights
Notable Gaming Release: Pokemon Jungle Expansion Packs

Just another day at the Sterling Heights Funcoland for me during the summer.  The job has started to take a turn for the worse at this point.  For a brief time, my girlfriend at the time got hired to work with me… baaaaaad idea since she was bossy and I was a higher rank than she.  Maybe I’ll tell that story some day, but it’s not that great.  The main thing that started to make the job suck was that we had expanded from just video games and video game accessories to selling Pokemon cards.  This made the job get really bad.  For one, there was no commission on these things.  You can’t even try to tack on something for commission on them.  Kids coming in with pocket change to buy a pack was killing my Average Dollars per Sale (ADS) which while you wouldn’t really get in trouble for having a low one, you would catch some shit for it.

So anway, it’s about mid day at this point.  These new Jungle Expansion Packs came in first thing in the morning, I popped them out of the box and put them on display.  Did my usual morning dusting and such and then it was time to game.  I had gotten bored with most of the games so I decided to turn my attention to the Gameboy.  I had never owned one of my own so I figured there would be a wealth of cool games to try out, and sure enough, I found one… QIX.  I won’t go into details, but you should really check this game out if you dig puzzle type games.


So I’m actually getting more brazen at this point with playing my video games.  Knowing that I’m only being checked up on once a week, I’ve started to hook up systems to the GX tv that shouldn’t be there.  So I have hooked up an SNES and am playing QIX with the Super Gameboy adapter.

Sometime around 1pm, I can hear the sound of running from outside.  As mentioned in a previous story, I’ve got my back to the door but I’ve learned tell tale signs of knowing when someone is coming at this point.  So I pause and close up the GX and lean on the counter all James Dean style and wait.  The running is coming from the right, sounds like two people, likely a couple kids who just got out of a matinee at the movie theatre at the other end of the complex.  Sure enough, two boys come running up to the door, I’m gonna guess about 12 and 8.

Now from my view point standing at the counter, I’m on the right side of the store looking at the door.  The door opens outward from the left side.  12YearOld is standing to the left of the door trying to open it, and 8YearOld is standing in front of the door.  Somehow, they are both canceling each other out from pulling the door open as they are both trying to be the first one to get in.  This power struggle plays out for a good 30 seconds, each one kinda shouldering and elbowing the other throughout.  What comes next completely surprised me…

Still fighting over the door, 12YearOld takes his right hand off the handle and flat out punches 8YearOld in the face, BAM!  One punch and 8YearOld drops to the ground in front of the door, and as expected, is now crying hysterically.  While 8YearOld is lying on the ground crying and holding his head, 12YearOld is now slamming him in the face with the door trying to pull it open.  He quite literally is using his entire body weight to try to open the door and move 8YearOld out of the way at the same time, it must’ve been between 5 and 8 hits to the face before he could get the door open enough to slip in through the crack he made.

At this point, I’m flat out stunned.  I’m standing there, mouth agape, unbelieving of what I just saw happen.  12YearOld comes running up to the counter, places both hands down on it flat, sorta patting it rapidly.

“Do you have Pokemon Jungle?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!  Do you have Pokemon Jungle?!?!?!?!?!?!” repeating this over and over.  I turn to look at him in shock.

“Dude!  What did you just do to your brother?!”  He’s not even listening, he’s still patting the counter and repeating the line over and over.  As I start to walk around the counter to go check on 8YearOld, I hear a shout from outside.

“What the FUCK?!”  That would be mom a couple stores down.  I stop halfway to the back of the counter and look back at the front of the store.  Mom comes power walking up, dressed in a white t-shirt and some tight ass stone washed Jordache style jeans.  Keep in mind, 8YearOld is still on the ground crying, bloody, and holding his head.  Mom walks over to 8YearOld, grabs the back of his shirt and yanks him onto his feet, placing him to the left of the door.  He’s now just standing there, arms at his sides, bawling his eyes out.  Mom flings the door open, and the bolt that connects the door to the hydrolic closing arm breaks and the door swings free.  I brace for impact expecting the door to shatter the window.  The door slams the window with a loud “crack!” sound, but the window doesn’t break somehow.

Mom comes flying into the store at which point 12YearOld looks over at here, “Mom!  Mom!  They got em!”  Mom walks over, grabs 12YearOld by the back of his shirt with her right hand, lifts him up and over her to get him in front of her.  She switches hands, now grabbing his shirt with her left, and just starts spanking his ass like she’s trying to beat it through his stomach.  Now 12YearOld starts screaming and crying.  “Mom!! Mom!! Mom what are you doing?!  They got em!  Mom!  Mom what are you doing?!?!  They got em!  THEY GOT EM!!!!!”  Meanwhile, 8YearOld is still standing out front of the store, blood streaming down his face onto his shirt, arms at his sides, bawling.  I imagine it’s what charlie brown would look like if Schultz ever decided to get violent.

The door has swung back closed at this point, mom still spanking her son kicks the door open with her foot, and I brace for impact again.  The door slams into the window again but still, does not break.  She grabs 8YearOld by the back of his shirt and drags them both into the parking lots, and I eventually lose sight of them.  So here I am, standing behind the counter in disbelief as the door sways in the wind.  It was probably a good minute or two before I even moved.

I walked up to check the scene and see what the aftermath looked like.  The bolt on the door had simply just shattered, it probably was made with a flaw, I’m not trying to say the woman had super human strength, but half of the bolt was laying outside the store, the other half inside the store.  On the ground, you could see little strings of flesh, like how if you get toilet paper wet and drag something across it, amidst several small pools of blood and spit.

I went in the back and found some puffy two sided tape and stuck one piece to the door and the other to the frame to try to keep the door from flapping open whenever the wind blew by.  It did work but I had to remind people to close the door behind them.  It didn’t matter because the next person to come in was ManagerPart2.  I hadn’t even called him to tell him the story, he was just stopping by to check in and say hi.  ManagerPart2 opens the door and not expecting it to be broken, gives it a good tug and the door swings around and hits the window again.  Whoever made this window did a great job, cuz of all the hits it’s taken today, not even a crack.

ManagerPart2 just stands in the door with his sunglasses on and says “What the fuck happened to the door?”  I just sorta laugh and start walking around the counter.

Me “Man, you wouldn’t believe me even if I had it on video.”

ManagerPart2 “Try me.”

So I walk up and crouch down by the door, and motion for him to do the same.

Me “See that?  That’s blood, spit, and skin from some 8 year old’s face.”  He didn’t believe me.

I spent the next 10 minutes trying to explain and reenact the events to give him an idea of what had happened.  The door didn’t get fixed for about a week, and those damn Pokemon cards continued to be the bane of my existence.  The next day yielded another great story… but that is for another time.


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