Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Went to see Mike Clark today. Mike owns the Showcase Comics stores, and I became friends with him years ago when I worked at the game distributor, and we've remained close since.

I had one of the rare actual adventures of my life with Mike in 1995 when a Teamsters strike stranded our entire order of a new Magic the Gathering product at a terminal in Northeast Philly, with no way to get it out except coming and getting it ourselves.

Mike was so eager to get his order that he took it upon himself to rent a truck to to pick our shipment up. Which of course involved crossing a Teamster picket line. Since the shipment was for us, someone from our company had to go along and sign for it. And of course nobody wanted to, because they were afraid of what would happen in the process of crossing a Teamster picket line.

So I volunteered. If I really thought there was a possibility of violence, I would have been scared to death. But it wasn't an issue of courage, only logic: we would be in a big truck (that we didn't own anyway, so property damage was not an issue) in broad daylight, with police around. So there wasn't any real, logical chance of violence, and I went. And of course there wasn't any. As we crossed the Teamsters' picket line, we received nothing more than a charming variety of colorful language that still makes me smile when I think of it.

Anyway, that was a sort of bonding experience with Mike, and we have been friendly ever since. We made a sweet deal today that we both loved: We gave him 3 boxes of some of our old Magic in return for a huge amount of old RPGs, junky stuff that we can nevertheless ebay for three or four times the trade value that we gave up. Mike gets a nice, quick sale that will impress the hell out of his customers, and we get stuff that we get to make nice margins on for a year. I love great trades.

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