May, when we printed the Summer 2003 Promo Cards, we snuck
three extra cards onto the card sheet while we were at it. Two
of them (the Nuclear
War reference card and the Time
For Peace Card) were included on the Official
Guide to Looney Labs Promo Cards which Andy created a
few weeks ago. But the third card never went up on the site
anyplace, since we decided we had not playtested it well enough
Well, I playtested it this week. And although it was not a
particularly successful playtest (in fact the whole experience
was both unfortunate and unpleasant) it made me realize I want
to start using these cards much more aggressively so we can find
out if they work or not and redesign them if they don't.
Andy and Alison designed this card for me as a birthday present
this year (Alison drew the art, and Andy wrote the rant) so we
would have a way to help explain my perfume problem to strangers
we meet in public - and since I get to write the web site this
week (Andy is in Europe with Russell and Kory at the Essen Game
Fair) I get to write about what's been on my mind this week.
As for the story of my playtest... Alison and I have been
taking a pottery class at the local community center, and there
is a woman who works at the front desk who's perfume has given
me a migraine several times since the class started 4 weeks ago.
It has always been at the very end of class, since she shows
up to lock the door at 10 when the class is over, and we are
often just finishing cleaning up.
This week, as we were walking down the hall just before
class, this same woman was standing in the doorway to our classroom.
So we turned into the classroom before, where they do all the
glazing and hand building, to avoid her. She followed us into
the room, and we moved to the back. She moved towards us to the
middle of the room and we awkwardly tried to explain and ask
her to let me get past her without getting near her. Ultimately
she stormed out of the room exclaiming how rude we were.
I went after her and tried to explain. I said I wasn't being
rude to her - but that I needed to stay away from her since her
perfume gave me a really nasty migraine headache. (And yes, my
head was pounding by this point.) But she just yelled at me.
Told me I was rude. Told me I'd better well be out of there by
10 tonight. Alison went back to try to explain and she just left
the room. We left her one of these perfume cards, but I'm not
sure if she even read it.
We went home. We cried. But when I think about it, I realize
that I was being extremely rude to her, by NOT telling her what
the problem was much sooner. That first night when she came to
lock up and I got a migraine from her perfume, I should have
given her one of these cards right then. I didn't know I would
see her again - but I could have guessed I might. I'm sure she
could tell we were avoiding her - and without knowing why, she
was clearly offended by the way we were treating her. Who knows,
maybe she was just having a really bad day.
But is the text on this card any good? Would she have been
just as offended that first night if we had given her one then
and tried to explain it to her? I'm thinking maybe the card should
say "It's not you, it's your perfume." I don't know.
But I think I need to start using these cards more aggressively
- before people get the chance to get a vibe from me that I'm
avoiding them for some unknown reason. The problem, of course,
is that either I can't get close enough to talk to someone about
it - or my head is pounding while I'm trying to talk to them
about it. Neither of which works very well. And people wonder
why I don't go out much. Anyway, if anyone wants to help me playtest
these cards - send me a SASE
and I'll send you a few of them.
But while we are on the topic, I want to say thank you to
everyone in my life who is careful not to wear perfume when you
are around me. In particular to those close friends (and co-workers)
who I am near on a regular basis who have changed their deodorant
or shampoo or even their laundry detergent for me. Thank you
(and again, I'm sorry) to friends who have sent their friends
away without getting past the front foyer, when they showed up
at our house with some sort of a scent on. And to other house
guests who have been escorted immediately upstairs to take a
shower and/or change into borrowed clothing. Thank you. Please
know that I greatly appreciate the sacrifices that you make to
accommodate this horrible handicap of mine.
And to the woman who works the front desk at the pottery studio.
I'm sorry. Please forgive my rudeness - it's not you, it's your
perfume. Would it have helped if I gave you this card 3 weeks
ago, the first time we met, and tried to explain?
In other news...
year and a half ago when our pet snake, Benji, refused to
eat the local mice our little cat was catching for him, this
week he has eagerly feasted on all three mice that Alison (with
the help of little cat) has, thankfully, removed from our pantry.
while she wasn't catching mice, Alison finished mortaring the
pond this week! It has been such a rainy summer that we never
managed to get back to work on it until this fall... but I am
very excited to report that the pond in our back yard is now
ready for water, fish, frogs, and landscaping!
Speaking of which, can frogs and fish coexist in a pond? I'm
a little worried that the the fish (that Andy is looking forward
to) might eat the tadpoles of the frogs (that I am looking forward
to). At least they should all get along well with the flowers
and shrubs that Alison is looking forward to... although the
cold snap that hit our area yesterday means the landscaping will
probably have to wait until the springtime.