A Game We’ll Never Play

Dearest Rachel –

It’s true that, thanks to the likes of Amazon and online shopping, you can come home nearly every day to find a package on your doorstep. After all, I just found the box with Chompers’ wheelchair on the front porch just this past Tuesday.

However, that was the last order I’d placed with them, so I wasn’t expecting anything to be waiting for me the next day. But there it was, another box, sitting right there, waiting to be brought in and opened. Not another mystery, I hope!

Well… no, as it turned out. I mean, the return address made it clear to me what it was. But it’s still something poignant to receive at this juncture.

From time to time over the past three or four years, we’ve gotten involved with Kickstarter projects, where a person or group we’re familiar with decides to crowdfund a project, and those that get in on it get the first copies of whatever the project entails, plus certain incentive bonuses if certain funding goal is met or exceeded. It varies from creator to creator, but it’s been a fun thing to be a part of. It’s how we managed to score tickets for Kevin to see the MST3K/Rifftrax team in person to watch them do their trademark takedown of The Three Doctors live (and we watched it on simulcast in a theatre up here in the Chicago area); how I got my name in a book on British history; and a few comic books from various writers.

The problem is that the creators are raising the funds before starting in on the project, and it takes time to go from concept to drawing board (literally, in the case of comic book and animators) to production to finished product to distribution. And in that amount of time, a lot can happen.

Such as… your not being around to receive and enjoy it.

Now, that’s not being entirely fair to the Kickstarter process, or to this creator (and I’ll get to that in a moment). After all, what happened to you was sudden and abrupt; you were skating around on the lake at three in the afternoon, and – for all intents and purposes – gone before five (although it was officially 9:32 p.m. – I will never forget that time – you were apparently already brain dead at the bottom of the hill).

At the same time, it’s been four months since then, and while Daniel and I have had time to deal with it, there’s always a thing or two that comes around to remind us of you and what you left behind. Some things are constants, such as Chompers and your various possessions – clothing, papers, memorabilia, that sort of thing.

And then there are these sorts of things that literally show up on our doorstep with virtually no warning.

I say virtually, because if I hadn’t gotten your passwords to access your email account, I wouldn’t have seen this coming. The thing is, creators generally send out updates on their projects from time to time, so we the ‘investors,’ have a rough idea what to expect, and when. As it is, you yourself might not have seen this coming, given how rarely you used to check your email. But you would probably have realized what it was by the address label: The Odd1s Out.

Behold… the Cafe Chaos card (?) game:

And I am just realizing I’ve missed out on the opportunity to do an unboxing video. Oh, well.
It comes with its own custom carrying case – which, curiously enough, seems to be smaller than the box the main game comes in.
As an initial sponsor, it seems you also received all of the expansion packs that go with it.
…along with a sheet of stickers…
…a poster of the other animators who joined in on creating their own cards for the game (you would probably recognize Jaiden, Rebecca (Let Me Explain Studios) and Adam (SomethingElseYT, if no one else)…
…and a special card, signed by James himself.

At this point, I do not know what to do with this thing. I can’t get rid of it, this being one of the last things you ordered (I’m going to have the same problem when your CD of Baldy’s Basics shows up at some point), but the two of us can’t play it, as it’s geared for groups of three or more. Even if I were to take it to Kevin’s, I can’t see Daniel being interested in playing it – not just because it might remind him of you – but because he was that much less into game-playing that I was/am.

So for now, it just sits in its plastic wrap, waiting to be used… and it might be waiting a very long time. Because it’s a game we’ll never play.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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