When I got out of work last night, I was deep in a fit of melancholy. No good reason or excuse, just a passing cloud of exhaustion and malaise. I was even considering skipping my volunteer duty at the skate park and heading home to sleep it off. Fortunately for me, I summoned enough will power to drive over the state line to Vermont and put in my time.

I dropped into the skate park, and who should be there, but good ol’ Bacon.

I wrote about Bacon a year ago in a post on the Wizards boards. Bacon is 13 or 14 years old, a little on the round side, and is blithely oblivious to the social hazards of gaming. Or maybe he is just a lot braver than I am.

Bacon and I hung out for the night, skating with the other kids in our local park. Bacon is still skating (bravely, poorly) and is still playing that blessed version of D&D possible only for kids that are 14 and younger. Remember when you didn’t know how to roll a d4? Remember when it didn’t matter that you didn’t know how to roll a d4? That’s where Bacon is at.

He assured me that he was going to “crank through the Dungeon Master’s Guide” this weekend so he could run a game for his friends. Please bear in mind that, to the best of my knowledge, Bacon has been running games for his friends for the past year, so I can only assume was finally been able to afford the DMG.

It bears repeating that our skate park used to be a mechanic’s garage and that the ramps were all built by the kids. If the word “ghetto” can be used as a compliment, our park pretty darn ghetto. It is also where all the young boys come to show off for the girls, so emotions can run high. There is a lot at stake when you’re literally falling down in front of the girls.

And yet, there’s my buddy Baco: not particularly athletic, happily chatting about D&D between turns dropping in on the ½ pipe. Two hours skating with him and I was new man.

Last year I would have said Bacon was oblivious to the social hazards of being a gamer. This year I’ve voting for braver.


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