I had worked for GameStop for about two years, and the only thing I remembered from the first orientation was their absurd return policy. This I hated more than anything at the store, and it stated “Official GameStop policy requires every purchased item to be reduced by 50% or more if the customer chooses to sell it back to the original vendor.” This denigrated every valuable piece of gamer history there was to play, sit on, or admire from afar. As you can tell, I am a bit of a gamer myself and had been a GameStop regular before I started working there. Generally, I only remember the regulars that come in for their monthly newsletter, or the gamers who are first in line when the new Call of Duty comes out. However, there is one specific and, hmmm…. I feel like unique is an understatement to describe him, so I will just start with the infamous Tuesday morning that set the chain reaction in which the end was a federal crime.
I opened the store on what seemed like a regular day, and the first person to come in was a rather distinct fella. It was clear from his bedraggled appearance that he had just woken up and came with whatever he slept in. With a beard dirtier than the back counter, a short stature, and a fedora-trench coat outfit that looked like it was from the 40s, the man entered and grabbed miscellaneous items from every shelf. The items he placed on the counter were a red Gears of War Xbox Controller, a USB drive, small Bose speakers, a Fortnite wallet, a gamer table, and lastly, the GameStop monthly newsletter. “Will that be all sir?” I asked in my monotonous customer service voice. Trust me, if you have worked in customer service, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I could smell the Doritos and Mountain Dew from his grotesque beard. “That is all my good man, the people of Ilios thank you,” he responded in a strangely deep and low-key frightening voice. He tipped his fedora, bent down to the Overwatch poster as if he was venerating Genji Shimada, and walked out.
The “Fedora Man,” as I rightfully nicknamed him, was the only customer for hours, so my mind drifted to what could have been his intrinsic motivation towards the items he purchased. He probably bought the red controller because he broke his other one rage-quitting or from getting mad at his mom for not bringing him his pizza rolls. I own the same pair of Bose speakers and they are the only quality individual electronics at the store, so he probably needs them to enhance his gameplay. The table was small, he was built like an offensive lineman for the Miami Dolphins, so it was more than likely a decorative table.
The newsletter was always outdated and uninformative, so I had no clue why he spent six bucks on it. The USB was more than likely used to store more of his role playing fantasy games. And the Fortnite wallet? Why would a man his age get such a childish thing? I mean I understand everyone can game no matter the age, but in all honesty, Fortnite was meant for 8-13 year-olds, not 45 year-olds who buy strange merch.
I know no matter how low or high a person may be in status, they would never want to “covet thy neighbor’s goods.” Ever. Well, I guess I’ll never know, I told myself. More time passed, and I was scrolling through Facebook, when I saw the funniest headline. “Florida Man arrested for breaking into military base with gaming accessories.” These stories keep getting weirder and weirder. Then, I saw something that filled me with dread. The mug shot was none other than Fedora man! What did this man get himself into?
“Carl Frazier, age 43, used gaming devices to sneak into the Florida Army National guard base in St Augustine, FL for confidential archives. Read further to see how he did it.” So, I read further, because I just had to know! I’m glad it wasn’t one of those click bait articles, because I had actually seen the man himself. “An accomplice, Bryan Lindsey, age 28, was also identified to be a part of the scheme. This plot was written as such by Frazier in a small black notebook.
Frazier dressed as a postal worker, and would deliver a newsletter to a non-existent subscriber inside. Lindsey was set up on a small wooden table about half a mile away. Lindsey used an Xbox controller to control a drone with loud, distracting speakers to divert the guard’s attention. After that, Frazier would sneak through the metal detector with a USB drive in a small wallet, based off the popular video game Fortnite, that had a metal cloaking device to trick the detector. He was ultimately captured when the metal detector beeped loudly and several guards surrounded him and his partner. In an interview with the federal officers, Frazier stated that he was ‘making homage to Grand Theft Auto V’ and wanted to commit a ‘heist mission with his friend.’ Both will be charged soon, and more details will be available when they arise.”
Wow. My jaw dropped. He really came into my store to do a GTA heist. Small world isn’t it. I felt bad but at the same time, it was cool that I got to be a part of a heist too. I guess you could say I was an accomplice at heart. ; )
Sebastian Lopez is an eighteen-year-old student from Dallas, TX. He will attend the University of North Texas in Denton in the fall of 2019. He loves playing classic video games and enjoys jamming on his guitar. He also loves writing short stories. His piece is about a bored worker at a game store whose life is changed by a person he criticized greatly in the beginning. Like the Transformers, the customer the worker assisted was “more than meets the eye.” This short story was inspired by his love for video games like the classic Super Mario World, and Mario Party, along with newer shooter games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. He thanks you for taking the time to read his story, and hopes you enjoy it : ) This is his first time publishing.