The Garden is so awesome. This is the second time I’m played in it, in fact it was the second time for Jeremy and Eric as well, so most of us had already done it. That just made it better.
Icicle Nic, Amiette, Madame Tranh, and Duke made this little oasis at the literal edge or a collapsed fault line, their home. The Home Depot was crumbled and in ruins. The Shell had a Caffino coffee stand on top to serve as a lookout tower, but otherwise was gutted, but the Garden, it still stood, and still served unlimited breadsticks.
Our situation was that a powerful biker gang was coming for their annual summit (Motor Khan) to eat at the garden. The were traveling through, collecting tribute, and we knew they would stop, eat, and the leader Garble Khan would meet with our manager Madame Tranh. If all went well they would eat our food, take what they wanted, and leave. If not, they’d take more.
The problem was that they took up most of the tables, there were only two free for others, and demand for the Garden never ceases. Duke had to hold off the families outside and keep them from breaking down the door. Of five families that had been waiting over a day for a table, we knew we could only take two. That would not due.
We learned that Chunky, our janitor who got around in a rascal, was wise and worth listening too. That there would be another Chunky and they would be wise too. Also, don’t go in his shop, it’s trapped like you wouldn’t believe.
Nic, who used to be Icicle before Madam Tranh cut her face open, learned to just do the fucking job that was in front of her. Don’t worry about being loved or special or secure. Just do the fucking job Nic.
Amiette. She was crazy. “The bullets go this way, the bullets go that way” was a lullaby she sang when daydreaming. She brought another, a girl offered up for a table, into the family.
We never did learn much about Madame Tranh. She kept the peace, until of course the families who we did let in, pulled out guns and opened fire, but even then she never lost her head. Tranh spoke in signs. A single breadstick with a bite taken out of it put on in your breast pocket. A slice of cheese left on the counter. These were her signs and none of us understood them, but neither did we cross her.
Duke, poor Duke. He tried to keep the peace, but this place wasn’t for him. We had a patio in the back that sloped slightly downwards to the yawning ravine that swallowed anything that fell into it. Our hardcore “we’re tough” patrons liked to sit there. Sometimes people sat there if there weren’t any other tables. Sometimes people also came to the Garden expecting an mecca and found… it was just this. That there was no escape, and what we had to offer was lacking. Sometimes when people saw that, the wanted to be seated out there, we gave them the office chair with wheels, that was attached by a chain to the building. We pulled the chair up as needed. Duke, he wanted that chair, and was just trying to hold on.
C’mon, did you just read that. Our characters, that’s what rocked. Nic’s insecurity. Tranh’s obscurity. Amilette’s sincerity. Chunky’s sagacity. Duke just wanted to fucking die.
The whole premise is just fun. We run an Olive Garden after the apocalypse. How does that work? I enjoyed finding out.
Chunky with his rascal was awesome. Whenever he’d talked to someone Jeremy would roll his chair over to them. Brilliant. Also the Savvyhead move to give advice. Totally worked. So good.
Nic kept getting thwarted. Like at every turn. And for a moment that bled over to me and I started getting frustrated and anxious too. Then I remembered I was with friends who all love me and that hardships were good. I channeled that back into Nic and felt good watching her flounder in the wind. It was okay for Nic to be off kilter, unsure, and let someone else (Chunky) set her straight.
Karen brought breadsticks from the cafeteria. Yay!
What could have improved
I wanted more time. More time just to hang with Jackson and Jeremy and Eric. More time for our characters to build things and break them down. I wanted to know what happened when I made the Mai Thai for Garble Khan (we elided past all of that). I wanted more weird brainer shit and more touch choices for the hardholder/manager. It was all good and I wanted more of it.