Scene from the Mens’ Locker Room

The man stands in front of his open locker after an hour’s worth of pushing metal contrivances in various directions. He is on his way to the shower, and assorted ‘ceps and ‘oids glisten as he strips out of his clever-slogan t-shirt. From the shelf of his locker, his phone rings. It is a sensible bell-tone, not one of those annoying tune-rings that will get stuck in your head.

He considers his phone, and for just a moment he is the very picture of responsibility. He would rather have the shower right now, but this call must be taken. Wearing nothing but shorts and a layer of sweat he answers the phone. Naturally, the observer can only hear his end of the conversation:

“Hi, Bob.”


“So how far out are you?”


“No, that’s fine. I’ll see you in forty minutes, and I’ll pass the word along.”

He pushes the “end call” button, and scowls ever so slightly as he looks at the phone’s clock. Apparently the word must be passed along now, before the hot shower these rippling, aching muscles demand. He holds down a single key, speed-dialing.

“Hi Mike.”


“Yeah, Bob just called. He’s going to be late for the game. Could you holler across the store at my D&D group and tell them the Dungeon Master is about forty minutes out?”


“Yeah, I’m on my way, but I forgot dice. It’s okay, though… I think we’re leveling characters tonight anyway.”

And as he hangs up, he transforms, the words “Dungeon Master” stripping away layers of illusion. He may have looked responsible and ripplingly athletic for a moment, but he clearly fritters his evenings away as an imaginary hero. Those rippling bits no longer appear to be ‘ceps, ‘oids, or even remotely muscular. He is short, he is on the dumpy side of stocky, and he’s kind of clumsy getting that towel around his bulging middle. At least he’s showering. Everyone has heard horrible things about “game funk.”

That was me, yesterday at 4:58pm, in a locker room that wasn’t half as empty as providence might have made it… though it seemed to empty pretty quickly after I finished calling Mike.

21 thoughts on “Scene from the Mens’ Locker Room”

  1. If only ALL gamers were to follow your shining example of personal hygiene… I’m going to Origins, in Columbus, wherein I expect the “funk” to devastate my sinuses if the allergies don’t beat them up first.

    1. You think gamers are the only one with “funk”? Try attending an anime convention sometime. 😀

      (I staff two of the larger ones on the East Coast)

      1. I won’t argue with that — not that I’ve been to an anime convention, but rather I know that refuting your statement could lead to a “funk off” and for the Love of the Almighty would rather avoid such a thing. 🙂

  2. if you had just said “DM” instead of “Dungeon Master” they might not have figured out you were a geek. D&D, DM, what is he talking about? not that being a geek is anything to be ashamed of, mind you.

    so, who’s your character?

          1. My condolences, sir!

            Though I am reminded, Awesome Sex Gods would make a lovely name for a band your parents aren’t supposed to like.

  3. *LOL* Nerds rule!

    I actually bought my first set of dice last Friday. Why last Friday? What was so significant about last Friday?

    Oh, I’m sure you know. :-p

    I also bought a book…

    1. That’s actually not saying much. My writing chops have always been better than my art chops. Still, it’s nice to be able to break out the adjectives rather than the mechanical pencil.

  4. You think only gamers have ‘funk’ ? You sir, have clearly never had to share the minibus with a bunch of rugby players!

    It’s kinda sad though that we’re judged on the basis of stereotypes.

    It would be nice if there was a place, somewhere, where that wasn’t true or where geeks were the normal. Or at least, just not discriminated against.

    1. Okay, the sweat that comes off of athletes can smell strong, yes.

      The sweat that comes off of obese, lethargic adults who bathe less than once per day smells different because there are BACTERIA LIVING IN IT.

      There is a difference.

      Regarding stereotypes… sorry, I can’t help with that. I’m a cartoonist. Playing to (or against) stereotype is a job skill.

    Thanks Howard! Now that little image, (phrase?) is going to be burned int my head all day.

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