I wrote this in my blog a little over a year ago. I'd forgotten I wrote it, and when I was rifling around in the archives, I was pleasantly surprised to see it.
I was in a Games Workshop store recently talking to some guys about I forget what, when I overheard a conversation between some of the patrons and some of the staff. It was an animated conversation about how one of the Warhammer armies, named "Skaven" was created and came into the world. You see, there's this thing about a tower that some village was trying to build and then a stranger came to the village one day and said "I'll help you build the tower" and so they let him and when he did something bad happened and rats grew big and picked up weapons and started killing everyone. I kinda checked in and out of the conversation as it progressed, but what amazed me was the length of time that this conversation was spanning; it was a good 20 minute conversation about how Skaven came into the world. They then all joined into an animated discussion about who that mystery person who built the tower was. Could he have been this guy? That guy? The other guy? (The names escape me. Sorry). It was not a casual discussion... this was something these guys really cared about. This was something that they obviously gave a lot of thought to on those nights when they lie awake, staring at the darkness. I thought to myself "Is this how far these people are out of touch with reality? That they put this kind of thought and energy into wondering where non-existent rat people came into being and who was the other non-existent person who made it happen?" I felt a little weird being around this, so I left. I was a little worried that if I stayed there for too long that my own grasp on reality might start to dissolve, it was that serious.
I wandered next door to a hair salon that I frequent and looked for some new shampoo, of which I was in need. Now, as you can imagine if you have ever been in a hair salon, there was no shortage of hair products. I stood before the shelf which served my usual brand and started rifling through the bottles to find the shampoo. I found conditioner, which isn't really that exotic of a choice. I found leave-in conditioner, which is a bit more unusual, given that most people use a conditioner before they get out of the shower/bath/whatever. There was a styling gel, which was also nothing unsual. "Firm" and "light" varieties indicated the differing degrees of hold that each could offer. I also found styling gel for thick hair and for thinning hair. Ok, good enough. There was also styling cream, forming cream, pomade and sculpting cream. There was a product I forget the name of, the purpose of which was to make your hair shinier and one called "mud" that was intended to make it less shiny. If the mud wasn't interesting to you, there was also "clay" and "stucco". There was a finishing rinse, for when you were done washing and conditioning, as well as a product I couldn't quite get the hang of but appeared to be a sort of varnish that held your hair in place once you got it "just so". In addition I also saw several varieties of hair spray and no fewer (I kid you not) than five permutations of shampoo. This is all from the same company, by the way. I did a little quick math and realized that if I were to use all their products in one sitting that I would be putting roughly a gallon of product on my head every morning, would take ninety minutes to get ready to leave the house and could pay about $200 monthly in upkeep to make sure the products didn't run out. There were several posted advertisements which shockingly indicated that, yes... this is what they expected you to do.
At that moment I rethought my perspective that the nerds in Games Workshop were out of touch with reality. At first I thought that they were as far gone from planet earth as it was possible to get, but after visiting the hair salon I realized it's quite easy to go a whole lot further.