T'rade of Abuse

T'rade of Abuse
by Tony Boydell

This morning I woke up feeling a bit strange. I dreamt that my collection of foil Squires rose up from the gilt display cabinet (faux Aluminum and Grecian 2000 with tooth enamel inlay), where I normally imprison them, and beat my face in with the nearest trades folder - luckily I woke before the head injuries sustained proved fatal, only to realise that my children were beating my face in with a trades folder. Truth, my friends, is (indeed) stranger than fiction (unless that fiction is by Harlan Ellison—bow three times—or William S Burrows—bow again, taking care to avoid any drugs going up me bum).

Since whole chunks of my psyche have temporarily “vanishing counter”-ed out of my brain, let me remind myself and you, dear patient reader, that my favourite color is Green, I have been playing Magic since 1996 and my Inside Leg measurement is 16 hands (whinney). Actually, just to make it clearer, my favourite "Magic colour" is Green as my actual real-life favourite colour is 'Burnt Umber', but this has no bearing on what I'm going to write about today.

Today I shall be discussing the virginal adventures of TonyBoydell and on-line card trading; more specifically, how I traded away my Foil, Signed, Misprint Foreign Edition Virulent Sliver (the one I said would have to be surgically removed along with one of my testicles before I parted with it).

Well, now it's gone (and so is the Sliver)—can't say I miss it much (the sliver or the testicle, take your filthy pick), but I feel so much more placid now:

(Extract from conversation with Wife)
TonyBoydell: Sweetbreads for supper again?

Mrs. TonyBoydell: Yes, dear

TonyBoydell: Remind me – do they contain nuts?

(insert exuberant sit-com applause here)

Here are the particulars, with a rough value from me (in FYD – Fancy Yankee Dollar) for his cards:

Day One (Tuesday)
Initial Offer: my Foil, Signed, Misprint Foreign Edition Virulent Sliver (Uno Slivo De Vee-Roo-Lent-Ay) for the following cards from Glenn Phiddick, Scotland (TL ID is BurnsKnight):

1 x Foil Damnation (with a smiley drawn on the black sun in glitter-pink rollerball) ($50)
1 x Half-Cut Steamflogger Boss (*hic*) ($8)
4 x Miscellaneous Ravnica Dual Lands (with one of the colours rubbed off) ($12 each)
Total: $106

Now I was really happy about this deal (you don’t want the details of exactly HOW happy), but everything turned sour when the Damnation turned out to be a regular one with some kitchen foil stuck on to the artwork ! So, after threatening the European SOB with “Shock and Awe” US-style, we back-tracked a little and re-started negotiations. This time BurnsKnight was out-bid by a bold French guy called Jean-Paul. JP offered:

1 x Foil Damnation (genuine, no inky defacement) ($50)
1 x Alpha Ernham Djinn ($25)
4 x “Miscellaneous Ravnica Dual Lands with no crayon on them at all – in fact, give ‘em back you’ve held on to them for long enough” ($25 a-piece)
Plus $20 for my now-detached testicle.
Total: A butt-kicking $175 with cash-in-hand!

I was patting down the last snip of packing tape on the dispatch box when my cat (Willow – we bought him in the Autumn) reminded me that Ernham Djinns didn't come out until Arabian Nights, so that was that. I called the deal off, though he still got my gonad for $20. Willow offered for a few of his friends to go get it back, but seeing as the flight to Paris would've cost me in excess of $2000, I figured I’d let him take the nut and be damned!

So here I am—two aborted deals down, one “vacancy” in the scrotal region—and still with that Foil, Signed, Misprint Foreign Edition Virulent Sliver burning a hole in my hand. I figured on complaining to the trading league, seeing as they had login accounts and authentication notices for two of the sleaziest shysters I've ever encountered (this week). Now don’t get me wrong, guys—I’m not having a go at the Scottish or the French per se, it's just that these two bad apples pretty much spoil it for the rest of you—first impressions count, and my first impression of the Scotch and the Frenchies is that you’re all a bunch of misrepresenting, low-down, scum-sucking, trade-riggers.

No hard feelings now, d'ya hear ?

Anyway, I sent the following e-mail to CaptainBob, the day's moderator, in disgust:

Captain “So-Called” Bob,

I'd like to take issue with your title since I doubt you are, in all actuality, a Captain. But since time is money, and bandwidth restrictions apply, I thought I'd let you off this just the once and get straight into my complaint:



Unsurprisingly from a military imposter, the reply I got was unhelpful and, frankly, impolite:


Like I'm sorry to hear you done got a problem with the Trading League and I wanna be the first to offer any help I can to fix the situation, ok ? What you gotta do for us is to set down more clearly what your grievances are and then we can get right on it !

Take care of yourself,

Captain Bob

P.S I'm not really a Captain, it's just a nickname from kindergarten days ;-)

Well what could I do ? Deranged? I was furious and sent back the following reply—admittedly it was in the heat of the moment and maybe I shoulda thought it out more, but I'm sure you'll agree that the sentiments are valid:


Ignore this e-mail if you want, just because I didn't massage your saggy ego by calling you 'Captain' – I don't care much for liars and scandal-mongers. Just you make sure those vicious, slanderous, libelous, thieving sons of [Expletive Deleted] never trade online again—NOT EVER !


And the inevitable response ?


While we're all concerned for the good-name of the Trading League, we're having some trouble trying to understand exactly what your problem is - could you clarify a bit more ?

Best Wishes,

Bob (I'll drop the title if it makes you happy)

To cut to the chase, I mail-bombed the [Expletive Deleted] and set fire to my laptop in a fit of pique.

Day Two (Wednesday)
Those power-hungry lowlives at the trading league cut off my access, so I had to re-register under the name of BoneyToydell (luckily, no one noticed the coincidence). Posting up my first 'request,' I got the following bid from SonOfBurnsKnight:

1 x Foil Damnation ($45 - I was getting p*ssed by now, so I dropped the value)
2 x Dual Lands (names not provided, but one of them contained a P) ($88 — random number generator)
1 x Kiss on the cheek ($12)
And, to sweeten the deal, four hundred-weight of Pacts of Negation (overrated in my opinion) gratis
Total: Not Nearly Enough ($147)

I haggled a bit over the dual lands until he told me they also contained an H and an R, and the kiss on the cheek became a kiss on the lips (no tongues). This is often a good point to say a friendly 'Yes,' but you should always be aware of over-committing yourself; first the kiss, then a light supper and some dancing—who knows where it might lead ? Still, it wasn't the strongest suite, especially for a Near-Mint, “looks like it’s Foiled,” Signed (by me), Misprint (?), Foreign Edition (English is my second language), Prerelease, Book-Promo Virulent Sliver, so I played hard-to-get for a couple of hours avoiding eye contact.

Day Three (Friday)
I skipped Thursday altogether (due to “work commitments” - *cough*), so was refreshed for a further spell 'on the horse'.

Once I'd finished there, I resumed trading. I didn't have a good feeling about the 'SonOf' deal, so I modified the Slivers description to include the coffee ring on the card-back—this reaped instant rewards from the Far East:

Bid from T.P.Hedren, Malay Intl Bank:

1 x Alternate-art Pongify (-$1)
2 x Regular Damnation (one of which looks foiled if you shine a torch on it) ($88)
3 x A Lady
Total: $187 (targeting your Saproling token)

This is more like it ! I took the [Pretend Editor’s Note: There are 15 more pages like this ! If you think it's bad reading this stuff, you wanna try editing it sometime! I suggest you get some lunch and take five!] and it turned up the right way again after spitting blood across four counties!

Day Twenty-Eight (Dorisday)
Myself and PorkChopFace finally agreed on a deal for the Sliver, as follows:

1 x Pseudo-Foil Spellshaper’s Marrow (pseudo means that it isn’t a foil at all, just has the word FOIL written across the art-work with a pencil) ($10)
2 x Ravnica Dual Lands (both currently MOUNTAINS, as they're on heavy anti-psychosis medicine) ($44)
1 x Kiss on somebody else's lips ($10)
3 x Extirpate – all copies removed from Gatherer, Trade Folder and Standard Deck ($10)
1 x Magus of the Candelabra (bad card, bad condition) ($1,000,000)

After nearly a month of ducking, diving, wheeling, and dealing, I finally traded away the unique poisonous one-drop, and it only cost me $400 in telephone calls and ISP connection fees !

So, did I get a good deal ? Let me know via the usual channels.



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