GM Diaries #4 Caught Short
Article by Bill Parslow
I am a GM in a very Gothic, atmospheric room - it’s eerie decor, weird soundscape and little scares (Nervous Player “ Is there anything scary in there?” Me: “Madam, I will have to refer you to my lawyers to answer that”) are part and parcel of the experience. I too am part of that experience, hence the black waistcoat, black bowler, black trousers. Except.
Except that on Saturday it was a hot day and and I walked into town. I got into work and checked through the room, my personal supplies: herb tea, check, emergency chocolate bar, check, gourmet sandwich , check, trousers... !? I had walked in in shorts and I had forgotten my trousers.
I’m nothing if not resourceful, so I went round the kitchen and the bar - “Anyone got a spare pair of black trousers?”, but what do you think. Of course there was no one. I would have to go through with it in khaki shorts.
We’re situated in a busy pub (a bar for those not familiar with British drinking establishments), so when I sallied out to find my groups (a hen party all afternoon) I went public in all my glory, bowler, waistcoat and, I have to admit, fairly unsavoury khaki shorts. With black shoes and long black socks just to add insult to injury.
The first barmaid to see me doubled up with laughter. Well that was encouraging. I found my hen party group leader and started with my spiel ( I stay in role all the time). And you know what? They didn’t bat an eyelid. They were a lovely set of women, very lively and interactive, but not one of them noticed or mentioned my shorts. My character is very verbal - I have quite a tightly scripted comedy routine from beginning to end so that’s the main focus. So maybe that won the day, or,more probably, this being England, they were just too polite to mention the shorts. Personally I think they were dazzled by the knees.