The extent of my knowledge of Magic: the Gathering can be summed up by the fact that I refer to it as, “the bullshit with the cards.”
I vaguely remember it being a popular game (right? it’s considered a game?) with a certain subset of boys when I was in middle and high school in the 1990s. It involved buying packs of cards that resembled mythical creatures or lands or something, and in order to play(?), groups of like-minded young enthusiasts would gather (get it???) in someone’s parent’s basement to attack each other with the aforementioned cards and roll the 20-sided die in order to find the one ring to rule them all. Or something to that effect. I may be mixing my fantasy elements here (I said that all I knew was that it involved cards!).
Remus, however, knows plenty about Magic as it was a rather prominent part of both his childhood and his 20-something years. What I thought was a hobby that ended the day you packed up to leave your parent’s home is apparently still a popular pastime for plenty of adults who do not, despite popular belief, still dwell in said parent’s basement. In one of his past jobs, Remus worked with several people who also Magicked(?), and they would pass many after-work hours playing. Now being a gainfully employed adult, he finally had the funds to purchase the many packs of cards he could never afford as a kid, so purchase them he did.
Several years and a couple of jobs later, Remus was no longer Magicking as he once Magicked and his abundance of cards resided in many boxes that he kept stored in several drawers in an old dresser that lived in his closet. When we decided to move into a new place together and were clearing out the dresser to prepare it for sale on the online garage sale that is Craigslist, we debated on what to do with the many boxes of Magic cards. Our opinions differed slightly.
Him: Find someplace or someone to sell them to.
Me: Throw them away or burn them for making s’mores.
He insisted they were too valuable to just toss, which I found unlikely because clearly I don’t know anything.
After a brief amount of online research, Remus found a gaming store in Seattle that not only bought used Magic cards, but also provided a database where you could record how many of a specific card you had and in what condition, and it would then create an invoice of how much you could expect the shop to pay out for your bounty. The cards and invoice were then mailed out to Seattle and once your inventory was verified, you would get a deposit for their worth into your PayPal account. It couldn’t be easier!
Well…except for the fact that you have to sort and order your collection of cards yourself to determine what exactly you have to offer, which is no small feat when you have 10,000+ cards. Our opinions on this project also differed slightly.
Him: Let’s do it! It’ll take up one weekend—two at the most—and then we’ll have a nice chunk of change to do something awesome with!
Me: Let’s not. And also, I don’t love you anymore.
But with much persuasion I was drawn in anyway. I’m sure the promise of foot massages and head rubs were involved.
And so, for the better part of two weekends, we sat in his living room, going through boxes of Magic cards, separating out the various editions, sorting the Manas from the Creatures, the Spells from the Strategies, pondering if a slightly bent corner would reduce a card from “Very Good” to merely “Good” condition, figuring out where the hell the foils fit into the scheme of value, and me disbelieving what some of the so-called “rare” cards were worth (“Underground Sea cannot be worth $200! It’s a friggin’ piece of cardboard!”).
In the end Remus recouped over $3,000 for his collection and our hours of effort. And that is how we now sleep on a king-size Simmons Beautyrest Recharge Hybrid mattress that features Beautyrest Pocketed Coil Technology with AirCool Gel Memory Foam and feels like sleeping in a cloud that ever so gently hugs you as you sink into sleep. And how I went from referring to Magic: the Gathering as “the bullshit with the cards” to “the bullshit with the cards that bought us a baller bed.”