Cranford, NJ — March 22nd, 2018
Local nerd Joe O’Brien was missing for several hours yesterday afternoon during an attempt to deliver bottle caps in a blizzard, police reported Wednesday. The nerd, who had only recently moved to Cranford, NJ after several years of geeking out in Astoria, Queens, was reached for comment late Wednesday night as he lie in Springfield Regional Hospital recovering from hypothermia. “I had to get those caps in the mail,” O’Brien stammered through blue lips, “the Season 2 release had just come in and…and…” he wasn’t able to finish the sentence before body temperature alarms screamed throughout the small room and the attending physician leaped into action.
O’Brien was referring to the release of Season 2 of the Glass Cannon Network’s collectible bottle caps. Apparently, the Network recently ordered an entirely new slate of bottle caps with artwork that wasn’t seen on any of the caps in 2017. Mailing these new booster packs to subscribers to The Glass Cannon Patreon at the $15 tier and up was apparently worth a human life. “You have to understand,” the hopeless nerd mumbled through an oxygen mask after being revived, “this season is incredible. There’s an epic Razzmatazz, a Raiders of the Lost Continent one, and even a special, silver, limited edition release of Jason Bulmahn’s Pathfinder Playtest manuscript cover as captured by a Grant Berger photograph. I couldn’t simply leave them in stock for another day because of a little SNOW!”
The “snow” to which the geek with more board games for adults than books for his child was referring to was the fourth Nor’Easter to slam the Northeast in the month of March. Visibility was so terrible that one intoxicated passerby described the post office as “under at least 9 feet of snow…or maybe that was just the hill behind my house…I’m not sure where the post office is, I use the internet.” O’Brien said a tearful goodbye to his wife and 20 month-old daughter as he hefted over 80 packages onto his back and disappeared into the raging storm in the direction of the mailbox. “We didn’t know if we’d see him again,” his wife said Thursday, “I thought maybe I could use the closet space his board games take up for things like clothing for our child, but the cops ended up finding him.”
The police found O’Brien in a snowdrift outside of a Domino’s pizza, unconscious and dying, clutching one package in his hand. They were unable to remove the package from his frozen death-grip until they stabilized him. “Please,” he choked just before being intubated, “be careful, there’s a legendary Della Narn in there that’s never been seen.” Once he fully regained consciousness and was able to speak, O’Brien asked frantically after the other 79 packages that he put into what he thought was a mailbox. “The sleet had started then and it was like frozen desert sand scratching my corneas with every step. I couldn’t see anything,” he raved,”The mailbox was considered to have total concealment from me!” The doctors had a hard time understanding what they called his “nerd-speak.”
With time, O’Brien’s vitals returned to normal and he was reassured early Thursday morning that his packages did indeed get processed by the USPS. Relief evident on his face, he sank back into the chair and smiled, “Any day now they’ll start getting a brand new set…it was…it was worth it.” When asked if the shipment of the bottle caps had to happen at the height of the storm, the attending physician replied, “We try to understand the mind of the nerd and not just dismiss these crazy, alien thoughts without taking time for serious consideration. That said, is an uncommon Matthew Capodicasa cap really worth dying for? I don’t know. I don’t know.” She wrapped up by getting to the heart of the matter: O’Brien’s medical condition. “Either way,” she said, “the man acted in a way that could have been harmful to himself or others. We’re keeping him another few days for further mental evaluation. His wife happily signed the waiver.”
-Eric Holston, Union County Post Dispatch