We're continuing my series of yarns from 1998 when I opened -- and then closed -- my first ever physical retail store, Wizard's Tower Gaming Center in Mesa, Arizona. In the wake of a terrible debut month, I found myself facechecking the Wall of Exclusivity, learning about good money and bad, and scrambling to salvage my way to survival by Day 30. September 2, 1998 dawned with me completely exhausted already... The unknown destroyer, of course, was made up of the consequences of my poor planning and decisions, and would eventually claim Wizard's Tower just as the entropy of collectivism claimed the first John Galt Line in the novel. And as with Dagny Taggart, I did not know the destroyer's inexorable hunger, but the destroyer most certainly knew my weaknesses. For a few weeks, there was some modicum of "business as usual" at the Tower. In the Phoenix metro, if a store pays out less than 100% of admissions into the prize pool, that store struggles to fire events. Mid-month, of course, came the prime event of the year for Magic: the Gathering, the prerelease tournament for the autumn stand-alone expansion.
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