When Too Much Dungeons and Dragons Changes Your Religion

(Written over several years when I worked at a bookstore--I no longer work there, and some information no longer applies.)

Okay, so this punk kid came into the bookstore where I work and bought a few of the little polished rocks that we (for some unknown reason) stock in our nature section. He delightedly reported that he was going to use them "for Wicca," and eagerly asked me if I had heard of it. Heard of it? Of Wicca?

Um, well, yeah.

And I made the mistake of letting him know I'd done more than heard of it, by calling attention to my pentacle necklace. I didn't bother telling him I was not a proper Wiccan, that I was just a general Pagan, because it seemed he probably wouldn't know the difference, and I didn't feel like explaining it. Well, he was very excited by the fact that I was wearing a pentacle and proceeded to think I was his best friend, and began stalking me. If I'd known how he would latch onto me, I would have beaned him over the head with a Catholic Bible or something, or at least never revealed that I was Pagan. Now I regret even talking to him.

It became clear by the second time he came in looking for me that what he thinks is "Wicca" is actually some kind of warped version of D&D on crack, or something. Here I shall list some examples.

For about two weeks he came in every day looking for me so that he could hang around and literally follow me as I put books away, spouting this kind of nonsense. I was of course somewhat offended on so many levels that he thinks this stuff is real and then dares to call it "Wicca," but being the polite girl I am I tried to correct him rather than telling him to shove his blue diamond up his ass.

When he expressed interest in hurting someone with a spell, I asked whether he'd ever heard of the Wiccan Rede, which I would think a supposed Wiccan would want to live by. (This led to a discussion of justified "karmic" punishment, in which he revealed to me that he had, indeed, been hit by a bus at one point, and yet still did this sort of thing.) He acted like getting all these special powers and magickal tools was some kind of RPG game that was REAL, but that the repercussions didn't apply to him. When he wouldn't shut up about acquiring powers or doing this or that spell, I asked him why all I ever heard from him was stuff he was GETTING and never stuff he was GIVING, and all I got was a ridiculous "Uhh . . . I dunno, huh-huh." And when he asked me what I would do if he said he was going to go home and stir up a hurricane tonight, I told him up front that I would not believe him.

Some other highlights, casting a suspicious eye on his ridiculous statements:

It got to be a bit ridiculous; he was asking for me when I wasn't there, and I started getting messages from co-workers saying "Retarded Wiccan Boy was here" or "Your boyfriend came to see you." My tolerance of him began wearing thin, and the last few times he came in I ignored him as much as I could unless he was just buying something or asking a specific product-related question, and didn't talk about his white dragon summoning or other weird shit. He ended up getting a house-painting job for a while and staying out of my hair, amusing himself on his skateboard in the parking lot on the rare occasions he came by anymore. I was glad, because at that point I was thinking if I had to hear about his white dragon one more time I would be tempted to break his punk skateboard over his head. That or threaten to summon a red dragon to kick his ass . . . and then roll the dice to see if he lives.

Note, added much later: HA! Wiccan Boy is now Ex-Wiccan Boy. He came in recently and informed me that he doesn't do Witchcraft anymore because he "doesn't need it," and that he's much too busy being the lead singer of a successful band with two albums out already (yes, of course) to bother with spells anymore. I found it amusing that he said he'd been "into it" for ten years, yet he could just drop it when he got "into" something else; still more proof that it was never an internalized, foundational system of belief for him. I came right out and told him his ability to shrug it off so quickly because it's no longer USEFUL just proved that he was never really a true . . . whatever he wanted to be . . . in the first place. He didn't seem too offended by that, of course, because hey, he's the lead singer of a successful rock band and it no longer matters to him whether he was really Wiccan or not. When he implored me to come see him perform sometime, I asked him where he'd already done "gigs." His answer? "Well, we haven't actually done any performances yet. . . . " Yes, the mark of success.

ANOTHER note, added much MORE later:

All right, folks, he's "Wiccan" again. He came in and asked me where it was I'd said he could get a pentacle necklace, and when I asked him why he cared since he wasn't "into it" anymore, he replied that he was "back" into it, because . . . get this . . . an acquaintance had pissed him off, so he needed to get back at him. This information sent me into a quiet rage, and I said something to the effect of "that's the stupidest thing I've heard in my whole life, you are a big poseur, and I refuse to talk to you about this anymore." Of course, I said it a little differently and in a more dumbed-down fashion, and I was a little nastier, but I made it clear that I was not his friend, that I did not think what he was doing was interesting or cool or acceptable, and that I did not intend to discuss it or anything else further with him. After that I answered his attempts to engage with such brush-offs as "Whatever" or "Yeah, I'll bet you did," which caused him to be less interested in talking to me. My manager ended up kicking him out of the store for repeatedly wanting to use the phone but not buying anything. He left the store muttering under his breath. Watch out, guys, this may be one of those aforementioned incantations he's written to use . . . WITHOUT CANDLES.

And then YET ANOTHER UPDATE, an even more obscenely long time later:

Wiccan Boy has returned, but now he's Rocker Boy.

According to some others, he'd been coming in mostly after I'm gone and has started following others around the store telling them of his exploits: How his band is getting signed to a major label and he's going on tour at the end of the month. And apparently there's a limo waiting outside and his bodyguard is waiting for him outside the store. Uh-huh.

I finally was forced to run into him today because he came in a little earlier than usual, and I got some amusing encounters out of it. He walked up to me while I was helping a customer and started trying to talk to me OVER THE CUSTOMER, and when I ignored him he went away but returned later. "Long time no see," he said, and then he's like "Have you heard of Tower Records?" I told him I hadn't. "You haven't HEARD of TOWER RECORDS?" he prompted, like I had to have missed this name-dropping behavior. I again denied that I'd heard of the famous record label, and he nevertheless barrelled ahead with his claim that they're having him sign a contract at the end of this month. "At first I just played for fun," he attested, "but once I found out how much money is in this, I started doing it more for the money." How noble of you.

SO then he started talking about this other guy at my work and how he's gonna get Tower to sign his band too. (Incidentally, my co-worker's band actually does have a minor-label contract at the moment.) Then he disappeared for a while and came back with a really big box containing an exercise machine, and told everyone about how he was going to work out on it to improve his physique for all the music videos he is sure to be doing soon. He told the café girl that he wanted a java brownie and that this was the last week he was going to be able to eat things like this because he was starting his fitness program. Yeah.

So after that he started coming into the store now and then with a ratty guitar and a very small, low-quality amplifier and making a big show of asking whoever is sitting near his chair to please keep an eye on his equipment because "this stuff's not cheap." Hahaha. As we all know, he has to walk around with a guitar and amp in case someone requests an impromptu concert, because as we all know major rock stars always have their hogs at the ready.


Yes, another update, not that much more later this time:

So jerko was in the store wandering around name-dropping, trying to make some members of the staff believe he'd been in contact with various rock bands. He came up behind me and we had the following conversation:

"HEY, guess who *I* just got off the phone with?"
"Do I care?"
"You'll care when you hear who it is, I think you'll be happy."
"So is it some band I've never heard of?" (I'd already heard from a fellow employee that he was walking around telling everyone he'd talked to famous musicians.)
"Well if you've never heard of Linkin Park you got a problem." (Note: Voice was full of "ah-hah!" glee.)
"Well then, I've got a problem." (Note: I have heard of Linkin Park, but even if he had talked to them I would not have been impressed. I've never been one to think someone becomes great by association because they caught Justin Timberlake's sweat rag or acquired a pair of Janet Jackson's underwear.)

This led into a discussion of how he can't believe I haven't heard of this band--see, I'm supposed to hear this and be so impressed. What I want to know is what would he have been talking to Linkin Park ABOUT? They just call his ass up one day and say "Hey, Ex-Wiccan Boy, how are your delusions coming? Taking your medication? No? Good, 'cause if that's the case we'll call you again next week about that tour." And I suppose the whole band got on the speaker phone to call him up? Last I checked band members had individual names. But no. He just got off the phone with "Linkin Park," 'cause they're one entity as we all know, and they hang around together in a pack during all offstage moments as well just in case, the same way this guy keeps his axe handy in case someone wants him to chop.

He's supposed to have left to go begin his dazzling music career on the West Coast by now, I thought. Why, oh why, isn't it true?

Another update:

Rocker Boy came into the store today and asked for an application.

Think his multi-million-dollar record deal fell through?

Yet another update:

Oh god, he's back, and first he asked me for books on studying ninjitsu with black magic. Then right after that he came up to me and told me he was no longer into Satanism.

One has to wonder if he a) Thought that was what he was into when he was "into Wicca" and b) Thinks "black magic" is okay to use with his ninjitsu practice but Satanism is to be avoided.

I do not envy his psychiatrist.

Another update:

First thing in the morning I see Wiccan Boy darting around the store in his skulky way, and wouldn't you know it he picked me to solicit help from.

"Do you have The Necronomicon?"


Well, of course I didn't ask him to give me any of these details, but as always he began spilling his whole dumb story about how he needs "another one" because he has to "take care of some business IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN."

He went on to explain that he used to have a copy, but he burned it because it got him into a lot of trouble. But now he needs another one because of those friends of his that are pissing him off, and he has to take care of business.

Keep in mind I didn't ask him for any of this information.

Finally he told me that it will be different this time because the last time he had the book he was in a cult. "They went and turned on me," he explained, "and they beat the holy living hell out of me."

What I wouldn't have paid to get a hold of a video of that.

Somehow even after all the crap that happens to him because he is a dumbass with this shit, he continues to seek it out and bend over with his pants at the ankles for life to kick him square in the ass.

The next day he was back, and I guess in order to have an excuse to talk to the cute Pagan girl, he came in and started asking me about when his book would be in, and then left the store and came back wearing the hugest most gaudy cheap metal pentacle that I've ever seen, one of those ones that's probably supposed to be sold basically for shock value or a joke at Spencer's. But there he was, walking by wearing it proudly grinning at me probably expecting me to "notice" it or say something. When I made all efforts to avoid him, he sought me out, walked up to me with Raymond Buckland's book Practical Candleburning Rituals in his hand, and started asking me how he should use it.

"Um so what do I do, just put stuff on a table?" he asked. When I gave him the look of death he replied, "I've been out of this stuff for a while you know."

Yeah, but he was "into it" since he was eight, remember? Until he was eighteen, remember? Somehow he spent his whole young life doing this stuff, and has suddenly forgotten how to do a simple candleburning ritual despite having a VERY simple book that tells him what to do.

"Um so what should I do?" he persisted, and I answered him in a very even "hey-you're-very-annoying" tone, "You pick the one you want to do, get the stuff he says to get, and put it in the places he says to put it." I own that book. I know how very very simple Buckland makes it. IT EVEN HAS DIAGRAMS. But he persisted in asking me if it was okay to just use any table, and I told him he could use a BOX if he wanted to and walked away.

Of course, he followed.

"You know, I'm not gonna do nothin' bad," he called after me, as if he was aching for my approval. I spun around.

"You're not gonna do anything bad," I said, "but yesterday you said you're getting The Necronomicon because you have to 'take care of some business.' That doesn't sound like 'nothing bad.'"

He gave me an embarrassed grin. "Uh. Oh. Yeah, well you caught me. You caught me in what I said yesterday."

"Yeah, I caught you."

"But really, I'm not really doing anything bad, I know better this time."

"I'm not going to go any further into talking to you about this."

He again protested that he wasn't going to hurt anyone and this time he would be careful, and I reminded him that "taking care of business" sounded like he was doing something very not nice, but that I didn't care and was going to withhold speaking my judgment any more on this. And with that I went on my lunch break and hid until he was gone.

Another update had me face to face with this beast, having been trapped on the bus with him during my morning ride to work.

"Oh, hey," he said, and I looked up and looked back down at my book without speaking. "So how you been?"


"Yeah so you goin' to work?"


Silence except for the random grunting of the only other passenger, a largely disabled woman in her late fifties.

"Okay so HEY, did you see THIS?"

Wiccan Boy then pulled out the largest pentacle necklace I have ever seen. I think it's the same one he was wearing when I saw him in the store with a gaudy metal one a few months back. It was even more frightening up close.

"Yeah. I saw it."

"You did?"

Good god, how could you MISS it?

He started giggling to himself and noticed he had the attention of our third passenger. "So how you doin'?" he asked her.



I think you took that giant pentacle out of your pocket in front of the wrong person.

I got off right after that. I have to wonder now whether she would succeed in burning him at the stake or if it would be him feeding her to the lions? I would have loved to see them fight.

Another update:

Now the boy has been back in the store several times returning the Necronomicon, buying the spellbook that goes with it, returning that, and then looking for books on NINJA WEAPONS.

He got my manager and said "Do you have anything on sai or nunchakus?" (Or maybe I should just write "num-chucks," since that's how he says it.) She said we didn't have anything and he got her to order him some. "He's not doing any more returns here," she said to us later. "He buys books, copies down what he wants, returns them, and gets the next thing he wants. He's been doing returns on the same receipt for like two years."

I guess he's into ninja weapons now because he wants to beat up those same people and has realized the secret Necronomicon spells didn't do anything.

That or he wants to be like the REAL ninjas Michaelangelo and Raphael. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ARE pretty cool.

Twenty-something Mutant Ninja Wiccan Boy coming soon to a coven near you.

Most recent update:

I have a feeling there won't be any other updates to this because I quit my job and moved from that city. So I am unlikely to run into Wiccan Boy again unless he happens to be visiting when I am visiting. Incidentally, he was in attendance at the bookstore the LAST DAY I WORKED THERE, but he didn't say anything to me, so this incident from about three weeks before that is probably going to be the last.

After having been kicked out of the store sometime the same week because he and some girl he was with were sleeping in the chairs, he came up to one of my managers and started explaining to him how he was "protecting" that girl over there.

"I'm in the Secret Service," he said seriously, "and I'm protecting her from some people from Chicago." My manager was like "that's nice buddy." He told me later that he wished he had countered with "Really? Well if that's the case, I can tell you this. I really work for the CIA, but I'm protecting someone at this bookstore from some gang from Las Vegas. DON'T BLOW MY COVER!!" Actually to tell you the truth I don't know if those were the cities either of them said, but you get the idea.

So I guess he's gone from being a bad guy (a wizard who blows things up and punishes rivals and makes hurricanes) to being a rock star (whose successful albums and record deal necessitated a limo no one ever saw and a bodyguard who was mysteriously not guarding him) to being a Secret Service agent protecting a young girl (while he's sleeping in the chair across from her, I guess).

So many great accomplishments in one short life! I'm sure by the time he's thirty he'll have become a skydiving instructor, taught Emeril Lagasse how to cook, owned a hotel in South Africa, learned to speak sixteen languages, and impregnated someone royal.

I hope he never finds this page or he might get some ideas.

So more than six years after I quit the store, a friend who still lives in the area reported to me that he saw this kid on the bus and had a conversation. (He is the mutual friend mentioned way up there--the one who enabled him to "guess" my last name.) Sadly, he is STILL making claims about Linkin Park. During the conversation on the bus, Ex-Wiccan Boy told my friend that he is related to someone in the band and that his Christian rock band is soon to be touring with Linkin Park within the next couple weeks. (At locales my friend checked and found Linkin Park to not be playing at for the foreseeable future. I honestly don't even know why he bothered to check.) I wonder why he's been fixated on pretending to know Linkin Park for like eight years?

Any comments left here are PUBLIC. If you are not comfortable with that, mail me directly.

Email address:

Comments from others (first 10):

Mikey: Wicca boy has much to learn about since when is a pagan based religion used for just to get even? No it should be a way of life, an understanding of yourself and the world around you, and unfortunate that the record deal fell through he might have really liked Beverly Hills I know a few who would like to see him over there.

LinguaFranca: He should research spells that will get his record deal back.

Erik: It sounds like "Wiccan Boy" has ego issues. He doesn't think his life is particularly interesting, so he invents fantasies about "doing black magic" and going on tour with a band as an escape. As Mikey said above, he clearly isn't truly interested in Paganism.

[NB: I hold no degree in psychology; take my prognosis with a grain of salt.]

Emily: It's been ages since I last checked on this! I believe the last time there were only two updates on the Retarded Wiccan Boy... all those new additions were fun to read. Thanks. On the topic of the actual essay: people like this are both hilarious and depressing. It is pretty pathetic that some people actually believe things like that. But still, it's quite amusing to watch them run around in circles.

Viorica: Holy Mother . . . I'm Wiccan myself, still a neophyte, and even I realize that this guy doesn't have a clue. I'm not even gonna lecture you about using the word "retarded" because I'd say ANYTHING about a prick like that.

swankivy: Note: I wasn't the one who decided to call him "Retarded Wiccan Boy." Just so you know.

Christine: The white dragon from the sky thing sounds like he'd been watching too much Yu-Gi-Oh.

Charles: I think you like him, particularly the attention he gives you. Otherwise, you would have told him to "fuck off" a long time ago and flatly refused to speak with him anymore. You DEFINITELY would not have wasted several pages writing about him. When a person is truly irritated by someone, they go to great lengths to ignore that person. I know, I know. I can already hear your excuses, "Oh, but I couldn't avoid him! He kept trying to talk to me!" Please.

Admit it, he's at least intriguing to you - in some sick way, you're in love with him.

swankivy: Oh yeah, obviously, if I am required to be at my job and frequently encounter an annoying customer there, I must actually like said customer if I keep coming to work. And no one ever rants about things that annoy them! Ranting about what you hate means actually you mean the opposite, because EVERYONE reacts to frustrations the same way and EVERYONE knows this essay wouldn't exist if my attitude toward the guy was ACTUALLY as I describe it. I know a lot of people with shitty retail jobs who have the privilege of telling annoying customers to "fuck off," don't you?

Linda: Holy crap! I'm a Christian and even *I* know more about Wicca than that kid does! That's.... very sad.

You have way too much patience. I would have inserted something long, sharp, and pointy into his skull after a few days.

Setzer: It's a damn shame you aren't living there any more. He may be an idiot, but at least he's entertaining to read about.

Headless Unicorn Guy: Ah, fluffbunnies. Don't you just love 'em?

The Weird and Clueless are everywhere. I started out in D&D fandom, and thought D&D fanboys were obsessively weird. Then came Furry Fandom, and I realized I hadn't seen anything yet. And they say Anime Fandom is worse...

And when "drooling fanboy" gets crossed with religion, things get elevated to Cosmic Importance. I've had experience with Jesus Fanboys, Mary Fanboys, UFO/Space Brothers Fanboys, Left Behind Fanboys, 9/11 Truther Fanboys, and have heard secondhand about Da Vinci Code Fanboys.

(And if you think 9/11 Truthers and Global Warmers are not religions, try to differ with a True Believer. It's like talking to a Young Earth Creationist.)

"There will come a time when men will go mad. And they will lay hands on the sane among them, saying 'You are Not Like Us! You must be mad!'" -- one of the Desert Fathers

[Next 10 comments]