by Gian-Paul Bergeron and Jacob Osborne
Tech Deck fingerboards were the bedrock of the St. Louis Toys ?R? Us empire. And they?re all going to be mine.
Every professional toy flipper needs his big break, and mine just came in the form of the unceremonious implosion of one of the world?s most beloved retail franchises: Toys ?R? Us. When the toy titan announced it was going the way of the Giant Cuban Owl, I didn?t need a MBA to see that there was going to be a gaping, miniature-skateboard-shaped hole in the eastern Missouri toy market. I mean, let?s be real. For the last two decades, there?s been one towering toy brand supplying the region?s rebellious-yet-risk-averse teen population, one line of lucrative miniatures single-handedly keeping this bloated sperm whale of a distributor afloat, and it goes by the glorious name of Tech Deck.
That?s why I?m going to buy up every last Tech Deck fingerboard from all six failing Toys ?R? Us locations in the greater St. Louis Metro Area.
It?s simple economics, folks. Ever since I can remember, Toys ?R? Us has had a stranglehold on my local digit-flipping market. For years they were the only ones slinging decks in this town, so they charged the premium prices of a profit-hungry monopolist. But now, as they nosedive and struggle to clear out the last dregs of product from their derelict and half-empty shelves, they?re selling Tech Decks for a song.
So I?m singing, baby. After I fill a 26? U-Haul with the entire Tech Deck inventory from every Toys ?R? Us in a fifty mile radius, there?s going to be a brand new St. Louis fingerboard baron, boys and girls, and his name is me. Pretty soon, every table-top skate trick in The Gateway City is going to be done on my decks. There?ll simply be no other place to gear up for America?s tiniest and raddest pastime. You want something that can ollie over a pen cap? Gotta come to me. How about grinding on a stapler? I?m your guy. Or what about using your trapper keeper as a ramp and kickflipping until long past dinnertime? You bet your calloused tips that that?s me too.
Because I?m not just selling a mouse-sized product; I?m selling a lifestyle. Fingerboarding means freedom, within reason. It means shrugging off the heavy mantle of parents and school and social pressures and just letting those knucks rip. Every moderately-badass pre-teen growing up betwixt the Missouri and the Mississippi with a twitching index and a dream to finger-skate is going to demand what I?m supplying.
Of course, I?m not gonna stop with every deck, wheel, and pair of trucks in St. Louis. Please. I read enough of the Steve Jobs biography to know what end-to-end means. So I?m buying up miniature tool kits, too. If you want to repair the little board bought from me, you have to use the little wrenches you bought from me. I?ll send them out the door with their shiny new finger-whip, and soon enough they?ll flick it off a kitchen island or grind it too hard on a three-hole puncher, and they?ll come crawling back for tune-ups. Plus I?m getting all the decals ? these kids go buck-fucking-wild for teensy flame graphics.
But that?s not all: I?m acquiring the entire Tech Deck built environment. Mini ramps, mini rails, mini quarter-pipes, mini half-pipes, mini actual pipes, mini concrete dividers with mini finger-shaped stick-on graffiti, mini bike racks for mini bikes, and mini fire hydrants for mini fire emergencies, all as small as dolls but worth their weight in gold. (Hopefully a lot more than their weight, actually.) And I?m buying the riders ? Booger, Bonz, Cluckers, Dr. Digit P.I., Frank ?N Finger, McShanks, Sturgeon, Splinter, and Brad ? for when those kid knuckles need a rest, and helmets for the riders, too, because SAFETY HAS NO SIZE!
By the end of this liquidation sale, I will own everything fingerboard. It will all belong to me. I will rescue this 56-carat blue diamond of a brand from this capsizing Titanic of a toy corporation. I will be master of the Tech Deck universe, more specifically the one that covers the suburban and urban neighborhoods of St. Louis, Missouri.
But I refuse to buy those little scooters, because seriously what kind of pea-brained numbnuts thinks you can scooter with your fingers?