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It Could Have Been Worse I Suppose

May 1, 2019

It was horrible. Water and cardboard don’t mix well. Especially when that cardboard is hundreds of Star Trek Attack Wing upgrade and ship cards.

I store my Attack Wing collection in a several binders. Those binders in turn are stored in a large plastic bin, along with bags of movement dials, tokens and ship bases. My collection includes over 300 ships. Each ship has on average about 8-10 cards associated with it. I don’t know exactly how many cards I have, but it’s in the thousands. And those thousands were all wet.

I often leave the bin sitting in our basement family room with the lid off.

The kitchen sink was full of water. As my son pulled the drain stopper, we immediately heard water splattering under the sink. It quickly overflowed the empty gallon ice cream bucket that was there to catch drips.

My son and I quickly cleaned it up and headed off. I was dropping him off at early morning football practice and then heading off to work.

When I got home that evening, I thought that maybe I should check to see if the flood had caused any additional damage downstairs. The carpet was dry, the desk was dry. Apparently, it was all contained upstairs. Well, that’s what I thought. It wasn’t until later that evening that I decided to look at my Attack Wing collection.

And my heart sank. It was wet. And as I checked more, I realized it was very wet. I lifted each binder out and sat it dripping on the carpet. I pulled out the bags of movement dials and base tokens. Water dripped from the bottom of the bags.

Maybe it’s not that bad. . .No, it was bad. Very bad. The Klingon binder was hit the worst. Every page, and nearly every card ranged between slightly damp and soaking wet.

I could have been worse. . .I guess. That’s what you are supposed to say, right? I was really looking for a silver lining.

Looking hard.

I was able to get all the cards out of the binders in one piece. I had to sacrifice the plastic card holders. But aside from a couple scratches, the cards looked okay. If I could get them dry and not too wrinkled, I might salvage them.

The movement dials would not be so easily salvaged. But, fortunately, the plastic bags I use to store my game pieces saved the movement dials. They didn’t get dripped on and the water in the bin didn’t leak through.

Well, that’s something.

The bases? Over three hundred of them. One inch carboard squares with holes in the middle fastened together with metal rings. Another set of pieces not easy to dry out. Amazingly, they were also spared. They are stored in plastic bags and that saved them.

Well, it wasn’t a total loss, was it.

I tried to think of what I could use to dry a few hundred cards?

Towels? Too much risk of sticking.

Plastic? That would take a lot of space.

If I had something like parchment, that might work.

Parchment, like the huge roll of it in our pantry. Really?

Well, that’s convenient.

So, I went to work laying out layers of cards between large sheets of parchment. Then, I stacked books on them to try to keep them flat. And then I left them to dry and prayed that I hadn’t just ruined thousands of dollars worth of out of print game pieces.

Did it work? I’ll let you know when they’re dry. I’ll have to wait for that.

Could be worse, I suppose.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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