TOLEDO — Bumble Oats Games, a long-time staple in the community for card and board games shut it’s doors for good on Thursday, a mere two weeks after enacting a policy to improve their store.
“We always listen to our customers and act accordingly,” teary-eyed owner James Barnes told us Friday. “Sure there was the usual feedback, what formats we should play on what nights. New items to carry. But an overwhelming number of people asked us to enact a policy about personal hygiene. I’ll admit, I was glad to hear I wasn’t the only one.”
So Barnes did what any store owner would do. A week later, a new policy was implimented for all customers in the store.
“You know, we just asked that people bathed, or at least put on deodorant. Wash at least one of the major three. We boiled it down as easy as we could. ‘If we can smell you before we see you, you have to leave.’ Body odor was one of the main things people cited when they told us why they weren’t coming in. We thought asking for a little personal responsibility wasn’t much. We thought it would bring more people in.
What Barnes didn’t know was the unintended consequences.
“I never thought it would happen. Not in a million years. Drafts and events stopped firing. The pre-release was a no-show. Things were bad enough due to COVID. Barely able to keep the doors open. But after this… I just couldn’t do it anymore.
We asked Barnes the cause of the backlash.
“Turns out all the people complaining about the odor were just smelling each other,” Barnes said. “It’s the issue when you can’t smell yourself. Everyone pointed the finger at each other.”