Family-Friendly Fiasco

This week, we tried another online session of Fiasco by Jason Morningstar, but this time we used the Insta-Setup from The Museum playset by Angela M. Webber and Richard Malena and skipped both the Tilt and the Aftermath tables to speed up play. We chose to set our story during a school sleepover/lock-in at a science museum. Our collection of school kids include troublemaker Steve and his reluctant accomplice Ari (teacher’s pet) who need to find out the truth about a creepy teddy bear that keeps appearing all over the museum. Steve, who brings all the Lasers, doesn’t get along with Gregoria and all her Feelings, but Gregoria and her online BFF Katie are determined to get revenge for mean comments on the videos of their favorite YouTuber, costumer and cosplayer Corynne Thorn. Katie is from a different school but knows Ari and her brother Ron, who answers to Spock as readily as his own name, from summer camp. Katie carries a secret torch for Spock while Ari has roped her brother into playing the recorder to accompany her singing in an upcoming talent show.

Our story begins with Gregoria and Katie meeting in real life for the first time as all the kids are filing into the museum’s cavernous entrance. Gregoria has profiled Corynne’s bully online and believes that she will be able to identify her if they fly their fandom flag and watch people’s reactions, but when they watch a Corynne video, a teacher confiscates Gregoria’s phone. Next Steve visits Ari as the kids are setting up sleeping bags in the atrium and talks to her about the mysterious teddy bear appearances and how it moves about the museum, convincing her to assist in the search for it but agreeing to wait until after band practice. At band practice, Ari must persuade Spock again to participate, but he agrees when she reminds him about the extra-credit, so they run through her number a few times with Steve waiting in the wings to begin the search. After practice, Katie catches up to Spock while he’s in the Egyptian wing of the museum in front of the famed empty sarcophagus. Spock explains all about grave-robbers and other facts about the exhibit while Katie manages to flirt without frightening him away.

Drawing of two women: girl Gregoria Spring in her school uniform and woman Corynne Thorn with multi-colored hair and platform shoes.

As Ari and Steve begin their search in earnest, they try to track the bear based on its previous appears, checking the Rocks and Minerals exhibit, the Egyptian room, and the Fossils and Dinosaur exhibits, but don’t find it until they go to the Air and Space room. Unfortunately, a teacher finds them, leading Steve to stuff the bear behind the seat of a plane, and carts them off to the administrator’s office, where Steve provokes the teacher to give him detention by constantly talking back. Gregoria shows up later in the same administrator’s office looking for her phone so she can confirm the online bully’s identity, but when Steve hears about her plan, he makes it clear that he thinks her whole plot is dumb—bullies are best ignored and not given attention.

The next morning at breakfast, Ari is talking with Gregoria about what it means to stand up to bullies and whether dropping laxatives in her drink is really the best way to teach her a lesson. Ari makes it clear that none of us think what she’s doing is right, but that we’d all support her if she wants to confront the girl and tell her how her actions are harmful. When she agrees, Ari lends Gregoria her phone to make the confirmation: the preppy-girl Karlaygh. Spock is sitting nearby and threatens to tell a teacher about their plans, but they convince him to back down once he understands that they won’t be playing any tricks, just talking. When Katie shows up and learns of the change in plans, it’s time to act because, as Spock points out, there she is. With the whole gang (sans Steve) behind her, Gregoria goes up to Karlaygh and confronts her on what she’s been doing online with Ari chiming in that these kinds of comments are wrong. Gregoria explains that Corynne is doing good in the world, raising money for charities and that when you attack her, you’re also attacking all those who love her and need her. Karlaygh tries to explain how she was having a bad day, but Gregoria points out the comments are on different days. Karlaygh backs down and says she’ll stop trolling for fun, but Gregoria says it’s okay to troll some people like politicians but regular people with followings don’t deserve it.

Later, once the teacher’s give the kids some free time, Steve leads the gang back to the Air & Space room where they find the bear but moved again, this time sitting in the pilot’s seat of a plane. Steve plans on cutting the bear open with his pocket knife to discover the truth but hears a small voice saying “No, that’s my bear” as he grabs it. Sitting behind the bear in the plane is a small boy about 4 or 5 years old, the son of a museum administrator who lives upstairs and often comes down to play in the evenings, even though he’s not supposed to. Steve makes him promise not to leave his bear around anymore so it won’t frighten the museum visitors. In epilogues, we see Ari freeze during the talent show, leaving Spock on stage to perform a recorder solo. Afterward, Spock thanks Ari for getting him up there and consoles her for not being able to perform. Much later, Gregoria goes to a meetup with Corynne and relates the whole story, but Corynne tells her not to worry about the haters and gives her a shout-out in her next video.

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