Ghostbusters Actual Play: The Couch Potato


In early August 1985 the Brooklyn Ghostbusters were nearing the official launch of their franchise. Doctor Mike Slade was down in Washington, DC, receiving mandatory EPA training for the proper and environmentally proper containment of ghosts. A possible office had been located in a vacant storefront in Kings Plaza. Physicist Billy Robertson and grunt/romance novel cover model "Chilli" had joined Ethan Sharp in the main office. They'd been nervous about opening a franchise so close to the main headquarters. but given they'd yet to actually see Venkman, Spengler, Stantz, and Zeddmore outside of VHS training videos. They'd seen Janine Melnitz, who forced them to answer the phone at the firehouse...

A call did come in - "Ghostbusters! Help us! Our television sets turn on when we're not there! We can't see Dallas or Miami Vice! The landlord won't help us! We're the tenants, and we pooled our money, and you can have it all! Just get rid of our spook!"

And so as the sun began to set they arrived at 66666 Flatbush Avenue. Super and wannabe Ghostbuster Don Davidson met with them, explaining how televisions in the building seemed to be forced on and fused to Channel 6, WBOR, all reruns all the time. Don did indicate how he'd be a great asset to them, an electronics whiz temporarily out of work. Indeed in his mess of an apartment they saw some fragments of a picture tube - from an old Zenith television he'd been restoring. Their PKE meters took them to an apparition, sitting in a non-existent chair, eating non-existent popcorn, and watching a rerun of My Mother the Car on an existent television. He fled before their proton packs opening fire, going through the ceiling. 

Upstairs was aspiring "actress" Sirena LaCoque, she of the crocheted caricatures of poker playing canines and the animated bed. She was less than pleased to have them witness that and kicked them out. Just as well, as the PKE meter indicated the ghost was even further upstairs. They bypassed Mrs. Pogoni's place to Doctor Hunter Panama's apartment, investigative journalist and nutball with boarded up windows and a quintuple locked steel door. They managed to bluff their way in (he thought they were selling girl scout cookies) but he was a frightening character - very paranoid, fond of guns, and possessing bowls full of "vitamins". The ghost was in his scientific research room - a room filled with ultraviolet lamps and a variety of illegal plants. And a ghost whom they opened fire on. Unfortunately they missed and took out one of Thompson's plants, causing him to open fire on them. Fortunately, high as a kite, his aim was poor and they were able to chase the apparition down to the basement.

In the basement they managed to get the spook out of the Zenith tv it hid in, getting it into a ghost trap. Unfortunately in the process they started a fire. Fortunately there was a tank of water they could open to put out the fire. Unfortunately all they did was start an electrical fire. Fortunately there was a second water tank - a hot water heater. Unfortunately rupturing that filled the basement with steam. It was time to leave and call the fire department. Unfortunately they had neglected to get Don to sign a damage waiver. Fortunately LaCoque had some grateful friends without necks who both enjoyed her work and were also pleased to see some paperwork in the building basement get burned and flooded, providing them with several thousand in payment. Unfortunately that just about covered the damage costs.

Our spook had died in the 1950's while watching My Mother the Car, being in the process of modifying his Zenith television and getting electrocuted. He was awoken when Don began trying to restore the television set. As it turns out, My Mother the Car was a real television show, about an adult dude whose mom died and was reincarnated into... a car! It lasted all of one season.

This was based on the West End Games adventure The Couch Potato from the Ghostbusters boxed set, though I did move WBOR from Channel 5 (real in New York City) to Channel 6 (fictional).

The Ghostbusters certificate at the top of this post is from Nerdy Show's Ghostbusters Resurrection. It's a pretty neat site. They also have other Ghostbusting gear for sale, including Ghost dice (many showed ghosts in this adventure), equipment decks, and possibly even some digitized rules. Check it out...

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