Friday, September 29, 2006

Perhaps We've Met.

As a senior in high school I was a big fan The AOL, as my mother calls it. We’d had a computer in the house since 1990, back when The Oregon Trail was just a bunch of green dots on the screen and god save your soul if you didn’t have an extra spoke to fix your wheel after inevitably rolling over a green rock in the road. But dial-up did not become a factor in my life until the early part of 1996, The Year of the Move. (And I totally think they should reinvent The Oregon Trail for today’s generation, making it more Gen-X-er-y or Gen-Apathy or whatever the generation is that plays lots of video games.)

Just realizing that’s actually MY generation and feeling momentarily out of the loop. Also realizing that perhaps not everyone rolled their eyes upon seeing the lead story on MSN this morning, the one about some new Nintendo game thing that’s called Wii. I mean, come on. How the hell am I supposed to pronounce that anyway? Because where I come from, that sounds a lot like a slightly intoxicated honky-tonker wailing “But whiiiii?" after her boyfriend as he walks away from her and their volatile relationship, flipping her the finger as he tosses his lustrous mullet over his right shoulder, coveting the sweet ass on Bobby Sue and the new muzzle loader he’s going to purchase at Wal-Mart later on.

Back to The Oregon Trail thing, I think it should obviously get a little color update. And instead of trading oxen for a new wheel spoke, you should have the option to trade ugly family members or just ones that don’t pull their weight or get sick when you’re crossing Nebraska . And I think you should be able to artificially inseminate the oxen because a) I don’t really want to watch oxen do it and b) don’t you think it’s odd that none of the oxen ever got preggers while on a months-long trip to Oregon ?

**Have just been told that this is very similar to something called Sims? What has happened to the two-dimensional games of my youth?! Pong! Frogger! And then Nintendo came out with Mario Bros and all the world stood still and took a collective breath because THE GENIUS of that game, seriously. Are these languishing in some never-never land of cast aside games? My god people, my heart is breaking.

Have gotten a bit off track here, there was a point to this story and it totally didn’t involve The Oregon Trail or the death of the two-dimensional game force. It involved around AOL and the advent of instant messaging. Though I now consider “chatting” via IM as annoying as listening to someone clip their toenails within hearing distance of my office (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE), back in the day the novelty of being able to think about my responses before hitting the Send button was damn near more exciting than waiting for Ross-n-Rachel to get back together already. Instead of tying up the phone line for one phone call to one measly friend, you tied up the phone line for one internet session and 15-20 instant message boxes.

My senior year in high school I was friends with this girl named Arwen, whose parents were obviously quite enthralled with books written by Tolkein. She had flaming red hair and a twin brother named Owen, whom I rarely saw because he was all wicked smart and shit and he’d been shipped off to a super smart math genius school in Dallas. Though I did spend one rainy day with him in New York when he took the train in from Yale or Harvard or wherever he was getting his doctorate in Super Smart Mathematical Theories and for some reason I wore my pretty knee high boots with four inch heels to walk around the city and I can distinctly remember purchasing some cheap (and flat) black shoes half-way through our excursion because my feet, they were threatening to amputate themselves with a dull wooden spoon.

One Saturday afternoon Arwen and I were chatting, discussing the vagaries of high school and the girls who most certainly DID NOT have the face for a Rachel-esque hair cut. She sent a ‘brb’ and a few minutes later came back on with very exciting news- Chicago was coming to town and did I want to go?

ARE YOU SERIOUS? CHICAGO IS COMING TO TOWN? AND DO I WANT TO GO? I’ve been searching for so long? Till the end of time? HELL YES!
So I gave her my money and she purchased my tickets and can I tell you how much we talked about the upcoming Chicago-ness? Like, every day. HELLO. It’s CHICAGO.

A week before the scheduled festivities we were in the midst of an in-depth discussion of our chosen attire when I became a little concerned with her choice of a nice black skirt and her mother's pearl earrings, thinking that maybe she did not understand the origins of Chicago but she was my friend and I would not judge her. I mean, just because she wasn't going to sport some ripped up jeans didn't mean we wouldn't have a good time. Besides, Arwen was way preppy and I struggled daily with just making my shoes match. This was a few years before I came to realize that shoes NEVER have to match on a woman and if I feel like wearing turqouise kitten heels with a grey sweater then by damned, I can wear them.

A few days later our excitement had reached peak teenage levels. After dance class that night Arwen asked me if I knew who would be playing Roxie Hart, and for the life of me I had no idea what she was talking about. Roxie Hart wasn't the name of a song I'd ever heard Chicago sing and if we were going to a Chicago concert, wouldn't Chicago be playing Roxie Hart?

And then Arwen scrunched her brow in confusion and said "No, I mean do you know who's playing Roxie Hart, you know, like, the character."

It was at that moment I realized I'd comitted myself to go see Chicago, the musical. Not Chicago, THE BAND.


Drunken Chud said...

When you called me up this mornin'
Told me 'bout the new love you'd found
I said I'm happy for you
I'm really happy for you
Found someone else
I guess I won't be comin' 'round
I guess it's over, baby
It's really over, baby, whoa-oh

and no, nintendo games have not been cast aside. in fact just last week my buddy and i spent the better part of our day playing super mario bros., zelda and river city ransom. w00t!

Carl from L.A. said...

It was a good concert. They even broke out a cover of "I Can't Get No Satisfaction".

"Color My World" is my favorite.

Jason said...

I would have been disappointed...

...then again, it's not like it was Boston or anything...

Also, they did update Oregon Trail...but that was in like '93, so I'd say it's due again.

...and it's prnounced "weeeee!" which could be worse. It always make me think of taking a whizz...

Drunken Chud said...

yes as jason said, wee. the controler? called the wiimote (weemote) think barbara walters saying remote. makes me laugh everytime.

JJisafool said...

My 3 year old daughter and I play Super Mario 3 on the original NES almost every day. She likes Rocky and Bullwinkle, too, so I'm pretty blessed.

Cam your way from the fuquad.

channelsex said...


My first concert ever. Madison Square Garden, 197...6, I think? This girl named Suzy (all preppy and crew neck sweatery) that I was desperate for had some weed that was quite hardcore for weed at the time. It was the end of innocence (not that innocence, that came later).

Within a year, I had hair down to my shoulders, the women I hung with wore flannels with concert t-shirts underneath (Rick Wakeman, Aerosmith, Yes, Tull, Zeppelin), and I had seen my first Dead show.

Ah, Suzy... where are you now?

Probably an alcoholic in some tony section of Connecticut.

birdie said...

chud: i was scared maybe i was the only one- about a year ago i paid thirty bucks for an old school nintendo and the first mario bros- i probably only play it like four times a year but DAMN those four times a year are hella fun.

carl: i probably could have saved myself a lot of trouble if i had thought through the whole Chicago in concert thing. p.s your little girl is getting too cute, please tell her to stop :)

jason: who the fuck decided to call a videogame player thing WEEEEEEE! not juding you for the Boston comment.

chud: people who make fun of barbwa wawa go to hell.

jj: ooo, i remember that one! that was when mario could sprout a racoon tail that... strangely... made him fly. and not scavenge for leftovers out of the Burger King bin... '

channel jackass: my first concert was Godsmack which was like 199..9, I think? There was a boy named, well, that's not important really. But much like you I was desperate for him and his green wrist band that let him buy beer.

duckie said...

I just got an old school nintendo and about 40 games. Me and the kids friggin love it.