Battle with the Mario Brothers resumes
If you see my eyes looking a little bloodshot lately, don’t be alarmed.
If my fingers seem limp with no feeling, there is nothing to worry about.
And if you see me acting anxious near the end of the day, I assure that there is nothing to worry about.
For I will soon be on my way to play Mario Brothers on Wii.
I know that many readers may not understand the importance ...no ... the sacredness of Mario Brothers.
The video game appeared in my childhood one sunny afternoon, and I have longed for our reunion as the years have passed.
I was able to have that reunion when I visited my friend Ashley Cerda over the weekend.
It was a normal lazy Sunday. Ashley and I had spent the afternoon together with my son James. James was ready for some “daddy time,” so we dropped him off and made our way back to the Cerda house.
I figured we would watch some television, gossip a little bit and maybe eat a few snacks.
As the sun settled in the hills of Yazoo County, we decided to play a little Wii.
“I got two new games,” Ashley said. “We got Family Feud and Mario Brothers.”
My heart skipped a beat.
Could it really be Mario Brothers? Mario and Luigi?
My palms started to sweat and soon my fingers began to recreate the movements of the game controller handpiece. The theme song began to float through my head.
As I raised out of the recliner, I knew the time had come to reclaim my title.
“I am a Mario master,” I said. “I played so much as a kid, I think I can play it now with my eyes closed.”
On the old Nintendo version from my childhood, I knew everything there was to know. I knew the secret passage ways, the hidden treats, battle tricks....everything. There were three Mario Brothers games, and I mastered each one of them.
As Ashley got the menu started, the familiar theme song began. It took all I had not to hug Ashley and thank her for this occasion.
But then it all went away. The feeling of joy was replaced by uncertainty...anxiety...quite possibly despair.
It was a whole new Mario game. It wasn’t like the old one at all. There were new levels, new lands, new enemies, new points...new everything.
It was “game over” for the Mario “master” within minutes.
Not just one of my men, but every single life I had was eliminated.
I shouted at the television. I think I even threatened to throw it out the window.
“OK, I’m not gonna give up,” I said, hitting the restart button. “I’m gonna get it this time.”
“This time” turned into 15 desperate attempts to just get to the second level.
Looking at the clock, I realized it was getting late. I should be getting home. I had to work tomorrow, and Jason was probably getting worried.
Jason did call to check on me. He wasn’t upset, but he likes to know that everything is OK.
“Are you having fun,” Jason asked. “I didn’t even see what time it was, but I knew you were usually home by now.”
“I’m on my way,” I said. “Ashley bought the new Mario Brothers.”
Jason understood. He knows what Mario Brothers means to me. He's even confessed to me that he wasted precious hours of his youth playing Mario Brothers.
When I arrived home, I gave Jason an account of the new game. And I admitted that I was awful at it. I think he’s anxious to try it out next.
And as I pack my luggage for our vacation next week, I feel like there is something I am forgetting.
I hear that theme song, and I realize that the battle isn’t over. I will return to Mario land.