I enjoy sports games. I have golf, baseball, bowling and football. MJ likes the weirdo role playing games like Final Fantasy that takes years to finish and has approximately 10,879 levels to complete. Needless to say, there’s not much we can play on the Wii together.
Until I had what I thought was a brilliant idea.
Armed with a $50 gift certificate, I set out to the video game store to pick up a new game. It had been awhile since I was video game shopping, and I was shocked to see the sheer number of Wii games on the market. Unfortunately, most of them looked like crap. But then I stumbled on the jackpot.
Super Mario Brothers!
The old-school Nintendo game redesigned and enhanced for the Wii. I rejoiced at my good fortune, because MJ and I both love the old Mario game. And since one of the improvements was to make it a multiplayer game, for the first time in history we could play Super Mario Bros simultaneously instead of the old way of going one at a time and impatiently waiting for the other person to die.
When I showed her what I bought she was ecstatic. And I felt like Husband of the Year because I thought I had found a rare activity we both enjoyed that we could do together.
We were both a little rusty at first and it takes some getting used to when both players are playing at the same time. We soon found out that while we can help each other by using some teamwork, we could also harm each other. We both laughed the first few times we accidentally knocked each other off a cliff or jumped on one another’s head. It was all in good fun. No big deal.
But then I started getting a little antsy. My old Mario skills were coming back to me and I was remembering how to handle certain situations in the game. MJ? Not so much. She was more like a monkey trying to hump a doorknob. And while the game automatically gives you more lives if you happen to run out, the flip side is if both players die at the same time you lose all your progress to that point.
Soon it had been an hour and we hadn’t even completed the second stage. MJ had to use about 5 continues and couldn’t seem to perform the simplest tasks. She was getting killed by little Goombas and she was getting me killed, which was quickly wearing my patience thin.
I tried to contain the growing irritation building up inside of me, and started offering “helpful” suggestions like “Oh my God, what the fuck are you doing? Jump! JUMP MJ!!!!” Subtle right? Then she inadvertently threw an ice block at me, which sent me spiraling to my death, and proceeded to die right at the end of a level, which sent us all the way back to the beginning.
“Jesus Christ MJ, what the hell are you doing?” I blurted out.
“Screw you. What’s your problem anyways? This is supposed to be fun!” she countered.
“How can it be fun when you do nothing but die every two seconds?!?”
As you might imagine, things went downhill from there. Within an hour of starting this game we went from excited and happy to being on the verge of nearly stabbing each other in the neck.
To the outside observer it probably would’ve looked hilarious. The argument began with us trading barbs over our inability to kill King Koopa, and ended with us slinging insults like “Oh yeah? Well you’ve got no friends!” and “You’re telling me to go to hell? Well I’ve got news for you honey, hell is being forced to play Super Mario Brothers with you as a partner!”
We’re so grown up, aren’t we?