|While getting mobbed for autographs (no wait, those were standard Buckle employees) at the mall a few years back, I was making my ritualistic pilgrimage to the video game store. It was here that once in awhile some dope would trade in his old NES games for three dollars so that he could wisely invest it at Orange Julius. That played right into my hand in my never-ceasing quest to become the Nintendo Entertainment System King of Cass County.
This was not a foolproof system, however. If I didn’t show up there to buy whatever games were in stock, one of my buddies, or as I called them in those days, “the wretched NES swindlers” would. It was in this store that I committed two completely unforgivable balks:
First of all, I once saw the Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt cartridge that everyone has (except for the crowd one guy on eBay was marketing to when he labeled it “RARE!”) Sticker price? Seventeen cents. Right behind it was plain old Duck Hunt by itself on one cartridge. Price? Eighteen cents. And despite not owning Duck Hunt by itself, I didn’t buy either of them.
I don't know if my past self was planning on using that 35 cents to buy a plasma television or small automobile instead, but he damn well better have a good excuse for passing those up.
The second blatant screw-up was when I had the chance to purchase Bad Dudes, didn’t, and then saw the same cartridge in White Beard’s entertainment center that night. If I wasn’t already going through a difficult period of self-reflection coping with the fact that I was not at all “bad” and certainly anything but a “dude” for missing out on this Game Pak, White Beard moseys in and swipes the cartridge and my manhood all in one ring of the till.
Back to the story at hand, my trip here this day was much more successful as I was leaving with three new cartridges and a smile on my face usually reserved only for strip club patrons and television clowns. As I get to the counter to obtain legal ownership of my plunder, I overhear the voice of one little bastard at the opposite end of the counter.
This kid is thumbing through some magazine that the clerks are going to try and shill to me (since I am the kind of customer they want, one who purchases the goods from the merchant) and he is dissecting everything about the new Playstation 2. This kid didn't have enough money to buy the magazine, much less the system it was featuring, but he was rambling on and on as if he were the zany Japanese programmer that gave birth to it and ruined the educations of thousands of 17-25 year-old males. Finally after he wouldn’t quit talking, I mumbled, “I’ll save my $10,000 and buy NES cartridges instead.” The clerks, obviously sick of this omnipotent loiterer, quickly nodded in agreement as to the superiority of the NES, as well as the superiority of me, the worthwhile consumer. Just to get one last interruption in, the kid throws out this line:
“Why would I waste my time buying NES games? I’ve got all of them to play on my emulator.”
This is you, Emu-Geeks. Think about that insult. An MTV dating show watching-male could get legitimately excited about purchasing Color a Dinosaur, but still look down from his nerd-filled land that is heavy on Bayou Billy but light on girls and call you a douche bag. The profoundness of that statement is the legacy that I will take to the grave with me when I fake my death and then live out the rest of my years as a slaver in Senegal.
The actual collecting of Nintendo games is at least as worthwhile as say, high school marching band or postal delivery. There is a certain amount of pride that comes in finding new cartridges and plotting to steal those that your enemies (sometimes called "friends") possess. You’ll notice that I didn’t say “play” the Game Paks. In fact, while there are a lot of NES games that I enjoy playing and are worth my effort, the majority of my 100+ collection should not be played by anyone with a post-17th century conception of “fun.”
It is the collecting, then, that makes it acceptable to purchase Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf, and Lethal Weapon. Do I ever play these games? Of course not. For instance, I really only secretly bought Lethal Weapon for the tough-guy pose that Danny Glover is striking on the label. But along with that I had a legitimate reason to obtain it in that it was an NES game that I did not own. Now, if I was sitting at home on a Friday night with my Crazy Town CD blaring in the background while I downloaded these crap-tastic masterpieces, I would be forced to call my parents into the room to fulfill my insult quota.
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