Call of Dirtnap

Allow me to let you in on a little secret:  I am, by no means, a soldier.  And it’s a fantastic fucking thing that I’m not… on so many different levels.  Mainly because I’m not putting my life on the line for freedom.  But even more because I would be a terrible soldier.   I can’t fathom how whole generations of men who were better than mine faced unimaginable horrors for real, without a respawn point, pause button or pissbreaks.

As a Fat Guy With Glasses, I’d already be at a terrible disadvantage in a real war situation.  But with skills as poor as mine, I’d be fucked.  You know in war movies there’s always that one guy.  You know the guy.  He gets out half a sentence about his girl back home, and gets shot before he even gets off the boat, truck, plane or whatever else?  If I were a soldier, that’s the kind I would be.  One trip out.  “Can’t wait to see M–” BANG.  Dead.  A terrible warning to all the other greenhorns fresh out of boot camp that this is unfriendly territory.  I can say this with near certainty because I can’t seem to even do well as a pretend soldier.

For most of the afternoon today, I played Call of Duty: World at War.  I say played, but what I mean to say is “sucked at”.  I’ve seen several people play various different First Person Shooters, whether they’re war based, sci-fi, or whatever…  and they are always better than me.  I can’t see a goddamn thing.  I can’t aim, I can’t hit, I can’t reload.  I can’t tell what the hell is going on.
I have a blast with it though, because unlike real life, when you drop dead, you just restart at the nearest checkpoint.  Hell… if you get shot too much you hide behind a rock for a few minutes and you’re healed.  Problem solved.  And with all these magical advantages, I still drop within moments of touching ground every single time.  I’m sad enough that I’m pretty sure Jim Nabors would look at me and puke in disgust.
You’re dead? Surprise, surprise, surprise…
I played it long enough and poorly enough that Mel was approaching upset.  See, the game is loud.  Very loud.  There are constant gunshots firing at you and others.  That probably wouldn’t get on her nerves if I could keep the volume turned down.  But you see, Kiefer Sutherland is trying his damnedest to yell things like “THERE’S SNIPERS IN THE TREES!” louder than the explosions and gunshots and give me my orders.  Trouble is, he’s barely audible, unless you have the volume up loud enough that the gunshots annoy your wife.  If you’re good at the game, you could probably ignore him.  I’m not, so I can’t.
Adding to her annoyance, I’m sure, was that the sound was not constant.  When you die, the sound fades out.  Then you continue and it’s back to the loud again.  So, seeing how I’m awful, it’s like this:  
BANGBANGBOOMBANGBANGBLAMBANGBANGbangbangboom…. “Fuck.  Almost got ’em there.”  
I have to admit, Mel’s great though.  She never said a word.  Well, I don’t think she did.  It was hard to hear Kiefer.  I had to focus. But I’m pretty sure she didn’t.  Once it was supper time she asked if we could watch a show, and we did.  Then after supper and the show she asked what I wanted to do.  I said I was going to play a game.  She calmly and politely asked that it not be Call of Duty.  

Where Is The Governor?

Like all Fat Guys with Glasses, I pride myself on my–perhaps unhealthy–love of video games. But there is one series of games that can drive me up the fucking wall. It’s everywhere, it’s really fun, and I’m fucking useless at it.

Hello. My name is Bruce, and I suck at Guitar Hero.

Those 12 steppers are right. It does feel good to admit you have a problem.

Now, in my defense, I’m not Struggling-On-Easy-Failing-Mississippi-Queen sucky. But I am Crossing-My-Eyes-Losing-My-Fingers-Trying-To-Find-The-Orange-Button-On-Hard sucky. Of course, if you don’t know Guitar Hero, or Rockband, you might think that’s pretty good, right? I mean “Hard” should widely be considered pretty difficult right? That’s a reasonable assumption most people might make.

And like always, most people would be completely fucking wrong. On any lower setting, you’re not even using between 20 and 40% of the buttons on the Fucking Faux Plastic Guitar Controller (FFPGC). Thus, “Hard” is pretty much where the game begins.

Now my feelings of inadequacy are tripled by the fact that the people I’ve seen play this game in person, or played with online, have been able to wipe my ass sixty-three ways from Sunday without even straining their fingers. Some of these people include, but are not limited to, my brother, my brother-in-law, guys in taverns, friends of the family, cousins, stray cats, small children, goats, cottage cheese, particle colliders and, of course, my wife.

Ever get so mad that Mario just wouldn’t stop overshooting that single square of land between the two giant holes on that one level, so much so that you could feel the red, grey and black plastic controller start to bend in the middle, but you’re not even conscious of the fact that you’re applying the pressure? No? Guess that’s just me.

Anyway, seeing any of those people ripping through Guitar Hero or Rockband at speeds that my eyes can’t even track sometimes makes me want to do terrible things involving my FFPGC, electrified barbed wire, and a cute, tiny, wide-eyed little kitten.


But I stop myself because I remember that everytime I electrify barbed wire, I’m the one that ends up getting hurt. Also, FFPGCs are fucking expensive, and if I wrecked it, I’d need to replace the fucking thing so that Mel could continue to utterly demolish my sad excuses for scores in the game.

Now if you excuse me, I have to go practice.