Easy now, welcome to the 34th edition of what the Greeks called the “Chaviscum Tragicus” or to what is know to me and the other 5 or 6 people who read it as The Aldershot Woes. An indigestible capsule of festering ignorance and spazza grade literacy… today’s Woe: Let it go!
Like everybody my age I was born in the 80s, and like a lot of other people of varying ages, I remember them well(ish). 2 things which were part of my life in the 80s carried on way past them and in to the early 90s and beyond, one was an irritating cube of frustration which has bested me at every attempt since I first picked it up and the other was well, more of an oblong of frustration that bested me at every chance, I talk of the Rubik’s Cube and the NES.
In around 1987 we acquired a Rubik’s Cube from somewhere, probably a jumble sale and from then on it appeared to haunt my toy box, appearing at random intervals of my childhood to tease and frustrate me, at one point my brother did the trick of moving the stickers and making it seem as if he had completed it, but alas with in minutes it had been fiddled with and was back to being a conundrum block of misery again. I think finally one afternoon during a loft clean out or room tidy we finally destroyed the fiddly bastard which presented a moment of extreme joy but also one of complete sadness as I now knew that I would never complete the blasted thing, cest la vie… One far less annoying and far more brilliant piece of my childhood was the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), my neighbour had one before me but a huge part of my life was spent playing Super Mario Brothers, Excitabike, Duck Hunt and the extremely awesome Donkey Kong. To this day I would argue till my last breath that the NES is the best console of them all, mainly because it has led to a generation of people who when faced with any technological problem simply take the offending article, blow it, and try again… if your heart surgeon is in his early thirties, beware!
But why am I boring the tits off of people prattling on about things I liked when I was kid, isn’t this all hideously self indulgent? Well yes it is but I am getting to my vague point. This week I have read 2 stories, one was how a group of mathematicians have crunched numbers to breaking point and found what they call “gods number” the number of moves in which you can complete a Rubik’s cube. They are sure that any Rubik’s cube, with it’s 20 billion-billion combinations can be completed in less than 20 moves… Bullsh!t I say… I know I’ve tried over 20 billion-billion combinations and never got more than a couple of sides done! But alas a group of grown men have spent 20 years compiling the data and they have found that 20 moves or less is all you need to do a Rubik’s Cube… we’re no closer to a cure for cancer but at least the fun has been taken out of the Rubik’s Cube. Yay science.
The other story which tickled my fancy was about a chap called Billy Mitchell from Hickville, America, although he looks like a hybrid of Joe Dirt and Napoleon Dynamite this guy has dedicated his life to Donkey Kong and achieving the world’s highest score (about 70 zillion) he has had an ongoing feuds with a couple of other arcade junkies, but he has overcome the odds and the repetitive strain injuries to earn the crown of “best at Donkey Kong”… the thing is this battle of his has been raging since the game came out in 1982.. Jesus, that’s nearly 30 years, back then I was but a squint in my father eye, 30 years is lifetime it really is and all for Donkey Kong… I just hope no one gets this guy a PS3 and Grand Theft Auto…
These uber dedicated fools and their 30 year crusades to dominate 80s pastimes has led me to think what other hapless mugs are we going to see crawling out the woodwork over the next few years? Are we going to hear about Li Fung Ching, the Chinaman who spent the last 13 years doing the longest Budweiser “Wasssssup” in history? Will we be regaling our office colleagues with the story of Tempest Bedfudge, the New Orleans grandmother with her 45 year old Tamagotchi. Will there be people coming out of the shadows for getting to level 17 billion of Worms on the Amiga 500? Will Nintendo be issuing long service medals and Arthritis medicine to anyone who can take Tetris to level 40,000? How long till we hear about groups of Magic-Eye enthusiasts all going blind, and how long till Suduko fans are all locked up as numbers have taken over their brains? Will we be hearing in 25 years tales of people who have NEVER left Facebook? People right now, that you know, could be embarking on 30 year Guitar Hero Battles that will end only in death (which lets hope comes swiftly)…
The most tragic thing is, this will happen, there are enough Fads and more than enough simpletons and obsessive compulsive savant autistics to make sure of it. So if you find your self unable to walk away from Call of Duty, if you still dig our you old Nokia and have a bash at Snake occasionally and if when you lay in bed at night and all you can think about is your top score on Wii Sports Bowling, please for the love of god, just let it go.