The title of this essay describes exactly what it is. I have no clue about what I am going to type. The fact is, I am feeling a combination of emotions that is quite odd to me. I am in the doldrums, but I am happy about it. So am I sad? Am I happy? Is there a way to be both at the same time? A wise writer once said “…sadness is good. Sadness is an emotion tied to happiness. Sadness is longing for what once was.” Dang, that is one wise writer. I wonder who could’ve said that in an essay entitled “The Last Tuesday Morning Rant?” I digress. These are turbulent times for all of us. This is our first string of finals as collegians, this is our first week of college final studying, and most importantly, this is our last week of our first semester. Why are all those things such big deals? Because, I respond to myself, we make ourselves stress over them. I am as, arguably the most, guilty as anyone with regard to stressing about endings (see the previously mentioned “Last Tuesday Morning Rant” for reference). So let me tell you a few barely connected stories to ease all of our pains.
The first story I must tell you is about Mario Kart Wii. Trust me, this is not a glorious story about victory. This is a story of pestilence. This is the tale of the ongoing bane of my existence. This is also not going to be told in the past tense, as it is happening as we speak. It hasn’t stopped. I’ll get on with it: my hall mates are addicted to Mario Kart Wii. There are always too many people in my room. There is always someone playing the game. It has gotten to a point where we had to put the Wii in the freezer for extended periods of time each of the past two nights due to overheating. I have to practically write a schedule for when I want to watch TV every day just so I can ensure that I get my fix. Just as any video game can be, it is pernicious to my health to have this strain on my eyes and ears this often. As with all games, it started out as a fun game for all. But this was THREE weeks ago! Three! You can’t tell that my voice is getting weird and high pitched in my head, and I am typing with the tenacity of a Vick Pitbull on the keyboard, but it is, and I am! It is infuriating. The game isn’t even that fun. But it satisfies all of my friends’ competition fixes, which is good for them. And it is so cute. I said that with a sarcastic inflection by the way. Anything that combines cute with competition is sure to be like eating the Lotus. Except the Land of the Lotus Eaters is my room! And I don’t eat the Lotus! They never stop. It is a persistent phenomenon which bothers me. And why does it bother me you ask inside your head? I’d say what bugs me the most is the spirit of competition in which it is abused over and over again. Friendships may well dissolve over this game specifically engineered for eight year olds, and all because these people think they are racing the Indy 500, Daytona 500, the Talladega, and something else stock car all combined. The condescension, the bragging, the violence, the cursing, it all bothers me. Cursing is bothering me. Do you know how low I have stooped? I’ve become Mr. Heckles! Just buy me a freaking broom and I’ll start smacking my ceiling with it and knock on people’s doors with noise complaints. But this isn’t about me. (It also isn’t coherent. I’m sorry; this is still stream of conscious.) This is about the little things I dislike about overcompetitivity. Aside from not being a word, a lot of things bother me about it. The sarcastic rhetorical questions aimed at the screen, the boasted victory dances, the music, the PDA granted to the winners by those who appear at this point to be a mix between Kart groupies and concubines granted for victory, all of these things make me want to grind the Wii into a pulp in a freak out of unmatched proportion. But I shall not, and this next semi related tale hopefully shall tell you why.
Tonight we tried to play Clue as a hall. I don’t play board games with friends, only family. With friends, tensions rise and someone is bound to get mad at my devil-may-care attitude and flip the board. Seriously, people find it weird that I play board games for fun and not to win. So I didn’t play, but five people did. That creates quite the conundrum, as that is a six player game. The cards do not evenly divide amongst five people, so some people were dealt four and some were dealt three. This turned to be the most divisive group discussion since Roe v. Wade was discussed at a banquet entitled “The Conference of Feminist Hillbillies.” That sounded like a Family Guy joke. Anyway, what proceeded to happen was one competitor, let’s name this person “Chocolate Thunder”, complained to the rest of the group that the inequity of cards being dealt created an unfair competitive advantage for some and a disadvantage for others. One person in the game, let’s name them “Pistol Pete”, fervently took the stance of Dwight D. Eisenhower mixed with Senator McCarthy and declared that view communist propaganda against the board game industry. The other three competitors, The Dream, The Glide, and The Human Highlight Reel, were indifferent to the inequity, and thus sided with Chocolate Thunder. Unexpectedly, Pistol Pete launched a diatribe of Homeric proportions into the faces of the other players and stormed out of the room. I sheepishly left soon after, mostly because I believed that my sage prediction of the board being flipped would soon come true. Later, while I was playing Mario Kart with Pistol Pete, Chocolate Thunder and The Glide walked in and began to insult me, who will henceforth be referred to as “I.” I became angry, and simply asked why it was permissible for Pistol Pete to unleash his wrath, but I must remain silent like an independent voter at the Feminist Hillbillies convention. Everybody left, offended by my actions, but Pistol Pete stayed, and he laughed at my justification of my actions, as I said “Finally, some peace and quiet.”
People on my hall decided we were going to have a Secret Santa gift system for Christmas. I didn’t want to be “that guy”, so I decided to join in in the spirit of Christmas and stuff like that. But, much to my demise, being in a Secret Santa group involves buying something for someone. Buying is my Achilles’ heel. I hate it. I loathe it. I want to kick it in the face, because it is stupid. We were given our giftee last Wednesday, and we are to exchange gifts this Wednesday. Which, as I am typing, is literally right now. And I have yet to purchase a gift. I am screwed.
The people on my hall wished to imbibe tonight. They gathered up money and embarked on an odyssey to wherever the heck the purchase potables. As usual, I frowned upon their queries about what and when to down the hatches so to speak, but I knew there was nothing I could do. However, they returned empty handed, as they neglected to realize that on a Tuesday night, nothing will be open at 11:30. Stinks for them I guess, now they’ll have to find a new way to have fun.
This, as you may have guessed, brings me back to Mario Kart. I am once again on the outside looking in and a man with no home. That is an exaggeration. I am a man sitting about 100 feet outside of his home. But still, that is a staggering distance at 12:11 AM on the last day before finals. My first final isn’t until Friday, and then I have another one on Monday. Then I am done, done like the chances of me referencing Feminist Hillbillies once more. And lest I give in to the siren song of not studying any longer, I best be rounding out this essay. But first there are a few things that I want to clear up as housekeeping. Firstly, I said at the beginning that these stories were barely connected. Did you catch how they were barely connected friends? Go back and re-read this and you will see that I reference Homer, the great Greek poet, in each paragraph prior to my declaration of the following being connected, including this one. Did you catch that? If you did, right on! If not, that is good too. That means you were reading for context and not subtext. Secondly, for my regular readers, you will remember that a few months back, I told everyone that T.Y. Hilton would be a very good receiver this season. Well, I’ve just brought this back up to say SUCK IT I WAS RIGHT! HA, I CAN MAKE PREDICTIONS! He has 588 yards and 5 touchdowns on the year, not too shabby for a rookie third round pick from the Sun Belt. That is good for the second most yards and tied for first in TDs among rookies. If you compound that with his punt return touchdown two weeks back, he is the leading scorer among rookie receivers and has the most total yardage. If the point of the game is to get yards and points, he is the best receiver out there. I like the potential I saw in him a few weeks back. And I still like his potential, so much so that he rotates on my fantasy team in my college league, which is ranked number one overall. That is enough drooling over T.Y. for the night, and enough typing. I’m done. As always, thanks for reading and have a holly jolly finals week!