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Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Link To The Past

This post originally appeared last Monday on my blog at Please go over there and read some of the other funny things we have been writing about almost daily.


This is a true story.

On the weekend I found my Game Boy. The old school, 1989 Game Boy.

It has been touched by time.

The once white brick of not quite rectangular-prismic shape is now a tinted yellow, as if it had been holding lit cigarettes for the past ten years. I'm caught in the aim of the grey direction cross, across the keypad from two red cherry buttons marked B & A, with Nintendo's typical disregard for alphabetical order. Its screen is still that putrid green-yellow square with a grey border and the words above proclaiming 'DOT MATRIX WITH SURROUND SOUND'.

Batteries were needed and needed without haste. Four of them.

Double A's.

I couldn't find enough.

The gods tempt me such?

They TEASE me?

Luckily I had an adapter lying around. It wasn't used for sometime. I used to use it on my old tiny Casio keyboard. I'd never used it on anything else.

Would this work? The plug seemed the right size.

What was the voltage? ... 9V.

What was the voltage required by the Game Boy? ... 6V.

... what would happen? I'm not a physicist or an engineer. Would I destroy the Game Boy? Would I discover its body only to then kill it with the slightest touch?

I had to take the chance.

It was plugged in. The game cartridge inserted. A breath was taken. The switch at the top clicked to the right.

The red dot reserved for an indication of battery life flicked into life. But there were no batteries - this Game Boy was possessed by a direct current. The words 'Nintendo' scrolled down the screen like the title card of a Quentin Tarantino movie. It centered itself and let out a DIIIING.

Then nothing. It froze. 'Normally, it cuts to a credit screen by now, with a copyright year of 1990-something.'

The word 'Nintendo' taunting me.


The red eye glared. The lull lasted for seconds.

I reciprocated the pause with a pause of my own and not the pause button for to press the pause button now would be ineffective, there was nothing to pause.

I slid the button to the off position. The red dot clicked off, the 'Nintendo' vanished from the screen. I applied the typical Nintendo troubleshooting method - removing the cartridge and blowing on it. I re-inserted.

The switch was flicked. The red eye reopened, unblinking. 'Nintendo' scrolled down again. DING.
And then it was gone.

A credits screen flashed up for a few seconds. I cheered.

The red eye glowed.

The game began in 8-bit images and a tinny sound card. Bleep. DING. Bleep. Buh-leep. My avatar in the game raised the cannon attached to his arm and blasted through tricky robotic villains with bleeps and bloops.

I was so engrossed in it, I forgot about the adapter and the apparent excessive amount of voltage going in I had negligently disregarded. I claimed an extra life.

My ring and pinky fingers went numb from their position of uselessness at the rear of the Game Boy console. Had they had feeling, they may have alerted me to what was to happen. They would have sensed the presence.

The red dot glowed. GLARED.

I didn't see the laser until it was too late. It shot out and digitized me. Piece by piece, the laser sucked me in.

Then there was nothing. The room was empty.

The Game Boy dropped to the floor.

It sat there for a moment or two.

Finally, the red dot blinked.

... and that's why I'm posting this week's blog a little late. I was trapped inside a video game and had to fight my way out.

Oh hey, The Bill's been axed. That sucks, hey?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah Game Boy. I remember those days.