My friend Heather and I appear to be connected by some kind of cosmic thread, in that we tend to be doing to same kinds of things at the same time, unbeknownst to each other and also 700 miles apart. Like today, when I made my daily check of her blog, only to discover that last night she was playing the classic game Oregon Trail (which for the record I have never played) at the same time that I was being schooled in the intricacies of another classic 80’s video game, Burger Time.
I have a confession to make: I’ve never played Burger Time either. In fact, outside of Tetris, PacMan, and Super Mario 1, I haven’t played many video games at all. This is due both to an almost total lack of interest and the fact that I flat out fucking suck at it. But last night at the Liz the conversation somehow wound from Doom 3 back to Burger Time, and Chester and I goaded Fish into retrieving his Playstation 2 (is this right, Fish? Cuz you got kind of uppity when I referred to your Powerbook as an iBook, and I don’t know much about gaming systems, so I don’t want to get in trouble for referring to something the caliber of an Xbox by the name of something of the quality of ColecoVision by mistake) from his bedroom so we could play Burger Time on the big screen downstairs.
Did I say I’ve never played it? What I meant was I’ve never actually seen it before. And as I watched Chester run up and down ladders, building Whoppers, drinking coffee, and running from deranged hot dogs, I felt young again. And also extremely guilty. Because 1153 once tried to explain Burger Time to me and I called him a liar.
You have to understand, 1153 has four young children, so lying is part of his job as a parent. He’s a good story teller, mostly, but sometimes his tales get a little farfetched. Like the time Bigfoot was walking through his backyard and asked him for directions, or the time he saw the Loch Ness Monster swimming in Lake Erie. So when he told the kids and me about Burger Time, we were understandably skeptical.
“Burger Time! You never played it? It’s the best game ever! You’re a chef, and your job is you have to build these hamburgers. You have a bun, and then a burger, and a piece of lettuce, and them the top bun. On some levels there’s a slice of cheese. And you have to knock them down.”
“That sounds stupid.”
“No, it’s awesome! And while you’re doing that, eggs and hotdogs chase you around and try to kill you.”
“You lie. You’re making that up.”
“I’m totally serious! They chase you, but if you sprinkle pepper on them you can get away.”
“OK, now I KNOW you’re making it up.”
“No I mean it, I’m really serious this time I swear! On the higher levels you get chased by pickles instead of hotdogs.”
This is the conversation that was running through my head last night as I sat on the edge of the couch shouting “Go, Chester, go! Oh my God, look out for that hotdog! He’s COMING RIGHT FOR YOU, Chester, RUN! AAAAGGHH!” 1153, I’m sorry I called you a liar. I just didn’t know.