HERE'S WHAT WENT WRONG.
Less than two months ago I was loudly cursing and discrediting the Sony PlayStation3 to anyone who would listen. A $600 price tag? Just to play some dumb video games? With a small, and kind of junky library of launch titles? (A driving game! A sequel to a game no one cared about in the first place!! Othello Tag Team Tournament?!!?) On a pretty unwieldy and hideously designed piece of gaming equipment? Have we come this far in Sony's low estimation of us as consumers? What kind of self-hating person would pay for something so unpromising, and even go so far as to camp out at midnight in front of an EB Games store in hopes of being one of the five or six people allowed to pre-order the PS3? Sony's entire unapologetically greedy program for this gaming console seemed analagous to a rapist expecting a thank you card. Just a horrible idea all around, I thought.
And I'm terrible at games. I rarely commune with my old, PS2 and its broken faceplate. If I were ever to upgrade to a PS3—and I never, ever would—it would be after a long wait, to see it proven as a competitor in the game market, and after a significant improvement in its game library and a reasonable drop in price. And many other nerdy things! But for now, anyway, Sony would get the gas face. Maybe I could get excited about the Nintendo Wii, even if it is for girls. I mean, I've always wanted to stand in the middle of my living room, totally alone, waving around a remote controller like that mentally challenged "Star Wars Kid." (He was mentally challenged, right? He can't sue me, can he?)
So why, with less than six hours until its official launch, am I sitting at my desk, LIVID, because there is not a PlayStation3 in my hands? This is bullshit. And there's no reason for me to want one. In fact, I can easily think of four or five reasons—beyond those outlined above—why I shouldn't want one:
- I am a grown-up
- I am a sexual being
- Isn't it about time I saved money for the purchase of land?
- I am not into wizards
- Not compatible with my Nintendo Power Glove
Sony was getting beaten down by the media and financial speculators for MONTHS leading up to the release of the PS3. It was surrounded by doubt, and its development and marketing were fraught with mistakes, some of them huge. People were swearing they'd never own one. And yet, within about a week of its impending launch, people were setting up tents outside of Best Buy, hoping to grab one of the precious 12-20 under-supplied systems Sony was planning on dribbling out to even the most formidable retail chains. And, if I were a better camper, I would have joined those idiots.
Fights broke out across America, as line-jockeys jostled each other a little too hard, or accidentally stepped on one another's Cool Ranch Dorito supplies. Mini-riots broke out when the tired and cranky were informed that, contrary to previous accounts, there would only be three PS3s available on launch day. Units were plucked off eBay for over $2,000. People got jacked for their consoles, or held up in line. (Which, when you think about it, makes you question why the armed robbers would need a PS3 in the first place as they are clearly already living life to its fullest.) And I found myself envying them. I wanted to punch a fat kid in the face, or hit him with the hilt of his own wooden broadsword, and swipe his PS3. I wanted a wealthy benefactor to pull his limousine up along the curb, roll down the window, call out to me and say, "You there. My good boy, I dare say you look like you need this," and hand one to me through the window in a blue Tiffany's bag.
But none of that happened. Instead, I'm sitting here surrounded by queer books and lame friends and dumb social life, and it all seems so meaningless without a gamepad and a copy of Resistance: Fall of Man. I am very, very close to becoming a cam girl, and soliciting perverts to buy me a gaming console. Stupid Sony. And, while we're at it, stupid Nintendo and its girl-games.
'METRO CRISIS' AT THE MORNING NEWS.
It's a "2 things on the Internet" week for me. Today, you can read something new at one of my favorite sites, The Morning News. The story is called "Metro Crisis." I hope you fall in love with it.
MY SUPER POWER.
I think if I could have any super power, it would be the power to see invisible people. That would show them.*
*This statement was written with the cooperation of Emo Philips and Stephen Wright.
Hey, cool customer—lookin’ good! Check out all that confidence swinging across the sidewalk, street-strutting on the uptown side. I gotta say, I like the whole package, stretch. Six feet five inches of long-legged swagger swathed in cornflower blue denim and peaked out with crisp, white baseball cap. A pair of $5 sunglasses purchased in Chinatown for some extra shade, to keep the crease out of your expression. Man, you are hep style personified. So much slick and dazzle I almost didn't notice your jeans were soaked from crotch to cuff in your own hot urine.
There's no denying it—your downtown look is F-R-E-S-H. Almost as fresh as the urine darkening the inner legs of your pants, which seems to have been released so recently that its given your denim a nice wet glisten, like seal hide. Only urine.
And why should this potentially (no, "INARGUABLY") humiliating accident break your stride? It hasn't slowed you down a bit though, more surprisingly, it hasn't accelerated your pace either. When I think about wetting myself in public—and I think about this more often than you'd like to know—I sort of imagine myself standing still in a crowd, shaking in fear, and then running. Running and crying, as my warm legs cooled fast and the damp, shifting fabric of my pants rubbed against my calves, giving my skin an icy bite. Sometimes I also think about dropping to the sidewalk, or trying to press myself into a brick wall until I'm invisible to the public. But I do not think about pretending it never happened, and walking to my next destination with my head held high.
Yet, maybe you had the right idea all along. I mean, what are you going to do, really? You wet yourself in public (mistake #1), and you probably don't have an extra pair of pants lying around. (unless you've done this many, many times before and then, if you still don't have that extra pair of pants well, that's mistake #2) And unless you wet yourself because you were walking by the window of Men's Clean Pants, Waterproof Floors, and Salespeople with Incredible Discretion Superstore and were excited because you saw they were having a sale, there is probably a decent amount of distance separating you—wet pants, getting wetter—and a retail solution to your problem. So how you act during the moments between release and remedy is crucial. In other words, maybe it's in your best interest to keep your cool, act natural, and hope that people see you and think, "Man, that's one cool customer." Because what could be cooler than enjoying a nice, slow walk, shoulders back, chest forward, arms swinging, pants soaked in pee?
OH, LOOK. IT'S MCSWEENEY'S.