Monday, March 1, 2010

The Next Best Trick

Four days after my last post, and things are already looking immeasurably better, thanks in large part to a massive weekend, full of friends.

We had the minister and his partner over for supper on Friday and broke out the Risk: Godstorm. Having an ordained individual talk about how much they wanted to invoke a death god in order to sink Atlantis really made me wonder if there was anything additional we could have done to honk off any social conservatives who happened to stop by. "The missus and I are just having a beer with our minister and his partner while we move little mythological figures around an ancient map and battle for control of the Underworld, why do you ask?" The highlight of the evening for me was when I mentioned how scared I was of the upcoming hockey game due to the hot goalie the U.S. had, and Glen very quickly said, "You know, when you say 'hot goalie', and I say 'hot goalie', they mean totally different things."

Saturday night we had The Unusual Suspects over for D&D, and watched Kevin Martin nab the gold medal for curling. Again, good folks make for a good time. Even the beer brought a novelty factor as Pete brought over a party pig from Sherbrooke, a micro-keg sort of affair that holds about 25 beer from Wild Rose Brewery out of Calgary, in this case, the Wred Wheat Ale. I have had a few samplings from Wild Rose now, and I have enjoyed all of them.

Sunday after church (and let me tell you, that was an early morning) we went over to Jeff and Heather's to enjoy the gold medal hockey game. Well, most of it, anyways. I can't truly say I enjoyed the last minute of regulation time when the U.S. pushed it to overtime, or any of the overtime itself until Crosby scored. I started making sure I sat next to someone whose first-aid ticket and CPR skills were up to date, just in case. Sudden death? No kidding... But the rest was great, and the ending was stellar. The closing ceremonies were a gas too, even if a couple of the comedy bits fell a little flat.

Tonight we began the slow process of bedroom reclamation, which involved my dusting all the furniture and cupboards and replacing the bedside lamps in preparation for the novelty of having actual clothes in the actual furniture designed to hold them and not a bunch of Rubbermaid boxes in the basement. Since we have been trying to keep a textile quarantine around the bedroom, I have been forced to leave my pjs in the bedroom whilst I pad downstairs to get dressed, and the sun is staring to come up early enough now that the 'nekkid burglar' routine has got to go. Plus it would only be a matter of time before I forgot the girls were having someone sleep over or some such and caused massive psyche trauma for all parties involved.

So, yeah, my outlook has improved considerably in less than a week. I ven got a full session in on the Wii Fit this morning. But in a related story, let me tell you about The Devil.

"They say The Devil's greatest trick was convincing the world that he didn't exist." - Verbal Kint, The Usual Suspects

Be that as it may, his next best trick revolves around him thinking, "I need something more physically embarassing for that guy than Dance Dance Revolution." I picture The Devil with an elbow on his desk, his head in his palm, an expression of frustrated boredom and ennui on his face as the screams of the damned echo in the distance. My picture is paper-clipped to a manila file emblazoned with a "PENDING" stamp sitting on his desktop. A junior imp of some kind, possibly an intern, shuffles his feet uncomfortably in the silence, until his superior speaks:
"This guy clearly has no friggin' idea what he looks like playing these games. Dance Dance Revolution, Wii Fit, Punch Out, nothing has worked. This is an obese 40-year-old who not only admits playing games designed by and for Japanese adolescents, he raves about it to anyone who will sit still long enough to hear him out!!" He drums his fingers across the vintage green blotter pad, then stops, and snaps them. "Okay, pull out the heavy guns; drop Just Dance in front of his nose, maybe in public."

"How about his workplace?" the Imp chimes in with an obsequious tone. "That's the bulk of his waking time these days."

The Devil waves a taloned and impeccably manicured hand with a dismissive air. "Whatever. Just make it soon; February's almost over and the full moon is on the wane."

The intern nods and quickly exits, eager to put his master's plan into motion.

And so it came to pass last week that at our staff meeting, my boss busted out the Wii instead of a regular agenda. And she opened things up with Just Dance. Unlike DDR, which can be played by a man with no arms whatsoever, provided he has decent balance, Just Dance works on a pantomime premise limited to the upper body. Copying the dancer on the screen, you execute a series of classic dance moves in time to the music, like the swim, the monkey, the hitch hiker, the point, the lariat, et cetera.

And after the director had a go (by himself, brave man), they threw it open to the group, and one of the new hires, Louise, says, "I wanna have a dance off with Steve."

Well, there is clearly no way to leave that gauntlet on the ground without looking like a grade A, blue ribbon weenie and charter member of the Funbusters Squad, so I acquiesced and headed up in front of my colleagues, and promptly got schooled to the tune of "I Like to Move It Move It" by a woman half my age who I think may actually be taller than I am.

I didn't embarrass myself score-wise, I think I can say I held my own, even if I am no longer the best dancer in my weight class (sigh), and I gained some street cred with my homies for not backing down and all that. I sought to redeem myself afterwards by saying, "you aren't allowed to be too proud of beating an old fat dude in a dance-off, lady!" but in truth, it was a pretty good time. And in greater truth, I can't see doing it in public again unless beer is involved.

And so it was that His Infernal Majesty set out to embarrass me, and failed, because while I am a long ways away from losing my ego, I have gotten a lot better at letting it know who's boss.

And when The Morning Star sought to rub my face in it by throwing the game in front of me at Costco on Saturday, instead of recoiling in horror, I picked it up instead. "I'll show you, Satan!" I thought to myself. "I'll get good at this game, so the next time the challenge comes, I'll be ready. Even if there is no beer involved!"

Besides, what better way to teach my girls the words to "Surfin' Bird" by The Trashmen?


  1. Ha ha. Clearly Sylvia picked the wrong week to take a vacation!

  2. Yeah, the meeting I referred to was a closed event, not like the Wiilympics, so Sylvia would have missed out anyways. I even said, "Don't bother pulling out any cameraphone you intend to keep, people." I don't know if I have the huevos rancheros to shake my considerable groove thang outside my immediate circle of co-workers. Tell you what though, the next time the two of you are over, you and I can go head to head, what do you say?

  3. Surfin' Bird has words? What is the word?

  4. I would pay money to see Earl and Steve in a Wii dance-off. Hell, I would pay money just to see Earl shake his money-maker to "Move It Move It."

  5. Well, you wouldn't be watching from the sidelines, since the game supports 4 players...