Thursday, February 08, 2007

Following the Trail Wherever It Leads

So I’ve spent the better part of the last two days’ lunch hours playing a little game you might have heard of—it’s a little something I like to call “The Oregon Trail.”

As I child I remember playing this game at school (along with the also fantastic “Number Munchers”) with absolutely zero success. To be completely honest with you, I can’t remember a single childhood incident that involves me getting to Oregon. I couldn’t have even told you what the “Congratulations, You Win the Oregon Trail” screen even looked like, though I’m guessing there’s some Champaign involved, and maybe some dancing bikini models in fabulous 8-bit color graphics.

That said, the game’s journey was oddly entertaining despite its sober simplicity and complete lack of anything exciting or flashy. The highlight of the game is the “hunting” option, in which you fire little bullets at albino deer and buffalo. The only problem is if you shot a particularly large animal you could never carry all the food back with you in the wagon for some reason. It’s a state law; you can look it up.

Another of the game’s personalized options tickled me to no end, as your wagon-mates could be named after anybody you want. I always got a kick out of seeing in what fashion my dearest friends would die: “Sam got dysentery!” or “Patrick has cholera!” There was also some enjoyment to be had in typing monikers for human waste instead of people’s names, a la “poop” and “boogers.” These were truly the prime years of my life.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that as an adult, I finally beat the stupid game. Apparently there are little things you can tweak during your journey to insure a safer passage through the mountains, etc… With a little more practice, I could be the best.

So watch your backs all you eight-year olds out there who think you’ve got something to prove. Mr. Joel Brigham is coming through town to rough you up, show you how it’s done. I’ve even brought my posse with me: Sam, Patrick, Boogers, and Poop.

Prepare to meet your demise, you stupid trail.

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If you haven't already, check out my friends' satirical news website, The Giant Napkin. They do really funny stuff, and I recently started helping (just an iddy bitty bit) write some stuff. I won't tell you which is mine, but I will say that Chase Thunder has been a great friend to me. I love that kid.

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