The Wife Unit and I run a tight ship. Everyone must have good table manners, sugar drinks remain at the grocery store and dirty words must go unspoken.
Most of the time.
There is a time and a place for everything. Take for instance, losing at Halo 3.
I loved Halo. I played it solo, with my friend Kyle, with my friend Mike, with the brother-in-law; I played and played that game. It was a great science fiction story, and I am a sucker for grim, epic plots.
Sadly, I stopped playing Halo 2. I felt the writing of the story fell flat, and I just could not get into PVP. I felt PVP Halo is not heroic, and just not my cup of tea. I tried though, I really did. I was in it for the story, and the story was not there. It competed with Half-Life 2 for my time, and well, Half-Life 2 kicked its ass.
Now Halo 3 I tried to get into just because it looked so damn good on my Xbox 360. But alas, it was just meant to be, mostly because I skipped the prior version, and also there was just an embarrassment of riches out for the 360, such as Mass Effect, Bioshock and a dozen other killer titles.
Of course, I also started writing, and that was the end of most of my Xbox 360 time.
The rest of the family played Halo 3, however. The Wife Unit and I talked about it. Thing One could play the campaign, but Thing Two could not, nor could he watch. Thing One and Thing Two could play together, but only in PVP mode. Going on Xbox Live was not an option; I turned that off.
Occasionally I would play Halo 3 with Thing One. I didn’t like it, but since he liked it so much, I humored him. Yeah, humored him by dying. A lot.
My digital ninja skills were rusty from disuse. I could not keep up with someone who practiced.
Oh well, as long as everyone is having fun right?
Recently, the kids wanted to play with both parents as a “family activity.”
Family Activity my ass. They wanted to shoot us. Repeatedly. While giggling.
Sure. We hooked up the fourth controller and away we went.
So, there I am, trying to avoid Thing One. The Wife Unit, in her pink Spartan Armor, is nowhere to be seen. Thing Two, however, is just sitting in one spot. Carefully I zoom onto his head with the Battle Rifle. As I am about to pull the trigger—
The Wife Unit has snuck up on me and whacked me on the back of the head.
“He he he, I killed Daddy, he he he.”
Oookay. Now I am back in the game, running after The Wife Unit. Ah HA! There she is. With the Battle Rifle again, I go and line up a shot and—
Thing One has snuck up behind me and whacked me on the back of the head.
I am dead.
“Might want to watch your radar, Dad.”
OH REALLY? I MIGHT WANT TO DO THAT?
Thing Two runs me over with a vehicle.
I am in last place.
Even the Kindergartner has a higher score.
Now, I may be unpracticed, but I am not stupid. I shove my embarrassment deep down and turn it into something else. I run around the map, ignoring all the weapons until I find,
Hello? What’s this?
I pick it up. It’s a hammer. A big hammer. A really really big hammer.
“What?” Everyone looks at my part of the screen. It’s kind of cheating, but I don’t care.
“I got something for your punk-asses!”
“Mom! Daddy said the A-Word!”
“Oh yeah?” I declare, “The A-Word is COMING FOR YOUS!”
“Whatever,” The Wife Unit says. Obviously, I am not even worthy of chastisement, such is my suckage at Halo 3.
The Wife Unit and Thing One go at it. They are contesting the top spot. I jump to the side of their slug fest, and KA-BLAM! The Hammer blows away everyone near me in an arc.
Announcer: “Double Kill!”
“What?” Thing One says looking puzzled.
“Ouch,” says The Wife Unit.
I obliterate the Kindergartner, cutting him off. He flies so far from my blow, his corpse falls off the map.
Announcer: “Killing Spree!”
“MOUHAHAHAHAHA! Who’s yer Daddy, huh? Who’s yer Daddy!? Hey, you all want to give me any more advice? Huh?”
I run to the nearest blip on my radar.
“It’s PEANUT BUTTER-JELLY TIME!”
KA-BLAM! Another kill.
“Who’s laughing now?”
“Peanut-butter jelly with a baseball bat!”
Sadly, I didn’t win the match. They all started camping the route to the Hammer, or worse, picking up the Hammer first. But when I got the Hammer, they all ran. Like little girls.
But there was an important lesson here, one which I believe carries over to life in general.
If you’re gonna be a punk-ass, I’m going to call it out, rules or no rules.
And don’t taunt The Daddy.
Okay, that’s two lessons. No need to thank me, that’s just the kind of guy that I am.