The story behind the name:

One evening, at the Old Broadway Grill in Fargo, North Dakota, my brother caught the end of a Mountain Dew commercial. In the commercial, a Mountain Dew drinker was riding a shark in the ocean. My brother exclaimed in surprise, not realizing that it was a commercial. When I told him he declared "All I saw was a guy coming out of the shower with a shark." Of course, he meant water, but the idea of showering with sharks has been with me ever since.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Time to Put Away Childish Things: Part III

So, the past two Childish posts have been about dolls. Today's post moves us into the realm of electronic fun - specifically, video games. I'm crediting this post to my brother, Jared. He has a great blog that talks about video games and gaming in general. Check it out if you like that sort of thing.

I'm not sure how old we were when Jared got the original Nintendo game console. Pretty young. I remember trekking up the hill to our neighbors house to play Mike Tyson's Punch Out before we got our own system. Of course, the original NES came with Super Mario Bros. The Super Mario series is still my favorite series of games (with X-Men: Legends being a close second). Anyway, some of my favorite childhood memories involve Jared and I, up late in Jared's room, playing Mario.

I still remember the theme song and frequently sing it to my dog, Quinn.

My BEST memory from Mario Bros., however, comes years later after the release of Mario 3, arguable the best Mario game to date. Once again, Jared and I spent late nights up in his bedroom working our way through the various levels. In Mario 3, World Three is a water world, with several levels that rise and sink. This world also introduces the character Big Bertha, an angry red fish that will attempt to swallow Mario whole.

If memory serves, level three, World Three was a scrolling map. I always hated scrolling maps because you can't take your time, you have to keep moving or the back end of the screen will catch up to you, resulting in all manner of unpleasantness. This particular world not only scrolled, but it had multiple levels. You could run on land above, or you could swim below. At one point during the game, late at night, I was on the run (swim) from Big Bertha. The map was scrolling. I was beginning to panic. I was on the bottom level of the game, barely keeping my head above water (literally, in the sense that my character in the game was swimming), when I came to a dead end. Behind me lay the edge of the scrolling screen AND an angry red fish with a very large mouth. Ahead of me, a brick wall.

I turned to Jared and said, "Uh oh. I may be stuck."

Now, I know this doesn't sound particularly funny, but, trust me, it was HILARIOUS when it happened. We laughed until tears came to our eyes. The phrase "uh oh, I may be stuck" has become one of those great shared-sibling jokes. In fact, that one sentences sums up all the great moments I had playing (or watching) video games with my brother from that first NES through every incarnation of the NES, to Xbox, to Play Station and beyond.

We share these moments even as adults. Here are a few more:
- Me head-stomping Jared as Chun Li in Street Fighter 2
- Jared running from Crispin in Time-Splitters 2
- Jared cursing monkeys in Time-Splitters 2
- Playing Mega-Man 2, first on a tv with no sound, then on a tv with no color. Every time we switched it was like playing a whole new game.
- Goldeneye. Enough said.
- Ocarina of Time, when you hit the chicken enough and it calls all the other chickens.

Anyone else have either great video game or sibling moments they want to share?

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