Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm not a bad driver, I'm just really good at Frogger

When I was a kid, my family had a Commodore 64. It came with a little green piece of plastic that we were directed to put on the computer so that our eyeballs didn't fry. Supposedly the black and white pixels would make our vision fail without much warning. The green plastic-y screen that we could attach (via the wonders of static cling!) to the screen would somehow make everything better.
Incidentally, I remember my dad being far less concerned about our eyeballs than my mom. I mean, if she caught us not using that screen, she would basically channel the mom from "A Christmas Story" and say something like "You'll fry your eyes out!"
But where was I? Oh yes. The computer.
So this computer was for my dad, but with the proper supervision, my sisters and I were allowed to use it. To be fair, I don't remember ever playing with it except to play Frogger.
I loved that game.
Unless you were raised under a rock (or perhaps a Jehova's Witness - I mean, I want to be sensitive here), you know what Frogger is. If not, I'll enlighten you. Bascially, in this game, you are a frog. If you want to name yourself, you can. Just know that if you do and refer to yourself (the frog) by name, my father will roll his eyes so strongly, you can hear them. Usually that sound is accompanied by a loud sigh, just in case you're wondering.
Anyway, your frog job was to cross the road and river and get to the finish line of each screen. You could hop forwards, backwards, or side to side.
Sounds simple right?
Now, the hardest part (IMHO) was the road - which was the first part. See, some of the cars and trucks would be nice and go slow. This meant that you could hop in front of them easily. But some of the cars would be fast. And that's when you had to be tricky. Because your job was to get to the finish line as quickly as possible, you had to take risks that you might not otherwise have taken. You *had* to jump in front of the cars quickly to make it. Otherwise, you'd suck - you'd get squished by oncoming traffic or you'd run out of time. If that happened, what did you really risk your eyeballs for anyway?
Anyway, as I was driving to work this morning, I realized that what most people might mistake for "bad driving" is really just me being AWESOME at Frogger.
Because sometimes you *have* to go faster, just so you can get to the right spot. Sometimes people don't think that I should be able to fit between two cars going 70 mph. But they're wrong. Sometimes people don't see the brilliance in zipping around so you can cleverly get to work a few seconds earlier than if you would've just stayed in the slow lane.
Shaving off a few seconds was huge in Frogger. It saved you from losing the game and sometimes the few seconds would be enough to give you bonuses.
That's one of the ways that I learned this valuable life lesson: impatience gets you everywhere. In fact, it gets you everywhere FASTER.


kathyj333 said...

Brilliant. Best post I've read in a while.

Reality said...

As a person that has ridden with you I now understand where your skills came from. Mystery solved. It also explains all the quarters in the floor mat.

timp said...

Who wants to get to work earlier? I suppose if you were paid by the hour, but even then . . .

Say I just had a brilliant idea. I've often heard it said, when reading someone else's writing, that the person reading can almost hear the voice of the person who did the writing. I think you should bring that to full realization by reading your blog, recording it, and then putting it up to accompany the text. Ooooo! You could even have special dramatic guest readings from members of your readership. I like where you're going with this, and let me say I would be honored to be the first celebrity guest reader. Just have your people talk to my people so we can square away the numbers.

Kelly said...

I am also a "frogger" driver.