She was a Duck Hunt commando

I can still remember that morning like it was yesterday. Christmas morning. 1988. We had already opened our presents, and, to my dismay, what I really wanted wasn't there. I was expecting it. They owed it to us, after all. They had just moved us.....again. But this time, 2 hours from home, to a new city and metropolitan area all together.

This Columbus, this Gahanna, was a strange new world. A world where I had agreed to come to peacefully for the good of the family. And yet, the one thing I really wanted, the one thing that could make it all better, was not under the tree. I feigned cheerful smile but I imagine my disdain for this whole situation shone all over my face.I was not a happy camper. And then........

Mom was sitting on her bed. She called us in and explained that she knew we wanted this one big thing, but the expense of the new house and the move the spring before had made things tight. So we should really be grateful for this. At that moment, she pulled back the cover at her feet to unveil that magical gift, the holy grail of Christmases all over the world in the late 80's, our very first Nintendo Game System.

I was ecstatic. I snatched it up, ran to the basement rec room, ripped the box open, and hooked that bad boy up. Within minutes I was playing Super Mario Brothers. I was so excited I about bruised the back of my head (if you know me, you get that). Within a half hour I could almost get out of the first level. But that was when my time was up and I passed it off to my brother because Mom said we had to limit our time so everyone could have a turn. Including her.

She wasn't really interested in Mario. Being the daughter of Mr. Outdoorsman and Hunter (my Papaw), she set the game to Duck Hunt and picked up that little plastic pistol. She shot one pixeled duck out of the air and she was hooked.

Over the coming weeks and months we had to fight our mother for video game time. I eventually defeated the dragon and moved on to Contra. But Mom, well she kept feeling the need to beat her high score in Duck Hunt. And she did, every time she played. Over and over. For hours on end. I am not sure if it was sheer boredom or an intervention that led her to put down her virtual weapon for good, but looking back it was kind of cool to have a Mom who was as into the Nintendo as I was.

For many years I tried to keep up with the video game craze. I was a Winston Cup Champion on my Game Cube, led the Buckeyes to 19 consecutive championships on my PS1, and even became a bowling pro on the Wii. Alas, now I am just a washed up virtual athlete, pathetically trying to keep his brief glory alive by taking the occasional fitness test and practicing Wii golf.

I told you all of that to tell you this.

We recently changed internet providers, and have to now reconfigure everything in the house to the new network. Only, I am not the configuror. I can barely figure out which buttons make the TV work in our bedroom now, and am convinced that in order to hook up a video game system I need to learn a new language and get a degree in IT. Unfortunately I have teenage boys who could not survive  if their Xbox's, laptops, and tablets are not hooked to the world wide web 24 hours a day.

The moral of the story is this: Ben's Xbox just will not connect to the internet. So I have outsourced his issue to John-Michael. After all, I did not need the internet to save the princess. And my teenage boys know everything anyways. So it is not my problem.

Day # 549. Seriously, she played Duck Hunt like a boss.She was a Duck Hunt commando. Love my Mom. It is good to be me.


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