Thursday, October 28, 2004

Not angelic at all

Somehow, this post is not going to be about the Red Sox. It's not going to be about memories of Boggs and the Rocket from my childhood, about the unparalleled quality of the hotdogs at Fenway, or about the propriety of breaking a curse during a lunar eclipse. No, it's going to be about competition of a completely different, if not totally opposite, kind.

I have this problem with smack-talk. I mean "problem" as used in "drinking problem", referring to an inability to resist which leads to widespread issues in one's life. While I have yet to miss work due to smack-talk or start talking smack first thing when I wake up, I fear for my future.

Now, at this point one might ask "this smack, what do you talk it about?". The answer comes as a single word: Halo. Developed by Bungie, distributed by Microsoft, devoured by the American videogame-playing populace, this title is the new touchstone for games where you shoot your friends again and again. This is where my smack-talk has reached its finest. I don't mean "fine" as in "of high quality", while that is certainly the case. I mean "fine" as in "very small in size, weight, or thickness". The smack-talk becomes so fine it infiltrates your entire surroundings. It's in your hair, in the wrinkles in your clothes. That tickling in your nostrils? It's my smack-talk.

This has gotten me into trouble from time to time. Not bar-fight trouble, as I assume is obvious, but eternal-geek-shame trouble. After all this tooting of one's own horn, one had better be able to put up some big numbers. Fortunately for me, I am.

Just yesterday a friend told me his roommate and another friend had been hitting the Halo pretty hard recently. I promptly instructed him to tell them to call me next time they fire it up so I could show those ladies how the game is played. I may or may not have stated that the way I pistol-whip them will be unorthodox. Today I received the obligatory "heard you were talking smack" email, confirming that a scrimmage would be arranged, and that right quick. Now the quandary -- can I beat these guys? I mean, they're pretty sharp.

I feel confident. After all, I just came out of spring training; I stayed at my brothers place a couple weekends ago. I walked in, and five guys were Haloing it up. And these dudes are turbo-geeks in the way a tsunami is a turbo-ripple. Where do you find a bunch of grown men getting together for some good-natured competition, and where the beer should be only Mountain Dew is found? Where do you see not one, but two Xboxes with the full cast of Red vs. Blue represented? Where do people get verbally abusive when someone brings up the works of Lovecraft, because they're so tired of it being worked into some dice-and-paper game? My brother's apartment, that's where. And thus, where does one go to hone the mad Halo skills? I think you know. If I could hold my own there, I can talk as much smack as I damn well please.

Note: I almost made it five whole days without talking about videogames. Stand in awe.