Monday, November 14, 2005

COLUMN: Battlefront!

Let me tell you, it's difficult being a babe magnet like myself.

I apologize on behalf of my raging brute machismo. I know that week after week, so many of you come here to this page to drool over my foxy photo. It's not my fault that I'm this overwhelming. Some people are just lucky, I guess. I don't know if it's my blessing or my curse, but I've long since come to terms with the simple fact that -- sad but true -- sometimes I'm just too sexy for this column.

Well, ladies, today's your lucky day. I'm about to tell you a story that might just set you aquiver with Shane lust. Those of you weak at heart may wish to stop reading. I implore you NOT to throw your undergarments at me as I weave this tale of utter sex appeal.

Last Monday, you were probably doing something NON-sexy around midnight, such as -- oh, I dunno -- sleeping. Too bad for you. Me? I was where the action was. I was hanging out with the hottest of the hot at the most happenin' shindig in town. That's right -- I was at the Star Wars Battlefront II midnight sale at Video Games, Etc.

Sorry, ladies, I didn't mean to turn you on just then. But I know that if there's one thing that drives the women wild, it's a 34-year-old man who knows how to handle an X-Box controller. And yes, it's true -- I play one mean video game.

Okay, before you throw me to the pack of angry nerds outside, let me state for the record that I am NOT a card-carrying member of Lambda Lambda Lambda. Okay, sure, I play video games from time to time. But, in all honesty, I'm kind of a nerd wannabe.

I have friends who are the real deal. I know people who, from the moment they get off work to the moment they sleep, are busy defending some made-up world against the forces of evil (or at least little CGI orcs and trolls and what-not.) I have friends whose idea of a card game isn't blackjack or poker, it's something called Magic: The Gathering. Friends whose idea of a party is to hook their computer up to like 12 OTHER computers.

Me? I'm more of a tourist nerd. Yes, I'm in my thirties and own an X-Box. Yes, I tend to rush out and buy the latest and greatest games. But I've found that I'm lacking in one highly important skill when it comes to nerding out: patience. I simply don't like games that are hard. I strangely get no joy from losing repeatedly. So yeah, I'll buy the shiny new games, but as soon as they get too hard for me, I tend to turn the machine off and look for something better to do.

But one game I really DO like is Star Wars: Battlefront. You log on, pick a side (good or evil,) and then the game transports you into a huge online arena, where your team of 16 dorks is battling another team of 16 dorks, and, well, may the best nerd win.

So I go to the midnight sale to buy the sequel. I get it home, pop that baby in, put on my microphone headset (ladies, how sexy is that?),log on, and it's game time! Suddenly no mere mortal newspaper columnist am I -- no-sir-ee, I'm a freakin' JEDI! In the real world, if somebody ticks me off, I go to a corner and sulk. In the battle arena, if somebody ticks me off, I take their head off with my light saber. I am armed and ready. I race into the arena and prepare to kick some serious...

THWAK! THWAK THWAK! Thud. And, as I watch my character fall having sustained not one but three fatal sniper shots to the skull, out of my headset I hear a high-pitched voice yell, "THAT'S RIGHT, FOOL! YOU GOT OWNED! BOW DOWN!"

Yep. I was just dispatched with extreme prejudice by what I would guess to be a 12-year-old. Time and again, it happened. Death within seconds. I hate little kids. Little kids don't have newspaper columns to write or day jobs to wade through. They just spend their days getting better and better at these video games so they can spend their nights coming up with new and exciting ways to execute me every time I log on.

Life's unfair -- even for a sexy nerd like me.

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