The year was 1986. The Nintendo Entertainment System had been out for about a year and absolutely every kid in the entire universe had one except for me. I’d resorted to casually inviting myself over to the houses of friends, non-friends, enemies, and strangers, just so I could play Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda, and RBI Baseball. I wasn’t proud of it, but it had to be done. I was hooked.
The actual unwrapping of the console was somewhat uncomfortable, due to the fact that it was given to me on Christmas Eve by my grandmother and I was made to open it in front of all my cousins, none of whom had Nintendo but who desperately wanted it as badly as I did. I restrained my glee, anxiously fidgeted in the car as we drove what seemed like 100 miles home, and watched my dad try to hook the thing up for 45 minutes before grabbing the cables myself and proclaiming, “One side, father! I’m only seven, but someday I’ll be a gadget blogger.”
The brief nanosecond between pressing the power button and seeing the initial RC Pro AM screen materialize seemed even longer than the car ride home, but there we finally were, my four-year-old brother and I, driving remote control cars around on a 700-pound wood-paneled Zenith TV. I won, naturally, as I’d been playing every Nintendo game ever released over and over in my head since the console had been released. That, and my brother was four.
Christmas morning brought two additional games in Ghost Busters and RBI Baseball. I remember thinking to myself that nothing would ever eclipse that moment. I see those Lexus ads on TV where the kids get the best presents ever – an Atari, a pony, etc. – and when they grow up, they find that getting a Lexus for Christmas is somehow better (!) and I wonder to myself about the exact moment when their souls were sucked out of their bodies by the pursuit of the almighty dollar, punctuated by an overpriced status symbol.
Drop an entire dealership in my driveway — I’ll take the Nintendo feeling any day.