I gave in to impulse. And while it’s been great, I’m trying very
hard to make sure it doesn’t take over my life.
and I were out running errands, and we stopped in a store, and…
found a Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition.
funny side note… we found both the SNES Classic and the NES Classic.
I had been looking—not deeply and aggressively, but more with
occasional glances toward electronics departments looking—for
the SNES. I wanted it for Donkey Kong Country. We had
stopped in one store on this particular day and found the original
version, the Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition. (And
for those of you wondering, yes, there is a difference.) We decided
to grab it anyway, since it also had some fun games and had been
equally difficult to find. As in… this was the first time we had
seen either in stock anywhere.
the NES Classic only comes with one controller, so finding it
led to another stop while we were out to see if I could locate
a second controller, which the first store didn’t have in stock.
And… because, of course… the second store had the SNES. Now that
comes with two controllers, so… ok… never mind. I can feel that
this part of the story is losing you. Back to the main story…
made the exchange, bought an SNES Classic, and I have been playing
Donkey Kong Country. Trying to limit my time on the unit
I might play for a few minutes each day, but now I’m at the final
level and haven’t been picking up the patterns and pacing that
well. And the fact that the system also comes with Super Mario
Kart along with other games is making it even more difficult
to put away each day.
exciting part is that the game has been a lot of fun to revisit.
Not quite as exciting as the first time I played it, which included
several friends that were battling the game at the same time,
but still a lot of fun.
grew up in a great neighborhood. Three streets, with two of them
cul de sacs. Even if we didn’t know what the inside of some of
the houses looked like, we knew all of the folks that lived there.
Given trick-or-treat expeditions of my younger days, I feel quite
safe saying I have stepped at least four or five feet into every
house within three blocks of my childhood home.
group of us decided to paint a mini baseball field in the road
of one of the cul de sacs, which we referred to as the circle.
(As in: “Hey mom, I’m going to play in the circle.”) With three
streets and two dead ends, you probably can understand why there
was amazingly little traffic along our roads. As in, if you didn’t
live there, you never drove there. That mid-street field ended
up being used for kickball and all sorts of other games over the
years, but one in particular stands out.
the way that only kids can—never understanding can’t-be-done limitations
and unburdened by the restrictions of experience—one of my best
friends and I created an amazing game. We called it tennis ball.
(I know. But at the time, when it came out as the name in literally
an instant, it seemed so perfect that we couldn’t bring ourselves
to change it once we realized what we had done.) Essentially it
was baseball, using a tennis ball and tennis racquet, only we
played it as a one-on-one game with specific rules for how to
pitch, what hits would be in play, how runners advanced, and so
the years… ok, fine, decades… since I last played tennis ball,
I have often wished for one last summer of games in the circle.
One last summer to head down to the local park to play some actual
tennis… invade one of our houses for lunch… spend the afternoon
in the pool that used to be in my backyard… invade another house
for dinner… then head toward the circle for the last hours of
daylight. Maybe some kickball. Maybe hide and seek. Eventually
the streetlights would come on and we’d scramble to figure out
how to arrange a sleepover before our parents began calling for
are some childhood memories I don’t think I’ll ever get to revisit.
(Though I wouldn’t mind an attempt at ghost in the graveyard,
and suppose hide and seek is possible.) A hand painted field hosting
a tennis ball match is very unlikely.
that’s one of the twists that has made revisiting Donkey Kong
Country a bit of fun. I can handle sitting in the recliner,
controller in hand and game on the screen. I’ve even been frustrated
by most the same levels that frustrated me years ago.
are a few things that never get old… a few things I can still
do. (Just don’t ask me where my baseball glove is.)