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I really don’t understand heroin. You know it’s super addictive going in, and you know it ruins, like, 98 percent of the lives of people who use it. What you can’t plan for, however, are the subtle things that get you addicted. We were the most vulnerable to these things when we were kids, because we saw shiny stuff and we had no impulse control. This is why when we discovered something we thought was fun, we didn’t stop doing it until we had fried our brains. We’ve managed to get over most of these things with the onset of “adulthood,” but I maintain there are still some of them out there that if you don’t avoid them, you’ll get sucked back in almost immediately.
Fuck the trading cards. I’m talking about the Game Boy games. I never had the money or tenacity to collect the cards and simultaneously figure out how and when they were supposed to be traded and played. All I wanted to do was grab my device, snatch up Charmander, and go kick Team Rocket’s ass. I gave up regularly playing the game after middle school, but once a year or so, I’d dig it back up and go on a weeklong bender. It was silly. Even now, when I visit home for Christmas, I sometimes find myself tempted to pull out my Red Version and go toss some balls at creatures in the grass. I’ve managed to maintain my self control so far, because it would be unfortunate if the one time I get to see my family each year gets eaten up by me sitting in a corner trying to fuck up Snorlax.
Once the huge box containing them gets dumped, all semblance of restraint vanishes from my brain. There are just so many things to build: spaceships, cars, castles, submarines, secret bases, and even bars for all of the little yellow dudes to get drunk at. To this day, I can’t resist Legos. If my nieces and nephews come over, my first reaction is to pull out “The Tub.” I’ll pretend it’s for their enjoyment, but I’ll eventually sit down next to them under the guise of “helping them,” and next thing I know, it’s nighttime, the three of us have built a major metropolitan area, and their parents are mad at me, because they wanted to leave hours ago. Oops.
3. “The Lion King” For Super NES
Fuck this game. Seriously, motherfucking fuck this game. I’m pretty sure this game taught me how to swear when I was a kid. Trying to navigate the flippy hippos and swingy monkeys, and watching out for falling floors and asshole hyenas? I don’t think anything in my life has ever been more stressful, and I took the LSAT for God’s sake. There’s no saving, so you have to restart the game from the beginning every time, and the maneuvers are so complicated that you’d think they were designed by a man who enjoyed causing people pain. In fact, I know that to be the case. “The Lion King” game was designed by sadists, because no matter how hard or frustrating your death was, or how terrible it made you feel about yourself, you couldn’t just walk away.
This isn’t as much for me as it is for the good of the group as a whole. When you were kids, prank wars were the best. You could spend all summer going back and forth, never knowing when you were going to get hit next–the rush of adrenaline on both sides was intoxicating. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work as well in adulthood. Getting wet as a kid was sort of expected. Water balloons, Super Soakers, buckets of water over doors: it was like the wild west, and everyone was armed. Now, those pranks can actually cause damage. We all carry smartphones that melt and die at the slightest hint of water like the Wicked Witch of the West, and we’re also probably wearing clothes that cost a decent amount of money that we’d like to not have soaked. Those are just the water-based pranks. The other issue is escalation. When we were kids, we knew we couldn’t take things too far, because we’d get into serious trouble with parents if we did, and we didn’t really have the imagination for it anyway. Well, at our current age, we’ve all seen some shit, and with Internet prank videos, ideas can get out of hand really fast. The best policy here is to just not pull pranks to begin with, because eventually, someone’s going to get hurt, punched, or fuck up something really expensive.
I know. No one actively avoids Oreos. We really should, though, because I don’t know a single human who’s capable of not finishing a package within the day it’s purchased unless he or she passes out drunk first or his or her mom hides them. Oreos are chocolate narcotics. We all know this. I guess this is probably the main addiction from childhood that none of us were quite able to kick–I guess I understand heroin after all.