How the Shrimp Saved Christmas

When we last spoke I was in a foul mood.  I knew it couldn’t last, despite the post.  It was Christmas time, with the family together.  Brother Eric had flown into town, and that very we would be dining with my Aunt Jeri, which meant a chance to torture talk with dire dear Cousin Emily.  No bad mood could last in the face of that.

However, I didn’t know just how quickly things would change.

At one point Brother Todd was flush with cash, and during this time he picked up (among other things) a Wii, complete with the game that brings families together, Wii Sports.  That last bit is no joke, incidentally.   Outside of the occasional Tetris, Mom hasn’t played a video game since the Atari 2600, and I’m not sure Dad played at all.  But Wii Sport?  They play that.  A lot.

Anyway, Eric had come into town the night before I posted the entry and was eager to reacquaint himself with Wii Sport.  He challenged his favorite brothers to a round of bowling .   This came as such a shock that Todd and I both felt compelled to agree.

Here’s the thing about Eric:  For the longest time he believed video games were out to get him.  This isn’t an exaggeration for comedic effect; he literally said as much in connection to one of the Mario Party games.  And when we played that worthy with him, we found he was absolutely correct.  Other games might be indifferent to him, but Mario Party despises him.  My typical conversation with Emily looks like an adoration fest when compared to how Eric was treat.  The damnedest thing.

So Todd and I went in expecting this to be a rare treat, but one that would end with Eric soundly beaten and me only slightly less soundly beaten.  A good time would be had by all.

We picked out our Miis and… Excuse me.  Forgot that there might be people unfamiliar with the term.  Let me quote the Wikipedia article on the matter:

A Mii is a digital avatar used in Nintendo’s Wii gaming console. After creating them in the Wii’s Mii Channel, they can be used as participating characters in Mii-oriented games such as Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Wii Play, and Mario Kart Wii. Miis are customizable and allow the user to capture a likeness or caricature, or capture the personality of themselves and others.

In an effort to practice my foreshadowing skills, let me say that one of the games listed above will play a larger role in this narrative.  And that the game in question doesn’t begin with the letter W.

Ahem.

Where was I?

Oh yes.  Miis.  Everyone in our family has our own Mii.  Even though Eric now lives in Arizona, we made one for him, too, so that he might have one to use.  It was with this avatar that Eric played and its with this avatar that Eric stomped both Todd and myself in bowling.

Seriously.

We gave him no competition.  The man bowled five strikes in a row.  While Todd is no slouch in the game, I’m lucky if the bowling ball grazes more than three pins.  It was astounding.

But no more so than Eric’s bowling style.  On his roll he’d twist about so much you might think he was going into spasms.  You’d wanna poke fun at him for doing it, but then all the pins would drop and you’d be too dumbfounded to speak.  And all the while his Mii would be standing there with this broad, almost stupid grin on his face, making you feel doubly bad for getting your ass handed to you by an idiot.

Like I said.  Astounding.

From this victory, Eric was wanting to humiliate his brothers more.  It was quite plain that the video game phobia had left him, and thus liberated he was willing to play a variety of games.

Among which was the racing game Mario Cart Wii.

As Todd and I love the game, we agreed.  Once again, I was deluding myself.  I expected to easily get second place.

That’s right.  Second.  Todd owns first.  He put up a swell house there and has barbecues every now and then.  Sometimes he allows me to rent first out, just so I know what I’m missing, but he never leaves there for very long.

But I’m not bitter.

Not me.

Second’s almost as good as first.

Only not.

Getting ready to play, we picked out our game avatars.  Todd, as is his wont, chose one of the Mario characters.  I like my Mii, so I picked him.  Eric debated a moment, then followed my course.

That’s when it happened.  A Christmas miracle.  Not one you make movies about, not one of song or yore, but one that only snarky brothers could make.

He picks his Mii and the avatar appears on the screen punches his fist in the air and cries out “Oh yeah!”

And Eric takes one look at his Mii and says, “The hell!”

Y’see, my brother Eric is the shortest member of my immediate family.  In the interest of portraying that, we used the smallest possible setting to make his body.  While it didn’t show up in Wii Sports, in Mario Cart Wii the Mii appeared tiny, with an incredibly high-pitched voice.

Todd and I, having forgotten we’d done this, almost pushed a gut laughing.  Eric, however, had a different opinion on the matter:  “You guys are jerks!”

Yes.  Yes we are.

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