When I was a kid I had this “friend” named Charles. I use those devilishly ironic quotations because he wasn’t really a friend. I mean we hung out sure enough but not because I particularly enjoyed his company. He smelled funny, talked funny, was a bit overweight, and kind of weird. But he had two things that though they may have been a grass-greener-on-the-other-side kind of thing it made spending time with him awesome. First, he had video games. Second, his mother always provided snacks that were, quite frankly, the bomb.
So once a week or so, I’d go Charles’ house just to get snacks and a fix of video games. This was pre-NES and he had an Atari with a decent library. Though I can only remember Defender and Pitfall.
One time while I was laying down some serious smack on the game Pitfall, I managed to slip up and swing retarded Tarzan style into one of the many, many black tar pits. I exclaimed, “oh you stupid tar pit!” A minute or two passes and Charles’ mother walks in the room fuming. Charles was standing behind her in tears. She wants to know what has happened that I would call her son a “stupid tar pit…”
Anyway, I had to explain that I was calling the actual tar pits ‘stupid,’ and that was that. It was simply a huge, stupid, tar pit of misunderstanding.
Once we got our own video games at home my visits to Charles’ house stopped. But playing games with my brothers meant that verbal slander would cement itself into the ethos of our gaming competitiveness.