It probably goes without saying that I'm not much of a gamer, but to avoid any future misunderstandings, let me get it on record once and for all that video games elude me.
Sure, I get the concept. It's a highly intelligent program that you can entertain yourself with for hours trying to beat. I'm not completely out of the loop. I did play Tetris, Zelda, Duck Hunt and Super Mario Brothers on the original Nintendo. And don't get me started on Atari. Centipede was the best.
But that's about the extent of my knowledge.
So when Jerry asked for Guitar Hero II for Christmas, apparently I needed more instructions.
When standing in the electronics store, it honestly seemed silly to buy the package that came with another guitar. I mean, I got him the original game for his birthday. So, logically, you would assume that a second guitar was unnecessary.
Well, logic is wrong when it comes to electronics. Very wrong.
It took Jerry 0.2 seconds to ask where the guitar was when opening it Christmas morning. Because, well, the second guitar is red, not black like the first one. And it comes with different stickers. And it allows two people to form a band -- one plays lead and the other plays bass.
So I ruined Christmas (and the next two weeks of my life) by trying to think logically.
Because even though I promised that we'd go out the very next morning to exchange it for the complete version, it didn't help. He couldn't play with his new toy on Christmas. And when I suggested he try on his new sweater that I also got him and put his money in his new money clip, he looked at me like I was the least understanding woman alive.
And it didn't help that every electronics store in the region was sold out of the game. I literally visited 12 stores while Jerry was at work the next day, walking directly to an employee, asking if it was available and getting the same eye-roll response that suggested, "Are you KIDDING ME?"
Fortunately my mother-in-law came to the rescue when she found it at one of her favorite online shopping spots. She placed the order immediately, but it would take up to 10 days. Meanwhile, every one of Jerry's friends who received the correct version of the gift rubbed it in about how great the red guitar was, leaving him seething even more. And just for a little more salt in the wound, our nephew Nate enjoyed playing the first version at our house so much a few days after Christmas that he went out and bought the second version with some of his gift certificates.
So, yeah, Jerry could've had it sooner if we hadn't placed the order online.
The day it finally arrived was like Christmas all over again in Jerry's book. He was so thrilled to play the game that he lost track of time -- and our dog. He didn't realize Toby had locked himself into an upstairs room, ensuing a long and arduous search party around our neighborhood into the wee hours. But hey, we found our dog and he had the game, so all was right with the world.
Until that same dog broke the game the next day.
We had just gotten back from seeing a movie and Jerry beelined for his PlayStation while I went upstairs to change. As I was tugging on a pair of pajama pants, I heard shouts of, "NO! TOBY WAIT!" followed by a loud crash. Which I later understood to be the unit slamming to the ground after Toby thought he could hurtle through the wire connecting the red guitar to the game system.
I held my breath as a litany of expletives involuntarily flung their way out of Jerry's mouth. By the time I worked up the courage to go downstairs, he was screaming, "SCREW IT! I WAS JUST NOT MEANT TO HAVE THIS GAME! JESUS HATES ME AND HE DIDN'T WANT ME TO HAVE THIS FOR HIS BIRTHDAY! I DON'T EVEN WANT IT ANYMORE!"
But he did want it. He wanted it bad.
After cooling off, he tried rebooting the game. Ironically or becase Jesus hates him, I'm not sure which, everything works except for the actual concert action itself. He can create characters, scroll through songs, even do practice rehearsals ... but when it comes time to get into the actual game, the screen goes blank and the disk just sort of makes this loud chugging noise, whirring around violently in its holster.
So today, after sleeping off his depression, we will head out to buy the guitar-less version that I gave him for Christmas.
Maybe we'll even get the exact same disk.