[Beat] Dinner, dancing and zombies: the perfect honeymoon

I got permission to post my beats here as well as in the paper. This one was pretty well recieved. Most people liked the mental image of Magic the Gathering geeks trying to play DDR.

The unofficial title of this column is “What I did over my summer vacation,” because that’s all I’m going to talk about. I’m sure some of you are saying, “I don’t wanna hear about what you did.” Well, to you I say, “Hey, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘Steve’.”

I got married over the summer. This just goes to show that just because your high school class votes you to be the last to do something doesn’t mean it’ll happen that way.

We went to Las Vegas for our honeymoon. It was great, Vegas is my kind of town. It’s really shinny and has lots of buttons. Plus I can ride a roller coaster, watch a circus and pretend to be a pirate, all on the same street.

I don’t gamble in Vegas, at least not with my money. I gamble with my life every time I eat at on one of Vegas’s world-famous buffets.

It’s not the food at these places that worries me, it’s the all you eat part. I can eat a lot, a lot more that I probably should. I think the workers at the buffet should be able to cut me off, similar to how bartenders can tell an alcoholic when he’s had too much. By my seventh plate of baked “salmon” and “prime” rib covered with “chicken” chow mein, someone needs to tell me to stop. I’m no longer in control.

I, like the rest of the world, don’t go to Vegas to eat. I go to Vegas to put coins in to big shinny machines. The difference is that the one arm from my bandit is a joystick.

I love arcades. Always have, and I probably always will. There’s just something about a musty room full of hormone-driven teenagers swearing at inanimate objects that makes me feel at home.

Not all is well in beep-town, however. The arcade is no longer the bastion of geekiness that it once was.

The arcade scene has changed a lot since I was a kid. I’ve been around arcades since a yellow circle passed as a hero and the scariest looking villain was a centipede.

These days there are games filled with zombies so scary that I refuse to play for the simple reason that I don’t want to wet myself in public. Especially since the public consist of ten year olds who can slay countless of these zombies.

These zombie blood fests with names like “House of the Dead,” “CarnEVIL” and “Picnic of Doom” aren’t the games with which I have the real problem. The pox that has wasted our nations gamming dens is none other than Dance Dance Revolution.

For those of you who think Wedge Antilles is a golf club, Dance Dance Revolution (or DDR) is a video game where players actually dance along to Japanese pop music (or J-pop) by stamping along to commands flashed on the screen. It’s been at the forefront of the new trend in arcade to have primarily dancing games (or crap).

I’ve never liked dancing games because they go against nature. If God had wanted geeks to dance, he would have given us Magic: The Gathering.

Up until my honeymoon I had never tried a dancing game. I was much too manly for that. But then my wife asked me to join her in playing one and I found out just how manly I wasn’t.

I honestly expected to like it once I gave it a try. I was wrong. After about thirty of stomping to the beat, I worked up a sweat and it dawned on me “This isn’t a video game, it’s exorcise!”

I wasn’t able to feel ripped off, as my two left feet reared their ugly head and I feel, causes he casino staff to use the gauze in the arcade first aid kit for the first time ever.

And that’s what I did on my summer vacation.

Geek on.

This beat first appeared in the Utah Statesman, in August 2005. Used with permission

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