Thursday, November 01, 2007

Welcome To Your Doom

Look, I'll be honest. I'm a big chicken. A wuss. I'm terrified of my own shadow. I may write all my entries on here about death and morbidity, but the truth of the matter is that three days ago I sat in my room, burning up, because I was too scared to go downstairs and change the thermostat. (True story!) Yeah, yeah. Laugh it up. I have anxiety and nervousness issues. On the whole, I don't mind. They're just part of what makes me E. But why am I bringing this up? What possible benefit is there to me tearing asunder the facade I've so meticulously constructed here at Bonez? The easy answer is, because I'm able to laugh at myself. And it was this ability that led me to this post.

I found myself feeling rather nostalgic this afternoon, so I wandered teh intarwebs looking up whatever little tidbits of my childhood happened to wander across my mind. It all began innocently enough, with the search for a board game that I remembered getting for Christmas at the age of 6. The game in question was "Monster Mansion", and my research informed me that this was a board game based on the classic Universal monsters. Apparently it wasn't in production for very long. From here I began to look up more of the games and toys I had as a child. Then I was hit by a shocking revelation....The toys that I had were at least partly responsible for how terrified I am of of the world! Good lord, some of these things were HORRIFYING to a young lad.

Let's start out light, shall we? This first game was very similar to the game Operation in many regards, with one main difference. When you messed up in Operation (so the commercials would have me believe) your friends would laugh at you and lightheartedly refer to you as a "butter finger". Not so with Beware of the Spider. One mistake in that game and a giant fucking spider LUNGES at you! Do you think I'm kidding? LOOK AT THE BOX! That black widow is the size of that kid's head! It wouldn't just bite you and inject you, that thing's fangs would PIERCE THROUGH YOUR SKULL. It would literally chew THROUGH your eyeballs and then liquify your brain. It must have enough venom to DESTROY A SMALL EUROPEAN NATION. The kid on the right is merely stunned with horror. You can see that his sister/girlfriend/neighbor is a tad more ghoulish. She looks like she's rather excited about all this. Perhaps she has a thing for watching her friends convulse while their ethmoidal and maxillial bones are crushed by the powerful mandibles of a spider so enormous you would need a gun to finish it off. What a bitch. And WHY were they doing this anyways? It says BEWARE in HUGE LETTERS! Right there on the box! I have enough sense to stay away from that. Look at the web. That spider caught a bat. A FUCKING BAT! In its web! I don't know about you, but if I'm wandering through the woods and come upon a spider web that has ENSNARED MAMMALS, I'm getting the hell out of there! I'm certainly not going to poke and prod about, hoping to save the poor helpless SCORPION that's in the web! I've noticed something about scorpions, let me share it with you. THEY STING! And it hurts. A lot. Again, to hell with the scorpion and the bat. But that's just me....

My next nightmare is a delightful little game called "Curse of the Cobras". There is, rather unsurprisingly, little information about this game available online. I say unsurprisingly because I'm pretty certain this game can induce heart attacks. I don't fully recall, but I'm pretty certain the one time I played this game properly, I cried. You can see from the cover that apparently Indiana Jones (ironically played here by Tom Selleck) has wandered upon some form of ancient game. Again, in my prudence, I can state that I've seen the Indiana Jones films. Nothing good EVER comes from messing with things you find in tombs. NOTHING GOOD. Well, anyways, to play this wonderful game, you have to slide your wrist between two cobras. Now, I'll grant you, these cobras are kind of laying back, chilling, if you will. They don't seem all THAT menacing at a glance. Once comfortably ensconced within the grasp of the DEADLY VENOMOUS SNAKES, you begin MESSING WITH THE SARCOPHOGUS of some unknown dead Myan or Incan or Aztec. I suppose the nationality is irrelevant. You have a series of 8 ankhs which must be placed into the sarcophogus. There are 9 holes, though, so you have to be careful where these pieces are placed, as ONE of those holes will trigger the unrelenting and unendurable horror that is "Curse of the Cobras". The kicker? It's random. There is no logic that one can apply. So, with shaking, sweaty hands you slowly slide each ankh into place, praying to all that is holy that you have chosen wisely. But put it in the wrong hole and RAAAAAAARRRRRRRR!!!! The coffin springs open and the cadaverous, half rotted form of whatever ancient horror lies within makes itself known. Your normal reaction to this horrific undead vision would be to recoil in terror, but you can't because the cobras have LOCKED AROUND YOUR WRIST! When I said I think this game made me cry, I mean it. My main memory of this game is being too afraid of it to go near. Especially those damn cobras. Much like our earlier discussion of giant spiders, if I'm ever deep within the hallowed burial grounds of some ancient civilization and I find a stone coffin and some puzzle pieces surrounded by bloody snakes, I am NOT going to engage any further curiousity in it. Again. COBRAS. The main bad guy in GI Joe was Cobra. Think that's a coincidence? How many NICE cobras can you name? I bet you can count them on one finger...

Fingers. I've got them. I'm assuming you do as well. (If not, I intend no offense!) I'm rather fond of them. I use them for playing Guitar Hero, for pointing out which spider webs to NOT poke and occasionally for demonstrating to other drivers just how I feel. In other words, I like my fingers just fine. And apparently so do some other people. Say hello to "I Vant to Bite Your Finger". (Yes, the pseudo-Transylvanian pronunciation is correct.) This game makes no bones about what it's after. Blood. YOUR BLOOD. It doesn't want to play. It's not "I Vant to Pet a Pony" or "I Vant to Be Your Friend", no, this game is flat out telling you IT WANTS TO BITE YOU. It wants to taste your warm lifeforce. Yet another game to send me cowering into a corner as a wee boy. The gameplay was simple. Make your way around this board until you are instructed to fiddle with the clock in the back. As you can see in the photo here, this clock is guarded by a vampire. An enormous vampire. Now, in normal gameplay, his cloak would be closed and except for his eyes, there would not be much to see. So you would be given instructions to turn the clock a certain number of ticks. Anywhere from 1-5. If Jesus loved you, then your clicks would go by without incident. But if you've been a naughty unlovable child, then the vampire would fling his cape open, jaw agape, demanding an immediate FLESH SACRIFICE. You're probably thinking to yourself, "Oh, big deal. It's just a game. It won't ACTUALLY hurt me." Let me put it to you this way. You're walking down the street one day and you're approached by me. I'm an average looking guy, not particularly menacing. But out of the blue I produce a box and ask you to put your hand in it, where SOMETHING would BITE you, but it 'wouldn't hurt'. Would you put your hand in that box? HELL NO. Would you put your finger in the mouth of a crazed looking vampire that WANTS TO BITE YOU!?!? You can see that he would probably go into a frenzy driven by his insatiable lust for human blood. Would he stop with just one bite? Just one finger? I'm not putting that to the test!

The sad thing, folks, is that these aren't the only games I had that would scare-ify the vast majority of right thinking people. You can easily see why I wasn't the most popular kid in school. "Should we go over to Jimmy's house and play Life? Or maybe Ted's to play Connect Four? No, I've got it, let's go to E's and play games where our very lives are at stake at the fangs of spiders, cobras and vampires!" Yeah, that conversation was never had. And it shows in the bitter, spiteful man I've become. sigh

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5 comments:

Tony said...

Great post, E. Except for the ragging on good ol' Abe Lincoln. I am sure there is only a slight coincidence the the unpatriotic author of that alternative history piece looks somewhat like yourself when you are well-groomed and sober. Might he be your long lost evil Southern twin? Oh, and that recipe for ghoulish goulash... what happened to the spaghetti? What?!? There's no spaghetti in goulash?!? My Mom lied to me all those years about the ancient family recipe?!? Now I am beginning to understand why I am such an angry old man...
I never heard of any of these games and, like you, I would never have stuck my arm between two cobras or my finger in a vampire's mouth... what lunacy :) Call it survival instinct or cowardice... I don't care because I still got all my fingers.

E said...

Nice, you noticed the odd resemblance between myself and that Lincoln guy, eh? I had a bit of a chuckle when I saw that. In fact these ARE real games. The sad part is that these aren't ALL of the scary games I had. The article was just getting a bit long.

Interestingly enough, Curse of the Cobras and Beware of the Spider are from the same company, Ideal. My guess is that their mission statement was something along the lines of "Haunting the few dreams available to the children who are victim to our terror induced sleep deprivation." That'd be a good way to get some investment in the company.

And I didn't mention it, but I Vant to Bite Your Finger actually leaves two little red bite marks when he gets you. There are little felt tip pens in his mouth. NONE of my friends would put their fingers in there, though. :P

Jod{i} said...

....did you live next door to me? My friend I grew up with, LOVED all these kinds of "games". Although I think now it was sinister plot by Mr Crowley, inundating the market...
Yes, I am kidding.
But what fun eh? Would and don't see anything like this anymore...sigh the good old days. Torture mayhem...I miss childhood..

E said...

It's quite possible I was your neighbor. Did you grow up next door to St. Brutus' Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys?

Interestingly enough, I was THIS CLOSE to being named after Crowley. If only it would have been so....

Jod{i} said...

Aleister...hmmm it does have a ring to it...

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