I was hanging out with my friend Happy Apple a few weeks ago.   Now, Happy Apple is definitely a bit of a nerd, which is probably why I get along with her so well.  She knows all about japanese manga, is a whedonphile, and knows all about obscure electronic bands. 

She also used to be into DDR, which is something I know absolutely nothing about.  In fact, when she found out just how in the dark I was about DDR, she raised her eyebrows in shock. 

"How could you have never played DDR?" She asked, increduously.

"Well, I have this thing."

She waited for a second, and when she realized I wasn't going to elaborate, said "What?"

"A Penis."

She groaned, shook her head in mock disgust, and lead me to one of the few arcads left in Victoria to "pop my DDR cherry". 

Turns out that DDR, or Dance-Dance Revolution for those not in the know, is actually primarily enjoyed by men (who knew?)  It consists of dancing on coloured squares to a beat displayed on the screen while loud and annoying japanese music blares at you.  It's like guitar hero, with more physical exercise and fewer idiots who think "this is what it's really like". 

Our first round, Happy Apple went nuts doing all the moves.  She was jogging place, pretty much, spinning in small circles, making energetic punches, and flying over the play mat.  She had it on the "hard" difficulty.

Meanwhile, I had it on the "holy fuck, this is easy" difficulty, and I was having a bit of trouble.  See, I get embarrassed in situations like this, so I sort of defensively had my arms on my hips in a classic "disinterested cool guy" pose that made me look like a huge wad.    I'd follow the directions - take a step to the left, okay, now forward, step right, right, back, and forward again, hands on my hips the whole time.

This is when I learned that there's a hazy line between DDR on easy mode and square dancing.  Really, had I been wearing a cowboy hat and a plaid shirt, I'm pretty sure I'd be two heinekins away from beating my wife and alienating my gay son. 

But then a crowd formed.  They were the DDR elite - and by "elite", I actually mean "Scrawny white dudes with no muscles who wear muscle shirts who spend their saturdays alone in an arcade".  They formed, and patiently watched us play.  One particularly brazen guy who smelled like Axe body spray even placed a coin on our machine to "reserve" the next play.

I've done this at bars for the pool table.  But somehow, it seems much lamer when it's a johnny zee's token to reserve a DDR machine.  Maybe it's me.

It's kind of a good feeling to know that you're the coolest guy in the room.  It doesn't happen to me that often, which is probably understandable.  But I was feeling damn cool at that moment.  I felt even cooler when I realized they were mocking me

Why?  Because I lacked DDR skills.  They were chuckling to themselves at just how weak I was at stepping to the left.  And then they'd look over, and see Happy Apple burning through the songs on a much harder difficulty, making her little karate chops as she burned through Japanese Annie's version of "Caffeine Ferret Tango".  I could hear them checking out her ass.  It had a smell not at all dissimilar to the smell of morning dew.  You know what I mean.

Now, Happy Apple and I are not a couple.  We have never been a couple.  She is, in fact, engaged to someone who is most definitely not me.  However, these guys watching us play didn't know any of that.  They had to make the assumption that it was likely for a male and female together in an arcade to be an item of some sort.  But it didn't stop them.

Within a few minutes, a bunch of rather dweebish men were all competing for Happy Apple's affections, right in front of me.  At first, I just kind of laughed at it, but after a few minutes, I began to feel just a little insulted.  I mean, sure, I'm not dating Happy Apple.  But they didn't know that, and they were still making moves... in that sort of situation, isn't it natural I'd take it as an affront to myself?  And I could tell, normally, they would never do something like this - but in DDR land, I wasn't a threat. 

"I see you play without speed mods," one of them said, with Don Juan poise, completely speaking through me.

Another decided to "help" me when I couldn't figure out how to change the difficulty, the whole time looking at Happy Apple and rolling his eyes as if to say "why are you here with this loser?"

I was a loser, because I lacked the practice and skill to put my right foot on the right pad to the beat of some jap-pop band.  Of course, Happy Apple was completely oblivious to their plays for her heart, and got annoyed with them rather quickly.  After calling them all "losers", she grabbed her jacket and said "Come on Dave, let's go".

I wish I could say I was the bigger man, here.  But who are we kidding? 

On the way out, I totally glanced back at them and gave a smug "Look who I'm taking home tonight" look. 

1 comment:

  1. You left out the part where I went all Afronova on some smelly kids face.