Sunday, March 23, 2008

Les Jeux Sont Faits

It's the best five euros I've ever spent.

Last week I was going through the menus on my oh-so-French mobile phone: The Sagem my411v, a purchase I made to see if this heretofore unfamiliar brand's products are worthwhile. I was disappointed to find that, other than the crappy MP3 player, everything in the Games & Entertainment menu is merely a 30-second demo. You have the option to buy games like Tetris, Pac-Man, etc. I figured, "What the hell?" and downloaded an old favorite, Puzzle Bobble.

Since then, this is the most familiar sight to me:

It rouses me in the morning as I get on the Métro all bleary-eyed, helping to pass the 14 or so stops to work. It helps me ignore the masses on the train on the evening ride home. It even helps me save money by keeping me occupied on those rainy nights when I'd typically be out at a bar or cafe.

Hell, today - on an Easter Sunday where only the pricey tourist traps are open - I opted to play the game and within an hour broke the 30,000 point mark. A personal record!

And (late, late) last night, as I was watching UCLA vs. Texas A&M in the NCAA basketball tournament, I whiled away that long period of time where my Bruins were trailing by playing some more Puzzle Bobble. Like the stereotypical government employee filing her nails and chatting, I nonchalantly kept tabs on the basketball game from the corner of my eye, racking up points of my own on an even smaller screen. I knew eventually, after trailing by as many as 10 points, that my boys in blue would turn it on and put the Aggies away. In fact, it was then - and only then - that I pressed pause on my phone and actually started watching the game.

*yawn* Just another late night in Paris, just another narrow UCLA victory in the second round... Well, maybe not. Those six and a half minutes at the end were sheer ecstasy, even if it was nearly dawn and my thumbs were cramped up. Watch for yourself:

Ah, what better way to spend a Saturday night than with a six-pack of Stella, Puzzle Bobble, and eight games of college basketball streamed to my computer...?

Ok, so I'm a lonely, lonely man right now.

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