Sunday, March 2, 2008

Whee for the Wii

My team at office recently shone brighter than the stars in the firmament and so senior management decided to reward us with a game console called the Wii. Those of us not in the know greeted the announcement with puzzlement. It was unclear what we had done to earn a small boy piddling. When the confusion cleared we were left wondering why a company with money to spare chose a name reminiscent of your mother coaxing you to empty your bladder before a bus journey.
The console duly arrived and was set up by a dozen incoherent engineers, all shouting instructions and fainting with excitement. Our joy was marred only by our miserable excuse for a television. We are the proud joint owners of a 12 inch TV. Legend has it that it crawled out of the 1950s, snuck into our office and sat itself unobtrusively on a table top, where it was found one grey morning. But thats another story. The Wii sparked to life and hysteria abounded. If you have not had the pleasure of watching a group of people play a game of tennis at the Wii, I pity your miserable existence. There they stand, their faces shiny with excitement, controllers strapped to wrists. They select which players they are going to be in this game of mixed doubles. A stapping lad, six foot tall, insists that he wants to play as a tiny girl in a short pink dress. He pooh-poohs any Freudian interpretation of his choice. All four wave their controllers around in an attempt to determine who they are and they shout at each other a lot at this point. Finally, they are ready to begin. They stand in a line, muscles tense, leaning slightly forward. The game begins. The controllers detect motion, so the game consists of people holding small controllers waving their arms about and pretending that they are holding rackets. Its surreal, watching the four of them play mixed doubles. The serve and volley and yell instructions at each other. They hit each other on the head and curse. They compliment their partners on aces served and backhands smashed. They bang their hands on cubicle walls and hop around in pain, scowling. Their partners exhort them not to be wimps and to return to the game in time to serve. Partnerships are formed and alliances forged. One player even does a very authentic grunt when he serves. Another (who has rather obviously never really played the sport) looks like he is emulating dance steps from a South Indian potboiler. You can hardly fault me for thinking that in the future the Wimbledon is going to be a bore to watch.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I see that they're putting the boxing game on and there's this person who sits two rows down from me whose ugly mug I've been simply dying to dent.

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