by Brian Hodges
They say it’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game. But when it’s a game nobody ever wins, one has to wonder how “they” expect us to find motivation to play. The fact is a lot of the games we’ve played over the course of our lives are utterly pointless, and yet natural selection has yet to purge them from the gene pool. Or something.
TIC TAC TOE
The original pointless game. Seriously, has anyone over the age of ten ever played a round of Tic Tac Toe that didn’t end in a tie? Hollywood Squares upped the competition a tad by taking your X’s and O’s away if you couldn’t answer fairly simple trivia questions. Which was cool, except for the fact that you had to be constantly reminded that D-list celebrities still make more money than you. But let’s be honest, the only person that’s ever not been a complete loser while playing this classic is the five-year-old you babysit. And that’s only because letting him win is easier than dealing with tantrums.
There are some games that simply could not exist outside of the very specific timed environment of a schoolyard recess. How else could you have known when the game was over? Because again, there were no winners, save for the alpha bullies who teamed up to keep tagging the nerdy kid. Sitting smugly in his Lexus years later while those same alphas filled it with gas was the only victory that ever came out of this stupid game. And only then just barely. Apparently saying, “Look who’s It now, bitch,” becomes far less satisfying after the age of thirty.
What is it about throwing and catching that appeals to the human psyche so much? And what was it about an overzealous sports dad that made you realize how pointless the whole thing was. My arm is sore, my palm is bruised and I could have been watching Drake & Josh this whole time. By college most guys have repurposed this “game” as a way to show off for hot chicks, usually at the beach. More likely than not though, your diving catch did little to convince that girl in the string bikini that you’re still not a colossal tool. And I think we can all agree, in this day and age, any activity that does nothing to increase likelihood of your getting laid is the very definition of pointless.
Because apparently sitting in your La-Z-Boy, drinking beer and picking Cheetos out of your belly button while you yell at people that can’t hear
you for eight hours every Sunday isn’t awesome enough. Now you’re going to force yourself to keep track of numbers too? Don’t you remember how much you hated that statistics course? Don’t you remember how much you hate the Eagles? Now you and your friends are going to force yourself to look at both of those things week after week all winter? “But Brian,” you say, “The guy with the most points at the end of the season wins money.” To which I answer, “Shut up, this
is my column.”
Before you say anything, I want you to at least try and remember what you did last night. If those antics don’t cry “game” then you must have been playing the one with the ping-pong ball a bit too much. “But but but,” you say, “at the end of this, we come away with better job prospects and friends for life.” To which I answer, “You talk to magazines way more than any sane person should.” But seriously, have you read a jobs report lately? Barring a few specific majors, the odds of you landing a career worth the money you sunk into this four-year game of porcelain thrones and textbook hot potato are so miniscule, even a seven-year-old Tic Tac Toe champion wouldn’t sign up to play… even though he will. Don’t worry, he won’t win either.Share this Post[?]