Even When You Win

Saturday night was the Computer Mine Holiday Party. The Computer Mine is overly generous with the prizes that they give away at this party. I’m not sure there really is a need for these prizes after all they already give us quite a healthy Christmas present. This year I got 100 dollars in cash, 100 dollars on a Best Buy gift certificate and a digital picture frame. I attend the Computer Mine party for the camaraderie of hanging out with my fellow pick swingers. Not because I desire a prize.

Last year I noted a number of people complaining about the prizes they had won. I remember thinking that these people were dreadfully spoiled. When they walked into the party they had nothing. When they left the party they had a prize. Why should they complain about the prize. How ungrateful can a person be?

This year I found out that there are times that even when you win, you really lost. I don’t have a strong affection for video games. I think they are a nice diversion for small children and teenagers, but after the time when a person gets a driver’s license it is time for them to stop simulating life and go out and live life.

As an example of my loathing of adults playing video games, I will now publish part of a lost blog that I never published. The blog was supposed to be a parody of an exhibit Becca, Jay and I witnessed at the Des Moines Arts Festival. The blog was supposed to be capped off by a collection of pictures, but in the end I might have lost some nerve and I was never entirely satisfied with my parody pictures. Here is part of the introduction of that “lost blog” Dirty Donuts:

The thing about euphemisms is that they are symbolic. The words themselves are completely innocuous, but what they represent can often disgust and/or make people giggle.

I bring this up because it wasn’t until recently that I discovered that adults play video games. I always thought when I heard my contemporaries talking about video games they were talking about sex or sexual allusions or the cousins of sex.

“What were you doing last night?”

“You know I was up late last night playing the Xbox.”


“Any plans tonight?”

“The way my social life is going, I’ll probably sit at home tonight playing Nintendo Wii.”


“What are you giving your wife for her birthday?”

“If things break just right, I’m going to be giving her the PS3.”

Now none of these phrases by themselves sound sexual. In fact, whether or not “playing the Xbox” was a reference to sex or actually playing a video game would be distinguished by the tone of the person saying the phrase.

In art, tone isn’t so easy to distinguish. You have to really look at it to see if this is just a plate of donuts or is it meant to suggest something else.

I have a long standing history of not understanding people who have the means to do something with their time, literally wasting it playing video games.

I won a prize on Saturday night. I didn’t walk into the room with anything. I walked out with a prize. However, I don’t think you could have designed a worse prize for me. Take a look:


You see, even when you win, sometimes you really lose. The good news is that I think I’m going to be able to unload this monstrosity on a co-worker for like 20 bucks. I can use that to buy something like a haircut.