It’s been a while since I posted. The last couple of months have been fraught with distractions, like eating Thanksgiving pies, Christmas cookies, Marge’s homemade angel food, Dave’s birthday lasagna, cheese cake, Christmas ham, Lucy’s yummy chocolate truffle cookies, and assorted dips, cheeses and crackers. Not to mention half of the tin of homemade cookies my mom gives us every year that I assured her I would leave entirely to Dave (I cannot be trusted to promises made when it comes to baked goods).
I have also been distracted by a game on my iPad, introduced to me by my nephew. My adult nephew, who is 30 years old and expecting his first baby and whose care-free video game playing days will soon be coming to a crashing sleep-deprived halt. Excuse my cruel chuckle as I experience the empty nest days of doing whatever the heck I want whenever the heck I want to, as long as it doesn’t break any laws, interfere with my job, breach national security, or send us spinning into bankruptcy.
The game in question is The Simpsons Tapped Out. First, let me say that I don’t even watch The Simpsons. I think, in the entire 500 years it’s been on the air, I may have watched 3 episodes. I have paid enough attention to pop culture to know who Homer, Marge, Maggie, Bart and Lisa are, but that’s really about it. I would never have looked for this game on my own, because I wouldn’t have cared enough to even think it might exist.
So, when David showed me the game on his iPhone, I thought it was in complete innocence, one gamer to another. No. He was seductively trying to suck me into the vortex so he could add another friend to his game and fulfill a quest. I watched in fascination as he clicked on people and buildings, collecting cash and making Bart go to church and Ned Flanders take power walks. My eyes dilated and my finger reached tentatively out towards his phone. Then he said the magic words…”It’s free, Aunt Sue”.
This is not a game for those afflicted with OCD. I became obsessed with rebuilding Springfield and fulfilling quests. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were soon filled with the sounds of my finger spastically tapping on glass. I started bringing my Ipad to work to sneak extra game play during the day, where I hunched over my iPad, tapping furiously while casting furtive glances over my shoulder. I needed to buy more land and build more buildings! I needed more cash! More Halloween Treats! More Christmas coins! More friends! I visited Tapped Out forums to find strangers to add to my ‘friend’ list and forced my friend’s 12 year old son to “add me”. I almost went as far as buying fake donuts with real cash, just to be able to build the mad scientist volcanic lair. Oh yeah. I was hard core.
Somewhere between Christmas and New Years, we ran out of the Christmas cookies that I was using to feed my gaming frenzy, and I realized I needed to get my life back. The dogs were picking thru garbage and hanging out on the street corner, harassing the neighborhood collie (Hey you. Yeah, you! Look at you behind your fence, pansy boy! Oh yeah? I dare ya! I triple-human dare ya!). The cat was cooking ‘nip in the basement and selling it to unsuspecting kittens. The boys were mixing lights with darks in the laundry room while surviving on Hot Pockets and Tina’s frozen burritos. I had 10,679 unread emails just from Kohl’s alone (Save 30%! Free shipping! Get Kohl’s Cash!), and was so far behind on Facebook that I didn’t recognize any of my friends.
So I quit. Cold turkey. I don’t recommend this to the faint of heart. First came the shakes. Then then the delirium. I cried. I giggled maniacally. I sobbed in hysterics. I beat on my Ipad, shouting “WHY? WHY?” And then I crashed. It was the worst ten minutes of my life.