Some context might be important here before we get started. During my senior year of college, I had written, designed, and directed a one-act play titled “Show Me Your Tong Po,” which had had a week-long run in the school’s black box theater. Additionally, I had won an award for outstanding creative writing for penning said play. So, after graduation, upon my return to New York City, it made complete sense to me that I would easily get a writing job; be it for television, film, or the stage. In June, I moved back into my old bedroom in my parent’s apartment where I decided to be like the grasshopper from the fable The Ant and The Grasshopper. In the words of Tony Wilson from 24 Hour Party People, “I don’t want to say too much; I don’t want to spoil it… If you get it, great. If you don’t, that’s fine too. But, you should probably read more.”
An average weekday would begin at the gym; three days on and one day off. Day 1 consisted of chest and triceps, day 2 was back and biceps, and day 3 was core and legs. Cardiovascular was shunned outright. Next up was the Nintendo 64. While I had been at school, a new software named “Napster,” had been created. Using the software would allow anyone to download and play any song ever recorded for free. It took a little while to select an adequate playlist, but over a few days, the following gems were compiled: “Abracadabra,” by The Steve Miller Band, “I’m Blue” by Eiffel 65, “Funk That” by Sagat, and a freestyle rap by Eminem. At one point, Dante, my brother, and I recorded our own music as a rap group named The Artificial Implants. I was “DJ Scratch and Sniff,” and Dante was “MC Clean – X,” my brother was named “Poochie.” One day, Dante asked for my brother to “Kick it for us hard.” My brother misheard what Dante had said, a mondegreen, and it became the title of our song “Kick This Horse Hard.”
From what I remember, the lyrics were: verse “Went to the stable last night/did not put up a fight/I just went to the horse/ and I kicked ‘em. Chorus: Kick This Horse Hard/Kick ‘em, Kick ‘em, Kick ‘em X2.
To be honest, an entry on Goldeneye probably requires a book-length installment. Between the time spent at my house, and three of my friend’s houses, six of us took part in battle royal multiplayer fights to the death. These battles were epic. Threats were issued. “Perching” was highly frowned upon. Perching /pɘrCHing/ the act of lying in wait for someone while lurking on a higher level and assassinating them i.e. waiting in a doorway on level two, while someone is entering the same room on level one. You could take out the other person by shooting them from an elevated position. Forget about playing with timed or proximity mines, as a single hit would kill a person. You weren’t forbidden from playing as Odd Job (since he was shorter than everyone else; it was more difficult to hit him). However, there was an unwritten rule none of us would select him. It was similar to how tennis had been a sport of keeping the ball in play as opposed to trying to hit winners. It would be uncouth.
The game wasn’t our version of Thunderdome in which grievances were settled. This was simply a way we decompressed and socialized. Some might suggest this was a cathartic endeavor. It’s interesting to look back now and think one of my friends is a biomedical patent lawyer, one of them had been in “Blue Man Group,” and is now a drummer in a rock band, one of them runs a hedge fund, and my brother is a doctor. Another friend had been in The Air Force special forces and currently works as a bodyguard for VIPS. I don’t think the game influenced his decision to enlist, but I can’t be certain.
Andrew Davie received an MFA in creative writing from Adelphi University. He taught English in Macau on a Fulbright Grant. In June of 2018, he survived a ruptured brain aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage. His other work can be found in links on his website: asdavie.wordpress.com