Posts Tagged ‘ Super Mario Bros. ’

5 Ways Super Mario Bros. Symbolizes Fatherhood

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

14 months.

It’s funny how a quirky Japanese video game about an Italian plumber who busts bricks by jumping up and hitting them with his fist ever became a phenomenal hit in American culture.

Yet, I don’t know any dad around my age who wasn’t greatly psychologically affected by this unquestionably weird game known as Super Mario Bros. for “regular” Nintendo.

In fact, I have good reason to believe that modern day fatherhood can be easily represented through this nostalgic part of our childhood; which in essence, has become part of our manhood as well.

1. We are constantly working hard to earn money. Sure, it’s more convenient when you have the ability to jump 6 stories high to collect gold coins which are magically floating in the air, but just the same: We as dads are constantly reminded about the need to provide for our family.

2. We have to be strong and not let it show to the world when we are in pain. Mario was able to smash bricks with his fist (and his head?) yet he never bled nor showed any sign of injury. Sure, it’s important we share with our wives what’s really going on inside. But for everyone else, it’s culturally important for us to not go around expressing our concerns about financially providing for our families.

3. We must commit to our decisions and responsibilities. The first Super Mario Bros. was the only one where you couldn’t move back to the previous screen; only forward. Similarly, we as men and dads are dedicated to our families; not looking back to easier days, but instead to the challenges ahead.

4. We continue learning new lessons in fatherhood, therefore passing to the next level. In the way that Mario had to jump as high as he could on the flagpole to complete the level, sometimes we gracefully pass (jumping to the top of the pole) while often we barely get by (landing at the very bottom of the pole).

5. We become accustomed to disappointments, but continue our mission. Fatherhood is full of those “Thank you Mario but our princess is in another castle!” moments. I often feel that the times I figure out how to solve the current puzzle regarding how to get my son to go to sleep or convince him to eat a certain food or something like that, he figures out that I figured him out. Then he finds a new way to challenge me.

I could really go for one of those mushrooms right now. It’s be pretty cool to truly become “Super Dad” where I actually knew what I was doing.

If nothing else,  I’d love to be able to change the burned out headlight on my 2004 Honda Element without ruining the bulb. Who knew that the natural oils from your fingers can actually ruin those stupid things? I think the last time I changed a headlight was on a 1988 Ford Bronco II.

Guess I’m still living in The Eighties.

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Planking: My Infant Son Joins the Internet Fad

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Six months.

baby planking fad

As Jack is building his arm strength as he learns to crawl, I’m seeing him do this peculiar new move with his body.  When he begins wearing himself out from crawling around on the rug and shows signs of needing a nap, he “buries” his head down into the ground and lays as flat as he can.  It’s Jack’s pre-sleep position.

baby TV remote control

Coincidentally, this is happening along side a world wide Internet fad called “planking.”  I just learned about it two weeks ago from Weekend Update with Seth Meyers on Saturday Night Live.  Planking is a most extraordinary way to do something completely ordinary.  All it involves is laying down completely flat and still, while face-down.  But the most important part is that the “planker” is photographed so that their “planking proof” is evident to the Internet world; via Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.

If you need a proper visual of the official thing, just go to Google Images and type in “planking fad.”  I do realize that Jack isn’t planking perfectly, because of the fact he can’t/won’t really lay his arms next to his side.  But I’m okay with that, because after all, he is just a baby.

So along with Jack’s crawling comes Jack’s exploring.  His biggest motivators are laptops and TV remote controllers.  He just goes cuckoo for them.

Again, this is completely in line with planking, as Jack is not content to see the same scenery day after day.  Just as planking requires the person to show up in new places, so does parenting Jack.  Even when he was much younger, my wife and I would take him hiking.  We’ve recently gotten into this tradition of rocking Jack on our two-seater rocking chair after dinner on the front porch.

As much as Jack can appreciate being over-stimulated with all the crazy antics my family introduces him to, he also loves to just chill out- but only outside.  The wind has to be softly blowing on his face and he has to feel some of the heat of the sun.  In that situation, Jack doesn’t make a peep.  He just chills out.

baby planking fad

And again, isn’t that a major part of planking?  I’m seeing unavoidable parallels between Jack’s recent developments and the fad of planking.

If it were up to Jack, I wonder where all in the world (and space and time) he would plank…

1969 Moon Landing Planking!

baby planking moon landing 1969

Conan’s Desk Planking!

baby planking Conan O'Brien's desk

Old School Nintendo Planking!

(On an actual plank! Double score!)

baby planking fad Super Mario Nintendo

Special effects appear courtesy of Walter “Wally” Wellborn.

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