When we were young, video games tended to divide people. There were the types that liked the sports games, like “Jordan vs Bird.” There were the types who liked the fantasy games, like “The Legend of Zelda” (we particularly enjoyed the fairies). There were even they freaks who liked “Marble Madness.” But everybody liked “Super Mario Bros.”
It was the great equalizer. No matter how good or bad you were in school, at sports, or even at making friends, you could show off on the Nintendo, and you always had something to talk about. Admit it, sometimes when you are walking down the street today, the tunes pop into your head (particularly the one from the underground levels where everything was blue).
Then came “Super Marios Bros II.” Long considered the runt of the trilogy, the second game brought in the new characters Toad and Princess Toadstool. This is where the trouble began. All your friends wanted to play Mario (he had all the skills!), Luigi (he could jump so high!), and Toad (he was funny-looking). But you. Oh, you. You always picked Princess Toadstool. She was agile, she had a cute pink dress, and she could levitate! As she drifted in the air, and her gown flowed around her, you got a little thrill. You’d even make her levitate when it wasn’t necessary (frankly, it was never necessary and she was definitely the most useless character).
You see, “Super Mario Bros” betrayed you. You finally had a game where you were as good as your brothers, your friends and the kids in the after school programs. You blended in, at last! And then, like a cockroach crawling into Kate Beckinsale’s ear, it found your weakness and brought you down. How did it know that all you wanted was to glide through the air with your tiara, bathed in flowing silk chiffon, and throw turnips at monsters?
It doesn’t matter. It was too late anyway. You were gay, and everybody in your friend’s basement knew it.