Mario Kart Madness or My Worst Idea Ever

At first, I was worried that following up my Super Nintendo baseball woes with another video game entry would cement me as forever a nerd. Luckily, this post involves 75% more people than the last one, and 100% more alcohol.

In the name of science and being loud, we set out to determine the effects of repeated drinks on one’s video game-playing abilities. The most obvious choice of game seemed to be Mario Kart. You definitely need your hand-eye coordination and reflexes to be in top form, and there are 850 different things you can use as excuses to drink. We had four individuals, to ensure that our data was diverse and accurate. If nothing else, I pride myself on the integrity of the information I present.


The players for the evening were my wife Caitlin, my sister-in-law Melissa, my brother-in-law Cliff, and myself.

Thinking ahead, I enlisted my sister, Jessica, to help keep track of everyone and make sure my notes for this post were in English. After much deliberation, we decided on the below rules:

1)      Two drinks if you are hit by a blue shell
2)      Drink for ten seconds if you are passed at the finish line at the last second
3)      Three drinks if you come in first (for each person/opponent you embarrassed)
4)      Drink for however many seconds match your placing (three seconds for 3rd place, four seconds for 4th place, etc)

[Writing this now, before we actually start playing, it seems like a good set of rules to make sure we don’t get absolutely annihilated, but still have fun. I may be reading this sentence back to myself tomorrow, cursing my name.]

I went with Iggy Koopa, my favorite of the Koopa kids. He’s an evil turtle who wears glasses and has what looks like the leafy part of a carrot sticking out of his head. Victory comes clad in many forms, and one of them is knowing that you are using by, far, the best possible character.

Here’s who we were all using.

Caitlin- Shy Guy
Melissa- Gold Pink Peach
Cliff- Baby Rosalina
Dan- Iggy Koopa

We regrettably selected the entire 32-race marathon, which meant we had to plug away for over two hours. It also took, without exaggeration, two races for the carefully-thought out rules to crumble apart. “Drink when hit by a blue shell” quickly became “drink when anything happens.” Added to the frenzied confusion was the fact that we were live-streaming this debacle on Cliff’s account. We pulled in a monster crowd of four people at our peak, I believe shattering the world record.

As expected, Caitlin took a lead early on, since she’s had the most experience playing this game. I was no slouch, but no matter what I did I’d end up in second, at best, for most of the first half. I also had the disadvantage of getting passed by Caitlin at the last second a few times, made even worse by the fact that each was preceded by me trash-talking. Oops.

Things started to get interesting around track 15. Tempers flared and the alcohol began to kick in. We were all arguing with each other, with the people chatting on the stream (including Melissa’s husband, Ori), and I know that I personally was taking offense to every banana peel and shell. It didn’t help that Caitlin continued to beat and taunt us. Melissa seemed to reach her breaking point as well, following several last place finishes.

All of these factors combined to give me my second ever video game-related injury.The first was when I tried to escape a submission move in a WWF game when I was 16 and tore the skin off of my thumb. And for all you naysayers thinking that wasn’t worth it- correct, I didn’t even escape the hold.

I want to say that it happened in slow motion, like a black and white movie with flashbulbs going off in the background, but the truth is I didn’t even see it coming. As was discovered afterwards, Melissa snapped and tried to yank the controller from Caitlin’s hand. She succeeded, and if the second part of her plan was “crack Dan in the face with the controller,” then that was a success as well.

My unfortunate position right behind the battling siblings put me right in the path of their rage. The controller hit me right in the orbital bone, sending me crumpling to the floor in a heap. My first immediate thought was “Ow,” and the second was “If I get a black eye, I’m going to have to lie about being in a bar fight.” Luckily, it didn’t come to that. I soldiered on and managed to come in second place on the very next race, from my position on the ground, peeking above the bed.

Don't cry for me. I'm a survivor.Don’t cry for me. I’m a survivor.

The worst part of the entire night was that Catlin won. She downed two huge bottles of cider, on top of drinking before we even started playing. At one point, she and Melissa switched controllers, and then Caitlin used both controllers at once to drive into the wall for an entire race. Meanwhile, the concussion that I definitely had at this point had awakened me. I started doing my best racing of the night, and Cliff and I still couldn’t even come close to Caitlin. The final score had her beating us by like 20 points.

At some point I also spilled a beer on the floor. Sorry, Jessie and Cliff.

All in all, it was a lot of fun. I’m glad Cliff was able to live stream it, that everyone had a good time, and that I took a hard piece of plastic to the face because it gave me an extra paragraph for this post. Congratulations to the winner and champion, Caitlin!

But truly, we’re all winners. Each and every one of us.

Check out the below video from Cliff’s Twitch channel. I hope to join him for more videos that I’ll probably cover here. We also hope to have a highlight video of the best moments up soon, so I’ll update with that when it’s ready.

Watch live video from Cliffpro on Twitch

I broke my face for you all. No one can ever accuse me of not giving my body for the art of writing.

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