Don’t feel sorry for the plumbers, they’re well used to being knee-deep in it

Mario Bros. (1986)

It strikes me suddenly, with no reason and over 35 years later, that for a supposed plumber I’ve never actually seen Mario do anything you’d call plumbing. He’s clambered through a few pipes alright, and he undoubtedly got up to some messy waterworks while on holiday in Super Mario Sunshine. But when have you actually seen him get down on his hands and knees and fix the gunge and rubbish coming out of those nasty pipes?

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A good gaming session spoiled

Golf (1986)

Obviously, since I’m as near to 30 years old as makes no difference, the chances of me becoming any kind of pro sportsman these days are a bit remote, to say the least. That doesn’t mean I can’t drift off into some kind of fantasy world on occasion however, like we all do.

I’m talking about the kind of fantasy where I ask myself those kinds of questions that lead on into a fun, artificially constructed second life until somebody, usually the missus, notices that I’m starting off into space. I’ll be sat there, drooling and everything, all absentminded, and she’ll ask me what’s wrong. I’ll tell you what’s wrong shall I, I was just crowned Super Lazarus Sportsman Personality of the Year and you’ve put me right off my internal acceptance speech.

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This is the next generation, Mega, so get your arse in gear

Mega Man 11 (2018)

Never mind your Top Gears or your Fifth Wheels or your Grand Hoors, I’ve got the only bit of car advice you need – make your next car purchase an automatic. You’ll probably want to make it an electric or hybrid motor too, or at least something that doesn’t completely cackle at the polar ice caps like an evil vaudeville villain tying the dainty demure dame down to the train tracks. If your car doesn’t run on tofu then somewhere, somehow, there’ll be a Green Party policy there to thwart you. I’m all for environmental concern, but I’d rather the holes go in the ozone layer than in my pocket, know what I mean?

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A bit of ducking and diving, and you’ll Scrooge your way to a million

DuckTales (1990)

It turns you quite obsessive, the pursuit of money. Any single purchase I make, whether large or small, has me thinking about what impact it’ll have on my bank account – the fact that there might be a week, a day or even an hour when my numbers don’t go up, that’s the kind of thing that wakes me up in the middle of the night. I work far too hard bringing those numbers up, so to witness them going down, it doesn’t sit right with me at all. I’d say we went badly wrong when we invented money, because all it’s ever caused me is great concern and stress.

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You want a lads’ night in? Only if you can build a good fort

Double Dragon II: The Revenge (1989)

There’s a lot of things that a man can do when the missus is away. Living with your missus is great at first, because you know you can come crawling to her for some debasement anytime you want. You’d better be able to offer something in return, though, or you can forget all about it.

My suggestion is to learn a few cooking skills, which will always impress her, and keep you from having to eat takeaway every time she’s not arsed cooking for your sorry self. Your dad will laugh at you and your mother will want you around every day to do her cooking as well, but otherwise, the missus will probably make your initiative worth it.

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Let ex-President Trump know you’re a bad hombre

Bad Dudes (1990)

Those delectable US Presidential Elections, eh? They come around every four years, with a sad inevitability, and it’s not long before you’re just sick of hearing about them. Election season always prompts me to Google the meaning of the electoral college, since I always forget what it means and how it’s different from the popular vote. Ultimately it’s a system where the person who gets the most votes might not win, which tells you all you need to know.

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Mega Man goes viral yet again, and there’s still no cream for it

Mega Man 10 (2010)

I understand that internet security is big bucks nowadays, owing to the fact that there is a relative lack of experience and knowledge in the field (what field?), and also because this kind of information and data is important to keep under proverbial wraps. After all, my whole life is on my phone, and I’m sure you’re the same.

If my phone fell into vagabond hands, they could go off and pay for all kinds of contactless purchases, or go onto my social media and put sackable statements against my name. I wouldn’t even mind any of that too much, to be honest, so long as they don’t find where my journal is saved, and they don’t release any of my search history – there’s absolutely no coming back from that.

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Three hours to make six yards, there you go, I’m a statto

Tecmo Bowl (1989)

I’ve had a patchy relationship with American Football over the years. In the first instance, I don’t understand the game at all. And that’s the kind of thing that always makes me feel intellectually inadequate, because the stereotypical NFL fan is always the exact same.

You know, the squash-a-beer-can-against-their-head, wife-beater-wearing ignorant type of gun toting person. They seem to get what’s going on in a game. I don’t know, maybe they just like to see the numbers go up, and because there’s bigger and better numbers in American Football than there is in soccer, it’s got to be a better game. But even rugby seems to be more cerebral, when you look past games of soggy biscuit and peeing in your fly-half’s pint, so that doesn’t make sense either.

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Tons of lore, an extravagant score and the girl next door

Final Fantasy VII (1997)

I’ve been trying to put some time into just why Final Fantasy VII seems to be so much more popular than the rest. Even here in Europe, where we didn’t get much in the way of RPGs, FF7 made an impact on hardcore and more casual gamers alike. We didn’t get much in the way of RPGs, including Final Fantasy I to VI, Dragon Quest I to VII, and other titles without Roman numerals like Super Mario RPG and Chrono Trigger. We didn’t get any of that stuff, check fantasy star. So why is it that Final Fantasy VII just took everything by storm? It’s a fascinating question, and I believe I’ve cracked the reason for it.

This may not explain why women also like as well but I think the story of Final Fantasy seven and why resonated because it is all about how the boy who thinks he’s great but turns out to be a geek at heart, managed to ascend with the girl next door. And the girl next door in this case has cans bigger than her head, which, you know, only adds to the pathos and the intrigue.

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Weighs as much as George Foreman, and it looks like one too

PlayStation 3 (2007)

I moved house recently, which brought with it all sorts of unforeseen issues. The time and costs involved in moving your own stuff out is fine – you can plan for that. But in our case, we went without Wi-Fi for almost two weeks and I know you’ll agree with me when I say that that is a major deprivation of one’s human rights. I would put a lack of wireless internet for two weeks right up there with having no food, water or shelter – it’s a frightfully tough thing to get over.

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