It’s the greatest sport since Tit Cricket

Tetris (1989)

You wouldn’t believe the kind of sports, games and events out there that are being done competitively. Ever heard of the Bog Snorkelling Championship? Here in Ireland we have the National Ploughing Championships, and once you’ve stopped laughing, I’ll have you know that it’s quite a big event on the redneck social calendar, and I’ve never gotten an invite to it. And believe me, though I hate to say it, I want one.

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Those beginning days, when a big stick and being quick on your feet meant you ruled the roost

EarthBound Beginnings (1989)

I took a deliberately slow meander around my old housing estate the other day, the neighbourhood where I grew up. I didn’t have to wait until I moved out before doing this, of course. I could have taken a curious walk around at any time while I lived there.

But after I left, the urge just struck me to come back and have an outsider’s look around the old place. It’s like what they always say: you can live somewhere your whole life, but it’s only when you come back and visit the place that you truly see what it’s like. I think I’ve mangled that phrase a bit, but anyway, that’s what I was up to. A tourist in my old childhood estate, the streets where I used to tramp. And to be blunt, it was a bit depressing.

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Why couldn’t Dr. Mario have circumcised me?

Dr._Mario_series_logo

Dr. Mario (1991)

I must set the scene for my most recent trip to the doctor’s office by telling you about my GP. I’ll warn you beforehand though, this one is going to get a bit graphic and inappropriate. First of all, I hadn’t had to suffer the displeasure of seeing this doctor for about 15 years up until then – my last visit had concerned my unfortunate bout of balanitis, an inflammation of the old policeman’s helmet.

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Europe has been suffering a ninja brain drain, ever since the 1990s

ninja gaiden

Ninja Gaiden (1989)

I’ve got a new scourge on my plate this time, readers, and that’s LinkedIn. It’s somehow ingrained itself as the thinking person’s social media, somewhere that’s far removed from those ridiculously unfunny impression videos posted by inexplicably popular creators, the types of videos that’ll get shared to you several times a day.

You wouldn’t have watched them when they were emailed to you on a slow day in the office, and you’re certainly not going to watch them now when they’re ten minutes long and clogging up your WhatsApp. No, LinkedIn brings us an altogether more contemptible sight – the humblebragger.

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It’s a real struggle to get it up, as any yo-yo enthusiast will tell you

StarTropics (1992)

I know that this was a craze that belonged to the late 80s and early 90s really, but I have borne witness to an honest-to-God yo-yo revival. It got so popular that even I, ever the non-conformist, had a yo-yo for myself. My model was a plastic Pizza Hut job, which is as American as it gets.

I never really got the appeal of them though. It’s all about being able to do tricks with them, but I could barely even get the damn thing to come back up never mind take it around the world. Mine used to hit the deck so hard it was like dropping a bowling ball on an oak floor, and it would never come back. I even used to think that one day, I could do some trickery like Ness does with his yo-yos in Super Smash Bros, but nitto.

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You wouldn’t find Hitler playing NES at 3 in the morning

Bionic Commando (1990)

I had always considered Mike Tyson to be the scariest end boss in all of gaming. After all, if he doesn’t get you with severe crimes of a sexual nature, then he’ll bite your ears off instead. That’s before we even discuss his one-hit knockdown punches, and his acerbic tongue. But I’m afraid we have consider Tyson as little more than a slightly grouchy pussy cat, because it was recently brought to my attention that big A-H, the Hitlermeister General, features at the end of the Capcom NES game Bionic Commando.

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Hey, don’t jump the shark, man

The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants (1991)

If you’ve got anything about you, then we’ll already be on the same page regarding modern day Simpsons. Your eyes will have choked down the Kesha inspired intro – that’s one way of cementing a legacy for herself, I guess. And if that wasn’t enough to put you off your Butterfinger bars, then there was the Lady Gaga episode.

It’s not like The Simpsons never whored itself out to celebrities; they had the makings of a whole top tier baseball team in one single episode, for God’s sake. But when the Lady Gaga Express is pulling into town, and we’re all supposed to go wow… well, it’s little wonder that this is the lowest rated episode of The Simpsons on IMDB.

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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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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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