37, college grad, 2x married, one son, one stepdaughter, four cats, one idiot dog, one very small house and small garden.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Sugar Britches and Pantalones

I really hate to say this, but my husband is a deeply disturbed individual. He has a very checkered past, but frankly, that's not what concerns me at the moment. His current addiction is much more emotionally upsetting.

My husband is addicted to online gaming.

I'm not talking about Vegas style crap, or betting on horses, or fantasy football or anything financially destructive. I'm talking about strategy war games like 'Command and Conquer,' 'Ages of Empires,' and 'Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds.' He gets online and connects up with other deeply disturbed individuals and spends hour after hour doing what we've taken to calling 'killing pixels.' They sort themselves into teams and choose maps, weapons, and characters. Then they try to kill each other. It's not a very Christian activity.

This obsession truly knows no bounds. We once had the opportunity to invite one of his gaming friends to stay with us for a weekend. He seemed perfectly normal until he'd been here for a few hours. That was when I went to the kitchen to start dinner and found our new friend hooked up to the internet on his laptop. I was highly suspicious, so I went to look for my husband and found him online on -his- computer. The man had come all the way from the east coast to sit in a separate room from my husband and do the exact same thing they do every night; gaming. He could have saved himself the trip and just emailed us a picture. Call me crazy, but that is the sort of weird that gets you thrown into circus freak shows.

What really worries me, though, is the way they talk to each other. Yes, they can communicate verbally over the internet. They call it 'Team Talk.' I call it 'Trash Talk.' (I'm considering getting my own online hookup through my laptop not so I can play, but so that I can get my husband to talk to me. It would be much easier to just put on my headset and say, "Sugar Britches, ETA for dinner is T minus seven minutes OR ELSE." It would certainly get his attention.)

They give themselves extremely odd, occaisionally suggestive, and generally humorous names. My husband has been, at various times, Arathor, Slush Mitten, Demon Seed, and Major Idiot. (Okay, I made that last one up. But if the name fits...) And he's one of the macho guys. Last night I became the first woman in America to walk into her husband's office and hear the words, "Dude! Pantalones is just sitting on a game!" I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to have to make a run for the potty. Anyone else listening to these guys would write them off as candidates for immediate interrment in the nearest state facility. On any given night I can sit and listen to a one-sided conversation that goes something like this:

"Hey man, who's on? We gamin'?"

"Yeah, I got OWNED last night by Fluffy Bunny. And dude, check this out, this guy online, Sweet Talker, has a record of 14015 and 12...there's no way man. That's BULLshit, dude."

"Who's got the map hack? I got my ass handed to me earlier by some ASShole claimin' to be newb...we playin'? Okay, no rushing? Right."

"Who's pink? Is that Squirrel Baggins? Figures. Dude, my scuds go online in less than a minute. You got a nuke ready? Okay, let's take 'em."

"Where's my guys? Holy Fu!@#$% SH&*^%! "

This is not exactly a contender for Intellectual Conversation of the Year. And it gets worse. I have christened my husband 'Sugar Britches' and he was daft enough to actually tell the other macho pixel freaks what I said. So now we have he and George W. Bush playing the Chinese against Pantalones and Sit Up and Beg as the Terrorists. I don't get it either...don't even try. It's like trying to wrap your head around the concept of time travel. All you get is a headache.

But at the very least, my husband now has a fan club. Someone called Demon Egg, aka Target (or as I say, Tar-zhay) has decided that hubby darling is a Legend in His Own Time. He is apparently warm for Bruce's form. I can't say I blame him, but I'm going to be very put out if one day some guy comes along and woos my husband out from under me with sweet words and promises like, "You know...we could just game all day...she'd never have to know. I want you, now, online, rush me hard Sugar Britches!!"

Maybe I'd sleep better at night if I stopped listening.


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