Author Topic: Pac-man migrates the herd (and temporarily ruins my life)

I hate him, right?

I hate his stupid little bloated yellow shape as it skulks around the screen gobbling up the endless endless rows of pills.


I thought I was done and done with Pac-Man, but I was wrong. Way wrong actually, yeah?

It all started about 4 months ago, before the old corrie one niner blew everyone's lifeplans up the bracket. I was working on the beats for some deep goggle-step that I’m writing when Vicky Stickle dropped me an iMessage to say she was going to a vintage video games night in Hoxton and that I’d be a ‘total monk’ if I didn’t check it out. I’d just nose-whipped some MDMA, so I was proper pliable, and I was straight on the 42 within minutes, listening to LCD Soundsystem (who I hate) and wondering what sort of dry lunches go to vintage video games nights anyway. Turns out it was a dry banquet.

I was greeted at the doors by some fucking Linus dressed as Mario Mario, complete with a wack Italian accent, yeah? If that wasn’t bad enough, in the lobby of the building where they were holding this groan-fest there were a suspicious looking bunch of young men dressed in various sized cardboard boxes, gabbing on and on and on about some shit called Minecraft. I side-stepped these strange beasts and headed into the games room, which was like full of proper old-school slot-machines. It was like every holiday I ever had to Butlins in the 90s, except that there were a few more tidy yats around, and my old man wasn’t there to toss racist asides at foreign families and bang on about the blonde one from ABBA. I should drop a truther here, in case you were boxing clever that I'm down on Sweden's heaviest sound export coz I'm not. If anything, I actually Courtney them too much mate. Anyway, I'm not trying to Watergate my own story before I've even got to the actual Brezhnev of the affair. So, I was bouncing to the bathroom to fastbang a bit more MDMA up my snoot when I saw it with both my glazzies at the same Rosemary.

It was Him. You know the one. That towering, lemon-yellow flickering bastard with the smugly grinning spherical slag posing hard on the side. It was fucking Pac-Man.

For some reason (probs the MD tbh) I decided to plug a silver fifty into the slot, and waited while the cranky old bitch juddered into life. It was comfortingly familiar, innit, seeing that little blue maze appear, followed by the instantly recognisable Pakkuman (who I’ve always hated). My game began and, grinding my teeth, I started guiding the eager little pamphlet around the gaff, yaffing as many power-pills as I could, foot-dodging the different coloured spooks (I’m told they even have names these raving spectres) like some kind of naughty Fatboy Slim aficionado. Now I don't know if it was the flashing lights, the curiously Casio music or the drugs (it was the drugs) but I was suddenly convinced that this shit was the most important thing I had ever taken part in. Suddenly I was Werner Von Braun, DB Cooper and Marco Van Basten rolled into one. Then the strangest thing happened, mate. I found myself caring, like actually caring, what happened to that silly circular bitch, as the moody spooks congregated around him/me, hemming me/him into to ever tighter circles, and something inside my brainbox snapped. This was vital. It wasn’t just some shitty old game nobody cared about, this was a huge bucket, it was my Piper Alpha moment, yeah?

By the time Vicky Stickle found me, 360 minutes later, surrounded by a slender gang of wide-eyed Buddy Holly looking fellows wearing Fitbits, I was a total Challenger, with sweat pouring off me in sheets and speckles of white powder around my sniffer, where I’d just been hacking MDMA as I played. Someone who was lingering over my left shoulder kept gabbing on about ‘kill screens‘ and ‘perfect scores‘ but I just presumed he was mental. As I (I mean me) almost became one with the machine, Tron-like, the images (still hard-burned into my thinkbox) went to Waco, and I was faced with a screen that looked like some sort of new-rave Dresden, yeah? A deep voice behind me, crackling with emotion, told me I’d just achieved a perfect score, I’d actually beaten the machine. Both my hands were cramped to fuck, and the MDMA was starting to really take off when I read the numbers 3,333,360 which, I was told by the weeping Thomas (who was wearing an ironic Bart Simpson hoodie only Bart had Trump's barnet), was the ultimate, the holy grail, the pinnacle of Pac-Man. I’d killed it. That was it, I had found my true calling, I was going to spend the rest of my life playing this shit. Only, that was never going to happen. I spent the next three weeks having mad claustro dreams that I was being mad-chased around a supermarket by a raft of staplers in sheets, and I had found myself taking more E than I thought was humanly possible (turns out it’s actually loads mate).

Vicky wasn’t remotely interested, and (when the MDMA wore off the next evening) neither was I, after all, who wants to be fully decent at something as bad-basic as Pac-Man? I fucking don’t. Or do I? (I don’t).

Oh, and by the way, the spooks names were Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde, and they’re a proper clique of dry lunches, perhaps even as bad as the titular hero of the game himself, mate.