My Ten Mario Memories (In Chronological Order)
1. In about 2001, I watched approximately 20 minutes of Super Mario Bros while eating hot dogs at my neighbors house. All I remember is that there was an orphan in a basket and people walking through sewers.
2. It must have been third grade when I was introduced to Mario Kart. My best friend had a sleepover birthday party, and in her unfinished basement was an old TV equipped with a Nintendo 64. In my memory, I had never played a video game before, but I was not afraid to try something new. I grasped the controller and almost immediately fell over the cliff of Koopa Cape.
3. McDonald’s Happy Meals included Mario toys in 2006. I had the inflatable hammer.
4. My second experience with Mario Kart was a few years later when my cousins received a Wii for Christmas. I thought that driving would be easy using the steering-wheel shaped Wii controller, but I was wrong. Out of the hundreds of races that I drove on that Wii, I probably finished dead last 98% of the time.
5. My brother bought a Wii a few years later. With practice, I learned how to drive the karts, but I was never a consistent winner.
6. When my cousins brought Mario vs. Sonic Olympic Games for us to play, we realized that my driving was not the problem. I am really no good at any video game.
7. In high school, I loved drawing cartoon characters, and I finished some awesome sketches of Yoshi (he was always my favorite character).
8. When my brother had a layover in Japan, he bought me a Yoshi toy because (1) I love Yoshi and (2) I have always wanted to go to Japan.
9. There was one remarkable Mario Kart race, however, that I will never forget. Despite my explanation that participating in a race on Rainbow Road could not possibly end well, my brother started the game. I drove slow, barely pressing the gas. Somehow, I made it to the final lap without falling off the road. With about twenty yards to go, I was–somehow– in first place. Out of nowhere, another racer zipped past me and bumped my car. I fell squarely over the side and finished in second.
10. A few months ago, one of the kids at worked wanted me to play Super Mario with him on the Nintendo 64. He had more fun teasing my pitiful abilities than he did playing the game himself.
All that is to say, happy National Mario Day.