One of the many well-deserved shots Howard Chaykin's American Flagg comic book series took at American media culture was a TV show featuring the heavily armed political clubs of Chicago blazing away at each other every night with network-supplied direct fire ordnance. I couldn't help thinking of that occasionally this weekend as I got involved in a couple of multi-player deathmatch games of HALO 2. Now, despite my military experience, I'm not all that good at HALO or any other first-person shooter. (For that matter, I was barely adequate as a rifleman; my best weapon was the grenade. Mr. Grenade was alwaysmy friend.) So basically what happened in these games was that on Friday night, stuckintraffik and the Reverend Jack spent most of their time hunting each other while I tried to find a good corner to hide in and occasionally do unto others before they could do the same to me. On Saturday, more of the same, except that Scott got all of the Reverend's attention, because, quite frankly, a mano a mano match between me and Josh is (for him) like beating up the Kid In The Helmet, a name I earned in our earliest matches when I was learning how to handle the controller and spent way too much time staring at my feet. This got me shot in the back of the head or carved up with the energy sword. A lot. To the point where it became boring for both of us.
Despite this, it's still fun being the third wheel in a game against two other players who are a lot better than I am. I'm getting better with the weapons, I'm getting better at moving around and shooting, and I hardly ever stare at my feet any more. It's all good.