My Precious


I am a hideous, wretched creature.

My skin is scaly. My eyes are beady. And as I type this, I’m wearing only a filthy, soiled loincloth.

In other words, I’m like every other owner of an Xbox 360. My wife found one over a month ago, and I did what anyone would do: I subsequently took my treasure to the dankest cave I could find to covet it in isolation.

This is known as the “Gollum Phase” of 360 ownership. Once you have a 360, you really don’t need friends, family, hygiene, or natural light. And unless you’re willing to completely dissociate from civilization, you could be asked to let someone else have a turn with your precious console.

It’s a pitiful existence. I subsist on insects and the flesh of people I bite trying to play with my 360. I’ve abandoned walking for skulking. And I didn’t think it was possible, but I’ve actually gotten pastier.

Sometimes I can’t help but think of my former self. People could generally tolerate my company. I had better posture. And my hair was far less stringy. My wife bought me a 360 thinking it would earn her some positive publicity on this site for once. Instead, well, she created a monster. Literally.

My wife is taking this all in stride, as with any of my annoying habits, she’s hoping it’s just a phase.

Thanks to Hepworth for another outstanding graphic.

A Christmas Wish

As you know, I have been the beneficiary of multiple Christmas miracles over the years. Whenever my happiness and physical well being depended on finding a certain toy under the tree on Christmas morning, somehow Santa always delivered.

But this year, I’m a little concerned. The item I desire most this Christmas, the Xbox 360, is impossible to find in the stores. Somewhere in all the excitement of the most important product launch in the company’s history, Microsoft forgot to actually manufacture any consoles. Apparently nobody bothered to schedule that in Outlook. Sadly, a few pop-up reminders might have averted this whole mess. Seriously, can you imagine if Microsoft planned a New Year’s Eve party? There would be a total of four beers for every thousand guests.

Memo to Microsoft: You call this taking over the world!? Pathetic. My little sister could do a better job of world domination.

Maybe if Bill Gates wasn’t spending all his time getting bad haircuts and eradicating polio this wouldn’t happen. (On a side note, I seriously think Bill Gates goes into Great Clips and asks the stylist to make him look like Harry Potter.) Anyway, even if Microsoft were to get their act together, there is probably little that could be done at this point. It’s not like the Xbox 360 is produced in sweatshops… so that ruins any hopes of them pumping out a million units overnight. Yep, we’re all screwed.

And that goes doubly for me. Getting an Xbox 360 under the tree falls on my wife’s shoulders. You’ll understand my concern once you read my interpretation of what goes through her mind on a typical Christmas shopping trip. (I changed the font style accordingly, as women tend to think in italics…)

She wanders into the GAP. Mens’ collared shirts are on sale! And look, there’s a blue-checkered one in his size! I’ll buy him one of those. And look, matching scarves too! Perfect! He’ll look every bit as emasculated as the mannequin in the store!

Next, she heads to a department store. Here’s a good gift, some nice coasters! Granted, we’ve already got some coasters. But maybe if I get him his own set, he’ll be more mindful of actually using them! I should have thought of this when we first moved in together!

Here’s the big Christmas surprise: I already decided to surprise my husband with some ballroom dancing lessons! And coincidentally, all the lessons occur during Gonzaga basketball games or during the likely playoff schedule of the Seahawks. Of course, he balked at this idea earlier, but I’m getting it for him anyway. That’s the surprise!

At this point, my wife pulls my Christmas list from her purse, seemingly to insure that she didn’t accidentally purchase something I actually want:

Carhardt Jacket
Laptop Computer
Bombay Sapphire (That’s right, I put alcohol on my Christmas list. And I don’t care if Jeff Foxworthy would say that doing so might make me a Redneck.)
Dilbert Calendar
Xbox 360

Wait, what’s this? An Xbox 360? Yeah, right. That’s like, twice the cost of ballroom dancing lessons! And there’s no way I’m getting him both!

Finally, ladies… Does this shopping scenario sound familiar? I have a feeling it does. There’s still time to do the right thing. Remember, it’s the season of giving. Give your man what he really wants, not what you want him to have… Put a 360 under the tree.

Well guys, I did my part. And I hope my wife picked up on the many subtle messages I left in this post. My fingers are crossed for yet another Christmas miracle.

A Love Triangle

It didn’t go well. My Xbox is in another room right now, sobbing. The old adage is true: Breaking up is hard to do.

I put it off as long as I could. When I first laid eyes on the 360, it was really love at first sight. But a lot of guys felt that way about her. The 360 was sleek and beautiful… and completely out of my league. There were so many other dudes vying for her attention in WalMart that day, I figured I didn’t have a chance.

But I rolled the dice, and brushed my way past the 14 year-olds ogling the more superficial features of the 360. I complimented the 360 on her processor, and her hard drive, and made it clear I was interested in her mind as well as her console. They say that video game systems can’t resist a man with confidence, and it was certainly true in this instance.

The 360 and I had so much in common, and we hit it off immediately. There was a palpable electricity running through us, although mine was more metaphorical in nature. Ultimately, we decided to be more than friends. However, before we could begin a hopefully long-term relationship, we both agreed I needed to break things off with the Xbox.

Like most men, I briefly fantasized with the notion of how great it would be to play with two video game systems at once. Of course, I doubt either system would be cool with that arrangement. Sometimes you hear about the exploits of hardcore gamers, and the mind wanders a little. Ultimately though, I think these things are best left to the imagination.

Anyway, last night, the Xbox and I had The Talk. While it was certainly painful, it was better than having the Xbox stumble across the 360 and I sneaking around behind her back to spend an intimate evening together. That would have been awkward for everyone.

It’s just too bad it had to end this way. I always thought that only a fried motherboard could possibly derail our relationship. My Xbox and I sure had some good times. Like when we beat Halo on the “legendary” setting. To this day, this achievement continues to impress prospective employers in job interviews. Together, we battled terrorists, aliens, and super-villains. We literally saved the universe hundreds of times. I told the Xbox we could still be friends, and I meant it.

But it’s time to move on. While the 360 is certainly capable of playing the old Xbox games, I think it might be a little disrespectful for me do so. I don’t want the 360 to think I’m harboring any feelings for the Xbox. For that reason, I’m also going to take down all the pictures of the Xbox and I on display in my living room. I want the 360 to know I’m committed to this relationship.

The Xbox Headset Graveyard

Xbox Headset Gaveyard

A long time ago I spoke of the daily battle of life. C’mon, you remember. The grueling pursuit to secure a small portion of sanity during our brief stay in this cruel world. You know, the one where our only hope is to shine as bright as possible while the dwindling fuse of the cosmic big bang burns down. Ring any bells yet?

Well the thing is, I forgot to pay tribute in that commentary to the fallen soldiers, our gone but not forgotten comrades. In other words, those whose necks have already been guillotined by the sharp steel blade of time. In that vast sea of corpses, I know of no product or commodity that has seen a worse fate than that of the original Xbox Communicator headset. The number of casualties is astounding, yet profound and inspiring at the same time. But the struggle continues and I know for a fact that right now, as I type this, more death and disfigurement is underway.

Look within yourselves Zillionaires, for now is a moment of reflection, reverence, and respect for the dead and wounded. I present the Xbox Headset Graveyard photo gallery:

The Chizzler’s Headset

Chizzler's Headset
War is ugly and this photo proves it. A mixture human hair, skunk fur, muck, and duct tape keep headset together at the moment. I feel half dead just wearing it.

Send me photos of your dead or dying headsets and I’ll add them to this post. Or post an epitaph in the comments. Rest in peace, Xbox Communicators.