Thou Shall Taketh Away

I scowl at the screen. Every mailbox missed. Vandalism everywhere. The paperboy careening out of control in an 8-Bit collision. Throwing the controller down, I close out the arcade simulation on my computer. Teenage impatience. I hated the game anyways. Paperboy.

It was a simple game with a simple storyline and, therefore, a simple objective. The player controls a paperboy on a bicycle delivering newspapers on a suburban street. Similar to my own, except we didn’t have mailboxes at the end of our driveways and I had never seen a paperboy in our neighborhood the whole time I had lived there. Simple storyline. As for the objective, get the newspapers in the mailboxes. Easy. But by throwing them. The controls were novel. Click to throw and move the joystick side-to-side to avoid obstacles. Easy. To complete this task, though, it took extraordinary precision and immense skill. For being such a simpleminded game, it appeared to require too much practice to be good at it.

Yet, I am told that I was an expert at the game when I was only a toddler.

In my infantile stages, according to legend, I could pick up the controller and nail every newspaper in the right mailboxes as if I had been playing it all my life. No problem. My grandma still rants about how she couldn’t do it, but there came little Stephy and like magic she could. I always smile at the absurdity. Her voice rising. True dismay. This was not an exaggerated story.

But all that mysterious skill I had when I was small child is gone.

Medium: India Ink and Bristol Board (6 ft x 4 ft)

(The wall comic was adapted from the original excerpt featured above, so it does not exactly match.)

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