Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Grandma: My Gaming Link To The Past, Part 1

The attic is an interesting place in October. The flashlight beam still illuminates dust and feathers from the nests packed into the vents, just enough to replicate every horror movie you've ever seen that required some poor sap to check out the crazy noises upstairs. The box full of photos would have to be up there somewhere, I had already checked everywhere in the house, including those awkward places you don't expect to find anything but had to look anyway, like the tiny cabinet above the bathroom sink.

After spending an hour with a maglight clutching the nearest bit of fodder I might have to use to club the specters undoubtedly waiting just around the next support truss of the roof to jump out and kill me, all the boxes had been searched with no luck.

It would be the garage, chock full of autumnal spiders coming in from the cold, where I finally found the damn thing. Our garage is separate from our house, and also contains its own creepy attic, which I thoroughly searched before checking the shelves around the sides. They say it's always in the last place you look, but I must have glanced at that stupid thing 50 times that day, dismissing it as full of dishes- for it was clearly marked with black ink "Dishes."

I was hoping to find some evidence of Grandma at the arcades in the 70's, some picture of her and her son Ralph hitting the Atari or the NES, but most of the pictures of her, even those dating back to the 1940's, are of hands furiously attacking camera lenses, with the other covering her face.

What I did find were old family shots, wedding photos, and her graduation picture- which appears to be a black and white print hand colored with pastels hues, common for the era. See, Grandma started gaming back when the first arcade games were at bowling alleys and movie theaters, and soon waiting for the kids to come out of the bathroom at the pitch of a Space Invaders machine became a ritual.

Understand the mentality of someone seeing an arcade game for the first time. It was a pinball machine with a television. Then came home arcade games. The Atari console, Sears even made one. Remember Socrates? Mom and Grandma picked one up for me (it came with full keyboard and two badly designed controllers) for "educational purposes." Then Grandma bought an NES (quite pricey back in the day, there Nintendo...) then she received a Genesis as a gift. The whole time I was allowed to play her games sometimes if I behaved. The first mature game both of us got into was Mortal Kombat, followed by Street Fighter (backwards, I know...) While I remember her playing River City Ransom and some Friday the 13th knockoff, renting the occasionally dust cover protected titles, I didn't get to play those until later.

Other than gaming systems, we were a bit behind the times in other technology. I remember removing Journey albums on the turntable to play the punch out records included in Happy Meal coloring books, we had a betamax player until the late 80's. Tapes were the shit; my first CD ever purchased was Counting Crows: August and Everything After. If it wasn't for Grandma's gaming habit, I might have been stuck listening to The Bengal's album "A Different Light" while my friends were discovering the joys of new Guns and Roses tunes raving about that Sonic the Hedghog.

Fate would not always be on my side it turns out, and Grandma's innate coolness would not always protect me from the cruel fuckers at Olan Mills circa 1986- who would later watch Napoleon Dynamite and wonder to themselves "...why is everyone laughing? Is this not how life is?"

I will never forgive them.

To be continued....

--Ask Grandma Hardcore tonight at 9:00pm EST as usual. Grandma's getting nervous about the MTV thing, but she'll do fine I tells ya. Also- check out our new "OGHC's Ultimate Kickass Blogroll," and make sure your site is on it. A few of you e-mailed me for additions and I'm working on those now, but everybody else- look, don't be shy just say "here's my site- we talk about you so add our damn URL bitch! And make my button pretty!" Today I am your monkey Watch me dance. Before you say anything, yes, I realize there are some forum folks that browse OGHC, and yes, I realize the above picture is no doubt the very definition of "p0wn3d," but what can one do, eh? More stuff coming!!--


  • At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This sort of makes me wonder if my Grandparents were ever secretly into the arcade games in the 70s. They had to have at least tried them.

    Don't worry, Tim. There are worse pictures of me out there... ...well maybe not that bad :)

    Maybe it was the photographer's first day or something :)

  • At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tim my dear, you can still get away with it because you were a little kid, not an awkward teen. All picutres of me 6th-8th grade I would rather commit seppuku than show to ANYONE. Guh, 5th grade isn't much better, come to think of it... that's when mom made me get that hideous near-bowl-cut because I had split ends ::shudder:: GOD I hated that haircut.

    And ah, retreating into gaming. I still remember being 8 and leaping from trees screaming that I was Ryu Habayusa, you killed my father, prepare to die (while my brother and his friends watched me leap spastically around through his bedroom window and snickered, the little bastards). Ah, memories. Sometimes I almost wish for brain damage to make the worst ones go away. THE HORROR! (kidding)

    In conclusion, you are very brave for posting that picture. Quite. ::takes hat off in respect:: Now I must pray nobody has put a junior high picture of me up anywhere... ::winces and runs off to check Google::

    Take care, be well, and GAME ON!


    P.S: I think Grandma looks very nice in those photos. Why is it those who are the most photogenic fear cameras so much (and vice versa)? The mind, it boggles!

  • At 4:05 PM, Blogger HandOverFist said…

    Oh dang! Grandma is a hottie! Hah. My grandma had an atari I used to play, she never advanced past the Super Nintendo though. Crying mario babies were too much for her, she almost broke the console in half.

  • At 6:51 AM, Blogger SweetHatred said…

    I love old pics. Always entertaining, that's why I like it here. Thanks for the blogroll link. I was thinking about working on a more inviting button if you don't mind. I know you are busy and "my pretty button" is the least of your worries.

    I am trying to talk my hubby into trading in the XBox for the GameCube. I have 2 daughters and the XBox games are just not as kid friendly. At least not the ones that are under $30 :/

    Will you have a link to the footage of OGHC on MTV? I don't watch TV, so I will undoubtably miss it.

  • At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Grandma is so beautiful!

  • At 3:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think Mom
    Cheap GW2 Goldappears excellent with people pics. Why is it those who are by far the most photogenic worry digital cameras much (in addition cheap RS Goldto the other way round)? Your brain, this boggles!


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