I cringed a little when I walked into our local Value Village last week and it was full of Halloween decor and costumes. I’m barely able to accept the idea that summer is leaving us soon and The World is already thrusting holiday commercialism in my direction. Well, I am guilty of doing one worse than that: I started my Christmas shopping in September. I’m usually in the mall on Christmas Eve with no idea what to get anyone. This is a real change for me.
I have a friend who for the past few years has been obsessed with playing Tetris for NES. It’s one of the games that I’ve never added to my collection because I have it for Game Boy, and on the Game Boy Player it’s pretty much the same thing as the NES version. I thought at first that my friend might have wanted the Tengen Tetris because he’s a big classical music buff, but he just desperately wanted to play the game. He asked if I could keep my eyes peeled for a cheap NES with a few games and I swore I would do so.
The ad I was looking for appeared the other day. It was for an NES with six games, two controllers, and some hookups. I happily replied to the email and got a quick response from the seller, but my heart quickly sank when I saw who had sent it. It was from a guy named Sherman, one of the absolute worst sellers I’ve ever dealt with. He’s the guy who will email you back and say you can have what he’s offering only to never contact you again when you try to make arrangements to actually meet up. He is also the guy who will arrange to meet you, but not be home when you get there. I think I must’ve had at least three flop encounters with the guy, and I was really upset to see his name pop up after replying to his ad.
I had offered him $100 for everything he was selling, and he countered with $120. I agreed and was just waiting for him to let me know when he could meet. After at least three pushes to reschedule from his end, we finally decided on yesterday morning. My boyfriend and I went together to meet him, and I finally got to see this guy in the flesh. He was everything I had built him up to be in my head, which was pretty much the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons. Voice and all. It was uncanny! My boyfriend likened him to the Piggyback Bandit. Anyway, he gave us the stuff and we gave him our wad of bills, and off he went. Here is a photo of the NES stuff we picked up!
Thankfully, the two Tetris cartridges are working well. We got Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3 to work on the first try after some cleaning, but that beat up Super Mario Bros. 1/Duck Hunt is not working at all. Knowing how Sherman seems to work, I wouldn’t be surprised if I opened up the game and found a piece of bologna inside instead of a PCB. It doesn’t really matter anyway since I have a few extra copies of that game that I can give to my friend for Christmas. Unfortunately, the NES itself is questionably functional. The guy told us when we went to pick it up that it works better if you don’t depress the game as you normally would. He had apparently adjusted the pins for this, which isn’t too weird since my boyfriend did the same with his NES and his works great. This NES is very, very finicky and is going to take some fiddling to get it working well. It only seems to work if the cartridge is depressed beyond where it should be normally. This will be a challenge, but we will work it out.
On top of the NES stuff, Sherman also had some SNES stuff in his lot of games he was selling. I was excited about this because he had Mario Paint in really good condition with its manual, and the SNES mouse pad and mouse! I’m planning to keep those for myself since my friend doesn’t own a SNES. I’m doubling up on some games so that I can give them to some family down the line when they’ll appreciate it a little more. I really adored playing Mario Paint as a kid. Especially the fly game! I was excited to see the fly game make a return in Super Mario Maker!
I think it’s going to be a wonderful gift. Hopefully my friend appreciates that I had to face off with my nemesis to acquire these items! Hopefully we can get that NES working in no time so that I can wrap the box and have one less thing to worry about in the December crunch.
If you have a long weekend this weekend, I hope you’re enjoying it. Happy (almost) Labour Day! If your weekend is just a regular non-holiday one, enjoy what’s left of Sunday!