Happy Clone Creation Day!
In the 7th grade my dad and I made a habit of playing a baseball game on the Nintendo. If I had to guess, I would say that my mom told my dad that he and I needed to bond, and to think up something. My dad, brother and I had played a whole season (which is fairly impressive) on Ken Griffey, Jr. baseball back when I was in the 4th or 5th grade. The baseball idea had come around again, this time with an upgraded system – the 64.
We played as the Arizona Diamondbacks, which was the first or second year of the team’s existence. I have no recollection of how often we played, but I remember sitting in the basement with my dad, playing that game.
- He never swung at the first pitch. Usually not the second or third, either. He was always wanting to wear out the starting pitcher. With the game’s AI, you could expect with about 99% confidence that after three pitches you’d have 2 strikes and one ball on you.
- The first two pitches were usually strikes. During them, he would sip his beer.
- After the second pitch (which was usually your second strike), he would pick up his controller.
- If he got a hit, then he got a hit.
- If he struck out or had a bad pop-up the same sound would generally escape him – an aggravated, quick, “agh!”
On one particular day, we were playing the game and my dad was up to bat. After the usual ritual, he struck out. The familiar grunt/sound of exasperation came.
I smirked. My dad is a funny guy. He’s like a monkey over there with those crazy grunt noises. I thought, ‘ok, my turn … I can do better.’ After all, I’m young and I play a lot of video games – this is what I’m built for. I waited out the strikes like my dad, not because I wanted to necessarily, but because it was a good strategy. It’s a video game! It’s not the place where you exhibit patience and strategy! Nevertheless, I did it (when he was around).
What do you know – I also get out.
And what do you know, the same, “agh!” came out of me.
Holy crap, I realized, I am my dad.
All the times I’d laughed at him, poked fun at him (just in my head, not out loud) … those would all be coming home to roost. Shoot.