I’ve told this story several times on Facebook. And every time I do, TK happens to be around (lurking really, he kind of idolizes me, it gets a bit embarrassing to be honest) and insists that I really need therapy. Possibly an intervention. It never works though because I don’t really have a problem and I can quit at any time.
When I was a senior in college, floating through the last months of a degree that broke parts of my psyche in irrecoverable ways, I played a lot of video games. I want to emphasize that you are not understanding the use of the words “a lot” in that sentence. I mean that I played video games so much that if an employer had required it of me, it wouldn’t have even been legal even if I’d been an Irish immigrant in 1890s Chicago. I was putting in meatpacking hours.
I also watched a lot of television. And by “watched,” I mean that the television was frequently on while I put in my hours in the video game mines. One weekday there was something I used to watch on CW. Or the WB. Or UPN. Whatever the hell it was in 2001. Don’t even remember what the show was. But what I do know is that 7th Heaven came on right after it. And I played the original Soldier of Fortune for weeks, almost exclusively on that night, wading through a sea of blood while the good reverend’s children learned very important life lessons about not smoking and the dangers of trusting people with tattoos.
To this day, I associate wholesome family entertainment with the most ultra-violent video games imaginable. I am the Pavlov’s dog of Jack Thompson’s most gleeful fantasies. There’s just something so horrorshow about the cognitive dissonance of wholesome television and a bit of the old ultra-violence. Hate watching combined with virtual violence is so therapeutic that it surprises me that it’s not an officially recommended treatment in the latest DSM.
This long-winded reminiscence (which I assume is not admissible in a court of law) does in fact have a purpose. Yesterday the cast of 7th Heaven reunited and gave us a single picture:
Three questions emerge from this photo, questions that I can answer:
1. Q: Um, awesome, right? A: Right.
2. Q: Where are Ruthie and the twins? A: Nobody fucking liked those brats anyway.
3. Q: Where’s Happy the Dog? A: Dead in 2010, presumably of a stroke in a canine strip club after doing way too much coke.
Pour one out for Happy, my friends. He was a goddamned institution.