Five Things We Learned From Mario Party

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm
Mario was prepared to lay down some serious coin to make this party go well. This Mario Party, that is.
On one bright and auspicious day in the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario and Luigi looked around their apartment and decided that they needed to do something important. Sure, they were two guys at the forefront of the adventurer / plumber career field, and they were renowned and loved by law-abiding fungi throughout the land, but they had been working way too hard. Their upstairs neighbors (two elderly toadstools who, let's face it, were sweet but got their panties in a complicated knot whenever the Bros had music playing past 9:30 at night) had just moved out, and so Mario and Luigi decided that they ought to blow off some steam by having a little gathering. Nothing huge. Just a little party.

A Mario Party.

So they sent out a festive email to the hippest humans, mushrooms and friendly dinosaurs around, and started mixing up something Luigi called his "I'm-a Number One Punch." At about nine the guests started arriving, and the Mario Bros. began to anticipate a night of friendly games, light-hearted competition, and all-around fun.

When the two brothers awoke with headaches the next morning, they thought long and hard about what transpired. It was all such a blur! What the hell happened last night? What mistakes did they make? What mini-games did they even play? Neither remembered. But as they started to piece together bits of the night, they learned valuable things about themselves and parties in general.
1.) Skill in one field does not necessarily indicate skill in all fields.

Mario vaguely remembered running around many different types of platforms the previous night.

So many mini-games. Mario and Luigi both definitely agreed they had participated in tens, maybe even hundreds of mini-games at the party. And a lesson they learned when they were trying to stay on wobbly platforms or racing obstacle courses or whatever was that just because you're good at one thing doesn't mean you'll necessarily be good at a very similar thing. Just because Michael Jordan was one of the most compelling athletes in the history of basketball doesn't mean you are going to give a shit about him playing baseball. Similarly, while you may be great at a mini-game about outsmarting Boos, perhaps you are atrocious at another game which uses all the same hand-eye coordination skills.

"Ow ow ow ow," Luigi intoned as he thought about how many mini-games he biffed and ran to the bathroom to hunch over their mushroom-shaped toilet and stare down into the bowl, last night's punch still glazing his vision with a drunken haze.

2.) Even if you are very competent, some things are just a matter of fate.

Images flashed before Luigi's eyes. Nonsense images. The taste of cheap mushroom liqueur in his mouth.

While Luigi made terrible, inhuman sounds as he violently purged his stomach into the john, Mario was deep in thought. He felt like things were going really well last night! He was throwing a party that he named after himself, which he thought was a pretty smooth move.  He started out making a lot of stars and moving ahead quickly, and he usually did pretty well in the mini-games.

But just due to chance, and landing on crummy squares, Mario ended the night in third place.  He mused about the poignant truth of this situation -- no matter how skillful one is, one must accept that a certain degree of fate must enter into his dealings in life, love, and mini-games.  It is the way of the world.

As Mario was thinking about this, Wario emerged from the back of the house, entirely nude, looking confused and more than slightly pissed off.

3.) Better to invite too many and have some weirdness than to not invite enough.

Why was he still there? Where were his purple overalls?

As the nude Wario began eating Mario's Frosted Flakes directly out of the box and making snide remarks about the decor of the apartment, Mario briefly wondered why he had even invited Wario. The guy was not his friend. People at the party were confused by his presence, saying things like, "Why did you invite that fatter, bizarro version of you, Mario?" and "Hey, Mario, your shitty cousin just dunked my head in the punch and then told me he was 'a-gonna win,'" and "Yo, Mario, I don't want to be a buzzkill or anything but I think that 'W' guy is doing blow in the bathroom."

But sometimes a wild card or two makes things more interesting at a party. It shakes up the natural pecking order, and forces people out of their comfort zones, which can actually make for a spontaneous, memorable party.

The muffled flushing of the toilet was heard. Luigi shuffled out, looking pale. Upon seeing Wario in his house and in the buff, Luigi dry heaved, quickly returned to the bathroom, and did not emerge again until two and a half hours later.

4.) You can't please everyone.

Apparently if you scrape your hand across this for hours, it hurts!

Later in the day, Mario began to get phone calls from disgruntled party guests. It turns out that some of the mini-games they were asked (well, okay, forced) to play at the party resulted in several guests getting blisters on their hands from rotating the N64 analog stick at the lightning-fast pace the party required. In fact, some guests actually levied a lawsuit against Mario about these injuries -- a lawsuit that Mario lost.

Just goes to show that no matter how much punch you make, there'll always be somebody who's unhappy.

5.) Sometimes experiences don't have a higher meaning.


"What'd you do over the weekend, Mario?" a coworker asked him on Monday morning.  "Save a princess? Go on a quest with your buddy Yoshi? Rescue an entire land from that dastardly Bowser?"

The still hung-over Mario just shook his head. Sometimes you have to forego all your obligations and just throw a damn party.  A party that you name after yourself.

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