Christmas 1995. I was a schoolboy. Pretty much like children nowadays, I was a video gamer. The only difference between then and now, is while kids these days are killing prostitutes on Grand Theft Auto 5, I was collecting bananas on Donkey Kong Country.
I’ve blogged about Donkey Kong in the past. When the original DKC was released, it blew my mind. So when I heard that a sequel would be released in time for Crimbo ’95, I was straight on the email to Santa Clause, except in our house we didn’t have Internet until a year later, so was forced to use pen and paper… sod that, I just asked my parents for it for Christmas.
Donkey Kong Country 2 was purchased from Electronics Boutique – which has now become ‘Game’. If the original DKC blew my mind, the second destroyed my head, intestines and pelvis. It was stunning. The character, Donkey Kong, had been kidnapped and it was up to Diddy Kong (from the original game) and his girlfriend, Dixie, to rescue him.
The game was huge. After spending almost my entire school holiday in front of the SNES, I managed to complete it and kill King K Rool, by overpowering him in his chambers and chucking him off a cliff into a pool of sharks, where he was eaten alive – yes, games really were that violent back then. I don’t see why it took Grand Theft Auto to make people realise that!
Most games nowadays have lots of extras you need to find and accomplish before you can truly ‘complete’ the title. DKC2 was no different. Each level had 2 or 3 mini-stages, which must be found and finished. There was also a huge ‘DK’ coin to locate (in every level) and also a secret island to overcome.
Back in 1995, I was in school, didn’t have a job and therefore had no money. If I wanted a new video game, I would either have to save up pocket money (which would take years) or exchange my old games at a shop. Anyone who has traded in games will know you’re getting ripped off. It is one step away from getting mugged in the street and having all your games taken off you by some dirty chav. Instead, you’re visiting a shop and allowing some dirty chav to legally take your games, give up a fiver in exchange, before selling them on for fifty quid.
What does this have to do with Donkey Kong Country 2? It has everything to do with it. Shortly after defeating King K Rool, another game was released that I liked the look of. I can’t remember what it was, but it could have been ‘Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island’. I performed thee cardinal sin of trading in the unfinished DKC2 (along with probably half a dozen other games), in exchange for the new Mario title. From memory, it wasn’t as good.
So there you have it. The potential lifetime achievement of finding and completing every single part of Donkey Kong Country 2 was never met. Until now. Avid readers of my blog will know that I received a SNES for Christmas. No, not Christmas 1995 (keep up), Christmas 2014. Following receiving the now retro console, I immediately logged onto eBay and purchased DKC2. Now, 2 months on, I have finished it. Done everything. Finito.
I may have had help from various YouTube videos, which weren’t around in 1995, but back then, there was the Nintendo Hotline. Anyone who ever had the pleasure of calling that number will remember how great it was. While some of my school chums were calling premium rate sex lines, I was racking up my parents’ phone bill ringing for video game advice. You could speak to a real person, who was actually able to give you some excellent guidance! Sadly the hotline is now dead. Never mind, I’m sure the people working there went onto bigger and better things. I hope so, they certainly helped me out…
Today’s internet phenomenon involves millions of people debating the colour of a dress. Yes, you read it right – the colour of a sodding dress! What a sad planet we live in, when this is dominating worldwide news. If aliens do exist, they’ll be sitting at home on Planet Zoik laughing at us.
I don’t really want to get involved, but for the sake of this blog, here is the dress in question, which is causing such the storm…
I can see white and gold, but given the fact I have been known to wear odd socks and not realise, who am I to comment. It’s probably a publicity stunt by Specsavers, who will later reveal that if you don’t see the correct colours (green and pink), you’re going blind.
P.S. It’s the angle you view the dress and/or the settings on your monitor. I promise – try tipping your screen to one side and see for yourself. A non-story.
I am getting harassed. A number I do not know keeps ringing my mobile phone. The suspicious number in question is 01709 765330. At first, I missed these calls as I was at work and had my phone on silent. I then then did some research into the number. The dialling code, 01709 belongs to the Rotherham area. Who in South Yorkshire could be trying to ring me? I may have blogged the occasional comment about Rotherham United’s manager, Steve Evans. Could it be him calling to congratulate me on my excellent website? I somehow doubt it.
After doing some more digging around on the internet, I found lots of web forums, where people were posting their distress and annoyance at receiving frequent calls from the very same number I am currently having issues with. While it is evident that this is a sales call, I haven’t been able to find any confirmation of the company behind it, although many claim it to be Vodafone or one of the company’s affiliates.
Quite frankly, I don’t care if it is Vodafone or Frank Butcher calling to offer me a cheap second hand motor, I want the calls to stop. I must have received 10 in the past week. Can’t whoever is ringing me take the hint that “I AM NOT INTERESTED” – it is becoming harassment now. I have read that you can sign up to have your number excluded from certain marketing calls, but why the fuck should I?
Tell you what, whoever is behind that dodgy number, let the world know who you are and tell them all your telephone number. Then people can ring you at whatever time they choose? You call me, I call you. Seems fair enough to me. Something tells me you wouldn’t agree.
I have now set my phone to ‘auto reject’ the number, but am still getting text messages telling me I’ve had missed calls from it. I only wish I could direct that specific number to a voicemail message from Father Jack Hackett, telling them to “Get to feck”.
In their entire history, Bath City have never reached the FA Trophy Semi Final. That is until now. The Semi Final of the competition is played across two legs, with both competing teams playing at home and away. The first leg was played yesterday. Bath City were at home and faced North Ferriby United, from the Conference North. Shamefully, NFU are one of those sides that I would never have heard of, if it weren’t for the fact we had been drawn together.
It was always going to be a tense affair. The prize for progressing beyond the Semi Final is a trip to Wembley Stadium, for a final against either Wrexham or Torquay United, who are contesting the other Semi Final.
The game ended 2-2. A win would of course have been better, but given the fact North Ferriby were 2-0 up at one point, the turnaround left all City fans with a feeling of optimism.
Like my fellow supporters, I was left feeling optimistic at the fulltime whistle. I was also left feeling sick. Really sick. The sickness was getting worse; forcing Claire and I to go straight home, instead of staying behind at the ground, to meet the players and management, as we usually do after home matches.
Later in the evening, I became intimate with a toilet bowl and a bucket, as I expelled the contents of my stomach and what felt like all my bodily organs from my mouth. I thought I was going to die. Was this the cost of Bath City progressing to the Semi Final? If they do reach Wembley, I dread to think what will happen to me. I’ll ensure I have a personal doctor on hand. Luckily, since this morning, there has been no more spewing, but I have placed myself on a diet of water, bread sticks and Revels.
Usually a sickness virus would mean a couple of days off work, as I am still infectious. I’m on annual leave all of next week, so will remain in quarantine and away from the office. I’m supposed to be in Bristol tomorrow night. I am due to attend the Colston Hall. It may surprise you, but I am not performing. I have tickets to watch Collabro – the winners of last year’s Britain’s Got Talent – however, if this sicky feeling doesn’t disperse and I am still on a diet of dried bread and small bits of chocolate, I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere. I’m sure when Collabro learn of of my illness, they will cancel and rearrange the concert just for me.
Twitter went into meltdown last night. Everyone was tweeting about a murder. In normal circumstances, it would be perfectly justifiable for social media to be awash with activity following a suspicious and violent death. However, the murder in question involved a fictional television character from EastEnders. I neither watch nor care for this soap and appeared to be the only person on the entire internet who was not speculating or giving two shits “who killed Lucy Beale”.
It wasn’t just Twitter which went bizarre over this whole EastEnders tripe. It made the national news. The NATIONAL NEWS! More attention was paid to a pretend murder than real ones!
I never did find out who the killer was. It could have been Dot Cotton and I would be none the wiser. The tweets later in the evening suggested that the soap’s following were hugely disappointed with whoever was finally exposed as the murderer. No doubt after airing their outrage online, they took to the streets and burnt down BBC Headquarters in protest. I haven’t heard the news today, so don’t know if The Whitby Women’s EastEnders Fanclub went through with any acts of arson or not.
I read a tweet which summed up the situation
“If Eastenders is the highlight of your day you should re evaluate your life… that’s my personal thought”
Never were truer words tweeted.
On this website, you’ll find me blogging (almost) daily about everyday life, living in Bath, working with computers, and the occasional bit of football stuff thrown in.
If you're expecting The Man Booker Prize, you've come to the wrong place. If you want to read a collection of sometimes eccentric, often disturbing and rarely amusing ramblings, gorge your eyes on this.