I was in the arcade today at the local mall. I'd stuffed myself in the corner with all the old quarter games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. I happened to be playing Michael Jackson's Moonwalker at the time. My game was very off today and I'd already expunged two quarters on the first level.

I looked at my watch. I remember this because I had surrounded myself with a horrendous amount of gangsters when I pressed the moonwalk button, giving myself enough time to check my watch. It was 3:13.

"Just one more game and I'll leave" I thought to myself. I always try and get out of the mall before 3:15 for two reasons. 1. All the annoying wannabe Britney Spears grade school girls magically appear at that exact moment in time; 2....

Just as I pick up my backpack I hear over the arcade din the second reason walking through the entrance. It was him, my arch-nemesis, the Electric Warrior. I thought I could still get out in time. I ducked between the wall and the crane machine, spun around the ski ball row, and in between Tekken 4 and Capcom vs. SNK. I was on the home stretch, just past the ticket booth was the door. I took two hurried steps and in the midst of my 3rd I ran smack dab into the middle of the Electric Warrior.

I careened backwards and stopped just far enough back to take in the full site in front of me. He was out in full force today. He had a teenie bopper under each arm, his neon blue hair was spiked up with some sort of super adhesive I believe, and he was wearing it. That's right. His trademark that went 'ka-chink' with every step. That monstrous Texas sized belt buckle. The most annoying thing about it was that he had it specially engraved with the initials of the game he took so much pleasure in destroying and humiliating me with. DDR, more properly known as Dance Dance Revolution. The game that brings the health club to the arcade.

I could have just left. Saved myself some time, because either way I'd lose my dignity, but I stayed and accepted his challenge. He won last time, as always, so he got first choice at the song. He chose an easy one. I did well, but he did better. I decided to up the ante a little bit. I picked one that I know would wear him down a little, but still be easy enough for me to pass. I was doing good, but when I looked over I saw he wasn't even looking at the screen.

It came to the last song. I was exhausted and the belt buckle wonder hadn't even broken a sweat. As I pondered how he could do so well with that extra 20 pounds strapped around his waist, I idly turned around. Everyone in the arcade was watching us combat and since the machine was right next to the door even a few middle aged passerby’s stopped in to gawk at our furious foot flinging facilities.

This is where I got nervous. I heard a 'ka-chink'. I turned and the Electric Warrior was reaching for the start button. I checked the song. It was on the hardest difficulty. I couldn't last longer than 20 seconds on this level and he knew it. Everything went slow motion. Half my school was watching me. If I jacked this up I'd be mocked for weeks. The arrows started flowing, bottom up.

Both our feet began to move in unison. I hadn't felt this sure about what I was doing since I beat Tetris Attack on the secret super hard mode last month. I was in the special zone. Unfortunately, my feet couldn't keep up with my brain. I started lagging. My meter was slowly dropping below the half mark. Mocking me; letting me know that it will soon be completely gone.

But just as soon as I thought I had lost, amidst the cheering spectators and the thumping techno track, I heard a very loud 'ka-chink, ka-chink, ka-chink, ka-click, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzziiiiip', and next thing I know the unbeatable electric warrior is down on the dance pad, face buried in the "up" arrow, his feet entwined with his massive belt.

Although I didn't win on merit of technique, my opponent was still humiliated severely, and I think he won't be challenging me again.

This has been a nifty Nodeshell Rescue

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