Growing up I had a nickel arcade just a short bike-ride's distance from my home. On lazy summer afternoons my friends and I would head down there, and for a minimal admission price we could play every video game for mere nickels.

Then came Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. The "fighting game" revolution had begun, and we were marginally swept up in it. We knew a few moves for a few of the characters, we could perform the fatality of our most favorite Mortal Kombatant, and we thought we were cool for that.

Our joy, however soon faded, in the guise of "The Mortal Kombat Kid"...

He was always at the arcade, long hair hanging perfectly straight down the back of his black leather trench coat. He would never speak. He was the bane of our existance. His methods were simple, you'd be playing against the machine, the space to the right or left of you unoccupied by a human opponent, and he would walk up. He could sense when one of these spaces existed, like some mysterious sixth sense. He wouldn't bother to ask, he would slowly and deliberatley drop nickels through the slot, you knew what he was doing, you had time to stop it, but he was like a force of nature. In a matter of seconds it would all be over, your digital avatar would be burned to a crisp and dejectedly you'd wander off to play Operation Wolf.

He'd remain at the machine until the game had been beaten or someone was foolish enough to challenge him. He knew all the moves. He wouldn't even bother to select a character, but look away and let fate decide. After you were beaten he would give you a look of disgust which said in unmistakeable sarcasm, "Thanks for wasting my time".