Things just got a bit more exciting at the Berg house, thanks to something called Wii. This is something we had seen at Polly and Mark’s – and then this summer I got another taste of it via my nephew Henry during my visit to Seattle. (If you look back at my August 3rd entry “Befriending Henry” you can read about the astonishing scope of my ineptitude whether doing Wii boxing, Wii tennis, Wii bowling, or Wii Star Wars. It mattered not what particular game we were doing. If it was Wii, I was annihilated by my 8-year-old nephew.) So when Kathy starting talking a few weeks ago about the possibility of us weaving Wii into our lives, I can’t say that I jumped at the chance. . . but little by little the thought of something that makes exercise at home SO much more fun than it would otherwise be started growing on me. And after all, anything that inspires otherwise rational people to line up outside of Best Buy at 2 in the morning in a downpour deserves at least a second look in my book. But what clinched the deal was when Kathy spotted a very nice Wii sale at Target, and by some extraordinary miracle they were not sold out when I got there at 1:30 this afternoon. (Good thing, too, because there were no rain checks.) So it started to feel like this was maybe meant to be.
But then something happened at the store that reminded me all over again of how alien a landscape this is for me and how it seems to bring out the inept moron in me. I went to the store and was utterly astonished to find a couple of different Wii units on the shelf, right next to that beautiful sale price sign. . . but there were two different boxes and both of them looked like they might be the unit that was on sale. And with no clerk on duty right then and there, I grabbed both boxes and started walking around with them so they couldn’t be snapped up by someone else. Finally the electronics lady returned to her counter, and I placed both boxes in front of her, pointed to the sales ad and asked which unit was the one on sale. She smiled and said that they were the same – and then turned one of the boxes over. And sure enough- I had been looking at the front of one unit and at the back of the other one! They were in fact the exact same thing! If that doesn’t confirm my stupidity in all matters electronic, nothing does.
The one smart thing I did today was draft one of my former voice students, Michael McDonnell – a computer whiz for the Walgreens corporation – to stick around after Musici Amici rehearsal and install this for us … which he did, as though he were some sort of modern-day shoemaker’s elf. (Although at 6’4” he’s no elf!) And once it was hooked up, I played a game of tennis and failed to win a single point. (One of the truly heartless things about Wii tennis is that every single point is replayed in slow motion- and when you’ve basically missed the ball in every attempted stroke, and in most cases not managing to even swing the racket until the ball was already a couple of feet past you, having every point replayed in slow motion is just plain mean!
But mean or not, Wii is here to stay and I might as well get used to the added humiliation that I foresee in my future!
pictured above: the Wii unit I bought at Target. The double “ i ” in the name makes me think of Finland, whose language is full of strange-looking double vowels. (By the way, I probably should explain my blog headline for the sake of anybody reading it who’s not from Wisconsin. Our state’s largest utility is WE Energy – so my headline is a play on that.)