Saturday, March 17, 2007

How much is that doggy in the window?

Simon just bought Sparky Ma Nintendogs for a Mother's Day present, which is a pretty damn good gift, and long overdue because he's been threatening to buy it for about a year now but had thus far resisted.

I should add here that Sparky Ma and Sparky Pa are both quite the little gamers. But whereas Sparky Pa confines his gaming to high-scoring bouts of Tetris, Sparky Ma has broadened her reportoire to various different games and genres. Her addiction started around the time I had a SNES back in the early 90s, and quite frequently when Dad was away on business Mum and I would sit down and wile away an evening playing Super Mario Allstars. And by 'play' I mean I'd sort of get whupped.

As the years passed, I traded my SNES down to Mum, then my N64, and then the other year she bought herself a Nintendo DS (I think because Dad kept asking if she would please turn the damn N64 off so they could watch the telly, and although she'd eventually say yes, he'd still have to wait about three hours for her to actually finish the bit she was on and by that time Tomorrow's World with Judith Han had finished).

Anyway, although the DS was a treat for Mum, it also turned into a treat for Simon and I because it's opened up a whole new world of present buying possibilities for birthdays, Christmases, etc. And she now owns about 14 million games. Perhaps the only downside is that whenever I pop over to see the parents these days they're both catatonic in front of their handheld Nintendos. Some would call that a blessing, but I happen to get on with my parents.

Where was I? Oh yes, Nintendogs. Well, I couldn't not have a go while I was round there, so I nabbed the DS and started furiously tapping on the screen with the stylus to get the attention of the little puppies. It's quite fun actually, because you can stroke the dogs in quite a realistic and intuitive way, and they respond to it in an extremely realistic manner. I lifted one up by his front paws until he got pissed at me and ran off, and then, inexplicably, one happy little puppy turned round and showed me his arse. I'm not stroking that, I thought. So I jabbed it with the stylus instead.

Because I don't like dogs.

I then gave it back to Sparky Ma, because I reasoned that eventually one of the little puppies would shat on the virtual grass, and there is no way I was going to clean that up.


On a related note, I keep bumping into this woman in the back streets of Hammersmith at lunchtimes. We don't talk, mainly because it being London people don't talk to each other in the street for no reason, but also because I was brought up with a healthy respect for the 'stranger danger' guidelines. I do smile at this woman, though, not because I'm trying to pick her up, but because she has an interesting comedy dog.

She walks two dogs, you see. Both are little funky terrier-things, which are within acceptable limits on my dog-human/possible-threat scale chart, and I usually smile because they're always getting their leads tangled up around trees, postboxes, and the mouthy old woman with the wheeled-walking frame.

Did I mention that one of the dogs also has what appears to be a grossly over-sized head? And by 'grossly over-sized' I mean 'looks like it was cut off a big dog and stitched onto a tiny dog's body.' It's freakin' massive. I'm pretty damn sure its tongue drags on the floor. It reminds me of the guy from that Cher movie - y'know, 'Mask,' where her son (Eric Stolz) has that massively deformed head, but he's got a really nice personality so most people don't go "whoa! Look at the size of that dude's massive head!" except for the nasty guys, but we all know they're going to get their comeuppence at the end. Also, his huge head kind of deflects attention from his massive curly ginger 'fro, so it's not all bad. Well, it might be - doesn't he die at the end of the movie?

Oh god. I hope the massive-headed dog doesn't die. It's become something of a lunchtime routine watching it get tangled up in things. If it did die I'd really miss it's massive head lolling about, and it's huge dopey eyes looking up at me like that clone of Ripley in Alien: Resurrection; y'know, the one that goes "kiiiiiiillll meeeeee" and then real Ripley torches it to put it out of its misery. What I haven't noticed, though, is whether the other dog has a massive body and a small head; I'm pretty sure I'd've noticed if it did. But it would be cool to think that the woman is going all Frankenstein on her pets. Maybe next week she'll unleash budgie-cat?


Dora said...

Tina has Nintendogs and it's a fun game to play. I prefer the stupid zoo keeping block game. It's really stupid...but I can't stop playing it.

Dogs with oversized heads. Hmmmm. Strange.

T-Bird said...

I never really thought about it before, but surely some dogs must be born with disabilities? Maybe he has that huge head syndrome.

My problem is that I would see a crazy woof like that and want to take it home.

Tim said...

Dora - The stupid zoo block keeping game?! What the hell is that, and will it make a suitable birthday present for Sparky Ma in September?

I was thinking about getting her that game where you play a lawyer and you've got to shout things like "OBJECTION!" at the Nintendo, but I thought it might drive Sparky Pa a bit crazy.

T-Bird - Are you asking me to kidnap the dog with the massively oversized head for you!? I can't do that. I will see if I can sneak a photo of it sometime though. If I can get the whole thing on my view finder, that is.

skillz said...

You mean the people in that film were making fun of his head and not his ginger fro? I'm gonna have to watch it again, I don't think I understood it first time round!

Tim said...

Skillz - Apparently so!

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Just be careful of budgie-cat flying over you - you know you have a penchant for attracting falling turds...

Tim said...

That's a bloody good point! Although cats are incredibly clean animals, so if it did do something untoward I'd expect it to circle back round and clean up after itself.

Tara said...


One of my friend's kids brought his Nintendogs to a party one time. It looks like a cute game, but I'm waiting for Nintendcats to come out. Or is it out there already and I haven't noticed?

skillz said...

Is Nintendogs like that old computer game Catz?

Tim said...

Tara - The idea of a frankenpup sends shivers down my spine!! I thought there was a Nintendcats, but evidently I made that up in my little brain because I can only find reference to rumours and hearsay on the intermaweb!

Skillz - No, not really, because it's about dogs.

Oh, hang on… Yeah, I s'pose it is actually! I never really played Catz, but I remember seeing some screenshots of mangey cats with yellow eyes that all looked like they could do with being put down. But essentially, yes, they do appear to share some pet-like qualities.