My encounter with a future-felon

First off, I'm not really one for malls. They're crowded and noisy, and the ridiculously muscular mannequins at Hollister make me feel self-conscious about my doughy physique. The South Hill Mall is also the local hangout for Puyallup's resident group of pseudo-goths. I call them pseudo-goths because they're really just a bunch of nerds in Slipknot concert-tees and those stupid baggy, be-chained pants.

Anyway, I keep my mall visits to relative minimum for the most part. But I am so, so glad I decided to go on this particular day. And I'm going to tell you why.

It was ... oh, I don't know, I'd say it was probably a year-and-a-half ago. I was at the South Hill Mall with my girlfriend, Jess. We were passing through the square, which is littered with cell-phone and belly-jewelry booths, when he approached us.

A man of indeterminate ethnic origin called out to us from a booth with an accent I can only describe as "ridiculous."

"'ey, jou."

I stopped. "Uh ... me?"

"Ya, jou. Jou like video games?"

I exchanged amused glances with Jess, who also takes an immense amount of enjoyment out of situations such as these. "Yes, I suppose I do." It was then that I realize the man was holding what appeared to be a plastic toy pistol.

"Check this out." He gestured to his booth and introduced us to something called The Game-Station 5000. He grabbed what was clearly a Sega Genesis controller and began to demonstrate the awesome power of the Game-Station 5000. "Jou git all these awesome games. Deeg Doog, Paul Pasition, Tatris, Peeng-Poong, Sonic, Supar Maario Brothers ..."

He continued listing off games. I stifled my laughter and listened.

"... Doock Hunt, Frooger ..."

I was starting to lose it. Jess trembled as she struggled to keep the laughter in. Not only was a game station with all of these games technically impossible, but the Genesis controller and unlicensed use of all these games was breaking just about every copyright law possible.

"Wat jou think about that, eh? Pretty cool?" he queried. "And check this out: jou also git a goon, fer shooting games." He indicated the plastic gun he was wielding. "Wat jou think?"

I nodded, smiling. "Yes, that is pretty impressive. But, I'm going to have to pass. Thank you very much."

"Jou sure?"

"Pretty certain, yeah. Thanks."

We left and broke into laughter. I forgot about the encounter after a couple of months, but was reminded when I was flipping through a copy of Electronic Gaming Monthly. I passed by an ad which prominently featured the man's face. I froze. Was this serious? I read on.

The ad explained that this man was a con-artist, operating in the Pacific Northwest. He had been busted for copyright infringement and unlicensed use of trademarked products. His face stared out sadly. I imagined him saying, "At least I'll have plenty of time to play Deeg Doog in prison."

Apparently, the ad was part of his community service. I couldn't stop laughing. It was, literally, one of the single greatest moments of my life.


  1. That's hillarious. Sarah and I bought one of those things last fall at the fair because she wanted Super Mario Bros. -- no joke!

    The guy says, "It's got 3,000 games on it!" Then proceeds to show me all the different pages of games. I see Cobra, and I'm thinking, "COOL!"

    We get it home, plug it in, and, yes -- it has the games it's supposed to. Only it actually has about 30 games -- in about 100 different languages! So, yes, technically I suppose it was 3,000 games. But we were had.

    And the controllers sucked.

  2. That's hilarious. (referring to Nuss' comment).

    I only wish type could do that guy's rediculous accent justice.


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