For some unknown reason, I have to tell you about this one time in the mid 90s when I was playing Mortal Kombat with some black dudes at the Landmark arcade (an iconic establishment in Milwaukee which incredibly still exists.) First though, some brief background info. Playing arcade games against random people of all kinds was a common activity for teenagers and young adults at that time, as everyone my age probably remembers. When I say “all kinds,” I mean people whom you would be unlikely to associate with or have neutral interactions with under almost any other circumstances. Sometimes games had the potential to become awkwardly tense, if the person one was playing against had a bad temper or was some kind of thug/wannabe gangster. I myself had a tendency to enrage players by winning in a cheap fashion (such as doing the same move over and over.) There were a few times I nearly got my smarmy ass pummeled by Starter jacket wearing “wiggers” that didn’t take kindly to being hit with Nightwolf’s cheesy Shoulder Charge move like 5 times in a row (and having to continuously insert more quarters in the machine to subject themselves to it.) Before getting “mad online” and “rage quitting” social media was a thing, there were people who got angry about video games.
Anyway, that didn’t happen on this particular occasion, and it’s not my intention to go off on a social tangent here. There is no hidden Klostermanesque pop culture “metaphor for society” lurking in this post, unless I’m expressing it subconsciously and don’t realize it. Digression over….
So, this one fine 90’s afternoon, I was playing Mortal Kombat with a group of local young black dudes (probably all astronauts by now.) One of them looked at the screen and yelled “Sub-Zero! That nigga coooooold!”
(To get the full effect, you have to realize he pronounced “cold” like the word code,)
For some reason the quote has stuck with me ever since then, and I have never been able to forget that moment in time. Even to this day, whenever there is a slight chill in the air (by Arizona standards, which equates to about 60 degrees in winter or that shivery feeling when you’ve just stepped out of a swimming pool,) my friends and I will blurt out something along the lines of “Sub-Zero! This nigga cold.”
Of course, one can’t really get away with saying that anymore since it is 2018 and all, but I still do, and I don’t really care.