BIO     CALENDAR     MEDIA     COLLEGE     STORE     BOOK STEVE     BLOG     PODCAST     SUBREDDIT    

FREE ALBUM DOWNLOAD
Get your copy of "Dark Side of the Room" now
"Laughs" Live! Shows:
Detroit, MI      Chicago, IL      Phoenix, AZ      Charlotte, NC      Washington, DC     
Dayton, OH      Chicago, IL      Houston, TX      Dallas, TX     


The Column

Putting Down the Pieces
8/3/03

I got 758 lines on Tetris this week. I don't have anything funny to say about that - I'm just telling everyone.

I admit that it was palm pilot Tetris, which is easier than old school Nintendo Tetris because it only has nine levels instead of nineteen. If I'd gotten 758 lines on old school Nintendo Tetris, you'd have heard about it on the news by now.

"This just in: a young man in New York City has no life. Back to you, Skip."

I didn't set out to score that high. I didn't even think I'd finish my game. I just wanted to pass the time on the subway. I was going from 59th street to Astor Place - about a fifteen or twenty minute ride. I'd played Tetris on my palm pilot just once before, and my high of 242 lines had been recorded on the old school Nintendo Tetris (which is harder than palm pilot Tetris).

That I even remember my high score says one of two things about me. I keep track of my personal bests so that I can either
a) constantly improve on them
or
b) brag about them to anyone willing to listen.

Since I'm writing 800 words on my high score, which do you think it is? Actually, it's a combination of the two - I keep track of my personal bests so I can constantly improve on them for the express purpose of bragging about them to anyone willing to listen.

I know my rushing record on Madden 93. I can tell you how quickly I've beaten each level of Minesweeper. And I even know how far I've gone on Sprint PCS's Crab Catch. But that last one is only because my phone records the records. If everyone had Crab Catch on their cell phones, I'd also memorize my high score in case anyone mentioned theirs.

"Oh yeah? My right thumb is WAY more talented than yours."

The time on the subway passed quickly while playing Tetris, and I arrived at Astor Place at around 150 lines. The real benefit of palm pilot Tetris (no offense, Nintendo Tetris) is that you can just shut your palm off and resume play during your next period of boredom. I had a meeting to get to, so I put it away and figured I'd finish my game on the ride home.

My problem was that the address of my destination was stuck in my palm pilot, buried under 150 lines of bragging rights. If I looked it up, I'd lose the game. And 150 lines is not something you throw away on a simple business meeting.

Luckily, I recognized a friend on the street and did not have to miss my meeting. Um, I mean I didn't have to reset the game. Yeah, cause that's the choice I'd have made, I swear.

I passed 242 lines on the ride home. By the time I was pulling back into 59th street, I had eclipsed 300. I seriously considered staying on the train a few more stops. I could take it to the end of the line and back downtown, couldn't I? I realized the idea was ridiculous. But only because I'd have to get off and then get back on while the train turned around. I decided to pause it and walk home before resuming. If I couldn't pause it, who knows what I would have done. It's a good thing I wasn't playing Crab Catch.

When I got back, I had a LOT to do. I had 62 unanswered e-mails, a show later that night, and an empty bag despite my trip the next day. But I sat down, turned my palm pilot on, and went for it. I felt that if I could get 500 lines, I could do anything. Except maybe interact with someone in a social setting.

Despite coming back from the dead a number of times, a few unlucky pieces finally did me in. Though I also blame my roommate for coming home and interrupting my concentration. I came close to pulling it out - my much-needed straight piece was one square away from resurrecting me. I guess it's good that I finally lost - it'd be pretty pathetic if I were still playing. Though simultaneously very impressive.

I didn't use my palm pilot the rest of that day, hoping I could run into someone and show them my score. I finally realized how ridiculous I was being. So I just took a picture of it and moved on.

Besides, I'd have to reset it if I want to try to beat that score.

Archives
*Kings vs. Sports Illustrated
*Paris Hilton is No Mother Theresa
*Putting the "Fan" in "Fanatic"
*Thinking Man: Happy New Year
*Jewzapalooza
*I'm Listening
*Punky Brewster Scares Me
*Don't Get Smart With Me
*Checking Out a Check Up
*Yeah, Thanks
*Steve Hofstetter is Your Friend
*Post Halloween Wrap-Up
*My Letter to Me
*The Night the Heat Went Off
*Turn That Crap Off
*You Might Be a Redhead If
*To My Future Children
*Shine Your Shoes, Mista?
*Flying Forward
*DotCom Dating Dish
*Paging Paige Page
*Watch While You Eat
*You Have Got to Be Kidding Me
*Come Home, Rachel I. K'Benjamin
*Get Out Of My Bathroom
*Subway Going Under
*Driving Forces
*Singles Anonymous
*Know When to Fold Em
*The Mirth of America
*Also Known As
*Smooth Criminal
*What That Mass Email Really Said
*Dude, Where's Your Car?
*Thinking Man: Can't We All
*You Might Be a Redneck
*A Nice Hawaiian Punch
*100,000 Friends
*Mine is Bigger Than Yours
*Good Answer
*T Stands for Terrible
*I Love You Guys
*Mitch, All Gone
*Birth of a Hate Mail Archive
*Never Do Today What...Ooh, Shiny
*Can You Hear Me Now?
*Fast Food, Slow Digestion
*Homeland Security, Eh?
*Quality Training Purposes
*The Show Went On
*Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
*Putting My Foot Down
*Breaking the Chain Mail
*Happy Valmochrismaweenygiving
*Mr. Clean's Illegitimate Brother
*The Quest For 10,000 Friends
*Forgetting Paris
*Magnetically Challenged
*New Year's at the Barefoot Boogie
*Instant Carma's Gonna Get Me
*The Biggest Loser
*Steve vs. Kentucky
*Gone in a Flash
*How to Destroy Your Car
*Ghouls, Goblins, and Candidates
*My Freedom From Your Freedom
*Drive Unto Others
*Please Don't See This Movie
*I Love The Clip Shows
*Column of Atonement
*Happy Anniversary, Sugarhill
*Life, 9/11, and the Interstate
*Your Band Sucks
*Spending Wisely
*The Blind Dating the Blind
*Grilled Cheese With a Side of Hip Hop
*The Drive to 25
*Are You There Margaret? It's Me, God.
*Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House
*Seacrest! Out!
*Harder Than You Think
*Glad To Be Here
*Thought for Food
*Feeding the Meter
*She's Ready For Her Close Up
*Paging John Hughes
*Excusing America's Gas Problem
*Extra, Extra, Extra Long Time
*The Finals Countdown
*Your Friends and Mine
*The Future Mrs. Bueller
*Toasting Not Toasting
*A Tall Order
*Snaking Your Engine
*My Hair is the Color of Tomato Soup
*The Solace System
*You Say Potato
*It’s Getting Less Cold in Here
*This is Not a Virus
*Pitchers and Catchers
*Another Night Not at the Movies
*Higher and Higher
*To Write A Wrong
*They Call it Super for a Reason
*Imagine All the People
*Lost Wages, Nevada
*This Just In
*Why Are All My Stands Red?
*For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls
*Silent One Day Sale, Holy One Day Sale
*I Want To Be That Guy
*Felicity Doesn't Always Mean Happiness
*That Time of Year
*My Cranberry Sauce Looks like a Can
*The Legend of Fat Dead Steve
*Two Beldings in One Building
*Happy Halloween From Happy Valley
*Three Stations and Nothing On
*15 Shots of Nostalgia
*Here's To the Dancing Guy
*Teaching an Old Dog New Sticks
*If You Could Choose Just One Dumb Question...
*Obligatory Pun on The Word Tired
*I've Grown Accustomed to Your Wet Nose
*What Do You Want For Your Birthday?
*What a Long, Strange Trip
*Open Letter to My UPS Man
*That Better Be Your Foot
*The Abandoned Lot is Always Greener
*Putting Down the Pieces
*Take One Down, Pass It Around
*Here, You Throw This Away
*Being Green at the Box Office
*Who Wears Short Shorts?
*America is an Okay Place to Be
*You Can't Stop the Rain
*Don't Feed the Alpha Males
*Don’t Sweat It
*The Special Plate Blues
*You Deserve It
*The Return to Popcopy
*They're Real, and They're Spectacular
*Keeping Your Prom Misses
*Guerillas in Our Midst
*That Weird No Bread Holiday
*The Ballad of the Buttless
*Something About Being Twenty-Something
*Have You Seen My Cell Phone?
*War, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For?
*Leggo My Ego
*I'm a Spazz, You're a Spazz
*Can I Please Keep My Pants?
*Engaged in Conversation
*Welcome to PopCopy
*Hold Me Closer, Tiny Bathroom
*My Two-Bedroom Furbee
*All’s Fare in Love and Daytona
*Open? Shut Them
*I Am Everyday Pimple
*Here Comes the Judge Show
*When, Praytell, Were The Days of Auld Lang Syne?
*What Are You Up To This Weekend?
*The Waiting is the Hardest Part
*A Night Not at the Movies
*Funny, You Don’t Look Flu-ish
*Does This Baby Come With Airbags?
*When The Hogan Family Was Still Valerie
*Blue (Haired) Tuesday
*In Loco Parents
*Moving Is Like A Vaccuum: It Sucks
*Thou Shalt Not Save the World and Get the Girl
*Like Oil and Stuff That Hates Oil
*How to Get Hatemail
*Fungi, Octopi, What’s the Plural of Bus? (Part I
*Fungi, Octopi, What’s the Plural of Bus? (Part I
*It Happens to the Best of Us
*Talking To A Piece of Junk Mail
*When You Can’t See the Forest for the Trees
*ICFS Disorder and Celebrity Kid Growth
*Electricity and Other Things They Cut Off
*When Pigeons Fly
*Goodbye, New York, Goodbye
*La La La-la La La, Sing a Happy Song
*What To Do at Work Besides Work
*Why is This Column Different From All Others?