Friday, September 6, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 68 - Super Mario Bros.

Day 68 of Eric Vs. 365 is kind of a special one. Not because we played the original Super Mario Bros - not much more really needs to be said about this game - ,but because Eric finally gets to tell the story of how he, at 6 years old, earned his NES on his own. Read on for all of the details.

Like I said, there isn't much left to say about Super Mario Bros. It was great. It is one of the few NES games that actually holds up. It is a vital piece of gaming history and everyone should play it.

What this blog will be about instead is the story of how I earned my original NES. Back in the day in the late 80's I really wanted a NES. I had played it at a friends house and just had to have one. But we didn't have much money in those days so my Mom told me to get a job. 

Through extreme coincidence or luck or perhaps fate, within days of this conversation we received an interesting item in the mail. My Mom swears she didn't sign me up for it and had no idea what it was when it showed up, but I got an invitation to join the Olympic Sales Club, which was (is? I think it's still around but it's called Olympia Sales Club now) a program aimed at kids where you sold packs of greeting cards to neighbors / friends / family and earned prizes based on how many packs you sold. One of the prizes available was a Nintendo Entertainment System Action Set that came with the NES, two controllers, NES Zapper, and Mario / Duck Hunt for the easily attainable goal of selling 60 packs of cards.

I know it sounds a little multi-level-marketing-ish, but it was actually legit. You didn't have to pay any money to be part of it and there weren't any quotas or requirements or anything. You just sold things at your own pace to get the prize you wanted.

So, at the tender age of 6 or so, my Mom and I went door to door and sold cards to all of the neighbors and took my sales kit to every family gathering. I was the salesman, of course, and my Mom handled the money and actually making the orders. I can't remember how long it actually took - I know we started in the Summer and finished at some point during the school year, probably Spring - but eventually I sold 60 packs of cards and earned my NES. I still remember the feeling of coming home from school one day and having the brand new NES sitting on the table waiting for me. 

At first it was hooked up to the living room TV but, naturally, my parents got tired of that pretty quickly and after a few weeks I came home from school and suddenly had a (very old) TV in my room.

I was kind of a bad ass kid, right?