In these times of economic hardship, finding a job isn’t so easy. From long evening shift work to zero hour contracts, the typical grunt work we all fall back on in times of need is less inviting. But I have found the perfect solution: a job that needs doing but no one wants to do, combined with a game that needs playing but no one wants to play. In short, I got a job within a video game.
It is here I climb the virtual ladder, starting off as a professional 90s douchebag in the world of Courier Crisis, the mean spirited precursor to Crazy Taxi where you’re not only encouraged to ramp off private property, but kick in the teeth of lost children.
My pigmy yet loud foul-mouthed boss has assured me that my courier bike is standard and not at all uncomfortable, revealing or sexy, and makes me an easy target for the disgruntled citizens of New Los Bostancisico. In fact, he can only talk in short one liners that are not at all helpful and grating. But he does sign my paychecks.
Before I can even ask for directions, I black out and find myself in the middle of a public street, surrounded by citizens casually going about their day. No doubt the tight uniform had cut of the blood supply to my brain.
As I become a hood ordainment for the taxi cab blasting its horn up my rear end, I peddle away in both surprise and fear. Before I even make my way to the end of the street, a cardboard cutout of a slick suited lawyer is waving a letter in front of oncoming traffic. He beckons me over, and without an ID, signature, or even eye contact, I grab the paper from his hand and plow straight into a shop window.
I somehow brush of an impact that should have pushed my genitals out of my backside and welded my skin to the wall, but before I can say “whoa dude,” my love nuggets are quickly set upon by dogs–dogs that I can only assume were dropped from the windows of nearby tenants. As the three-framed polygon fiends jumped at my unflatteringly tight package, , I gave a swift kick to each dog’s mushy face.
I only wanted to keep them away from my shiny round fruit, but each squishing noise from the dying pups must have meant I just curb stomped a live animal to death in broad daylight public view. But yet again, no single bystander was fazed.
Within 10 seconds, another lawyer is waving papers in my general direction. Not only are these lawyers unfathomably lazy, but exceedingly rich if they literally pay a private courier to bike 20 yards to the next block. Either that, or I’m a drug mule bypassing the cops on the other side of the road. Then again, the law seems more preoccupied with frantically blowing their horn at a sign knocked over by one of the many parentless toddlers that roam these mean streets.
I slammed the breaks without even the slightest recoil from the bike and turned to see that lawyer from before me had vanished from the street as if the act of taking money away from him negated his purpose in the world.
Yet the attack hounds were still out in force, and given the endless comedic possibilities by the standards of the late 90s, I took it upon myself to clear the sidewalk of social stereotypes from the short and pudgy to barrel-chested yuppies of yore. With every unpleasant audio cue of cracking bones to voiding bowels, I thought to myself, “Is this trying too hard?” Then I immediately ramped off a dumpster casually place in the middle of the street a realized it was only encouraging me.
I repeated this process a dozen or so more times, snatching cash, crotch kicking the pork bellied, and jumping conveniently positioned ramps across the district to the applause of the unknown snuff film audience my boss must been entertaining elsewhere.
By the fifth time I hit the asphalt though, the increasingly unreasonably short timer hit zero, and the boss, who was clearly getting some kind of sick thrill from all of this, yelled down a from walkie talkie and fired my ass there on the spot (while also avoiding any future lawsuits resulting from my endeavours up to this point).
At least he didn’t ask for the brick of cash money I had yet to turn in back at the end of my shift. Content on leaving this muddy grey cityscape, I cycled for the nearest highway exit, but that was it–there was no exit. I rode along the outskirts, knocking down the dozen or so pallet-swapped pedestrians along the way but could not escape this hell of slow moving single car traffic and bad 90s punk rock.
My boss had tricked me. What good was this (drug) money in a world where the stores are, at best, poor quality stage backgrounds? If I somehow manage to leap over the wall and into the nearest blue hell, I do hope to do better in my next in-game job. But for now all I can do is sit on my bike jumping over and over onto an old man’s face.
Article by contributor Frank Stiles.
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