So, I'm sittin there, tending bar, when in walks someone who's pretty hard not to recognize, Earthworm Jim.
Strange thing about it is he wasn't quite looking himself, which for someone like Earthworm Jim is really something.
But I sort of looked him over and noticed he wasn't wearing his usual... suit- Well, actually, he was, he was wearing the muscle suit, but he was wearing a normal suit over it.
You know, like a suit you wear to go to work. Suit coat, tie, the whole thing.
And he had this look of extreme sadness on his face. And I go and make him a drink, and I ask, “Oy, Jim, why the long face? ... And lack of nose?”
And he said, “Well, it has to do with the release of the new Earthworm Jim game.”
And I said, “There isn't a new Earthworm Jim game.”
And he says, “Exactly!”
“I was a big hit in the 90s”, he said, “The most original thing out there. Nobody made a game like me, there wasn't even a character like me.”
“They even made a sequel, Earthworm Jim 2, just as big as the first one.”
And I said, “Oh yeah, I remember that. Everything was so strange and surreal and out there. It was so much fun. So, uh, what happened?”
And he said, “I'll tell you what happened... Nintendo 64 happened.”
And I said, “What do you mean? A lot of good games came out on Nintendo 64, like the Mario Kart games, Goldeneye was wonderful.”
And he said, “Yeah, but uh... they gave me, you know, the treatment.”
And I said, “What's the treatment?”
He looked at me and he said, “You know the treatment! The 64 treatment!”
And I said, “Oh no, you mean-”
And he said, “Yeah, 3D platforming. So many games were destroyed by that format. They took away the creativity and the genius game design, and threw it away for giant walls that had no detail on them. And moving blocks that you had to try a million times to jump on top of before you could actually land on it. And looking at the back of your main character's head for hours and hours.”
And I said, “Well, that's a shame, but you know, there were some good 3D platform games, Tomb Raider was fantastic, and again, Goldeneye.”
And he says, “Yeah, how about all the creativity? How about all the cool characters? How about the fact that Earthworm Jim was always a side-scrolling game, and always meant to be a side-scrolling game?”
And I said, “What, they didn't have any creativity in that game?”
And he said, “Why would they need creativity?! You have giant bland walls you can look at, or blocks you can walk on top of!”
And I said, “Well, that sounds strange, like they didn't try to put in any creative characters?”
And he said, “Oh, they did. They just failed horribly. All sorts of brilliant ideas, like “The Four Legged Cat”, that was a jaw dropper, or how about “The Woman with the Extra Finger”, that really got them selling off the aisles.”
And I said, “Well, okay, that's a shame about the characters, but then again, Earthworm Jim had such great settings.”
And he said, “Oh yeah, they had a lot of great ones for the 64 game too, like the red room, the green room... and the red and green room.”
And I said, “Jeesh, that's tough. But, you know, it was the 64 at the time, everyone was excited for those 3D worlds and what you could do with them. I mean, at least the graphics were better.”
And he said,“Oh yeah. Yeah, I tell you, the 2D animation of my game looked so piss-poor compared to what the 64 was doing. I mean, who needs hand drawn creativity when everyone can look like goddamn C-3PO. It was a total disaster. Nobody liked it. After that, the TV show was canceled, nobody was reading the comics, it was just a total explosion.”
And I said, “Well, that's terrible. What did you do with yourself?”
And he said, “Well, I turned to crack.”
And I said, “You turned to crack?! You mean like the drug?!”
And he said, “No, a crack in the sidewalk! I'm an earthworm, remember. I can crawl into anything. I just snuck in there, and waited for the dirt to consume me.”
And I said, “You're an earthworm. How can the dirt consume you?”
And he said, “Yeah, that sort of drew my attention too. So I decided, if you cant beat the establishment, you might as well join them. So I went where any lowly worm with no self esteem would go... marketing for Presidential campaigns.”
And I said, “Really, which one?”
And he said, “Does it matter?”
And I said, “I guess not.”
And I looked at him, and I said, “So, no more of the goofiness, no more of the zaniness, no more of the over top stuff that doesn't make any sense?”
And he said, “I'm in politics. I get nothing but that now. But I know what you mean, no more of the surreal humor that used to make me so enjoyable.”
And I said, “Well, cheers to you, man. You had a good run.”
Suddenly, his cellphone rang, and he picked it up. I couldn't quite make it out, but I guess the person was asking if uh the presidential candidate, whoever it was, should wear a tie that was covered in eyeballs.
And Jim just gave a good look at his phone... seeing how it was his phone, it didn't really matter if he was looking at it or not, but nevertheless, gave the phone a good look and said, “Who's in charge of marketing around here?! You tell him to wear “The Eyeball Tie” as well as “The Tongue Hat”! I've never been wrong before!”
The guy seemed to agree and he hung up the phone.
Jim looked at me, gave me a little wink, and he walked out the door.
As long as you can make life just a little bit surreal, things seem to work out in the end.
... Except for Jim. He got fired.
I mean, an eyeball tie and a tongue hat? That's just insane.
But, you know what? Maybe that was his plan the whole time. Instead of like before, where he comes in crazy, and has to merge with the rational world, maybe he can take the rational world and add just a little bit of craziness, just to make the world a little bit more surreal.
... And anyway, Mitt Romney's campaign couldn't get any worse. OH!