Friday, February 12, 2010


One day, it will happen.

I will place the following phone call:

"Hey, good morning Captain, it's Jeff. I can't make it into work today, and actually might miss the next two weeks....

What's that? Yes, I said two weeks. It's a funny story really. I'm at Centra Southside Community Hospital...

No, no, I'm okay. Now. But I'll be in a neck brace for a while and I've lost all feeling in the right side of my body.
Car accident? Assault and battery? Hmm, not quite. Home invasion? That's pretty close.
Actually, like I said it's funny. I was playing Wii, and trying to nail a 100 on Bird's-Eye Bulls-Eye, did you ever play that game? Anyway, my feet got all sweaty and I was flapping my arms like crazy so I slipped off the balance board, smacked my head on our fireplace and caused our plasma TV to land on my head. My head actually went through the TV, it was pretty intense.
Yeah, I know. Think our health plan covers that?...I didn't think so. I'm in room 325. Bring ice and a lawyer if you visit. I'm suing the crap out of Nintendo."

You laugh (or at least scoff, I hope), but it's not far from the truth.

Apparently, the Wii is trouble.

Look at this 14-year-old girl's foot. She fractured the base of the fifth metatarsal after playing Wii for five straight hours and falling off the balance board. Nice. Don't believe me, it's in the New England Journal of Medicine as more and more clinicians are seeing patients for 'Wiiitis.'

Watch the video for some of the Wii Fit Plus training games and you'll see why. The games are amazing and fun...if you are coordinated and sober.

Don't think it's serious?

Check this out. People are falling of the balance boards, dislocating shoulders, getting 'Wii-knee,' having resulting corrective surgery and worse. As the article notes, 'traumatic hemothorax' occurs when cavities around a person's lungs fill with blood after a hard fall. Wii-related cases have been document. Try to picture THAT living room scene.

The Wii is friggin' potentially fatal. No, really. A 25-year-old Britain collapsed while jogging during a WiiFit run. Not the Wii's fault, but, I'm just saying...

For those average folks out there, the Wii can be more harmful than tackle football or reporting at the bottom of a snowy hill. [Seriously, go back and's worth it.]

[Still with me? Good.]

Each one of these Wiis should come with a 'Wii-ll & Testament.' And you'd best be ready to get a new TV, furniture, light fixings and/or significant other.

Don't believe me again?

Check out this montage.

Or this one.

Or this one. (My favorite thanks to the Weezer tune. Go the 1:26 mark as the lass destroys a lightbulb. I've come close roughly three dozen times.)

Personally, I'm one 'Grand Slam Tennis' awkward serve away from a tourniquet.

*SIDENOTE: Why would anyone allow a camera to be present and or recording in a room while you are on this thing? Check out Grandpa here. You think anyone is going to be talking about his accomplishments or community service at his wake?

Hell no, they'll be talking about the time he nearly squashed a grandson playing 'Super Hula Hoop.'

And this is me in 30 years. This guy thinks Wii Sports Bowling is 'off' and gets a little furious. He's a new hero of mine.*

While the InterWeb community has also turned the WiiFit into the next, how do I say, 'adult' phenomenon, there's no doubt the Wii's real power is simple.

It makes coordinated, balanced and athletic people look absolutely ridiculous. And it makes uncoordinated, unbalanced and unathletic people look like brain-crazed, hip-flailing zombies.

And the whole concept of it says quite a bit about its users. The linked parody video nails it.

"Don't want to invest $3.19 in a hula hoop? Why not pick up a Wii for $300 and enjoy the same fun in the comfort of your living room, without that annoying plastic hoop."

I can't personally hold too much against WiiFit Plus. It's actually helped me quite a bit.

Since hopping on it for the first time on 1/14, I've dropped over 9.5 pounds.

How you ask?

Well, when I first did the 'Body Test,' my Mii avatar swelled to the size of a Zeppelin. (See inserted picture for reenactment, sans T-shirt and Guinness pajama pants. If I ever had an action figure made of me, it would wear those pants.)

When a dude in that kind of shape hops on the board, the cute, high-pitched WiiFit voice disdainfully says two very painful words.

"That's obese."

The tone of the voice is matter-of-fact and sounds quite, well, disappointed.

Congratulations WiiFit creators, you sucked me in from that point forward. I've been irked to the point of consistent physical activity.

Come hell or high water, by the end of 2010, I will be borderline 'Normal' by the game's Body Mass Index standards. That means I'll have to drop 25+ pounds this year, but I am doing it. I'm already nearly halfway there.

Why am I so motivated?

Is it because I wake up at night with the words, "That's obese," ringing in my ears and think about my Mii shaking his head in disgust and shame?
Is it because the game actually REBUKES you for missing workouts, tests or goals?
Is it because I want to get to 'Normal' and immediately grab the balance board, run outside, place it in front of my car and give it a real Balance Test?

The answer to all of these is an emphatic, "Yes."

And apparently I'm not the only one taking frustration out on the Wii.

This guy shoots one. (It's clear it also called him 'Obese.') And these guys dressed up as two Nintendo legends to smash theirs.

When I do get to 'Normal' stage, and I will, I will have the good people at Nintendo to thank. The WiiFit Plus' constant mockery of my physical conditioning is enough to drive me insane.

Insane enough to lose the weight I've been packing on for the past 14 years since I graduated from high school slim and trim (and dumb). The stack of 'clothes I once wore' will diminish. And it's all thanks to Nintendo.

Of course, I'm happy to credit Nintendo now.

But, if you ever come to visit me in room 325 at Southside Hospital, bring that ice I was talking about. But, right before you enter the room, call this guy because I want a chunk of that Nintendo coin.

And, oh yeah, before we go to trial, make sure you delete this blog post for me.

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