I awoke this morning one minute before the alarm, and let out a heavy sigh. I hate when that happens. But rather than reach out and turn it off, I closed my eyes and tried to wish myself back in time so that I could get another few hours of sleep. It didn’t work. Maybe someday I will discover a way to do it. Until then I will continue to roll my arse out of bed, and go about my morning routine, each step as rote and subconscious as breathing. Ritual is the only thing that gets me out the door in the morning.

This morning I have no one to blame about the lack of sleep but myself. I could have gone to bed at 9:30 with Mrs. 20 Prospect, but no, I was engaged in a new pastime, and so I spent another hour and change sitting in the living room, playing out daydreams in my head. Last week I stumbled across Strat-O-Matic baseball, and have suddenly gotten hooked on it like it was crack.

For those who aren’t familiar with Strat-O-Matic, it is a baseball simulation game, originally played with dice, using the actual statistical probabilities of  the real life major leaguers. You pick your team, you set your lineup, and you play out the game. Essentially, it is Dungeon & Dragons for sports nerds. It’s been around since the early 60’s, but has now moved into a computerized format, making it easier for grown men to act like 12 year old’s in a socially acceptable way.

How I got hooked is a mystery, but lets just say it is not without precedence. I have the tendencies of a heroin addict when it comes to pastimes. I get hooked easily, then spend my days living in burning need of another fix. (Like blogging for instance) Mrs. 20 Prospect is well aware of this one of my many shortcomings, and does her best to put up with me. In this regard I am not a whole lot different from most men I know. I’m not sure of the psychological reasons behind it, but as we age we all tend to gravitate towards different toys, and pastimes. In a way it is a regression, to those blissful years of young adulthood, when we were still young enough to live our life around playing games, and not yet old enough to have responsibilities. So we find a way to escape. It may be bicycles, guitars, motorcycles, golf, or cars, but they are all the same. A way for grown men to escape from reality, and live out their childhood again.

I’ve written of it before, but in my life those blissful days were packed full of play. From age 10 to 14, I lived my life around sports. Everyday after school the kids on the street would gather at 20 Prospect, and we would play until we were called home for supper. Touch football in the street, street hockey, or wiffle ball, it didn’t matter. It was always the same. Even when we weren’t outside, we were playing the games in our minds. My best friend on Prospect, Mike Ward, and I used to set up imaginary leagues and play out whole seasons of electric football, or table hockey. Later, when Mike moved away, I turned to playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends from St. Joe’s. If we’d have know about Strat-O-Matic then, I probably would have NEVER gotten a date.

Having children at that very same point in their life has brought back a lot of memories. It has also given me a spouse-ally acceptable means to buy toys, and play with them. Watching them grow from childhood into adulthood, is so bittersweet. I worry about what life will be like when they grow up, and move out. I also worry about how I will justify playing with 20 Prospect Jr.’s toys when he’s gotten too old to play with them. Perhaps I’ll take up golf.


8 thoughts on “Strat-O-Matic

  1. I have a tendency to grab something of the kids and then play it with the intensity of Marlon Brando pursuing a basket of fried chicken during the post Last Tango In Paris period.
    Then I’m done with it and I wash my hands of the whole thing faster than a senator running away from a dead hooker in a hotel room.

      • HA! Mr. High and Mighty….”I am too good to get addicted to Plants vs. Zombies” and “I don’t play video games” has finally given in to the addition. Let me know when you’ve acheived the pile of dead zombies all the way into outerspace. I feel vindicated. Welcome to the slum.

  2. I’ve never been much of a gamer, the closest I got to an addiction was playing SIMS when the life I created was better than the one I had. Now that i have everything I could have wanted in the game (well…maybe not infinite riches or a sweet ass writing career) I have given up on gaming…But I’m ridiculously addicted to facebook, blogging, and stupid pinterest….

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