I Hate Mario Kart Wii

Sunday July 22
London, England

I shuffled my feet as I sat down on the floor in front of the TV. The house we were staying in wasn’t too bad – I liked staying with the guys while we recorded our album. It was sort of like old times when we were all crammed into the tour bus or into a small hotel room.

Even though we were all older now and a bit more mature.

But that didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy my video games! I grinned to myself as I reached over and flipped the switch on my Nintendo. Yeah, I was usually more into X-Box, but sometimes you just wanna play Mario.

Unfortunately, the only game I had with me for Wii was Mario Kart. I’d packed the system, but forgot to pack any games with It. so I was left with the disc that had been in there, and Mario Kart was the only game Lauren ever played, so…

But that was okay. Mario Kart was a nice, easy, relaxing game. And if you’ve ever actually played it, you know that’s a bunch of bullshit.

I was sitting cross-legged on the floor craning my neck and staring up at the screen. I eagerly selected Yoshi as my character, and was about to go to the track selection when AJ walked into the room.

“What’cha doin’?” he asked, coming over to stand directly behind me.

“Mario Kart,” I replied, not taking my eyes off the screen. What course did I want to play? I wanted something easy, but not too easy that it wasn’t a challenge. But not something that would stress me out either…

“I see that, dumbass,” he laughed. Well then why’d he ask?! “Can I play?”

No. This was Nick time. “No,” I replied shortly.

“Oh come on,” he said, picking up one of the other controllers and sitting down on the couch. God dammit, AJ! Now I was going to have to kick his ass in Mario Kart.

I sighed and went back to the main screen so that he could play too. But before we even got to the character selection, Kevin and Howie walked into the room.

“Mario Kart?” Kevin asked, and I looked back at him and nodded in slight horror. I didn’t want him to play. I might be able to kick AJ’s ass in Mario Kart, but Kevin’s the king of this game. I silently prayed he wouldn’t ask to join in.

“Get ready to get your ass whooped,” he laughed, picking up the two remaining controllers.

God dammit!

Kevin sat down right beside me and I glared at him. He just laughed and motioned for me to go back to the first screen so that we could all play. I did, but I wasn’t happy about it. How was I supposed to have relaxing video game Nick time when I was about to get my ass kicked my Kevin fucking Richardson?

When Backstreet was a foursome, I was the best at Mario Kart. Maybe Kevin had lost his touch since 2006. I could only hope.

When we got to the character selection, I immediately moved my cursor over to Yoshi. Always my trusty little dinosaur. He never let me down… except for that one time where I got pushed off the edge of DK Falls by a certain Kentucky cousin who was sitting right beside me.

But we won’t talk about that.

“Yoshi?” Kevin laughed. He was always so fucking judgemental! Nice to know that nothing had changed.

“He’s good off-road,” I answered automatically. It was my standard excuse whenever anyone questioned me. But the real reason was that he was cute. I mean, how can anyone not love that little green dinosaur?

What? At least it’s not like I was playing Peach because I thought she was cute. That’d be weird.

“Fuck yeah, Peach,” AJ laughed as he selected her. “For a video game character, she’s hot as hell.”

See what I mean? Weird. Kevin and Howie were less weird because they picked Donkey Kong and Waluigi. Kevin always picked Donkey Kong… because he was big and could crush me. I knew what he played at. This shit always happened.

I looked back at Howie with my eyebrow raised. “Waluigi?”

He shrugged. “I thought I’d change it up.”

Okay, whatever. At least he wasn’t talking about how hot Peach was. Personally I thought Daisy was hotter, if we’re going to go that route.

“What track?” I asked, even though I should have just picked it myself. I didn’t really want to play any of the classic ones, because I knew Kevin would know them. Then he’d win, and I couldn’t have that.

“Your choice, Nicky,” Kevin said as he looked over at me with a shit eating grin.

I glared at him. He was so going down.

I heard AJ and Howie snicker from where they were sitting on the couch. Fuck those guys! I was picking the track I was good at.

Koopa Cave. Hell yeah. I was going to kick their sorry asses for interrupting my Nick Nintendo time.

“Wait,” AJ said as we lined up. “How do you do that thing?”

“What thing?” I asked.

“You know,” he said, his voice rising with panic. See? He knew he was going to lose. “Where you slide and go faster.”

I shrugged. I wasn’t going to give out any of my secrets. “Sorry bro,” I laughed as the numbers counted down on the screen. I leaned forward a little and hovered my thumb over the A button.


“Ha, way to go, Nicky!” Kevin laughed as they all drove past me. I miscounted, hit the button early and was now stalled. God fucking dammit. Not off to a great start.

I was in fourth place, trailing behind. That’s the thing that fucking sucks about this game, you can’t win unless you kick ass right from the very beginning or if you get a kick ass item. Or if you wait for someone else to screw up, but Kevin never fucking did, so I had to depend on getting some kind of kick ass item – yes!

“Bullet Bill, fuck yeah,” I laughed as my kart transformed and zipped right past all of them. I was trailing a little bit behind AJ of all people when it wore off, but because Peach sucks and Yoshi’s awesome, I was able to oust him.

First place. Now I just had to keep it up for two and a half more laps.

“What the fuck?!” AJ shouted when he noticed I was in first. “You spun out! How the hell are you in first?”

“I got a Bullet Bill,” I said trying not to pay attention to him as I drove down the track. Mario Kart was serious business. You really have to pay attention. I wasn’t going to let AJ distract me with his second place rage.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Howie said. That guy was always on AJ’s side. This really was like the old days. “You screwed up, but the game just gave you an item and let you win.”


“Fuck that!” AJ exclaimed. He was pissed off, but I didn’t give a shit. Kevin was quiet throughout this whole ordeal, and it’s because he knows that if you get loud during Mario Kart, you stop paying attention. And when you stop paying attention, you fucking lose.

Or it was because he had a God damn blue shell. “Fuck!” I shouted. That’s bullshit. Those things appear overtop of you and there’s nothing you can do about them but wait for them to drop and pray that no one is close enough behind you so you can keep your first place title.

I sat there in agony as the shell hit my stupid Yoshi and waited until I could get moving again. Not only did that stupid shell hit me, but it hit me while I was driving over the cliff, so I had to wait for that stupid fishing guy to pick me up and lift me back onto the track. That always seemed like it took hours.

But those assholes weren’t close enough. I was still in first place by the time I was able to get moving again. I leaned in a bit closer to the TV.

They were gaining on me. I didn’t have as much of a strong lead as I did before Kevin hit me with that stupid thing. I knew it was Kevin, because AJ was too busy bitching, and Howie would have said something. But Kevin was fucking stealth during Mario Kart. That’s his secret.

I needed a fucking item. And not any of this banana skin bullshit! Those things were worthless. I guess they were good if you held onto them behind your kart to block shells, but I was too lazy for that.

I took a deep breath and concentrated hard on the screen. Maintaining first place was hard work! Like I said, there’s a lot of luck involved. That, and you get shit items. It’s way more fun when you’re behind and get all the good stuff. How does that make any sense? What the fuck, Nintendo? Why were they trying to punish me for winning? Backwards.

Howie laughed from behind me, but I ignored him. I tried my best to ignore him anyway, but he was singing quietly under his breath. That stupid Mario star song. I knew it well. Shut the hell up Howie!

I let out a little breath as I drew closer to the finish line. I was going to win, just a few more seconds. I passed it and…SECOND?! What the fuck?! I thought I was in first!

I threw my controller down on the ground and glared over at Howie. “How the fuck did you beat me?!”

“I got a star,” he said with an evil grin.

“I didn’t even see you pass me!”

“I know,” he laughed. “I went off to the side.”

Because the fucking star lets you go faster off-road.

“Again?” he asked, winking at me. God damn Howie and his God damn stupid winking.

“Damn right again,” I said, picking up my discarded controller. “We’re playing until I win.”

Kevin laughed. “Then I guess we’re never going back to the states.”

I glared at him as the stupid music played in the background.

So much for Nick time.


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