Diary of a mad iPadMarch 18, 2011: 5:00 AM ET
I can give up Angry Birds whenever I like. I just haven't found a good reason to.
"You've got to stop playing that game," said my wife.
"Bah," I said.
"I think you're turning into an Angry Bird," she said.
"Bwee!" I replied. I kicked the dog and headed to the office.
I suppose there are some idiots out there who don't know about Angry Birds. As far as I'm concerned, it's the only reason to have an iPad. The story is pretty simple: There's a bunch of birds of various sizes, colors, and powers. Some grotesque piglike creatures have stolen their eggs. We don't know why. The theft, however, has quite naturally made the birds very angry. The pigs are green and come in various sizes too. They grunt a lot and wear an assortment of helmets and hats that protect their heads. Each bird mounts a little platform and then is launched by the player into the air. It must then swoop down and kill as many pigs as possible. The pigs are clever, though. They have hidden themselves away in a variety of architectural structures that must be destroyed. When the buildings fall, pigs explode. The birds cheer, and you move on to the next level. But if one pig remains standing, you lose. Which is most of the time. Which is why the birds are almost always angry.
Last weekend I didn't have much to do. So I sat on the couch all day Saturday and Sunday and killed pigs. It was great. Right now, I'm ranked 111,354th on the all-time list of millions of morons just like me. But I'm not addicted. I just like it. It relaxes me. The idea that the game has somehow had an impact on me in some psychological way makes me want to smash somebody in the face.
Anyway, it was a day like many others. I vaulted through the door like a little fat red sparrow with a cowlick and a mean expression. I'm always that way when I haven't had my coffee. The thing is, I don't have any superpowers in my human form, so there's not much I can do but shriek and bump into things. I'm much more effective in other iterations.
Take my 10 o'clock meeting with Bollinger, a big round green guy who works in finance. I needed to get some numbers out of him, which is like pulling hen's teeth, so I turned bright yellow, went into hyperdrive, and hit him in the gut at about 100 miles an hour. It was great. Pow! After he stopped regurgitating data, he went up in a tiny puff of smoke and presumably returned to his stinking grotto on the third floor. I felt pretty tired myself, so I deflated, lay on the floor of my office, and vaporized.
Lunch was pretty much the everyday bag of seeds, but after that things went nuts. There was the stuff going down in L.A., a bunch of junk for an investor's meeting, and a personnel issue that required immediate attention. So I broke into three tiny blue dudes and micromanaged each issue until it sort of went away. Or so I thought.
The West Coast stuff didn't work out too well, which was frustrating. I had to just roll away from it and lie there muttering while it loomed over me, snorting and sneering. That's when I got mad. I morphed into my insane toucan persona, launching myself high into the sky. Then, at precisely the right moment, I took a hard left turn and hit that mother from above with all I had! Bam! Zot! Kapowie! When the dust cleared, I had won! After that there were only a few little boogers around to take care of before quitting time. I circled for a while like a gigantic, obese penguin, dropping white bombs on anybody who ventured within my sphere.
But then I noticed that huge, greasy, pustulant personnel issue looming over me. I hadn't conquered it at all. It had merely lost its sombrero and nestled between a couple of loose boards on the other side of my in-box. This made me so damn angry that I turned black, then red, and exploded all over the place.
Then I went home, turned into a slow-moving and immensely heavy red ball, and went to sleep. I need my rest, you know. Tomorrow is another level.