Buried Treasure

Originally Published: 3 August 2009

[The link at the end of this blog leads to an online version of the game]

This week, whilst out and about eating something nice, Carole tried to claim that while she was a non-gamer she actually started playing games before me.

“Pah!” said I.

But it’s true, she did (although I will argue that we both started at around the same age, she just had a couple of years head start). She started her gaming life with a little hand-held Donkey Kong Jr machine which was brought back from Singapore by an Uncle. She’ll quite often wax lyrical about the times she spent playing this game, and how she got the score all the way up to 999. She’ll tell stories of how she, basically, took it everywhere – stories backed up by the rest of her family who roll their eyes as they remember the hours and hours of beeping they had to endure while Carole jumped over crocodiles and dodged birds.

Carole no longer possesses the Donkey Kong Jr machine. Some say that the battery ran out and that, back in the ’80s it was probably cheaper to buy a new machine than a new battery. This, to be fair, is the equivalent of the “they’ve gone to live on a farm” story that is told to children when they, mysteriously, no longer have a dog.

My investigations have revealed that there is, however, a more disturbing side to Carole’s family. Apparently, when things became too addictive, the unaddicted members of the family would snatch the item – be it a beeping Donkey Kong game, or a played-to-death tape of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina – and bury it in the garden. That’s right, bury it in the garden. This means, had I lived there, that all of my consoles would have become worm food when I wasn’t looking.

Now, this harsh reality of family life has traumatised Carole a little. I occasionally find her scouring eBay for a Donkey Kong Jr machine and finding that the top bids are upwards of twenty pounds. Obviously, what I should do when I see this is swoop in and enter a bid myself in an attempt to acquire this legendary item for her and net myself a few woo-age points – the relationship version of Nectar points, they are earned and lost with every action you make but if you have enough can be cashed in for various prizes, such as being able to go a day without having a shave.

I, however, haven’t done that. Nor, for those of you who are wondering, have I been round to her parents’ house and dug up their garden looking for the original Donkey Kong Jr (to sell on eBay “with some soiling”). I haven’t even done this in the hopes that one of you lovely readers out there says “ooh, I have such a machine, I will let you have it”. I’ve done it purely and simply so I can finish this blog off with one suspiciously click-able looking word.