across pictorial evidence of perhaps your life's greatest achievement--an achievement so
great, that in the ensuing months and years, you completely forgot about it.
I discovered a file today, entitled kickass.bmp and dated exactly two weeks before my
20th birthday, offering conclusive proof that, yes, at some point in my life: I was "a
kicker of ass" (in the metaphorical, and most important, sense).
What you are about to see is a moment, frozen in time, that many thought impossible. But I
alone dared to dream. And when everyone around me was saying "It can't be done", a brave
I know there's a lot to see here, but please focus your attention for the moment on the
completed game of Hearts in the center of the screenshot:
We all know what a picture is worth, so I'm not going to go into detail discussing the exact
nature of the profound achievement pictured here. If you know anything about the game of
Hearts, I don't have to explain the magnitude of what you are seeing or tell you how
difficult it is to achieve. If you don't know anything about the game of Hearts, I'm
still not going to explain it to you, but rest assured, you are looking at the aftermath of a
truly astonishing feat.
But there's more to this image than just the depiction of my, nay, man's greatest
First of all, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the terribly conspicuous web page doing its
thing in the background.
[Note: I typed in the URL today and, tragically, it's no longer valid.]
If you look carefully, you'll notice that I was checking out the Stuff Magazine website.
Look a little closer and you'll notice that I was spending some quality time in the "Babe
Gallery" checking out some photos of Alyssa Milano. I was doing this for purely
inspirational reasons. Sometimes, when I know I can't do something, I make up a little
reward for myself that I will only get if I complete my "mission." For example, when I was
determined to beat the original Super Mario Brothers game in under ten minutes, I told myself
that I would get a lifetime supply of Jambas if I was able to do it. Here, I told myself
that if I was able to win a game of Hearts in just four hands, Alyssa Milano would have sex
with me. It worked! And in this case, the sheer elation at accomplishing my goal
outweighed (barely) the severe disappointment I had in realizing that Alyssa Milano was not
actually going to have sex with me.
Secondly, if you look at the taskbar at the bottom of the screen, you'll see that the "Babe
Gallery" web page and the game of Hearts itself were the only applications running on the
computer when this screenshot was created. I think this is interesting--and being that I was
at work and using someone else's computer at the time makes it slightly more so.
Finally, even though the words, "Game Over -- You Win" may be the understatement of the
century, I find a certain comfort in their simplicity. In fact, I think I'd like God to say
that to me when my life reaches it's inevitable conclusion. That'd be kinda cool.
It's been a few years now since I made my mark on the world and it's enabled me to gain some
perspective on the situation. When people (and here I'm referring to myself) ask me if I
have any regrets, the answer is simple: only one. I regret not making up silly names for
the computer players. I cope with this regret by telling myself that looking at pictures of
half-naked chicks on someone else's work computer is one thing, but changing the names of the
players in their Microsoft Hearts Network? There are some things you just don't do.
People (again I am referring to myself) also ask if there was ever a time in my life when I
accomplished anything remotely comparable to the miraculous feat achieved in September '99.
Yes, there was.
One time I won 63 games in a row of FreeCell while taking a free tour of the "Mr. Skin"
website and burning my first CD, appropriately titled: DJ Pandola's Ass Kicking
Tracks Vol. 1.
But sadly, I don't have proof of that.