You wouldn’t expect a cop to push crack, right? Well, my best friend’s a cop who pushes crack.
He called me the other night in a bloodthirsty lather1 and demanded that I download PUBG and install it AT ONCE, or sooner.
Complying with a lawful police order is one’s civic duty, yes? So I shelled out the thirty bucks for the game and soon he and I were roaming the war-torn island of Erangel engaging in a running battle with ninety-eight other postwar mercenaries, each of whom was an ACTUAL HUMAN on the other side of a server.
Ho my God…I’m hooked, man. Hasn’t yet gotten to the point where I’m pissing in tuna cans (my main source of energy for the last seventy-two hours, fish oil being good for the brain and all) to avoid getting up from the couch, but I’ve definitely been missing out on important events like restocking my grill with propane and ensuring the tchotchke is properly dusted and throwing out the empty liquor bottles.
So this being a blog about FIRE…at least I infer it’s a blog about FIRE because many of its articles say FIRE in the title, I’d like to present three reasons why having this
pipe controller in the center of my thoughts at all times is indeed consistent with the principles of, if not hard work, then at least frugality.
Article ye Firste: price-efficiency of entertainment.
Do the math on a week-long luxury cruise that costs you $1K all-in and you’ll find that you’re paying the cruise line $6 an hour to house, feed, and entertain you. Sounds a lot less pricey, yes?
So do the same calculation on an Xbox One ($200), the game ($30) and a year-long subscription to Xbox Gold ($50 after discount code.) Spend even 250 hours gaming in a single year and you’ve paid just over a buck an hour. And since my friend and I have played for 250 hours in the last three days, we’re smashing that rate.
Article ye Seconde: avoided cost of travel.
My friend lives an hour and a quarter’s drive from here; a hundred-mile round-trip. I could of course hop in the Prius and drive to his place, and I do, but even at forty-two miles a gallon at $2.50 we’re talking about a seven-buck trip plus the cost of operating the car. I of course don’t care about that, and I don’t worry about losing two-and-a-half hours of my life to the commute, but the travel would be much more an obstacle if, say, we lived four hours apart.
Article ye Thirde: How much is a friendship worth, anyway?
This, naturally, is the kicker. You know how it is: you hop around the country for a few years here and a few there, and you put time and effort into making a new circle of friends in each place, and when you move the odds are that those friendships eventually wither and die.
Having endured that sad dynamic for the best part of three decades, enough is enough. I refuse to lose this friendship. He’s a brother from another mother. Gaming together, then, has become the next best thing to being there.
And sometimes we meet up to play and end up not playing at all. To wit: in this post I joke about having a PUBG addiction, but his ex-wife’s sister is an honest-to-God meth-n-pill addict and he’s raising her two kids, who are seven and twelve. He has full custody, in fact, but she frequently files to regain it.2
Now…imagine being a judge reading her filing: here’s a woman who can’t pass a drug test and lives out of her car and refuses rehab and has a long arrest record and can’t even keep track of a cell phone, and she’s trying to wrest responsibility for two children from a decorated ex-Army platoon sergeant and highly-ranked and respected LEO…and so, yeah, my friend sometimes needs a trusted and sympathetic ear who’s not trying to play him for favors. And so do I.3
So there you have it. Hang out on the FIRE forums and you’ll hear many people saying that after retiring they intend to spend a lot of time gaming. I used to feel privately like this was silly and immature and slothful and a sorry way to waste one’s life…but I couldn’t’ve been more wrong, and so I apologize for anyone I’ve disrespected with my attitude. For being a judgmental asshole, but also for failing my longstanding belief that as long as you’re not hurting anybody, do what you like.
If any of you want to squad up, let me know at either firstname.lastname@example.org, in the comments section, and/or watch for SavageGulf on your Xbox. Pretty good chance that I’ll be there.
- Before we dive down the “How can you be friends with a cop? Every last one of them is a lying racist bully who lives in a constant bloodthirsty lather” rabbit hole, please know that he’s the calmest and fairest-minded guy you’ll ever meet.
- Because among other reasons she needs something in her life to help her feel like a good person. And she is at heart, it’s just that she’s made bad decisions and now this goddamn disease has gotten its talons into her.
- Not unexpectedly, there’s truth between us and he’s aware of my occasional weed consumption. He’s made it clear that he’s not going to bust me based on verbal conversation, but if I smoke/eat/possess in front of him I’ll be wearing cuffs just like anybody else would. I’m completely cool with that.