How Can You Give What You Don’t Have?

The guy clearly warned you not to take the brown acid.  Your mother told you to ease up on the sweet stuff.  Now you're having flashbacks and you're diabetic.  You have no one but yourself to blame, Mr. Blow.  (Image from play dot google dot com)
The guy clearly warned you not to take the brown acid. Your mother told you to ease up on the sweet stuff. Now you’re a diabetic and having flashbacks. You have no one but yourself to blame, Mr. Blow. (Image from play dot google dot com)

I admit that I spend too much time on this blog making fun of people on Facebook.  Obviously, I’m on FB myself, or I wouldn’t be privy to the treasure trove of idiocy which shows up magically every few minutes.  I might not feel feel like taking the time to maintain traditional relationships with most of the “friends” I have there, but I’m okay with spending the handful of minutes it takes to feel superior to many of them.

If there isn’t sufficient fodder for my cynicism in the main section of the page, my eyes wander to the upper right corner where some friend or acquaintance will have just “liked” someone else’s photo or status.  No matter what time it is or what day of the week, another one of my friends will post a status which is at once noble and yet indescribably trivial.  I refer of course, to the following Facebook status gem:

“Joe Blow gave Life in Candy Crush Saga.”

(For those of you who think I have an actual Facebook friend named Joe Blow, please return to almost any of my previous blog posts and consider that I might be making that name up.  For those of you who might actually be named Joe Blow, my apologies, but I’m pretty sure you’re used to being the brunt of jokes by this point in your lives – feel free to hate your parents for their lack of both creativity and foresight.)

We just celebrated Mother’s Day.  Memorials and salutations dominated the landscape of Facebook as old photos of mothers and grandmothers graced the digital pages.  People who despised their mothers when I knew them back in Mrs. Benedict’s Social Studies class now took great pains to try to make it up to them by posting dog-eared photos of dear old Mummsy.  They proclaimed their mothers were the best mothers ever.  Their own children may have even proclaimed them to be the best mothers ever, thus creating an umcomfortable tableau for the medals ceremony.  Contrary to everyone’s claims, my mother is actually the best.  No wait…I’m changing my vote to my wife, she’s the best…no, I mean my daughter…no…no, I’m going to stick with my wife as the world’s greatest mother of all time.  Irrespective of whose Mom is the best, they all have one thing in common: They gave life.

I ache to know if giving life in Candy Crush Saga is similar to doing so in a delivery room or in the backseat of a cab on the shoulder of the Cross Bronx Expressway.  As a man, I’m already relegated to the sidelines of the birthing process as it is.  Despite my desire to know, I can’t bring myself to actually go play CCS .  I live in fear of what people will think of me if my status says that I’ve given life in there.  My bosses will instantly know that I have entirely too much time on my hands.  My wife (Best mother – ever!) will realize that I did in fact have time to pick up dog dookie from the yard, but chose instead to dawdle on the computer.  My kids will know that at least I’m not looking at fetish porn.  The icing on my cake of shame will be that my friends from 7th grade will know that I’m every bit as pathetic as they are.

I know it’s just another addictive app on Facebook, taking its rightful place in the Pantheon of Time Wasters, among such legends as Farmville and Mafia Wars.  Though I’ve never played CCS,  I’m going to go out on a limb an guess that it has something to do with crushing candy.  I imagine there are different degrees of squashing sweets.  Certainly it’s one thing to step on a lint-covered Wint-O-Green Lifesaver, and entirely different to drop a freight car full of Necco Wafers off a bridge.

Regardless of what the game actually entails, I take exception with the app creator’s choice of names.  It takes balls to name any game a saga, let alone one which revolves around smashing Root Beer Barrels and Atomic Fireballs.  It may be fun, and you may waste years of your life playing it, but that doesn’t qualify it as a saga.

The word “saga” can apply to nearly any batch of books written by James Michener.  These thick-as-a-brick tomes often span multiple generations and pivotal eras in history.  They may also include some heavy mythical stuff, like “Beowulf”.  If a film is made, it should feature saga-friendly actors like Tom Selleck and Richard Chamberlain.  Sagas still in book form can be found holding up the one corner of the coffee table where the leg was broken off during your parents’ lone attempt at a get-away weekend back in your teenage years.  In a bizarre twist, that ill-fated get-away weekend was to celebrate Mothers Day.

Paralyzed by the fear of looking ridiculous and already over-booked in more meaningful free-time pursuits, I guess I’ll never know the joy and satisfaction of giving life in Candy Crush Saga.  True to most trends, CCS will eventually run its course and be replaced by some other time-sucking app with a goofy name.  In just a few short years, people’s status update will show the latest news:

“Joe Blow just gave flames to his candles and Iced Layer 147 on his Cake of Shame”