Remember that game? I never played it the first time around, in an arcade. I was introduced to it as an adult when a colleague forwarded around the link to an online version of it.
For those of you who actually worked during your work days, there's a grid of holes, from which moles pop up. Your cursor is shaped like a mallet and you get points for whacking the moles as they poke up from their holes.
The whacking is very gratifying.
SK talked about this in the context of having an anti-romantic valentine's day party - she was brainstorming non romantic activities which we could pair with drinking: bowling, bingo, slasher movies, and of course, whack-a-mole.
Now, I've played a lot of whack-a-mole in my day. And I find it to be a great metaphor for life in general.
At first, the whacking is easy. The moles pop up and you feel as though your reflexes are lightning fast and you don't miss a single mole. You can cover that entire grid of mole holes with finesse and accuracy.
But then it speeds up, and you start missing a few. But you don't get discouraged. Instead, you lean forward in your seat, take a tighter grip of the mouse, and reassert your whacking mastery.
But then it speeds up even more, and suddenly you find yourself completely lost while moles pop up faster than you can possibly keep up. You still try for comprehensive coverage, but you're not even aiming anymore - just wildly jerking that mouse around and whacking indiscriminately, hoping you'll get lucky and actually hit a few.
And then, there's the final stage. You give up trying to win the game. You give up trying to get as many points as you can. You change your strategy and simply position yourself over one hole, ignore the rest, and just whack the shit out of whatever pops out of it.
It's admitting defeat, in a way. But hey, at least you're still in the game.
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