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If only they were this cute in person...when drunk.
The Gauntlet

A match made in heaven

Video games without alcohol is like sex with a condom

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I am the best white Mortal Kombat player in the world. This may sound racist, but it is not. I have a winning record against every Caucasian I have ever faced. Most of them I've beaten to a pulp. I am unstoppable. I know fatalities. Through most of this, I am drunk.

Drinking and video games go hand in hand, it's a combination that can't fail. You just need two individuals with competitive streaks, the right game and the right amount of booze. It's like Ronaldo and Rivaldo, you score every time.

Drinking and video games is a great way to spend a night. It's cheaper than the bar, and the competition is much safer. To prove this point, here are a collection of anecdotes from the epic Kris Kotarski versus Lawrence Bailey saga. As far as video game battles go, this is Bird against Magic, Luke against Vader, 2Pac against Biggie.

Don't believe me? Crack a can of Pil, and let the games begin.

FIFA 2001:

It's 5 a.m. Lawrence is dancing around a cluttered pool table in his basement wearing pajama bottoms and a tattered old T-shirt. He has a wild look in his eyes and my head is buried in my hands. I hit the ground with my palm a couple of times. The score on the screen reads Israel 1 : Netherlands 0.

I am out of the World Cup of Soccer.

I don't know how the bastard did it. I must have hit the post six times and he played with nine men for the last quarter of the match.

Apparently, the one-nil victory gives him the right to jump around the basement calling me a "fool." The fact that I knocked his team out a half-an-hour before means nothing. The copious amounts of gin and tonic we each consumed shortened his memory.

FIFA 2002:

It's nearly a year later and we're back in Lawrence's basement playing the new version of FIFA. We've had a few, and I'm still hearing crap about the Israel game. What do I do? I take my aggression out on Lawrence and his little brother Luke. I'm unstoppable. I'm beating Luke something like 6:0 when I start trash talking.

Me: "You couldn't score if you had Pele on your team."

Luke: "Who's Pele?"

The room pauses. Lawrence looks at me, and then turns to Luke with a curious expression in his eyes.

Me (seriously unsettled): "What?!?"

Lawrence (equally stunned): "The greatest soccer player who ever lived?!?"

Luke (calmly): "Oh, that Pele."

We told him to leave the room.

Knockout Kings 2001:

FIFA 2002 has been rented out ever since the World Cup. I am no match for Lawrence at NHL 2002, since he owns the game (though I did beat him for the Stanley Cup one time in fantasy mode with a roster composed of 90 per cent European players). The obvious backup? Boxing. You can even set it on auto and bet on the outcome when you're too drunk to play. With that in mind, we rent Knockout Kings 2001.

We begin our night with "Sugar" Ray Robinson (me) versus "Sugar" Ray Leonard (Lawrence). Not knowing how to play, we jab at the joysticks and our thumbs start to hurt. I get to Leonard in the fourth round with a cut over the right eye. By round seven, Leonard is on the canvas and Lawrence can barely hold the controller.

Knockout. Booya.

For the rematch, I choose David "Tuaman" Tua against Lawrence's Evander Holyfield. Halfway into round one, I realize I overestimated my abilities. I stop trash talking. My funny hair seems to distract him, but I have no chin. By round five, I've seen the canvas five times. Tua sucks.

We let Lawrence's brothers play a little, and Judge Mills Lane makes his first appearance sometime around midnight. We're pretty drunk now, and we decide to make Allen Iverson into a boxer. We give up after a couple of minutes and make 2pac instead. His game-generated nickname is "homeboy."

At this point, my notes for the night become vague. We watch the Best of Mike Myers Saturday Night Live special and the 12 pack promptly vanishes. The backup gin comes out and I start taking notes on Becoming J-Lo and Ja Rule. Don't ask.

From that point on, these are my notes:

Melissa is not becoming Jennifer Lopez.

However, that guy is Ja Rule.

He doesn't need to become him, he is him.

The rest of Melissa's body fits her ass.

That means she's fat.

Straight thuggin'.

Esperanto appears.

Back to 2pac. Fighting another stiff.

Punching in the balls wins in sparring.

De La Hoya is soft.

5 a.m., final match: Ali vs. Ali.

I win in 12. Muthafucka!!!

Drinking and video games. Need I say more?

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