Saturday, January 8, 2011

Me and Wii (part three)

Now we're getting somewhere. I finally worked up a sweat with my machine. Who would have guessed that Hula Hooping was so aerobic? Or so maddening. Having PD really brings out the bumps and the grind of the old bump-and-grind. What looks so easy to do is mysteriously difficult for me. And seriously addictive. I went for 45 minutes, by the end of which I was panting and sweating.

Those 45 minutes were logged desperately attempting to keep the damn hoop from trickling out of momentum and spiraling down to my ankles, whereupon my avatar (the figure representing me onscreen) would look a mite sheepish and affect an unfazed attitude while a sign flashed "Failed... Failed... Failed". Ouch.

The Wii seems to have a split personality. The machine has several ways it tries to make nice. A recurring figure as you go through the various menus and activities is an animated version of the balance board that is obsequious and eager as a puppy, all quivers and goo-goo eyes. And as you struggle with activities helpful tips appear onscreen "The trick is to swing your hips in a neat, wide circle" Then out of nowhere, Dr. Jekyll morphs into Mr. Hyde. The machine turns around and brutally labels you a failure for not being able to magically keep an imaginary hoop of plastic out of the clutches of imaginary gravity. One expects to look down suddenly to find the obsequious imaginary balance board having an imaginary go at one's imaginary leg.

I'm beginning to feel a little like John Henry, the steel drivin' railroad man, competing with the steam drill with his human dignity on the line. How about it, Wii? Why not offer spike driving as an aerobic choice? Hammer's gonna be the death of me, Lord, Lord, Hammer's gonna be the death of me.

(Looking for part one? It's right here. And part two? That's here.)

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