When I was a kid, more than anything, I wanted a Nintendo 64. My best friend, Gary, had one, and as much fun as I had going over his house to play it every afternoon and on the weekends and holidays and those days he and his family were out of town, what I really wanted was one of my very own.
For a long time, my parents wouldn’t relent. They said I should be playing outside more, like my friend Gary when he joined the school’s soccer team, while I spent his practices in his room playing his Nintendo 64.
For holidays and birthdays, they would give me thoughtful, but boring, gifts, like frisbees or bicycles or swimming pools. And then, one very special St. Grublin’s Day, my parents gave me a brand new game system.
They explained to me that the store was all sold out of N64s, but they did find something even better. Tucked away in the back of the store was one Super Lemona.
I had never heard of the Super Lemona before, or the company’s earlier system, the Lemona Prime, or even their handheld device, the Lemona Boy.
At first, I was a little disappointed. I thought this was just like when the store ran out of baseballs and I ended up having to buy a “bassball.”
But then I gave the box a good look. It was brightly colored, although it wasn’t a shape I had ever seen before. And it was covered in ads for fun-looking games I had never heard of, like Jeff the Electrician and The Adventures of Georgie the Golden Marmoset and Morey Amsterdam Teaches Typing.
In the beginning, my friends didn’t want to come over and play, saying that my new games were “weird” and “hard to play” and “haunting.” But they had said all that stuff about my swing set and birthday party, so I kept at it, working them down.
Eventually, they had to come over, since all of their systems either mysteriously stopped working or would only give them cryptic messages about how much better the Super Lemona was.
We spent hours locked in my living room, playing fun games like the RPG, Helga’s Quest, or the kart racing game, Ring Lardner Racing!, or the space opera adventure, Galaxy Butts.
After a while, my friends stopped complaining that the controllers were difficult to hold or were an unusual temperature or that the buttons seemed to press as soon as my friends thought about them. They were beginning to appreciate the Super Lemona almost as much as I did.
I don’t know if I could choose a favorite game. I loved unlocking hidden levels in Georgie the Golden Marmoset 5 (especially the levels that I had already seen in my dreams) and competing against my friends in Big Ant Raceway (especially when all of my friends’ ants would mysteriously explode right before the finish line, and I would win), or solving all the puzzles in Spudtris (especially the ones that were extra spudly!).
I couldn’t imagine a better game system if I tried! It seemed like every day, there were new games coming out, and they all somehow ended up in my house, even though my parents always claimed they never bought them.
Eventually, I grew older and headed off to college. Since there wasn’t room in my forced quintuple dorm for a TV set, I left the old Super Lemona at home. When I returned, seven years later, I had forgotten all about it.
But just recently, I was digging through my parents’ attic. I remembered my brother saying he was going up there to take a nap when we were kids, and I was wondering whatever happened to him. Well, I’m glad I went up there. In addition to waking up my brother just in time for his appointment, I found a strange, glowing box up there.
And guess what was inside? Some old Nickelodeon magazines I was saving from when I was a kid. But behind that was the Super Lemona! I hadn’t seen it in decades. I can’t wait to take it downstairs and plug it in! As soon as I can find a TV set that supports its twelve or thirteen different ports, especially since it seems like it grew a few since I last played it.