Having three boys, I was required by federal regulations to acquire a Nintendo* game to develop their fine motor skills before they could attend kindergarten. So we started with one of the original Nintendo* games that came with Mario and Duck Hunt, moved onto the Super Nintendo* a few years later, and purchased a Nintendo* 64 a couple of years ago. We have so far been able to resist the campaign to buy a Nintendo* Game Cube.

Anyway, one of the games the kids have been playing is Tony Hawk’s Pro-Skater 2. Having grown up in a video game world where we blasted marauding space aliens from Mars, I cannot fathom how a video game can be structured around a skateboarder. But they have managed to create an elaborate world where Mr. Hawk performs gravity defying tricks in numerous settings picking up cash and saving the world from a nuclear meltdown. Or something.

I wish I had a career that was amenable to video gaming. Let’s see, I’ve been a statistician (I could save the world from marauding average-sized aliens), a facilitator (I could broker a meeting between the U.N. and marauding average-sized aliens), an instructor (I could teach marauding average-size aliens how to better maraud), a consultant (I could charge an exorbitant marauding fee before the aliens devastate our planet), and a humor writer (I could defeat them with my rapier wit). You will note in this progression of careers how each subsequent activity adds less and less value to society.

So, to make up for this, I have decided, for the betterment of society, to compile a list of video skate boarding terminology for all you parents out there so that you may carry on a semi-intelligent conversation with you children at the supper table.

  • Grinding What you do with your teeth after you have listened to the heavy metal death rock playing in the background of the game.

  • Ollie. When the game pronounces, “Well Stanley, this is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into,” when you lose a man.

  • Nose grab. The first of a two-part maneuver involving your player’s nose.

  • Nose pick. A trick requiring remarkable dexterity as your player probes his nostrum during a “tail grab.”

  • Tail grab. A trick requiring you to plant your hand firmly on your buttocks with one finger inserted in your nose.

  • Nose stall. The failure to extract your finger before your tail grab release.

  • Disaster. What happens when the nose and tail grab is unsuccessful.

  • One foot invert. The medical condition of your foot after a disaster.

  • Japan air. The objective here is to touch the tail wing of a passing Japanese airliner carrying a full load of Nintendo* games to your town during a particularly high jump.

  • Benihana. Beats the heck out of me.

  • Roast beef. Your player’s sandwich lunch.

  • Eggplant. Your player’s preferred garnish with his roast beef sandwich (hey, there’s no accounting for taste).

  • Stale fish. Your player’s dinner (these games can go on forever).

  • Varial. Beats the heck out of me.

  • Back side flip. What the parent does when the game finally ends.
So there you have it, a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the ins and outs and ups and downs of the incomprehensible world of skate boarding. Feel free to use these terms with confidence with your children. They needn’t bother to thank me.

(* Nintendo is a genuine authentic certified registered trademark of the global megalithic Nintendo Corporation Limited.)

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