Yesterday was the birthday of my oldest friend in the world. That’s right, I don’t know anyone older. He was here when the sun sparked into life, and he greeted the dinosaurs as they hauled themselves out of the swamps and lay heaving on the sun-baked mud of the shores of the primordial sea. He welcomed the development of civilization with great enthusiasm, because with the advent of advanced and advancing culture, he knew, comic books and bad television shows wouldn’t be far behind.
He cried a single crystalline tear when Twinkies were invented, and inside the creamy sugar filling of every single spongy cake there was a little piece of his heart, because the first Twinkie factory was one of his horcruxes. (When he witnessed the demise of Hostess and everything it meant to the world, he felt the first shifting of the sands of mortality beneath his weird-smelling feet.)
When video games were invented, he knew he was witnessing a singular transformation in the brain development of human kind, but he wasn’t there to see it because he was too busy sucking at Duck Hunt and Mario Bros. Later he would go on to suck at Metroid, Contra, most fighting games, and a wide selection of first-person shooters, but he kept on playing on, because that is the kind of fortitude he possesses. Fortitude or laziness—only his biographers will be able to make that final call for us, the ones left behind when he finally expires of extreme age and various heart-related issues that can occur when you replace the blood that pumps through your veins with Twinkie insides and refuse to engage in physical activity because it is hard and your cartoons are on.
When his roommate is out of town, he builds blanket forts, and no matter where his roommate is he never wipes down the kitchen counters or sweeps the floors. He spends a lot of time “relaxing” because life is very difficult and I think we can all agree that relaxing is a strange but possibly legitimate full-time hobby to have, even when it drives every one around him slightly mad.
Rod will be remembered but not fondly for his sophisticated whining-based alarm system that made attackers not know if they wanted to punch him in the face or escape immediately, and I think that will be his legacy when he finally passes from this mortal plane as he is likely to do soon because of his advanced age and his inability to regulate the setting off of his personal alarm system that many major governments are considering adapting for their super-secret, incredibly deadly military programs.
So let’s raise a glass to Rod, our old and lumpy friend who tries very hard except not really, who is beloved to those who have a lot of patience, whose head is enormous and whose heart is too.
Happy birthday, dude. Don’t die in my basement.