I Lived It: Playing Mario Kart as a Child Prepared Me For the Hells of Driving In the City of Chicago

If you’re anything like me, you spent countless hours of your youth sitting in front of a 24 inch TV, playing Nintendo 64’s Mario Kart. Your mom told you that you should go play kickball with your weird neighbors and your dad told you that video games would rot your brain. Guess what? Your parents were liars. Every second that you spent playing Mario Kart, you were learning fundamental driving lessons that would one day become desperately relevant.

Avoid Those Bananas

Ah, the dreaded banana. Those slippery, yellow nuisances littered the road, sending drivers into a tailspin. They could ruin your lead.

Now they are called potholes and they are fucking everywhere. Avoid them at all costs. Swerve, baby, swerve.

Everyone Else is Donkey Kong

Everyone knows that Donkey Kong is the biggest asshole in all of Mario Kart. He is big and heavy and aggressive and he will wreck you.

Now you have CTA and Pace buses, who give absolutely zero fucks and will merge into your car. They are bigger than you and they know it. Also, SUV’s and Minivans are like Donkey Kong too. And lots of other cars. Basically, everyone but you is asshole Donkey Kong and you are sweet, sweet, cheerful, beautiful, innocent, virginal, toad. Side note: sometimes you are also Donkey Kong and on those days, people should not fuck with you.

Boo Will Steal Your Shit

Remember when you finally got your hands on a really cool item, only to have another player use Boo to steal it from you? Sucks.

Now that you’re an adult living in Chicago, that stolen item will be your car battery. Looks like you’re taking a Lyft to the auto parts store. Good thing Mario Kart prepared you for the pang of disappointment and anger you’ll feel about being victimized.

Squid Ink on Your Windshield is NBD

If you played the later versions of Mario Kart, you know that other players can “squid ink” you, creating blind spots on your windshield.

Sure it was annoying, but it was great practice for the next time you do a real half-ass job cleaning the snow and ice off your windshield before driving your hour-long morning commute to work. Hopefully that vision-obscuring ice melts before you get on 55, but if not, you got this!

Lightning Makes Everyone Miserable

Excluding the lucky person who received it, lightning screwed everyone. First place or last place, everyone else in the race suffered equally. Players shrank and slowed to a crawl.

Welcome to Lake Shore Drive rush hour traffic, where it doesn’t matter how much that guy paid for his Tesla, he’s stuck in bumper to bumper traffic just like everyone else! Better hope the Cubs aren’t playing today. Important note: the only people not affected by traffic are weaving motorcyclists. And just like lightning-strikers, all the other drivers hate them.

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