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Issue 02
March 2003

Helping America procrastinate since 1636

January 28, 2021

Saddam Hussein Remarkably Bad at Video Games, Evidently

By Masahiro Rabinowitz
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - Like all reasonable military despots and dictators throughout history, even Saddam Hussein needs an occasional break. In between gassing the Kurds and testing out deadly chemical weapons on his own people, Saddam always makes sure to find time to relax...time to, well, just be Saddam. As we discovered recently, unlike other tyrannical leaders, Saddam doesn't use his "me breaks" to frolic with his harems or smoke opium for 36 hours in a row. In fact, he does something altogether more intriguing. Saddam spends all his down time playing old school video games.

"People don't realize how busy a guy he is", says longtime aide and Mike Tyson's Punch-Out aficionado, Amir Mubarak, "I mean, seriously, he's working 80-90 hour weeks here. Being a merciless dictator takes its toll, and there's just something remarkably healing and cathartic about a good several hours of Super Mario Brothers."

Added Mubarak, "But I have to tell you, its sometimes really awkward watching him play. He's just really an extremely shitty player at every single game he ever tries. From Ice Hockey to Super Contra, this man plays like a blind kid with no fingertips. I don't think he's ever even made it past the first level of Super Mario Brothers, let alone even gotten close to beating Von Kaiser. I know it's a good release for him, but I cry sometimes, man. It's just so fucking pathetic."

When asked why he sticks with the somewhat outdated Nintendo and Super NES systems, as opposed to modern game systems such as the Microsoft X-Box or the Sony Play Station 2, Saddam had this to say. "All those new 3D hologram video games, they mess with my head, man. All I do is get confused and then take some Advil. But the classic Nintendo, with like 12 pixels on the entire screen...that shit I can hang with."

"Bullshit." Chuckled Mubarak, discretely under his breath, lest he be sent quickly to the firing squad.

But even Saddam had to admit that some of the older games were a bit crazy. "I mean think about it. In Super Mario Brothers, you get coins by jumping up and repeatedly hitting your head on a floating cube with a question mark on it. What the fuck is that shit? I mean I've thought it might be a metaphor for the pointlessness and cruel nature of capitalism, but seriously, those programmers must have been hitting up some of the strong shit."

With war looming, Mubarak explains that Saddam has been turning even more and more to Nintendo for solace and comfort. "I mean, I understand." Bush is going to bomb the shit out of us any day now, half a million Iraqi civilians will die, and Saddam's chances aren't looking so good, if you know what I mean. If I was in that position, sure I'd pour every ounce of my soul into finally getting that 5th Heart Container in The Legend of Zelda. I mean, what would you do?"

It's just not fair man", continued Saddam. "That Bush guy is such a fucking asshole, trying to oust me out of power just so he can seem like he's doing something to stop the war on terrorism, trying to fool Americans in to accidentally electing him again. He really hates me, you know. And sure, I hate his guts too, but you don't see me threatening to invade America so I can steal all their oil....Oh I forgot, they don't have any oil, the fucking retards. Yeah and hydrogen powered cars are really going to work, guys. Have fun developing the technological infrastructure for that one. Jesus, I hate that guy."

On the subject of hate, we naturally had to ask Saddam to confirm the rumor that there were indeed other people he actually hated more than president Bush. "Yes there are.", said the Iraqi Commander-In-Chief without hesitation. "Two of them in fact. It's those goddamned bastards Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Sure I despise Bush. After all, he is trying to kill me and take away my dictator job, but with those fucking South Park commies, it's on a whole 'nother level. Yeah boys, that South Park movie was really clever, you pathetic fuckwit hacks. And even the animation sucks balls, with these shithouse cardboard kids moving with 4 frames a second. Fucking amateurs."

That shit they did in the film was really low, man, questioning his sexuality and whatnot." Admitted Mubarak. "The devil don't deserve that shit." Added the aide to me in hushed tones with a wink.

Obviously, we asked Saddam what he would do if he ever saw the successful comedians. "I'd kick their ass in Street Fighter 2 is what I'd do. I use Guile, and I'd be hitting them with so may "Sonic Booms" and backflip lightening kicks that they'd never know what fucking hit 'em. Then I'd turn to Dhalsim and burn the smug looks off their faces with "Yoga Fire". Of course, after that, I'd just send them off to my firing squad and sip some French Vanilla Coffee while they shit in their pants, waiting to die. Or if I'm in the mood, I might just have to chop their smartass heads off with the broadsword I got as a Christmas gift from Ronald Reagan before the U.S started hating me."

In fact, it's the same thing I'd do to that coward Bush, if I had the chance. In fact, Mr. Bush, I say forget this war shit, admit that this is personal, and resolve this like a man. Mr. President, I hereby challenge you to a contest of strength, skill, and the ability to press buttons really fast. I dare you to get in the ring with me for an old school Street Fighter 2 battle, the winner of which will get hegemony over the Iraqi oil fields and governorship over the starved population of a poor and oppressed Middle Eastern nation. Best 2 out of 3."

"I don't know if that's such a good idea, Saddam." Chimed in Mubarak, this time at noticeably audible levels. "I know you don't want to hear this, but I think we should probably just take our chances with that whole war thing....And besides, Street Fighter 2 is only on Super're holding the regular Nintendo Entertainment System. "

"Oh, you're right." Added Saddam, dejectedly.

"Anyway, I'm sorry man" said Mubarak, putting a comforting hand on the dictator's shoulder.

"Listen, don't feel bad. What you need now is something to help you relax, something to take your mind off all of this political shite."

"Metroid?" asked Saddam sheepishly, visibly perking up and blushing noticeably.

And with that Saddam bolted happily down the corridor, moving faster than American news footage would have suggested possible, shooting a plethora of fake laser beams out of his newly added, super plasma blast arm cannon, and occasionally rolling into a ball to avoid imaginary enemies and to traverse secret passageways through the caverns of Planet Zebes that would otherwise have been entirely inaccessible.

Distant cries of "Mother Brain's going down!" could be heard echoing triumphantly through the streets of Bagdhad, until the early hours of the following morning.  HSP 





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