“Not-so-Super Mario Bros.,” by Patrick Walczy

Oct 22nd, 2014 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Level 1 – Luigi helps Mario move a broken futon into his new studio apartment. The fridge whines and the walls are decorated with angry fist holes. The landlord plomps by and lets Mario know there’s a problem with his deposit check. It’s a chicken parm cutlet. Mario readies a fireball in his hand. “Not now,” Luigi whispers.

Level 2 – Mario and Luigi hit the streets looking for work, but all they hear is “no” and “you can’t pee there.” It’s late afternoon when they come across four mushroom-shaped Goombas. Instead of jumping on them like he always does, Mario picks them up and eats them. He trips for 17 hours and wakes up naked in a Pizza Hut parking lot. The glass is cracked on his cell phone, but he finds the number he needs. “Ciao?” asks Luigi. “Itsa me,” Mario says. “I need-a your help.”

Level 3 – Mario posts a craigslist ad for the futon. A bodybuilder named Sven comes to pick it up and becomes enraged when Mario wants 50 bucks, instead of the 40 they agreed upon in their email exchange. “I cut you up like you a muscle pizza,” Mario says, brandishing a plastic fork. Sven picks Mario up and tosses him across the room. “Wheeeeee,” Mario squeals until he crashes headfirst into the radiator. Sven spits on him, calls him a stupid shit and leaves with Mario’s only piece of furniture.

Level 4 – It’s Friday so Mario and Luigi each stuff a six-pack of Schlitz down their puffy pants at the bodega and leave without paying. Back at Mario’s apartment, they reminisce about all the coke-fueled castle orgies of days past. They get pretty buzzed and order Chinese food. When Luigi pulls open the door to the deliveryman, he realizes with a sinking feeling that he has no money, they have no money. Mario pushes him aside and offers the deliveryman fellatio, whispering that he’ll put his mustache “anywhere you want-a.” The deliveryman screams and runs away with their food. “What we have for dinner now?” Luigi asks. Mario opens a J.Crew catalog, rips a page and crumbles it into his mouth.

Level 5 – After finishing off a bottle of Thunderbird, Mario posts a profile on Match.com. In the span of 11 days, only one woman shows interest. He plans a date. When he arrives at the restaurant, he finds that “Karen” is really a 600-pound cab driver named Gary. “You no look like you profile picture,” Mario says. “Neither do you,” Gary says, holding a picture of a young David Hasselhoff leaning on the hood of the Knight Rider. Mario hangs his head and blows a deep sigh up into his mustache. He is disappointed, so is Gary. But they have sex anyway.

Level 6 – Luigi holds a Glock. Even with white gloves on, he feels the coolness of the handle, the weight of the thing, like nothing he’s ever held before. They were in the go-cart earlier that day, casing the joint, and he wanted to ask his brother a question. But the words wouldn’t come. Now with the tenants of the trailer down on their knees and crying (an elderly woman prays in Spanish) he finds the courage and asks, in a shaking voice: “What-a happened to us? We used to run-a so fast, and jump-a so high, collecting da little coins and…” He can’t go on. Mario removes his ski mask, lowers the pump-action shotgun and walks over to his brother. Mario squeezes his brother’s mouth, “Shut up-a you stupid face and help me rob this meth-a den!”

Level 7 – Mario is blindfolded being led by Luigi. They enter a room. Luigi removes the blindfold and Mario sees old friends, old lovers. There’s Princess chain-smoking in the corner and there’s Yoshi drinking coffee and working over a glazed donut with his stupid tongue. “Wait a minute,” Mario says, “this-a no whorehouse. You make a lie to me!” Luigi puts a hand on his brother’s emaciated shoulder. “Itsa intervention-a,” he says. Mario shrugs the hand off and is about to bolt for the door when he sees Bowser, wearing tortoise-shell glasses and a sweater vest. “Brother,” Bowser says, “you’ve gone too far down that green pipe.” Mario falls to his knees and weeps.

Game Over, Mario thinks, but that’s when they all circle around him and start whistling his theme song.
Patrick Walczy is a writer living in Washington, DC. When Bell Biv DeVoe sang, “Can’t trust a big butt and a smile, that girl is poison,” they were talking about him. Stories and humor can be found in Hobart, Splitsider, The Bygone Bureau, and other places. He tweets over yonder: @PatrickWalczy.

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