Author’s Note: To fully appreciate this story you must understand all of the important details and key players. People’s names and the locations in this story have been changed to protect the innocent. Also, I’m relying upon my memory of events from nearly 20 years ago, so God help us all. Enjoy.
This is the conclusion to my last article, Sluggo Killed The Atari Jaguar. You must read the previous article to understand what’s going on with this story, so click here to get caught up.
Rodney had announced he was moving out, so it was time to find another roommate. Frank was still staying at his girlfriend’s apartment, and Sluggo was still Sluggo. I feared that our next roommate would be Sluggo’s right hand man with the totally bizarre ‘NO MEANS NO’ t-shirt, Cornelius Van Brocklin, but one day Frank made a rare appearance at the apartment and informed me that Sebastian Daniels wanted to be our roommate. There was joy in Mudville.
Sebastian knew about the Sluggo situation at our apartment because he was a regular visitor, plus he was a computer science major who took classes with Rodney, Sluggo, and Frank. While Rodney was one big teddy bear of a person, Sebastian was something of a tornado of sarcasm and saltiness. Rodney’s ‘dude’ was replaced by Sebastian’s ‘f—‘. I always found Sebastian’s bark to be worse than his bite, plus we shared the same love of Star Wars, rock music, comic books, and video games. Rodney’s replacement was going to be just fine.
Sebastian was friends with Kurt Ashton, the guy that should have been our roommate instead of Sluggo. I’ll forgive you, Kurt, but I’ll never forget. Sebastian and Kurt wanted to go this new club in New Ravenwood called The Corridor that played industrial music on Thursday evenings. I had recently turned 21, so going out to a club served as a nice escape from Sluggo hell. Industrial music was not my thing at the time, but the crowd at The Corridor was very cool, and there was something cathartic about releasing all of my Sluggo aggression on the dance floor during a Ministry song. The Corridor is another treasure trove of TD-Dubs tales and maybe I will post them in a future article.
Sebastian and Kurt would stop by our apartment before going to The Corridor because we lived somewhat close to the club. We wouldn’t leave for The Corridor until 10:00 pm and there were evenings when Sebastian and Kurt would show up at 8:30 pm or 9:00 pm to hang out. We would play some video games on the Atari Jaguar or Kurt would check channel 23 to see if it was experiencing a brief moment of being unscrambled. Back in the day, our cable provider had an adult themed channel that was scrambled, so the only way to unscramble the channel was by subscribing for an added fee. What was odd about our cable provider was that the picture was scrambled but the audio was totally clear. Kurt was convinced that one day there would be glitch where channel 23 could be viewed by all without subscribing. It did happen for like half an hour one evening. We were shocked although it would never happen again.
There were a few evenings when Frank would be granted leave by his girlfriend so he could go to The Corridor with the gang. Frank’s girlfriend would call him before we would leave, and at the time, we had our stereo hooked up to the TV, so we’d switch to channel 23 and crank up the volume on the stereo while Frank was on the phone with his girlfriend. Frank desperately tried to find a way to stop the screaming and moaning from channel 23. Messing with Frank while he was on the phone became a running gag at the apartment. Frank’s on the phone? Blast channel 23! There was one time when Frank was on the phone with his mom and we cranked channel 23 during a moment when a lady in one of the adult themed shows requested something oh so naughty.
When Sebastian moved in circa 1995, we were still going to The Corridor on Thursday nights, plus he had hooked up his Sega Genesis so we could play video games before heading out to the club. Sluggo was impressed that we had a Sega, but Sebastian owned games that did not appeal to Sluggo. Sebastian had wrestling and sports games, so we found the video game kryptonite that kept Sluggo from hogging the TV for hours and hours.
This was a tough phase for Sluggo. Naomi, his girlfriend, broke up with him, and his best buddy Cornelius had started dating a gal named Rhonda. Cornelius was hanging out with Rhonda and was not coming to the apartment. Sluggo upgraded the computer he had in his room, and he decided to play some online RPGs, so that was the beginning of Sluggo’s hermit period. This hermit period put a temporary end to the mess created by Sluggo. However, he would take food and drink up to his room, which meant a majority of our glasses, plates, and silverware were in Sluggo’s room. His room had a funky smell so I would patiently wait for him to do his monthly drop off of stuff.
We lived near a Blockbuster Video, so Sebastian would always ask me to go with him to rent video games to play on the Sega for the weekend. The selection for Sega games was pretty cool and I recall one weekend when we picked up a FIFA soccer game, which might have been the 1995 release. One Saturday morning, Sebastian and I started a World Cup tournament that took six hours straight to complete. It seemed necessary at the time that Sebastian and I played the Nigeria vs Cameroon match instead of having the computer simulate some of the tournament matches to save time. Sluggo came down from his room to get his daily pile of macaroni and cheese and saw that we were totally fried from a day wasted playing FIFA. Sluggo was impressed with our dedication, but looking back in retrospect, we were guilty of being a couple of Sluggos.
That did not stop Sebastian from going with me to Blockbuster to rent more Sega games that were not Sluggo friendly. I don’t know what game I was playing on the Sega with Sebastian, but the topic of the PlayStation was brought up for some reason. The original PlayStation or PS1 was released as a 32-bit system in 1994, and we were interested in owning one because the PS1 and Sega did not have the same games available. There may have been some games on the PS1 that we wanted to play, so I decided to step up and purchase a PS1 for the apartment.
Do you watch Locked up Abroad on the National Geographic Channel? These are true tales of young, stupid people who smuggled drugs in and out of countries, are eventually caught, and are sent to some of the worst prisons on the planet. There seems to be this moment in every episode where the person or persons get overly cocky and try one last time to get that giant brick of hash out of Singapore without being caught. The moment where I started talking the PS1 with Sebastian was that cocky moment where we tried to get that last brick of hash out of Singapore past Sluggo the Airport Security Guard. We couldn’t get caught. We were invincible.
Not long after that conversation I told Sebastian we were heading to Best Buy to get a PS1 and he was totally stoked. We made our triumphant return to the apartment, and like a couple of morons, we told Sluggo we had just purchased a PS1. “Why yes, Airport Security Guard Sluggo, we each have a gigantic brick of hash stuck up or rear ends along with our heads. Please send us to your worst prison.”
Sluggo’s days of being a hermit were coming to an end. My Ps1 was a new reason for him to park himself in front of the TV for hours for his epic video game sessions. Unlike Rodney, the man who brought us ‘dude’ and the Atari Jaguar, I was willing to go head-to-head with Sluggo to hog the TV for video game time. It didn’t help matters that I purchased some first person shooter games like Resident Evil. However, I did purchase some baseball and football games and they were doing a decent job of keeping Sluggo away from the PS1. I remember one night I had just finished playing Madden on the PS1 with Sluggo and Cornelius watching my game. They were impressed with my playing skills. I was bored and thought it would be entertaining to watch two people with no interest in organized sports and football video games to go head to head at Madden. It was an epic battle between Sebastian and Cornelius. I think Cornelius pulled off a 3-0 victory.
Our Blockbuster had PS1 games to rent, and like a real genius, I’d rent first person shooter games. When my back was turned, Sluggo would take over the PS1. What was nice about renting games was that if it was one that caused Sluggo to hog the TV then I’d return the game when he was sleeping.
I experienced one heart stopping moment with the Ps1. Kurt showed up one Thursday night for our weekly trip to The Corridor. I decided to play a game on the PS1 while Sebastian and Kurt watched. I hit the power button and there was a very strange noise that came from the console. Sebastian said, “Great! Sluggo just fried your f—ing PS1.” After a deep breath, I hit the power button again and everything loaded properly. We avoided an Atari Jaguar situation.
Not only was Sluggo back in full force video game mode, but Cornelius and Naomi had returned. Cornelius brought Rhonda along with him on numerous unannounced visits to our apartment while the Sluggo and Naomi romance was salvaged. Naomi let the apartment know that everything was cool one Saturday morning. It was really early in the morning, and it must have sent Sebastian over the edge because he walked out of his room and yelled, “Jesus Christ!”
The return of Cornelius did not go over all that well with Sebastian. I knew that Sebastian was irritated with the presence of Cornelius, but I had no idea that they were adversaries. Cornelius would piss off Sebastian on a daily basis and Cornelius sent Sebastian over the edge when he went from a dual Physics and Dance major to a Computer Science and History major. As a History major, I saw Cornelius in a few classes wearing one of his two t-shirts. There were days when I would try and guess to see which shirt he was going to wear. Cornelius became something of a legend in some of my history classes. However, an academic rivalry within the Computer Science ranks was established.
The Sebastian vs Cornelius rivalry was silly. Just silly. Sebastian was really into fencing while Cornelius took beginner classes in karate, judo, tae kwon do, and lord knows what else. I think Sebastian was tired of Cornelius’ martial arts conversations, so Sebastian challenged Cornelius to some sparring contest where Sebastian would use his fencing techniques against Cornelius’ martial arts techniques. Sadly, that event didn’t get past the planning stages. I remember one day I purchased a Nerf football and brought it back to the apartment. Cornelius and Sebastian were at the apartment and they wanted me to go outside and have the two of them go one on one in some silly ass football drills. It was entertaining. Cornelius narrowly won the event, but Sebastian was in denial.
I remember one night I was playing video games and Sluggo walked in to the apartment all sweaty and exhausted. Physical exertion was not one of his strong points, so I asked him what had happened, and he informed me that he had signed up for fencing classes at Ohio Western University. Really? Sebastian was in those classes, so I asked Sluggo if he fenced against Sebastian. “Yeah”, he replied. “I totally beat him tonight.” Sluggo went upstairs to his room to get his twenty hours of sleep and I continued playing video games. Sebastian finally rolled in and had something of a fencing high going on. I looked over at him and said, “Sluggo told me he kicked your ass at fencing tonight. He said you sucked at fencing.” Sebastian lost his mind. Sebastian was super serious about fencing. Sebastian did not f— around when it came to fencing. He would practice in the apartment. The football drills against Cornelius and the fencing fail against Sluggo created a major rage storm. I thought Sebastian was going to explode, but he didn’t. Sebastian went directly to his room. A week later, I was parked in front of the TV playing video games. Sluggo walked in to the apartment again all hot an sweaty but he had a little bit of a hard time moving. He said he fenced against Sebastian that night and for some reason Sebastian was in a foul but aggressive mood. “That’s odd”, I replied.
Sebastian’s rage for Sluggo and Cornelius had been released via fencing, but he was very excited about a new video game console from Nintendo, which was the Nintendo 64. The dude was amped for this product. It was all he talked about for weeks. Sebastain really wanted a Nintendo 64 (N64), so we were going out to buy one. I was excited and wanted to go along for the ride. Sebastian was in a buying mood at 8pm on weeknight. This seemed more like a weekend project, but Sebastian was going to buy a N64 that night and nobody was going to stop him.
I went to my room to get my keys and wallet in case I ended up driving. Sebastian followed me to my room and said, “If I catch Sluggo and Cornelius on the Nintendo 64 then I will beat their f—ing asses.” Little did Sebastian know that Sluggo was in his room which was nearby and heard everything. Over Sebastian’s shoulder I could see Sluggo and he had this look on his face that was truly priceless. I wish I could explain the look, but I had to walk by Sebastian and out of the apartment, so I could laugh hysterically in the parking lot. You had to be there to see the look on Sluggo’s face, but I had not laughed that hard since my friend Willie wanted me to check his hair because he was trying to win an afro growing contest. Willie had really short hair and used some sort of Jheri curl activator to get the party started. I was able to pull it together from a few minutes of complete laughter.
Sebastian decided to drive, and his car was a total piece of junk Chevy Astro that was moments away from completely falling apart. Sebastian drove like a madman to a local department store. They were sold out. We went to Best Buy. Sold out. We went to Target. Sold out. We went to the mall. Sold out. It was Sluggo fencing and football with Cornelius mixed together. Sebastian was on the brink of exploding, so he decided to bite the bullet and drove to Wal-Mart. We walked in and found the electronics department. A lady who worked there was standing by the counter and Sebastian asked if they had any more N64’s in the store. Electronics was not her forte. She looked puzzled and wanted us to talk to Curtis. Who the f— is Curtis?! Apparently Curtis was the lone person in the electronics department that knew anything about the N64. I didn’t have time for Curtis, Sebastian was five seconds away from meltdown, so I decided to walk around the store. Sebastian was about to lose his mind because he wanted his N64. As I wondered around the store I found a box for the N64. I picked it up and held it over my head yelling “YES!”. Something was wrong. The box was light. Really light. “I think that’s just a display box”, said the Wal-Mart lady. Curtis finally arrived and told us they were out of N64’s. Rage continued to fill the body of Sebastian and I think he set a Sebastian world record for dropping f bombs that night.
It took a few days of searching, but Sebastian found his N64. He hooked it up and everyone was impressed. Cornelius even stopped by with Rhonda to witness the super awesome graphics in person. Sebastian started to build his collection of N64 games, and in the sad tradition of our video game obsessed apartment, he purchased Sluggo friendly games. The first was Shadows of the Empire, a Star Wars third person shooter game while the second was Super Mario 64, followed by the first person shooter Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. A new battle emerged in the apartment where Sebastian and Sluggo would see who could spend more time on the N64. Sebastian would go to great lengths to be the first in the apartment to beat the video games which was Sluggo’s thing, but Sebastian put in hours upon Sluggo hours to defeat Shadows of the Empire and Turok. Sluggo finished Super Mario 64 first if I remember correctly.
PS1 was put aside and the N64 ruled the apartment. Sebastian splurged and purchased four controllers so we could all enjoy multilayer games like Mario Kart. Sebastian and Cornelius loved going head-to-head at Mario Kart which in my opinion was one of the best games for the N64. Mario Kart gave everybody the chance to earn video bragging rights and we played the game to death. Fortunately the N64 did not get fried Atari Jaguar style.
The N64 kept the apartment entertained until the summer of ’97 when the band broke up. We had graduated and everyone was moving on in life. I was in graduate school, Sebastian had earned a cool job after graduation, and Sluggo decided to get his own place. Frank broke up with the one girlfriend and quickly rebounded with another.
I decided to move back home for a year or two to save up some money to get my own apartment. Sebastian moved into his own place and I’d go over there every Friday or Saturday to hang out. He’d fire up the N64 and we’d talk about the good ol’ days of the apartment. Some really cool games were released during the late 90’s like Goldeneye and WCW vs nWo: World Tour. We had many late nights playing Goldeneye, but we had hours upon hours of fun of playing the 40 man battle royal on WCW vs nWo. It might have been four years later when I purchased a used N64 at a store. I had moved to Michigan and started dating the wonderful gal that would become my wife. She thought the N64 was cool and we’d spend hours playing Mario Kart . God bless you, N64 for many good memories. I don’t think another console could even come close.
Don’t worry, kids. This is not the last story about Sluggo, Sebastian, Rodney, Frank, and Cornelius. You’ve just viewed the tip of that iceberg. Stop back to the THN site next week for another edition of Tales of the TD-Dubs. In the meantime, make some macaroni and think of Sluggo.
TonyDoug Wright (aka The T-D-Dubs) is the owner and head writer at Champion City Comics, a webcomics community. He is also a proud father of two amazing kids and is married to the coolest and most beautiful girl on the planet.