I fell in love with this little yellow man when I was quite young. He zigzagged and chomped his way into my heart rather quickly, and though I didn't know it at the time, he was my gateway drug into a clandestine world of obsession and obscenely high blood pressure for a kid. And when he got a girlfriend with a little bow on her head, I won't pretend that I wasn't the slightest bit jealous.
I'm referring to the wonderful world of "Pac-Man," in case you haven't caught on to my subtle references by now. In fact, the wonderful little guy is celebrating his 30th birthday this year. I say that's cause for celebration - if nothing else than for the simple fact that he turns 30 before I do. That's reason enough for me to raise a glass of apple juice.
But, really, this seemingly innocuous birthday to those not wearing their video-game goggles is quite the milestone.
Why? Because it was the start of something new. A glimpse into the wave of the future.
Without "Pac-Man," I wouldn't have had the video game-centric childhood that I did.
I wouldn't have spent thousands of hours mesmerized and determined to fling a tiny little paper into a mailbox as I recovered from my latest surgery; you'd be surprised at how much more effective "Paperboy" is for pain as opposed to morphine.