I AM MARIO: Based on a true story

A looming silhouette of Mario in the distance. A person in a red shirt salutes cheerfully, and a thought bubble with Mario's signature moustache is seen over their head.
ILLUSTRATION: Kelly Chia / The Peak

By: Max Lorette, Peak Contributor

I have loved Mario since I was young. It was infatuation at first sight when I got my first Nintendo DS and played Super Mario Bros. I ruthlessly threw bananas at any foes I encountered on the road in Mario Kart. There was something so enchanting about him, with his effortless Italian swagger, his denim overalls, and, of course, his glorious moustache. I was a-chanted!

Over the years, we’ve formed a truly special bond. When I find myself in  times of trouble, I have looked towards that beautiful plumber for comfort. He is so reassuring, and his perseverance lets me believe that I, too, can jump toward my goals. When all else goes wrong, I hear him in my mind, crying out “Mamma Mia!”

However, I fear that recently, my comfort character has become less of a comfort and more of an obsession.

It all started last week. I was ascending the stairs of Saywell Hall when I tripped and toppled forward. “WAAAOOOOOH—” I cried out in instinct, before realizing I sounded just like my idol. My cries echoed down the stairs, just like Mario’s voice echoing through the sewers in World 1–2 on Super Mario Bros.

The day after, I was downtown browsing the overpriced vintage shops. I pulled out a pair of denim overalls and a red shirt. Before I knew it, I had spent $150 in order to cop the mere essence of Mario’s style.

Once, I hated the taste of mushrooms. Now, I could eat them by the bucketful. They make me feel more powerful. Mushroom pizza? No. When you are Mario, you can have mushrooms any time!

I shudder to tell you the state of my driving as of late. Let’s just say none of my friends are willing to carpool with me, unless they willingly travel well above the speed limit — the speed of Rainbow Road. My brother fears me every time I pick up a banana peel, wondering if I’ll toss it in front of the car for a wild ride.

All this being said, I had not realized how far I had fallen until last night. It was a dark and stormy evening when my phone rang. “Hello?” The gruff voice on the other line had said, “I am looking to speak to—”

Before he had even finished his sentence, I had already begun to respond, “It’s-a-me! Mario!” It felt so wrong . . . but it felt so right! I . . . I had become Mario.

Who was I, a mere mortal, before the blue denim? This red cap, this beautiful and vivacious mustache? Only one way to find out: I must beat up a gigantic turtle.

How much farther can I fall? WAAAAOOOOOH!!!!