I’ve had the theme to Super Mario Bros stuck in my head since… oh, I don’t know, 1987? I have so many fond memories of a character that is to video games what Mickey Mouse is to cartoons.
I was the only kid whose Nintendo DIDN’T EVEN COME WITH THE GAME. To rectify this most grievous of sins, my dad bought Golf and The Legend of Zelda, so for the longest time, the only way I was gonna smash Koopa Troopas was at my grandmother’s house. Yes, my immigrant grandmother who spoke zero English had an NES with Super Mario Brosª, otherwise, my earliest gaming memories revolved around getting killed by those annoying Jell-O shots in a Zelda fortress or haphazardly choosing between a 3-wedge, wedge, and 5-iron to get out of a sand trap.
ªOkay, so that’s a bit misleading. The console was my cousin’s, but he didn’t even live with my grandma! I’ll never solve the mystery of why she had an NES.
I soon made up for my early lack of Mario thanks to Super Mario Bros 2, Super Mario Bros 3, Dr. Mario, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out (I still don’t know why he was the ref), and Donkey Kong, Super Mario Land and Dr. Mario for Gameboy, N64’s Super Mario World, Mario Tennis, Mario Golf and of course, the greatest video game ever, Mario Kart 64. I even had a brief affair with the Wii’s Mario Galaxy and Super Mario World, all of which was stolen from my apartment one day in January 2010. (Insert sadface emoticon here.) I’m sure the NYPD are going to crack the case any minute now.
I probably missed a handful of Mario-related games, but the point is, how do you NOT like the guy? He’s been EVERYWHERE for… ohmygod, I can’t believe I’m about to say this… ALMOST 30 YEARS! And he was played by WWF legend Captain Lou Albano on TV!
(The Bob Hoskins/Dennis Hopper corpse of a movie never happened in my world.)
And all that brings us to the newest addition to the Foogos gallery. This action shot of Mario is comprised of 400 “pixels.” Unlike last month’s Bubble Bobble portrait, each pixel here is not comprised of one whole piece of gum. I spread it all out, using a single stick of Extra or Big Red or Trident or Bubblicious to cover anywhere from three to six panels. It made the work go by much faster, and saved my jaw… a little. Every time I chew anything now, the left hinge of my jaw bone clicks, like it wants to pop out of its placeholder. I can’t wait to unleash a lawsuit on Wrigley’s for this.
Super Mario is more of a complete thought than Bubble Bobble was, because even the background is made of gum. I’m particularly proud of my “painting” abilities in Mario’s boots. I mixed Big Red and a green spearmint gum to get the brown color. That involved a lot of chewing and notes-taking, and the final consistency was half a stick of red to every two greens.
In all, it took about a month to complete from start to finish.
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