Above: Me being braver than Chet, Levelord, and Sean.

Below: The citizens of any urban area eventually get together to build a monument dedicated to every city's toughest crime fighting superhero: The Mayor. In Los Angeles, that statue is at the entrance to E3. We just skimmed the plaque looking for our own names, but we're sure it says something about Mayor Sam Yorty hitting the streets to rescue the President or the President's girlfriend from punks.
Part 2 - Erik Teaches us of Valor

The other night, while trying to get my Gameboy color to play on the Television using a Gameboy antenna I built from masking tape and antennas, I accidently watched a documentary on PBS called Return With Honor.  It tells the evidently true story of a group of Navy pilots who were shot down and taken prisoner during the war we lost to the tiny prehistoric jungle nation of Vietnam.  Some of them were held for as many as eight years in what was essentially a medieval sewer. All of them stoically endured both physical and psychological torture that would be unimaginable to me if they hadn't made a TV show out of it. The amazing thing is that none of them appear to be especially bitter about the experience. I don't know if that's because of their training or if some of them are hippies now or a little bit of both or what, but it reminded me that I'm still pretty embittered about Freedom: First Resistance blowing up my old monitor. In the sense that being bitter and not being bitter are simply two sides of the same coin, I'm a lot like the cast of Return With Honor.

If what I've been reading about me being a lot like the cast of Return With Honor is true, then the three days I spent at E3-2001 were my eight years in a North Vietnamese prison camp.  The PBS website describes the documentary as "an inspiring tale of personal heroism", and I think many of these same words could be used to describe my experiences.

Navy pilot Mike McGrath spent almost six years in the camp.  He kept himself sane by creating artwork on his cell walls.  Some of the pieces depicted prison life, but most detailed the many different ways he was going to murder Jane Fonda when he got out.  Because his North Vietnamese captors wouldn't give him any art supplies, McGrath was forced to paint with the only materials available to him: his own blood and pus.  He also commited many details of camp life to memory, then drew and published a series of pencil sketches upon his release.

In yet another eerie parallel to my own tale of personal heroism while touching the future, I didn't have a digital camera to record my trials at E3.  This is because the South Korean company LG Electronics won't send me a free sample of their new combination camera/mp3 player, even after my frequent emails have made it quite clear to them that I'm Jennifer Lopez.  My original point was that - like McGrath - I had no way to document my experience.  But now that I think about it, both of our stories involve Vietnam, or, in my case, Vietnam's "Dragonball" vs. "Dragoonball" cheap Asian knockoff, Korea.  For various reasons not directly attributable to the Vietnamese, I also did not have art supplies.

If I hadn't accidently watched Return With Honor only after E3, I definitely would have attempted to draw a few pictures on the cloth partitions in the overcrowded Nintendo booth with my own pus and blood. As it is, we'll all have to settle for pictures Seanbaby took with his camera and images I've liberated from other websites.  To help put things in perspective for you, I've offset my own tale with some eerily similar excerpts from McGrath's account of life in the Hanoi Hilton.  At the end, you'll be given the chance to vote on which one of us you think is the bigger hero. To cast your vote or comment on my driving, pick up the phone and dial 1-800-KISS MY ASS!  HA!  Seriously, though, you will be able to vote.  Just point your browser to www dot KISS MY ASS! dot com! You have any plans to ever stop falling for that? If you think I'm just being a dick, I'm only trying to toughen you up for the heart-stopping somewhat fictionalized account that's about to be right where these words are now.   Because I don't think some of you'd last a minute in a real prison camp, much less a partly imaginary one that could possibly have mummies. Think I'm wrong, Rambo?  Well here's your chance to voice that opinion: I've set up a special morse code receiving station to accept rebuttals. You can access it by joining the Army and getting put in charge of the morse code machine and tapping:

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