Reader, I don’t know how to tell you this, so I’ll just say it: until last weekend, I had never played any of the games in Nintendo’s best-selling, wildly popular, familiar-even-to-laypersons series Mario Kart. I just didn’t know what I was missing until I went to visit some friends who live in the suburbs with their adorable children, one of whom is old enough to enjoy the bright, whimsical racing game but young enough not to care about winning.
I care a little more about winning and managed to finish 2nd once, but the surprising topography of the third and fourth rounds threw me off… literally. “Thanks, Lakitu,” I sighed on one occasion, as the bespectacled turtle and his hovercloud lifted me back onto the track. “Or whatever your name is.”
“I think that is his name,” a friend replied. “But I’m not sure how you remembered that.”
I was embarrassed to admit that I had not summoned the name Lakitu from the depths of decades-old memories of playing the original Nintendo Entertainment System. I remembered Lakitu for the same reason I remember anything: research and writing. In 2011, I researched and wrote this bit of fluff that has never been posted anywhere but Facebook until today. But I enjoyed revisiting the Marioverse–I especially liked racing in the Thwomp Palace, as I feel a kinship with the unsubtle Thwomps–so please enjoy this homage to two of my childhood pastimes, video games and astrology.
March 20 – April 20
You are strong-willed and spontaneous, but hot-headed – when angry, you’re quick to blow up! But under the right circumstances you can be a good friend, and have been known to help others bust through obstacles.
April 20 – May 21
Like a bull in a china shop, you are not known for your subtlety. You’ll keep stomping the same path whether or not it helps you squash your target. On the other hand, your stubbornness and strength makes you extremely hard to kill.
May 21 – June 21
Duality is the best-known attribute of your sign. To others, it can seem like you’ve got two different personalities: half leader and half sidekick; half outgoing superstar and half support team. But you know that’s what it takes to get a job done, whether that means protecting the homeland or doing home repairs.
June 21 – July 23
You are very invested in homelife – so much so that you carry yours on your back! Sometimes you need to hide your feelings or retreat into your shell, and the people in your life should let you: then you’re happy to give a friend a leg up, or help open doors.
The King Koopa
July 23 – August 23
Far more outgoing and go-getting than your co-species sign, you’re a natural born leader and determined to stay that way. You may have a bit of a reputation for being an asshole, but you can too play games with others – tennis, anyone? Go-karts?
But you do play to win.
August 23 – September 23
You’re a smart cookie, curious and analytical. You can be a good teammate, but you aren’t always given the chance. You can come off as aloof: to the people who try to get close to you, it seems like you’re always in another castle.
September 23 – October 23
In your case, low and slow wins the race. You’re no high jumper, nor are you inclined to fame and flashiness. But your strength and stability help you to ensure that justice is done.
October 23 – November 22
You are secretive, preferring to hide your true self. To others, you seem argumentative and prickly… maybe even Spiny? But haters gonna hate: they’re on the ground, and you’re floating safely up above them.
November 22 – December 22
Like other fire signs, you can have an explosive personality; what distinguishes you is your single-minded focus. When you’ve got your sights set on a target, you pursue it with intensity and impatience.
December 22 – January 20
You’re not one to get in a fight, but you are a practical and intuitive ally for your friends that do. In fact, your tendency to take on other people’s problems may lead some to see you as a beast of burden. . . but you are charismatic and competent enough to be the star of your own show.
The Cute Cactus
January 20 – February 19
On the surface, you’re unassuming, easygoing, even adorable. You’re usually not in a rush, and not aggressive. But like most cacti, you’re fiercely protective; if anyone wants to get through you, they’ll have to take you down piece by piece.
February 19 – March 20
Like most water creatures, you’re neither gregarious or aggressive; normally, you’re willing to go with the flow. But you’re tougher than you look, and can swim right out of lava if you need to.