Remember back when you were 8 years old and the cool kid in your class at school would have a fantastic themed birthday party. Everyone in class would be handed a card with the Looney Tunes gang inviting you to a good old-fashioned b-day party. And even if you didn’t want to go to the party, you had to. It was the event of the year.
With gift-wrapped Barbie (or Hot Wheels cars depending on the sex of the birthday person) in hand you’d slowly make your way to their front door. Very hesitantly you’d ring the doorbell and be welcomed into a Looney Tunes heaven. Bugs, Daffy, Taz, the whole gang was there to welcome you. After 2 hours of Looney Tunes cake, ice cream, and pin the beak on Daffy Duck it would finally be time to go home. As you exited the party the birthday girl (or boy) would reluctantly hand you a goodie bag. You’d take it and maintain your composure and wait until you got to your car to rip that thing open and see what was inside. Themed pencils, erasers, a some candy was the norm, but sometimes, if you were lucky, there would be a slide puzzle in there.
8 little squares inside one large square, forming some kind of animal picture. You’d slide those little squares around until the original image was indistinguishable and then you’d set forth on your journey to put that picture back together. Hours would be spent sliding square to the right and then back to left, up and down and every which way you could. For a week that would be your obsession. You were determined to get that picture back and to no avail, you were unsuccessful. Each and every day you would strain your fingers to solve this puzzle until eventually you either popped out the pieces and put them back in the right order, or just got angry and threw the darn thing away. I was convinced that those puzzles were of the devil. Until I found the grown-up version of slide puzzles.
Several months ago I downloaded a free game on my phone. A harmless little game called Unblock Me. The goal is to shift brown block around and clear a path for the red block to escape through a hole in the wall. It started out easy enough. 3 or 4 moves and I was done and onto the next level. I breezed through the beginner levels and made it to intermediate. Then I got to puzzle #307.
This in itself is depressing because that means I’ve successfully played at least 306 puzzles. That’s way too many puzzles for a 23 year old to have played. (Realistically, I should be out socializing and whatnot) But this puzzle 307 has been sent to ruin my life. For the past 3 weeks I have attempted to win. Every spare second I have, I slide those stupid brown block around. I move them in every possible direction, only to have them return to the exact space in which they started.
I cannot beat this puzzle. Every time I decide to quit, it sucks me back in. I don’t know what to do. It consumes me. I see puzzle 307 in my sleep. It’s become my obsession. Even now, as I write this, I’m thinking up a new game plan to win. And it’s not going to happen. I don’t know why I keep trying.
I haven’t seen the sun in weeks because I’m constantly trying to outsmart this app. It has become my foe and I have to defeat it. If it takes me another 3 months so be it, I will succeed. Puzzle 307….YOU WILL NOT DEFEAT ME!
But seriously guys, I need help. Either help on solving the puzzle or mental help in the form of an intervention. I’ll accept either at this point.