Toe Reset

I was talking with my friend Andrew a couple of days ago and he said some odd phrase that really got him laughing. I don’t remember the phrase exactly, but it had something to do with him and his dad gaming. It was one of those invented phrases that meant nothing outside the context of that experience, and that made me chuckle. Those catchphrases and inside jokes are really a spice in life.

Growing up my brother and I played a fair bit of Nintendo (Master System). He is eight years older than me, so I’m thankful that that shared passion came along, allowing us to do something together during his college breaks. If you played a lot of NES, you know that thing could be tough. And so you often had to make use of a very odd button Nintendo included: the reset button.

That button called out for accidental touching, so you really had to be careful around the machine. You were tethered to it by your wired controllers, though thankfully Nintendo provided a pretty long cable. You stayed back, perhaps one of you on the couch and the other on the floor.

Inevitably, though, you made a mistake. You’ve played yourself into a corner and you needed to start again. You needed the toe reset.

The floor gamer was cautious, staying clear of accidental resets. With some repositioning they didn’t have to get up to restart that infernal machine. (Having to get up was a really big pain in the 80’s. You did whatever you could to avoid getting up.) The floor gamer reached out their leg and performed the toe reset.

I had to tell Andrew about this. My little inside joke with my brother. And he got it. Even though he’s never had to be attached to his gaming console with cables, he got it.

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