Toll Jam

Five minutes after the clock struck eight, signalling the end of TOJam, i broke out in hives. Itchy little bumps erupted on my hands and my feet. As i walked around in a daze, manouevring myself to the first floor for a slice of well-earned pizza, the hives crept up the sides of my neck to my cheeks.

During the weekend-long game jam, i suffered a litany of physical afflictions. While staying up around the clock on Saturday night, i blew a blood vessel in my left eye. i discovered a number of impacted, ingrown hairs on my bum from sitting, intensely, and not switching positions often enough. i had a few regrettable bowel movements – the less said about those, the better. And somewhere around the time my eye blew out, i started feeling my chest constrict.

The thought crossed my mind, more than fleetingly, that i may have been having a heart attack. And that worried me … less because of the attack, but more because i was having one alone in an empty room at a community college, while pulling an all-nighter making a video game. When i DO have my first heart attack, i want to be near my family, cuddling them while clutching my chest and gasping in pain. Instead, i’d forsaken my family that weekend to become that chubby idiot who dropped dead in his chair at TOJam and ruined 24-hour access for the rest of us.

It couldn’t possibly go down like this – could it? i started to think of the times people said to me “don’t work so hard – you’ll give yourself a heart attack!”, which i always equated with “don’t pull faces, because your face might stay like that”. It was only then, reflecting on the greasy food i’d been eating and the insane pace i’d been keeping, that i began to think that yes – this body fat percentage and this amount of stress could very well cause a heart attack for a guy in his mid-30’s. 30-something men do have heart attacks. That’s totally a thing.

It likely wasn’t one, though. i figure the culprits were the 2 litre bottle of Pepsi i’d sipped slowly the day before, and the rest of the caffeine i’d ingested during my “3 Coke Night”. That’s kind of like the supposed “Three Dog Night” that the band named themselves after, wherein (apocryphally) Inuit (or “Eskimos”, if you’re American and ignorant) endure nights so cold that they have to cozy up to three sled dogs for warmth. i cozied up to three cans of Coca Cola Classic that night, and all i got was this stupid ersatz heart attack.

5 thoughts on “Toll Jam

  1. Andy Smithingtonenson

    As an organizer, I can assure you that had you died that night we would have done everything in our power to make it look like a suicide.

  2. Kronopath

    Gotta watch out for that Vitamin P.

    I’m glad I went home to sleep. Not only was it healthier but it seemed that every morning after I came back I had a good idea of how to improve something on our game.

    Some of my teammates started feeling a bit sick though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a virus going around.

    1. Ryan Henson Creighton Post author

      Yes … Sarah, one of our team’s animators, is home with the plague. i expressly forbade anyone from pulling an all-nighter, and then broke my own rule. Captain going down with the ship and all that.

  3. Mushyrulez

    I will resist the urge to make a comment about toe jams, and instead, will say that now, if you do suffer a heart attack, you can’t say ‘I didn’t tell myself so!’

    (Don’t worry, as long as you do healthy stuff, you probably won’t have any serious ones… right? ._.)


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