Very important matters

by Brian Clarey

I don’t know what’s up… I haven’t been getting much done lately and I’m not quite sure why. It’s like when I’m on Facebook playing Bejeweled Blitz and I’m looking at the board, looking and looking at it, and I just can’t seem to find a way to make three matching jewels in a row.

It’s frustrating. What’s that? Oh, Bejeweled Blitz is just one of those stupid internet time-wasters… no big thing. You get a minute to score as many points as you can by arranging three gems of like color and shape in a vertical or horizontal row, at which point they explode in an extremely satisfactory manner and more jewels drop in place, creating more possible combinations of moves.

It’s kind of stupid, but I’ll click on it sometimes when I’m waiting for a phone call to come in or the oven timer to go off. No big deal. It’s fun — every week the high scores from all your friends get cleared and a new tournament starts.

That’s the best time… when everybody’s score is set to zero. That’s when you can rocket to the top.

The competitors among my friends are mostly working moms, artsy types, math nerds and the barely employed, with a bit of overlap in the zen diagram, if you know what I mean. But I own these guys week after week, except for the dude with the PhD, a few of the moms and this one friend of mine from grade school who I swear has got to be cheating. I mean, the kids breaking 300,000 every week? What the hell?

What was I talking about? Oh yeah… I just can’t seem to get my head in the game these days. It’s like I’m out of it. I keep missing what’s right in front of my face, like when I’m playing Bejeweled Blitz and I match three round green gems, and just as they explode I see that I could have actually gotten four across, which causes the gems to condense into as green fireball that detonates if you activate it by lining it up with two more stones.

What’s even cooler is if you get the gems into an L or T formation. Then you get this like electro-charged gem that when activated shoots lightning that takes out the horizontal and vertical rows. And then the shapes are dropping down, and some of them will match so the explosions are going off and you’re climbing up the leaderboard…. It’s crazy stuff, man. Kaboom, right?

So what was I saying? Right. So I’m just kind of stuck in this intellectual and creative rut, I guess, where I’m merely reacting instead of proacting. It’s like when I’m playing Bejeweled Blitz and I just can’t see any moves, so I click the Hint button, which of course will show me the absolute worst move on the board up near the top. So I’ll make the crappy move — because what else have I got, you know — and then three more will drop down and there’s another crappy move and I just keep clicking those upper rows when everybody knows that you’ve got to play the bottom of the board if you want to get any residual jewel explosion action.

I mean, really. So yeah, I guess I need some guidance or some leverage or something… some way to shake things up and shuffle the deck, like when one of those electro-gems goes off and takes out a big cross-section.

Did I mention what happens when you get five gems in a row? Man, it’s nuts. Get five in a row and the gem becomes like this rotating mirror capable of taking out every gem of a single color on the entire board. It’s like the Mother of all Bejewels. Set one of those off, and the next thing you know, score multipliers are dropping and exploding while you’re racking up speed points like my friend Nick’s wife Johanna, who beat my high score today by a slim 12,000 points or so.

Can I tell you something? I just went and did a quick Blitz. I had to. My damn intern McGee just hit some crazy combination of moves that scored like 190,000, which popped him above me on the leaderboard. I mean, how can my staff take me seriously if the intern has a better Bejeweled Blitz score than me? Leadership is a fragile thing, people.

Anyway, the results were not so good — a mere 12,000 points. No multipliers, no five-ways, just one four across and an electro-gem that I couldn’t line up.

Not really my fault — the DSL connection on my work computer sucks for Bejeweled Blitz. I’m gonna have to talk to my boss about that.