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Real Mario Kart In Tokyo
Photo by Keith Tsuji/Getty Images

Recently our household acquired a Nintendo Switch. As far as video game systems go, it’s the cotton-candy flavored meth sold in sparkly bags closed with glittery twist-ties — coded and branded for children, adorably packaged, and still very much a pipeline for addictive, life-destroying distractions poured straight into the eyeballs.

It’s also been a dark reminder that Mario Kart is a real-life MacGuffin for any story about people revealing the secret hate, rage, and malice living in their souls. It is the Rage virus from 28 Days Later, the One Ring To Rule Them All from LOTR, the thing in the briefcase from Pulp Fiction. It is the excuse for the bad to come out and maybe, sometimes, on choice Tuesday nights, throw a controller through a piece of drywall.

Put it in a room full of friends and family and test this, please. Come back in an hour and find friendships shattered, furniture broken, and grudges for years — all that, and all born from just one brief circuit through the Special Cup

Think about one unlucky red-shelling ten virtual feet from crossing the finish line for a first-place finish with an overall championship on the line. You’re thinking about this, and whoa, hey, where’d that knife come from? The one in your hand, that feels so right and just in your grip?

You’re seeing all of this, and don’t feel bad about it. Mario Kart is delicious soul-poison. And it works on everyone.

This is a list of characters in Mario Kart 8 that will one day, God willing, die by my hand.

Mario: Absolutely basic idiot who celebrates like he’s won the race every time he passes me on 200cc despite still being in 8th place. Probably insisted on putting his name on the game like Papa John insisting on his face being in the commercials. Am I saying Mario probably says racist things on Nintendo conference calls? This is exactly what I am saying. When you say “let’s a-go”, Mario — which “us” do you mean, exactly?

Luigi: The Aaron Carter of the video game world. Looks at you like an absolute DICK when he passes you after doing ordinary things any other character can do in the game. Weird, a success-by-inheritance/relation thinks mediocre accomplishments are exceptional. ANY BITCH CAN THROW A RED SHELL. Has a Haunted Mansion, but how did a humble plumber afford it in the first place? And how exactly did it get haunted in the first place? That usually requires bodies, doesn’t it? #InfoWars #HauntedMansion #HillaryBodiesDotCom #PlumberGate

Peach: Trash aristocracy. Bought her way into the circuit. Hasn’t paid taxes in years via “Being kidnapped by big-ass turtle”.


Bowser: Weighs 38,000 pounds on the hoof and still travels the same speed with a 200cc engine? Obviously cheating. Only real move is smashing you off the track with his enormous ass, which is actually a very cool and good thing now that we typed it out. Still going to blow his house up while he sleeps.

Donkey Kong: Has a family. Too bad, because you don’t ruin a third place finish on Grumble Volcano by throwing a banana in our path without paying for it later. Cross me and and you’re an endangered species all by yourself, son. Your nephew is dating a racist, stop lying to yourself about her.

Toad: Nintendo says that’s not a hat. That is Toad’s entire head. All him, brain-meat and all.

Koopa Troopa: Disgusting, amoral flunky who somehow wakes up every morning and races despite the entire franchise requiring THAT HE THROW THE SKELETONS OF HIS FELLOW KOOPA TROOPAS AT OTHER RACERS. The Cow Who Works In The Slaughterhouse of the Mario Kart world.

Daisy: The Female Luigi, which is the worst insult imaginable.

Shy Guy: Commits violence while wearing an off-brand Guy Fawkes mask, he’s the Redditor of the group. 0/10, will downvote into the nearest lava pit.

Wario: I will say nothing bad about my father Wario ever, he lives forever

Waluigi: I will say nothing bad about my father’s brother Waluigi, he lives and will please your wife in ways she did know was physically or spiritually possible, because on the internet it is a universally accepted truth that Waluigi can put it down in sex town.

Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Peach, Baby Daisy: Frauds, none are babies, up close all are actually small, wizened, and probably xenophobic senior citizens taking out massive student loans for Mario’s Racing Academy that they will never, ever pay back. (Mario gets a handsome cut of the scam — yet another reason I’m going to red shell his basic ass into hell’s fiery mouth myself.)

Tanooki Mario: Furry Mario, which would be fine by itself because we want people to embrace the lifestyle of their choice and be happy. The part that gets him on the hit list: The whole outfit is made of real and illegally imported raccoon-dog skin and fur.

Dry Bones: Fuck Dry Bones, I don’t need a reason. Just fuck him and his unfair weight advantage of “being a skeleton that is alive without weighty flesh or organs.”

Cat Peach: Peach, but when she had her head sewn to some poor cat to achieve immortality. Nationalize Peach’s fortune and occupy Peach’s Castle immediately if not sooner.