My name is Steve, and I am writing today to thank you for changing my life. Please hear my story, it is a winding of road of trying times, despair, and triumph one that may have ended very differently were it not for you.
A long time ago, my little brother and I started taking lessons on the real guitar. I figured within a few weeks I'd be the most talented, successful, and attractive slayer to ever pick up a 6 stringand further, be at least ten times better than my sibling because that's the rules of being older. This was not the case. After a few months of little progress, I was faced with questions from my teacher like "did you forget to practice?" I would say "yes", to avoid the shame of the honest answer of "no, I actually did practice you confidence-melting asshole". To make matters worse, my brother was excelling in ways I did not know were possible. My lifetime streak of beating him at everything was coming to a clear end onechord at a time, and it wasn't long before I put my guitar downforever.
Deviated about my complete, utter, and expensive failure, I became deeply depressed. You know that part in Anchorman where Ron Burgundy gets fired and ends up on the streets? Broken, unshaven, drinking milk in the heat and yelling obscenities at strangers? I wept openly through this, seeing a reflected image of myself back in those dark days. I eventually turned to alcohol andaccepted the guitar and all instrumental ability as an area of talent I'd simply been born withouta tough realization for a man of pride, but a pill I reluctantly swallowed and went on with my life.
Over the years the wounds healed, but the scars never let me forget. I'd walk into the house to the sounds of my brother flawlessly ripping off a Metallica solo, ironically the "Memory Remains". Sometimes I'd dust off my old Ibanez and play Ode to Joy, which I renamed Ode to F*** the Guitar. I tried to copyright this song, but after being sued by Beethoven's family I quickly desisted. Just as I closed the case for the last time, you released Guitar Hero and changed my life forever.
One fateful night, I was hanging out with the guys, drinking a few fresh ones and grab-assing per the usual. Then, the homeowner busted out what he called 'Guitar Hero' and rocked out a song or two on his tiny toy guitar. Mesmerized, I said "Dude, you look like a gigantic f***ing tool I want to try." Upon strapping on the plastic axe, I had a quick and horrid flashback to the days of yore hearing my notes go awry and my old instructor yelling at me while children pointed and laughed. I threw up, punched my friend in the face and ran out the door. I returned however, and played "Them Bones" on Easy. After a brief rough start, I got the hang of it, and something inside of me knew life wouldn't be the same after this. I soon dominated Easy, conquered Medium, and Rocked the 80's right through Hard with relative ease. My friends mocked me, saying things like "you have too much free time" and "I'm still pissed you threw up on my floor and punched me in the face for no reason." But I didn't care, I knew deep inside they were just feeling the envy I once felt towards my brother. Those difficult memories faded as I scored in the high 90's song after glorious song, and it wasn't long before no one could hang with me in Face-Off. My girlfriend could hardly watch me play without ripping articles of clothing off my body, a costly problem but one I handledby learning to rock out naked.
Today, I am a true Expert, except for the life of me I can't beat the last song on Rock the 80's. You guys sort of pissed me off with that one, it isn't even a good song, but this is a thank you letter. I walk around a much prouder man, and while some say "it's just a video game, and requires much less skill than the real guitar", I punch them in the face and then laugh at them as I shred 5 button solos they could only dream of nailing. Then I make out with their wives and walk out of their house, tiny toy guitar slung around my shoulder, knowing the tendonitispainin my fingers will fade long before the glory. Thank you from the bottom of a once broken heart, you truly are my Hero.
Steve "Grim Ripper" Hankins