At the retro game shop towards the back of the main show floor at PAX 09 I was finally reunited with a long-lost friend of mine - the Sega Nomad.
Back in 1999 I had found a Sega Nomad - a portable Sega Genesis that eats batteries like they were crack and it was one of those crack-eaters - new in its package at a local Toys R Us store for $US50. I quickly snatched it up, bought a bunch of old games, and happily went about playing my favourite old games in portable fashion for 20-30 minutes at a time.
I was dating a girl at the time, and she had a young son, so I figured there was no harm in lending it to them for a road trip they were taking. Due to my own fickle nature, I soon broke up with the woman, completely forgetting to get my Nomad back from her before breaking the news.
This is where it gets complicated.
The woman I was dating moved on from me to my friend David, who also happened to be my ex-brother-in-law. Eventually the two of them got married, and my young nephew became the stepson of the woman I used to sleep with on a regular basis. For years this was a topic we never discussed. Nowadays I regular taunt him with the fact that I slept with his mum. Then I feel awkward and clarify which mum.
For the past five years i have been training my nephew as a master thief, in order to steal back my Sega Nomad from my evil ex-girlfriend. He has failed on multiple occassions, failing to grasp the very basics of stealth. Once he was caught with it down his pants, as if no one would notice a then 13-year-old with a package shaped like a giant box. Sly Cooper he is not.
I had long since given up on getting it back. Sure, I could order one on eBay, but who knows where that one had been? Someone could have licked it or something. No, I wouldn't order one from some stranger. I needed a personal fix.
I found it in the very back of the convention floor at PAX 09. There, at the retro game store booth in its own little section of the glass case, was a Sega Nomad - soon MY Sega Nomad. $US95 complete with all wires, a rechargeable battery pack, a Genesis controller, and the spiffy branded carrying case. Truly it is a thing of beauty.
This just goes to show that magical things happen when you get large numbers of gamers together in the same place. Now I can finally tell my nephew to stop trying to steal back my property from his stepmother. Now the healing can begin.