Super Shootout at the Parquet Corral

(By Christopher Wilson, Editor in Chief of and the adult writer of the Gab Four. Originally published Oct. 19, 2006, sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

I've matured.

No more shooting orange, foam spheres into a Nerf basketball hoop that hangs on the top of a door. No more dunking on said hoop until the hoop and door converge to make a 45 degree angle. No more having to remember where the imaginary 3-point line is.

I've got a Super Shootout Electronic Arcade Basketball game from Moose Mountain instead. It's as if I kidnapped Santa Claus and made him my personal Man Friday.

Taking up roughly half the space in my new house (the other half reserved for my 400-inch television, whenever I can afford it), the basketball goal is a pieced-together plastic ensemble of tubes, backboard, rim and scoring system.

Showing it off or telling friends about it is my equivalent to gasconading a wedding ring.

I just said "gasconading."

The playset came with two inflatable, mini basketballs, which one is actually able to shoot at the backboard without worrying if what took two hours to put together will only take two seconds to fall apart. And no more worrying about what's a 3-pointer and what isn't: the scoring system makes a distinct noise for each 2-point basket and for each 3-point basket.

After each shot the ball falls through the net onto a vinyl court surface (which looks like the Boston Garden's parquet floor, if you have a vivid imagination) and rolls back to the shooter. And besides acknowledging shots from way downtown, yo, the scoring system has a timer, complete with different increments, such as 30 or 60 seconds.

The only feature missing that I would prefer is Spike Lee's voice shouting epithets with each miss.

Oh, and a Spike Lee punching bag, which I could besiege after I've heard enough.

My elementary-aged cousins first introduced me to Super Shootout a couple of years ago. They had one upstairs in their house, which I wasted a lot of quality family time on, seeing how many points I could score in 30 seconds.

My record so far is 136, though my record without breaking a sweat is far lower. One has to shoot rapid-fire to get a score that high. Think Lucille Ball working in the chocolate factory or Kobe Bryant if it's ever discovered that frantic shooting improves public perception.

My two-shots-per-second pace got to the point where I began contemplating wearing a headband, goggles and kneepads to my cousins' house whenever I came to visit.

Since finding a Super Shootout on eBay and assembling it in my house, I have spent enough time with the contraption to know that it is 67 inches tall and enjoys spontaneity and Mexican food. And unlike Fred Sanford's pool table, this wasn't a gift; therefore, no one is taking it away from me.

The only drawback is that dunking on it is impossible. But that's why I still have the Nerf goal and why house insurance has been my best investment yet.

Christopher is a Waco, Texas, resident, Editor in Chief of, author of the book "Sports Briefs" and the adult writer for the Gab Four. Read more of his solo columns here.

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