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I’m about to admit something that I was originally ashamed of because I thought I’d been neglecting my responsibilities (family, work, Black Jesus, etc.) because of how much time I clearly had spent playing Candy Crush. Turns out, what I’m about to admit actually makes me feel shamed for having thought I was doing something irresponsible. I basically thought I was out here bodying the game and it turns out I’m not even...toeing (?) the game.

I’ve made it to the 800-levels on Candy Crush. In my heart I was a Candy Crush maven.

Some of you are in the 4,000s. Good googly moogly. I’m actually just a Candy Crush baby chick. A baby pony. A foal. How did I get so misguided?

For starters, I had no idea the game even went that high (or that anybody else was still playing it regularly). I felt like being in the 800s had to mean I was starting to reach the end of the internet or something. Nope, in Candy Crush-addict world, I’ve barely made it out of the Ask Jeeves portion of the ‘net. I did what anybody with a question and nobody to ask does nowadays by doing the minimal amount of research possible: I queried my Facebook friends to find just how big league I was at this Candy Crush shit.

What I found out rocked me to my core. Fuck a big league, I’m still out here annexing Puerto Rico on my Little Giant’s modeling shit. There are people who I know personally who are in the 4,000-levels. Many more are in the 1,000 to 2,000-levels. Some are in the 3,000s. How.In.The.Fuck.Sway? Who has this kind of time? I’m on level 810, and I swear before God and three white men, I’ve been playing Candy Crush for probably five years now.

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Granted, I took a solid year off (at least) when I couldn’t get past some level, I think it was like 245 or something, and instead of throwing my phone out of the window and spending all of my kids’ diaper money on shit to help me pass levels like that brown candy joint that blows up everything, I just put the phone down. Also, I only play like once or twice a week, usually when my daughter is at karate for 45 minutes at a time and maaaaaybe when I’m putting my kids to sleep; typically, I spend that time looking up shoes that cost to much, devising ways to hide the deliveries from my wife, and when I finally wear them convincing her that “oh, I’ve been had these joints.” Marriage! Am I right??

But when I get hung up on a level, sometimes it takes me several weeks to get past it. Neither these hoes nor am I loyal to Candy Crush. I’ve definitely paid for tokens but then got mad at myself for spending money on them so I could get some extra lives. Point is, turns out that this Candy Crush life I thought I was living, one where I’d try to hide the phone or dim the light on it around midnight so nobody would see my secret faux-obsession, wasn’t even an obsession.

I’m out here living my best life, a double life in my mind, and it turns out there are people who haven’t been where I’ve been in so long that it’s probably embarrassing for them to even speak to me about my ascent. And what I find more delightfully amazing is that there are people so dedicated to the cause of cell phone gaming that they’re on levels I will probably never see in my life and playing several other games at the same time on levels that Foghorn Leghorn would question. Where do you people work? The White House? Who has that kind of time to be so aggressively accomplished at so many games at the same damn time while at the same damn time playing three or more games at the same damn time?

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I’ve been humbled. I only queried Facebook as a sort of humblebrag; only half of that equation was accurate. So as opposed to wondering how many gotdamn levels there are to Candy Crush (the OG version, as I was instructed in Candy Crush parlance), I’m now more curious about how so many people are able to get through so many levels. Four thousand levels isn’t anything to sneeze at. Hell, it might not even be “cough at” level. Four thousand is nothing to STD at. Don’t catch one of those. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, though I suppose that’s circumstantial. Like if you’re rawdoggin’ randoms and you catch the clap (is that still a thing?) then I think it’s on you.

You know what, I’ve lost my way. Point is, when the rent’s too damn high, how in the hell do you people who are banging out levels with commas in them finding time to play?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

Hell, are you hung up on any games? A brotha needs some suggestions.