The Internet – Office worker Steven Paulson, 36, started the day trying to be a decent father, and ended it as one of the greatest heroes of the 21st Century.
Mr. Paulson took a personal day on Wednesday to spend more time with his wife and twin three-year-old daughters, and the whole family made a point to leave their phones at home. The lack of phones made it impossible to call for help when five henchmen working for the previously unknown Professor Pocalypse interrupted the Paulsons’ walk in the park by abducting the Paulson family and then taking them to a secret underground lair.
Once in the lair, the Paulsons met with Professor Pocalypse, who told them he believed the people of the world were too stupid to continue living, and unless they could solve ten rooms’ worth of puzzles then humanity’s stupidity would be confirmed and Pocalypse would unleash the nuclear weapons which he’d somehow gotten his hands on. But if the Paulsons solved the puzzles, then Pocalypse would sell the weapons to Denmark for a few tins of cookies.
Steven Paulson volunteered to be the puzzle-solver, because he’d been preparing for this sort of thing for years. He’d most likely cost himself promotions at work by performing just well enough to keep the job, and spending the extra time at the office playing the game which inspired Professor Pocalypse’s puzzles. He’d even been on thin ice in his marriage from it, spending hundreds of dollars for extra moves and power-ups so he could get through hundreds upon hundreds of levels, sometimes even blowing off helping older daughter Madison – who was in school at the time of the kidnapping – with her homework, claiming he was on a roll and couldn’t afford to lose his concentration. The same concentration which ultimately saved the world yesterday morning.
Mr. Paulson got through the first puzzle room easily, switching positions of adjacent candies to make sets of three in a row, and the henchpeople would replace the candies and give Steven a Popsicle stick, and after ten sticks he could move on. The next room was more difficult, requiring Steven to rearrange the candies in order to move a couple of gigantic walnuts – made in the same factory as the oversize candies – from one side of the room to the other. The following rooms provided greater challenges, including massive chocolate squares and even bigger cakes which Mr. Paulson could not touch or attempt to eat without getting hit by a henchperson, but thanks to the countless hours spent practicing he was able to get through all the rooms before Professor Pocalypse decided it was time to blow up the world.
His faith in humanity somewhat restored, Professor Pocalypse sold his weapons to Denmark, which mailed the cookies right after dismantling the bombs, and then he turned himself in to authorities. All because the heroic Steven Paulson spent countless hours playing a game which prepared him for this situation, even though everyone he knew told him there was no point of playing it so much.
He totally proved them wrong.