Once upon a time, Vincent Normal Man had a quiet, standard, unexceptional life. He had an office job he neither loved nor hated, a happy nuclear family with a husband and 2.4 children, and very little in the way of leisure activities. He went to work, came home, had dinner and saw the family, went to bed, rinse and repeat.
That was, of course, until that accursed Mario and Cappy arrived in New Donk City one fateful Thursday afternoon.
Initially, Vincent Normal Man was distressed. His life was one of routine, habit, and standardisation. Things were how they were, and he very much liked them that way. Unfortunately, Mario and Cappy taking control of him was going to ruin this peaceful equilibrium he had fashioned for himself.
Now living the life of Normal Man-rio, Mario and Cappy set to work living a life not theirs to live.
They started small and mundane, taking him around New Donk City mostly as normal, but with minor variations thrown in to spice things up. Normal Man-rio would jump up on top of cars, climb down into sewers, visit concerts or jump over skipping ropes as he went about his day.
His family were a little confused by his slight change in behaviour, but, as is often the way, gentle changes over a long enough time tend to get overlooked.
The problem came when Mario got more adventurous. He began taking up high octane action sports, he changed careers to that of a clown, he learned the art of origami, he got a bunch of tattoos, he changed his hair colour, fought a lion, and even joined the navy.
Over time, Vincent Normal Man-rio grew to accept his fate, as all captive people eventually do. After weeks and months of fighting Mario’s control, he resigned himself to just enjoying the ride. He was no longer in control, so he no longer had to deal with the consequences of experiments failed, poor choices made, and could ultimately watch life as a bystander free of negative outcomes.
As Stockholm Syndrome set in, he eventually found himself thanking Mario. He felt freed from the burden of choice. He was able to put that responsibility on the shoulders of another, and just enjoy life as a spectator. He felt like he was perhaps at peace, rather than living life in the uncontrollable depressed resignation he truly existed within.
Where his life as Vincent had been mundane, predictable and safe, Mario and Cappy had turned him into an adventurous experimental go-getter. Sure, his legs were broken when he leapt off that really tall building, and sure entering that fighting tournament got him pretty badly burned, but at least he was trying new things.
Eventually, Mario and Cappy left Vincent’s body due to boredom. Mario, who has not aged a day in the past thirty years, lived a full life as Vincent before deciding he was ready to depart. Off he went, leaving Vincent sat in a rocking chair on the porch by his husband’s side, dazed and confused.
As he came around, he saw the life he had for himself. Sure, it wasn’t what he had expected, but he was able to enjoy the last of his days with memories, stories, experiences, and a husband enamoured with an unexpected adventurous streak.
While what Mario and Cappy did was immoral, Vincent didn’t care. A life lived predictably became a life lived adventurously, all thanks to a little mind possession intervention from Normal Man-rio.
Even now, he looks out to the horizon, quietly hoping to see a hint of red bounding back his way.