My Latest Hobby Is Crushing Kids On Mathletics While Wine Drunk & Yes, I’m Going To Hell

Before we begin, let me just say, we all have our vices during isolation period – those self-indulgent moments that help us get by during this difficult time. 

While some spend hours trawling the internet to distract themselves, for example, others have slightly increased their alcohol consumption as a form of escapism. It just so happens that my therapeutic outlet encompasses both of these above-mentioned coping mechanisms – getting wine drunk and beating little kids at Mathletics.

Two Fridays ago, after inhaling rosé by my lonesome – and being the most bored I have genuinely ever been in my entire existence on planet Earth – I saw someone on TikTok playing Mathletics, that educational site that allows school kids from around the globe to race each other in maths equations in a bid to improve their numeracy skills.

In that moment, the skies metaphorically opened up, God peered her head down and said “Louis, it is your absolute destiny right now to flex your mathematical prowess, or what’s left of it, against humans 15 years your junior”. (Okay, it could have been a possum talking to my drunk ass via a crack in the ceiling, but you catch my drift.)

I nodded in agreement. “Yes, God. Why not sit on the bathroom floor, bottle of rosé in hand, and destroy primary school kids from around the globe in their 8 times tables?” I encouraged myself, in that blessed moment. (Talking to myself has absolutely become the norm, but I’ll save that yarn for another day.)

Long story short, I needed to join Mathletics, and join Mathletics I did.

With the coldness of the tiles against my flat tush, and my second bottle of Gossips rosé ($3 at Dan Murphys, get amongst it) grasped in my hands, I downloaded my free trial on that bathroom floor, posing as a kid from year 8. (I’d spent a solid 15 minutes deciding which year I should be in, but I resolved that if I’d set my year level as, say, year 2, it’d be too much of a cake walk. I wanted to pummel these kids, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted to pummel ‘em knowing they’d put up a good fight, you know?)

And there I was, on the map. 

Yes, I got an immense kick out of – hopefully – being the only drunk user on the site out of 8000 hopeful mathematics learners.

First up, we had Freddie & Maria…

I quickly realised that I’d put myself on level 1 (out of 10), which was probably mean to Freddie and Maria. Sorry pals.

It was time to conquer level 5. I was getting confident.

After approximately 2 seconds on level 5, and realising that my final two rosé-saturated brain cells didn’t have the energy to compute anything on a Friday night, I realised that level 5 was a place I didn’t belong.

It was time to not conquer level 5. Maybe level 3.

Ah, a happy medium.

I think I spent approximately 3 hours playing Mathletics that fateful Friday evening, and it exceeded all expectations. I’d forgotten how much of a rush it gave me back in primary school, from the sheer panic associated with getting the answers right, to the sheer joy of sitting back after a win, having metaphorically pummelled your competitors, giving your brain a much-needed ego stroke. That rush still applies in 2020.

I woke up the next morning with a terrible comedown, from both the hangover and an internal monologue reminding that I’m truly on my way to hell for conquering Mathletics as a 24-year-old.

That hasn’t stopped me, though. In the past fortnight, I’ve returned to the site multiple times – downloading new free trials under different emails and various aliases like Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can – to escape from the bleakness that is reality. 

Laugh at me, you may, but trust me – the second you download an account and start ferociously answering 2 times tables against Becky from the UK, you, too, will be injected with an intense rush otherwise known as Mathletics schadenfreude. 

In other words, it slaps. 10/10. Give it a go. Maths is hot.

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