There was nothing worse than seeing two flashing colors on your TV screen when you should be seeing that glorious NES game title screen.
A un-countable number of comedians have already covered the subject of how everyone had their special way of getting their Nintendo to work and how you could only get your own NES working.
My cousin Ryan would lick the game and then press the game down as hard as he could. In desperation, I once licked a particularly troublesome game and remember tasting a dusty battery.
One of my best friend's in high-school had to use a Game Genie even if they weren't putting in codes. Without the Genie, the console wouldn't recognize a game was inserted.
My neighbor across the street would discard the warnings about only using the official Nintendo cleaning kit and would dab rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip and rub it in the games.
My wife's family would do a combo of blowing into the game, rubbing it down with a dry Q-tip, and in some cases shoving a Popsicle stick into the system to hold the games at the perfect height to make contact with the terminals.
I would blow into a game for exactly 30 seconds. I'd then push the game all the way into the system and then pull the game out just a pinch. And I could never push the game down into the system. If I pushed it down how you were supposed to, blinking color screens all day long.
You don't get these great stories anymore.
Telling the heroic tale of putting your red-ringed 360 into the official Microsoft casket and waiting two to six weeks for a refurbished console to make its way back just doesn't have the same comedic feel of laying in your pajamas on the floor at 6:00 a.m. getting dizzy from blowing into a game for too long.
So how did you get your NES to work?