A Wii of One’s Own

wii.jpegVideo game playing in my household has never been a sedentary activity. I think that my boys, all three of them, came hard-wired with a gene that had lain dormant in human DNA for millions of years, waiting for the Japanese to self actualize. They are video game phenoms.

When my David was barely two, we got an English au pair who had apparently spent plenty of time in Cornwall video arcades. She taught him to play The Lion King. He was an amazing player from the start. He couldn’t speak yet, but he developed a whole video game language….a series of barks and whoops and shrieks reminiscent of Tourette’s Syndrome. He stood and leaned and squatted and ran back and forth. We once filmed him for America’s Funniest Home Videos. I know without a doubt that we would’ve won had we followed through.

We’ve had every Nintendo system invented. My boys reminded me every day for a month that the Wii came out November 19th. “Yes, yes, I know. You’re not getting one. I know what it will take and I’m not doin’ it. Deal with it.”

I’ll admit it. I have standing-in-line-in-the-dark-waiting baggage. The previously-mentioned English au pair once brought home two absolutely cute stuffed animals. A giraffe and a zebra. “Oh my gosh,” I said. “These are incredibly adorable. Where’d you get them?”

My first-born son, Brendan, was about ten at the time. Somehow, because of him, and partly because of my love of all things cute, cuddly and/or sparkly, we fell headlong into the Beanie Baby craze. I’ve stood in line in front of Little Richard’s, clad in a ski parka and mittens, clutching Starbucks and handwarmers, with myriad other weirdo collectors waiting for the “bear du jour” more times than I care to admit. We’ve dropped hundreds, if not thousands (sorry to the poor), of dollars on BBs.

Truthfully, Beanie Babies taught my children a lot about life and entrepreneurial pursuits. Once Bren said to me, “Mom, if I get $800 can I buy a Go-Cart?”
“Well, how much do you have now?”
“Oh, okay. If you earn $800 I’ll let you buy a Go-Cart.”

Little did I know that my dad, a major coin and art collector, had been lured into the BB web. He took Bren to a weekend BB trading show in Denver and, yep, the boy came home $1000 richer. I was proud and amazed. Mostly I was horrified because Bren was able to purchase an obnoxious, street un-legal, very dangerous Go-Cart. To this day, a decade later, he is persona non grata at the Country Club of Colorado for racing across the greens late at night.

Then there was the Star Wars stuff. I recall when Toys ‘R Us, very inconsiderately, decided to sell the newly-released toys at midnight on a school night. “Oh, Mom! You have to take Brent and me there or we’ll get nothing!” So, gamely, I sat in my car, with pillow and down comforter, while the boys raced around collecting loot for two hours.

McDonald’s added joy to my life by topping their extra-big colas with a Star Wars lid. Brendan insisted that I take him to MickeyDs every day and then he sold the lids on a very new eBay to collectors in Britain for nearly $200 each. From a $2 soda!

You can probably guess the end of the story. My sweet boy, now 21, showed up on my doorstep with a Nintendo Wii for his younger brothers. He had to draft a friend, stand in line overnight, but he got the goods. Just like I used to for him.

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5 Responses to A Wii of One’s Own

  1. Avatar Michael Slivka says:

    Finally, a heartfelt, worthwhile post on this humorless website. When are you going to get shed of these anarchist losers? Don’t you know that the NSA has been monitoring this shit?

    Brendan sounds like he is growing up to be a fine, rational capitalist, someone who can actually do some good for those he loves, and society at large. Bet he wouldn’t waste his time with war protests in Acacia Park.

  2. Avatar Jonah says:

    I thought Rational Capitalist was kind of a contradiction in terms.
    Have fun with it.

  3. Eric Eric says:

    Michael, humorless? You’re hurting our feelings with your schoolmaster tone. And I can only hope the NSA is tuning in. There have got to be some bright cookies at the NSA who still have a conscience.

    But you want to put down the candlelight vigil? I’m open to whatever options we have. Otherwise please get off your cowardly ass and do something to help.

  4. Avatar Diann says:

    A simple, quiet vigil closed down the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco yesterday due to a bunch of “humorless” Code Pink women. I doubt that they considered it a waste of time. Ten were arrested by police who were worried about what they might do once they were on the bridge. There’s some humor for you, Michael….were they worried they might jump or block traffic while they refreshed their lipgloss? No, they were worried about them getting the media attention and civil rights they deserved. It’s a valuable lesson to us all, that even a small group can make a difference.

  5. Avatar Jonah says:

    He might have been facetious, I have no idea.

    If the NSA is watching, it proves one or both of two things:
    1 . Our message IS having a serious impact
    2. The NSA is seeing a Red under every bed and paranoid about everything, and wastes the taxpayers’ money on really pointless investigations of non-terrorists.

    Both of those conclusions have been very publicly announced by everybody in the Peace-building community.

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