Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Boy Who Cried, "Oh My God! This is Awesome! Come Look at this Right Now!"

“Dad! Come look!”

This call from my sons usually only comes from down in the basement after I just sat down upstairs on the couch with a book or in my office to pay bills. For some reason, this is the only time my sons have anything important to show me. Not when they come out of school and I ask if they did anything cool. Not when they beat a new level on the video game we’d been working on together and an awesome movie sequence I had yet to see is taking place.

“You guys got to level twelve already?! I thought you were still on eight! Was it cool?”


The tone of this “come look” cry is not one that suggests there may be a large spider on the wall that has them paralyzed with fear and hoping their father will arrive just in time with a rolled up newspaper or shoe in his hand with which to smite it. It’s not even a tone that begs me to check if the bone is supposed to be sticking out of their shin like that. No, if one of them were to have suffered a significant injury while I was in the house but out of sight, they would most likely figure out a way to sterilize, bandage and conceal it until they could show it to their mother.


“What was that?”


“Are you guys okay?”

“Ye-es!” Then one whispers to the other, “Clean up the blood, then get some rubbing alcohol and ace bandages.”

While the call from the basement is most definitely an impassioned plea to rush downstairs and observe something, it never seems to be something as time sensitive as they make it seem. Instead, it’s usually a commercial for something like Moon Sand, PixOs or Bendaroos, which there is no chance in hell that I am ever going to buy them. On a side note, I think their interest in toys they see commercials for is directly related to how much of a mess said toy could potentially make or how many small pieces it contains that could be left all over the house, preferably where I might step on them.

Should I not get down the stairs in time to see the commercial for the glorious product they just viewed, they will inevitably come to me. What’s worse is that they will be so excited to tell me about what they just saw that it becomes like the tale of Paul Bunyan. The product is so spectacularly mind blowing that there is no way I could be anything less than excited enough to soil myself at the mere opportunity of buying it for them for Christmas. In fact, it’s so cool that I should just buy it now while supplies last or we might miss out.

In this way, it’s sometimes better that I see the commercial for myself. If my boys see me look at the product and then announce, “No,” it carries weight. If it’s just the image of a product in their minds, my “no” is nearly meaningless. They figure that I couldn’t possibly refuse without having seen it for myself. Had I witnessed what they had, I would certainly be swayed.

It’s an issue of credibility. The more often they do this, the harder it becomes to get me to react to something they want me to see. Credibility, however, is a two way street or a double-edged sword or a door that swings both ways or some other overused cliché about there being two sides to something.

While working on this blog, I often check the sights I have linked to in the left-hand column. I realized that I hadn’t taken a peek at the Marvel website in quite awhile. In less than a year’s time, we will see Thor and Captain America in theaters and I became concerned I may have missed out on some movie production news. The site led me to the following link for the Thor teaser site.

“Oh my God! Guys, come look at this!” I shouted.

My sons obediently came running to my side. I refreshed the site. I was then surprised to see a reaction other than pure joy on their faces. On the contrary, they seemed unimpressed.

“It’s just thunder and the word, Thor,” my six-year-old accurately pointed out. And between the lines I heard, “Even I could have written the html code to make that. Hmph.”

I had no response and they walked away, back to the books they were leafing through.

I decided that the next time they call me to see something, I will respond immediately. I’ll say, “Cooo-ol,” and break the bad news that thereis no chance in hell I’m buying that to them afterward. I’m hoping that this will elicit a mirrored response to my calls for attention. That way they won’t miss out on the stuff that I want them to see, which actually is really awesome.

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