Tag Archives: Parenting

Final Thoughts on ‘Balloon Boy’

Let’s consider, just for a moment, the state of the world had the ‘balloon boy’ hoax been successful:

The Lifetime Network produces a made for TV docudrama entitled “When Balloons Attack: The Heene Family Saga.” Ernie Reyes, Jr. plays the role of Falcon Heene.

Those dudes from Mythbusters attempt to recreate the same conditions with a runaway weather balloon in the Palm Desert. Special guest star Ernie Reyes, Jr. reprises his role of Falcon Heene and clings to the makeshift balloon.

The movies “Bubble Boy” and “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble” experience a sudden and dramatic increase in sales and rentals.

Thousands of newly documented cases of Globophobia grip the continental United States. Ernie Reyes, Jr. is forced back into an uncomfortable retirement.

Flash to the present day: The best part of the whole ‘balloon boy’ nonsense was that their six year old son spoiled the plot. Apparently those idiot parents didn’t know that children of that age are incapable of lying. Six year olds are like a bunch of George Washingtons walking around dropping a dime on everybody, including themselves.

Fortunately for the rest of us, we all got the Scooby Doo ending: “And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids.”

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An Open Letter to the Kid Blaring Music From His Car at Three in the Morning in My Quiet Suburban Cul de Sac

Dear Kid Blaring Music From His Car at Three in the Morning in My Quiet Suburban Cul de Sac,

Let me begin by writing that I don’t wish you to take my words personally. It’s just that I am a little unfocused and half-way still asleep as I write this, since your excessively loud music suddenly woke me from my deep and peaceful slumber.

It’s okay, I was gonna get up in five hours anyway.

I regret that you have had such a difficult life. Your behavior is clearly a reaction to the lack of attention that you received as a child. Your parents, damn them, should have minded you more than they did. Your desperate cry for attention did not go unheard (nice subwoofers, by the way). There’s nothing quite like a backseat full of speakers to communicate your angst to the rest of us.

The music you chose to play really helped to explain your plight. The anger and frustration in the music of that hip-hop artist you played spoke of issues that are clearly relevant to you and your lifestyle. The suburbs of Southern California can be a treacherous place, especially for a white adolescent male such as yourself. It pisses me off, too, that I have to get into my car every time I crave Starbucks. The ‘hood was never that crazy.

I can scarcely imagine how difficult it must be for you. Both of your parents (each well educated and gainfully employed) should try to understand you like I have. Just because they pay for your cell phone service doesn’t give them the authority to harass you about keeping your room clean or taking the trash out when it’s your night to do it. I bet they even gave you grief about letting you borrow the car tonight, the jerks.

Let’s recap:

Teen angst is, like, way more important than my good night’s sleep.

Your suburban existence makes hip-hop relatable for you. Totally.

If only your parents understood you like you understand hip-hop.

In sum, thanks for sharing your music with me and the other neighbors at top decibel level during this godforsaken hour. I appreciate the offer, but I’ll kindly pass.

Signed,

It’s okay, I was gonna get up in five hours anyway

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Filed under Life, Open Letters

Cardboard to Car Bored

It was time to open presents at a children’s birthday party that I recently attended when I was suddenly struck by something that I witnessed.

The celebrant, a newly turned 5-year-old, had saved the biggest present for last. He proceeded to rip the wraps in the glee of the moment, unveiling the biggest toy I had ever seen: A battery-powered, child-scale SUV, big enough to comfortably seat four small children (with cup holders).

I didn’t get my first car until I was 17.

With the same excitement displayed by the children, the happy parents took the ‘toy’ outdoors where the city’s newest driver went on to destroy his mother’s flower garden.

The parent’s reaction: Look, it’s got off-road capabilities!

During my childhood, the only thing I needed was a cardboard box big enough for me to crawl inside.

In mere moments, I had a brand new fort. When repelling enemy forces turned tiresome, the box became a time machine. When the time/ space continuum lost its luster the box transformed into a spaceship. When negotiating with Martians turned uninspiring, the box was suddenly a boat. When navigating the high seas proved to be a lesser challenge, my playmates and I would find a grass slope and we’d take turns riding the box down the hill.

This would go on and on all day, every day. The only limitation to our play was our own creativity.

Flash forward to the present day: There I stood in my friend’s backyard watching his kid go monster truck on a bean patch. Within ten minutes, the child grew weary of his new ride and abandoned it where it was.

As he ran past me, I patted him on the head and longed for my cardboard box.

Maybe there was still enough imagination left in it to share with the birthday boy.

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