Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

In My Day Naughtiness Was Harshly Penalized

When I was 5 years old I got a toy shooting gallery for Christmas. It was a contraption with a line of metal balls and a bright blue gun with a magnet in it; you'd lift up the balls and fire them at different targets. (I'm pretty sure this was it; I vividly remember that gun.) I played with it for a night and then the next day I did something "bad"—I've asked around, and no one remembers quite what, because it was FOREVER AGO—and my parents took it away to punish me. They kept it around on the top of the fridge for about a week or so, where it taunted me with its inaccessibility ("Look at me! Up here! Don't you wish you could play with me RIGHT NOW?") and then it was gone, never to return, its final destination as much of a mystery as the original offense that was the cause of its removal from my possession. To this day I have never received a gift that has brought me as much joy as that crappy piece of plastic did for those few brief hours when it was mine. So when I see a story about how today's parents confirm "that their kids will get the same number of new toys even if they misbehave in the weeks leading up to Christmas," I can only weep that I was born too soon. Also, I have to hand it to my own parents; no matter how much I cried and cajoled, they held firm in their insistence that I needed to learn a lesson about the consequences of my actions. You'd think I'd be a better person today, but it turns out I was never any good and some things don't stick. At least I didn't develop a gun fetish, I guess.


8 Comments / Post A Comment

petejayhawk (#1,249)

Plus, the headline doubles as a Morrissey song title.

BadUncle (#153)

Yeah, but you're still our special little snowflake, Balk. And no matter how naughty you are, next round is on me.

Which reminds me: is the Awl Christmas Winter Festival Jamboree on Ice happening this year?

Animated Christmas Special, Please!

hockeymom (#143)

As a parent, I can confirm that we do indeed make decisions that seem really awesome at the time but in reality are probably petty, childish and may ruin our children for life. And we can't take them back.


hman (#53)

Alex Balk, forever lifting up his balls.

When I was nine I was rooting around in my parents' bedroom closet a few weeks before Christmas, looking for my presents, and I found the complete Voltron (this was in 1985), and my mom caught me in the act and told me she was going to return all my presents to the store, and I was distraught, but when Christmas came I still got all my presents, including the Voltron, and I was the happiest boy in the world.

davetar (#1,114)

Eerily close to Jack Donaghey’s mother stealing his bike and never giving it back because he didn’t lock it up.

libmas (#231)

MAGNET BALL GUN. That is all.

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