Sometime over Christmas Break, I took four happy kids to Dave and Buster's. (I was happy, too.) We spent more than I want to recall, but we had a great time. We completely immersed ourselves in the craziness, the bright lights, the excitement - we were perfect 'dave and buster-ites.' My children were a bit more embarrassed about my need to spend so much time in the 'trivia corner', but life was good there - I was only playing against myself and I was really smart!
As is the usual outcome after a few hours in an arcade, the kids were heavy laden with 'tickets' which they could exchange for beautiful, finely made, plastic eccentricities of one kind of another. (This means that they could trade in $50 worth of silly, fun video games for playthings valued at about 3 cents.) Does it get any better? Really? They were overjoyed.
Every single 'prize' we left with that day has disappeared, probably somewhere into the large trash bins at the self-serve carwash. Every plastic item is gone and forgotten, except for one. Only one remains . . . the blue and orange, blow-up bopper attained just the moment before we left the arcade. The bopper was an after thought, one itty bitty object of fun that was traded for at the last minute, with the few remaining tickets.
This bopper (I've named it that for want of any better name) has outlasted all of the others, and (many times) this precious bopper has just about led me to admit my own self into a place where people would make decisions for me, dress me in drab clothes and speak softly to me. This bopper has become an object of distress, if only for me. This bopper has proved to be a weapon of mass destruction that is too wonderful to put down for EVERY SINGLE male human who has entered our home since this blue and orange 'prize' came home to live with us.
The bopper, soon forgotten by the children who brought it home, is a bigger attraction that I could have ever imagined - it has its own magnetic pull that lures otherwise peaceful little people to grab it, handle it with strength and set in to beating the very life of whatever or whoever is closest. The bopper transforms those who hold it into war mongers, evil people, with only distress and destruction as their vision.
Otherwise nice young men turn into pesky little killers when they wrap their sweet little baby hands around the puffy blue handle of THE BOPPER. Their voice changes, the innocent look on their face transforms into THE HULK, the blood vessels in their necks bulge with anger and they set out to destructively BOP - they set out to BOP everything in their wake. They mean to hurt, to maim, to beat the very life out of the people they called friends just seconds before.
If there is no human around to BOP, they BOP the closest object, the one that when BOPPED will make the loudest, most inhumane sound; and they continue to BOP this object until even neighbors we haven't yet met are yelling for the BOPPING to cease. The BOPPING is loud, the BOPPING is aggravating, the BOPPING can transform a bright, sunny day into something that warrants a visit from THE WEATHER CHANNEL. The BOPPING is bad. The BOPPING does not stop. The BOPPER, a sweet little boy moments before, can no longer be reached with simple soft voice commands - can only be stopped with force. The mother of the house, just a gentle soul herself seconds before, must lunge with strength and ferocity, wrap her mighty HULK hands around the BOPPER and pull with every bit of might she has. The mother must put forth effort never before called upon, she must exhibit olympic strength in a war she has never waged before. She MUST prevail - she MUST take back the BOPPER and hide it again.
The mother WINS - the BOPPER is hers and she must run off to find yet another hiding place for this innocent looking, inflatable instrument of doom. It must be hidden, again and again and again.
Without the BOPPER, the young visitor returns, he takes back the innocent look of boyhood, his sweet scratchy voice comes back, his blood vessels quietly do their work without protruding from the precious little neck and the child again goes about an afternoon of boy in youth, running free and happy in the grass. Without the BOPPER, life is good again. Without the BOPPER, all is well. It is.
This is hard to recount, to relive, and it has been a part of my family's life since that fated visit to the arcade. Life was good before the game-filled visit and it was good during the visit. But after, after our happy jaunt to never never land, this peaceful life has been intermittently possessed by a force so evil that even my priest husband can't pray the spirits away. The BOPPER is bigger than us. The BOPPER brings about behaviors I wasn't trained for, behaviors I fear, behaviors that I cannot continue to fight in my daily life. Life can be hard, and one does not need the added interference of the BOPPER to make it harder.
And so, you are surely now asking, why in the blankedy blank blank blankedyness haven't I rid my self, my home, my family from this foreign invader? Why has it remained in our otherwise dandy domicile?
GOOD QUESTION! Why has it? Why have I left that plastic monstrosity within reach of sweet visitors to our happy home? I don't know. I don't know. But today . . . today it all changes. Today, as I write this post, I am rising superior to this 'made in China' destructor. Today things change.
I will publish this post and then I will do what should have been done months ago. I will release the little plastic stopper and let the trapped air free, and I will revel in watching the instrument of torture shrivel in my hands. The once brilliant orange and blue perfection will cease to exist as I squeeze the very life from it's BOPPERNESS and it will be a memory. The cause of so much angst will melt away and the sun will rise again on Azalea Court.
We may return to Dave and Buster's, but we will NEVER leave its loud, kid-filled doors with a blow-up object again. NEVER. The children who visit my home will never be tempted to leave the familiar bounds of boyhood to visit the crazed hallucinations of a BOPPER. It's all over. It's all over. We are free.
My experiences with the BOPPER and all of the wackiness it brought to life has had me thinking. Has me thinking about other stuff I might hold on to that isn't helping, isn't aiding us in our quest for a happy life. Hmmmm. Something to consider.
Are you holding onto anything that isn't helping you?
Now, here are the results from yesterday's MONDAY MORNING WHAT IS IT?
The photo looked like this . . .
and it was part of this . . .
Ten folks guessed correctly and the winner (chosen at random using random.org) was Jami B.! Congratulations, Jami, you just won a free photo session to be used within a month! Contact me and we'll get it scheduled!
Thanks for playing and following the blog. I'll post another mystery photo next Monday morning!