Changing Our Lives, One Book at a Time

The boy has brought a book home today that will forever change our lives.

It’s from a book order at school. When he saw the title on the flimsy-papered book order list a couple of weeks ago, he begged to buy it, for days on end. It cost twenty-two hard-earned, backed-with-gold, American dollars. I kept insisting that the hard-bound book simply wasn’t one that I would stand up and rejoice over, especially at twenty-two clams. He stood firm, and announced that he was willing to part with some of the stash of cash he has hidden from potential criminals in order to secure this particular title and add it to his private library.

(Criminals, beware. If you’re just now finding this blog and have discovered that the boy has a stash of cash in the house and not in the safety of America’s banking system, I will assure you now that it is not worth your trouble. Hubs and his biceps will kick the snot out of you if you set foot in our house, and Cat 1 will dismember you and eat your liver. And all of this will happen because you tried to steal the boy’s money, which amounts to less than what it takes for a family of three to eat at McDonald’s. It is not worth it, especially if you value your liver, which, I might remind you, will be gone and completely chewed up if Cat 1 gets her paws on you. Cat 2, I might add, will sit and watch the commotion. She is not much of a threat, but she witnesses all of Cat 1’s crimes, for legal reasons.)

In the end, Hubs and I discussed the matter, and we finally arrived at an agreement in less than half the time that it takes to pass a bill in Congress. We, the parents, would pay for half of the book; he, the boy, would fork over his green money to cover the other half of the book.

(The boy has two types of money. He has coins, and he has green money. It has always been that way. In the olden days, when he was a mere tot of a child, he was pleased to have a handful of coins, as he considered himself to be quite wealthy with four pennies in his hands. Now that we have moved into the middle of the 3rd grade, the boy is only satisfied with GREEN MONEY. He has never called it “paper money.” He has never referred to it as “dollar bills.” He has green money, and he is well aware of the fact now that having one piece of green money totally trumps having eighteen pennies in his hand, no matter which one weighs more.)

As I said, the book arrived today.

It is called The Star Wars Lego Dictionary.

It has a picture of every single (did I say every single?) Star Wars Lego set that has ever been manufactured by the friendly plastic brick company. He is now fully cognizant of every single RETIRED Star Wars Lego set, and this could prove to be a very bad thing. His list of “what he wants for Christmas” has already doubled since he loaded himself and the book into my Suburban when I picked him up from school. The only joy that I take in this is that the beastly-heavy, hard-bound Star Wars Lego Dictionary did NOT arrive before he went to sit on Santa’s knee.

Can you even imagine?

“Hello, Santa. I’ll just dive right in, since my list is long, and I am being restricted to a mere ninety seconds of your valuable time before the next child is motioned forward to sit where I am sitting now. I would like to present my book as Exhibit A, and I would like to inform you that you can bring me anything from pages 12 through 78 on Christmas Eve. I know that they’re all retired sets, which makes them nearly impossible to find in the world that is not the North Pole, but I feel confident that you probably have one of each of these old-fashioned Star Wars Lego sets sitting on a counter somewhere in your workshop.”

The boy even informed me this afternoon, “Hey, Mom! Get a load of this set! It was sold in 1999, and that is like the oldest Lego set that I have even heard of! Nineteen-ninety-nine, Mom! That’s not even in this century!”

Tonight, as Hubs and I were busy with one thing or another, we noticed that the boy had logged himself onto eBay, and he was pleased as punch. “Look!” he cried. “I found the set from 1999, and it is only 99-cents right now, and I can totally afford that!”

Then I pointed out that this particular set, although listed at a mere 99-cents with no bidders, has a shipping and handling cost of $18.95. This took a little enthusiasm out of his Lego-high balloon, but not much. He then told me, “I’m going to start looking for other old Lego sets from my book. I sure wish I could go see Santa just one more time before Christmas gets here.”

I’m sorry. Santa has made his Southern Tour already, and he’s moved back North until it’s time to load the sleigh and head out. And, with any luck at all, we’ll manage to lose this twenty-two dollar book before next Christmas.

And, on a side note (because I am completely capable of taking a subject and just dropping it, dead in the water, and moving right along to something else that is totally unrelated), the virus that I successfully downloaded onto my computer last night has worked a number.

People, this little germ literally loaded my desktop with 22,000 shortcuts and icons for…um…very unwholesome Internet sites. I know that big numbers are thrown out with all manner of exaggerations in today’s world, but I jest not when I say that I had 22,000 shortcuts. Twenty-two-thousand. Try to picture what a desktop looks like when it’s fully loaded like that. And then, after leaving all of those shortcuts on my desktop (which were literally stacked upon one another, hundreds deep), it disconnected my computer from the Internet. In fact, my computer will now not recognize any network at all, so all online shopping has been completely cut off, via that portal.

It was like having Platform 9-3/4 at King’s Cross close on you, before you were able to get yourself in and on the Hogwarts Express.

So really? To the writer of this virus, why would you give someone 22,000 literal shortcuts to racy Internet sites, and then disable the Internet connection? This doesn’t make sense, if you ask me. I suspect that your virus program may have a virus of it’s own, because the logistics of it don’t add up, and for this, I am happy. I am happy that your virus didn’t get anyone to visit any of the sites that you so diligently wrote into your virus-creating program. It’s karma.

And poor Hubs. He was up until the morning hours, diligently deleting stuff off of my computer, and cussing under his breath because he cannot figure out how to get the computer reconnected to the Internet. People, this is saying something. Hubs fixes computers for a living, and this particular problem is infuriating him, because he has yet to meet a computer that couldn’t be cured by his whisperings.

So I will just say this: Hubs will not let it rest, until I have full-on access to gapkids.com again. I mean, seriously. I had no way to check the weather this morning, so how was I to know that it was six degrees BELOW zero when I went outside to start the Suburban? Without the Internet, I may have to invest in one of those outdoor thermometers, and that’s just crazy-talk.

Hopefully, the good doctor will have things running smoothly around here soon. Until then, I’m forced to use the mouseless laptop, and I am not a fan of being without the mouse. The mouse and I go way back. Will any child be able to say that about the Zhu Zhu pet in ten years? I doubt it. The Mouse is in an entirely different league than the Fake Hamster, with the Fake Cage.

And all that fakeness doesn’t even compare to the retired Lego sets that we are now familiar with.

I loathe the day the child learned to read.

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