I Just Told the ‘Bot to Hang a Right at Las Vegas

We have just gotten home from Small Town High’s girls’ basketball game against (let me turn aside and gag here) Rival Town.

When you’ve grown up in Small Town, Rival Town makes you want to throw rotten eggs.  It’s just the principal of the thing; it’s nothing personal.

The gym was packed.  So packed, in fact, there were more butts than bleachers.  And it was loud.  So loud, in fact, my ears are ringing like I just sat and watched a sound check for Metallica.

(Which I’d never do, because UGH.  Let’s just be straight on that, shall we?)

But at least the ringing in my ears has shut out THIS SONG that I’ve been singing all day, which the boy downloaded onto his iPod last week, and which I have now heard seventeen thousand and fourteen times.

Catchy little ditty, isn’t it?

And by catchy, I don’t mean good and wonderful.  I mean the dad-gum thing sticks in your head like chewing gum does in your hair, and you can’t shake it loose for anything, until you’ve sat in a gym during a basketball game between Small Town and Rival Town and had your ears ring until you cannot! hear! a! thing! And then, blessedly, there are no more Weird Al lyrics running through your head.

Suddenly Y-O-D-A, Yoda can no longer be heard, and you want to weep with relief.

I’ll have to tell you more about the basketball game later, because I simply don’t have the stamina to type much tonight.

BUT…

…on the way home from the game, while I was trying to navigate the parking lot at Small Town High (which was like trying to drive your way out of the Super Bowl’s parking lot tonight), the boy said, “Do you know what would revolutionize driving on the interstate?”

Revolutionize? Excuse me?  Who is this child?

While I was still coming to terms with the fact that my son had used the word revolutionize in a sentence, he continued by saying, “Robots.  Robots would revolutionize driving.”

And then there was that big, long pause, where a genius simply assumes that you know what he’s talking about, but really, since you can’t understand Theoretical Physics or the Chaos Theory like he can, you simply have NO STINKING IDEA WHAT HE’S TALKING ABOUT.

So you ask him to expand, and he says, “Well, Mom, sometimes people might have to drive their cars from Small Town to Albuquerque because they can’t afford plane tickets.”

(Albuquerque?!)

(Um, really? The boy has never been there; the boy knows no one who lives there.  I was stunned to hear that THIS was his destination for his example.)

I asked him to go on, and he said, “Well, if you invented a robot that could drive your car for you, you could travel at night, still save money because you wouldn’t have to pay for plane tickets, and you could sleep in the car, while the robot did all the driving, because you could program him to get you from Small Town to Albuquerque.  You could sleep all night, while the robot drove, and you’d wake up happy and where you wanted to be.”

And then he said, “And do you know what, Mom?  I don’t even think it would be that hard to invent something like that for people to buy.”

Clearly, I am a stranger in my own home, because anything more difficult than a ham and broccoli casserole is too hard for me to invent.

And then the boy slumped down in the back of the Suburban with a little grin and said, “I guess I’m an innovator now, Mom.”

I think we’re looking the next Millennium Technology Prize square in the mouth, and I think our family could handle the $1.3 million cash prize, since the boy is technically underage and would need financial guidance from his parents.

I’ve never actually BEEN a millionaire, but I’m sure I’d be just darling at it.

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