All three of my boys own a hand-held Nintendo menace known as a “DS”. You know the menaces I speak of—tiny video game consoles that come with tiny (incredibly easy to lose) games.
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the DS. I love that if I need to get my boys out of my hair for a few minutes, these eyesight-ruiners will dutifully entertain them.
But I hate everything else about them. I hate what happens to my boys after they’ve been playing on the DS for too long. They turn into glassy-eyed trigger-happy monsters. They can never play enough (“Just let me finish this level, Dad.” )—they need more, more, more, more—and often during expressly forbidden times. For instance, I’ve caught them playing with a DS under their covers at 3:00 in the morning. I’ve caught them playing with a DS inside the pages of a book they are pretending to read for homework. Those are the kind of situations guaranteed to make a father snap.
And snap I did.
That’s why the bagful of DS machines and games has been my property for the last several years. During the week when homework needs to be done, the DS will never see the light of day. On weekends if I’m hearing a lot of bickering, the DS will never emerge. If I don’t see halos over their heads and/or read notarized character references written by a clergyman, those things will remain hidden forever.
And where is that hiding place? Aha! That’s my secret.
Finding the hiding place has been their obsession for the past three years. I hear them discussing the possibilities all the time, including the other day.
“It has to be in the laundry room,” I heard Johnny saying to Sean.
“Why?” Sean asked.
“Because whenever he gives them to us, they’re cold. The laundry room is the coldest room in the house.”
“I know,” Sean said. “But we looked through the whole laundry room last time they went out. Remember? It’s not there.”
“I’m telling you it’s got to be in the basement somewhere,” Johnny insisted.
“Maybe it’s the furnace room,” Sean guessed.
“It’s got a furnace!” Johnny pointed out. “A furnace is not cold. Maybe it’s the basement closet. That’s really cold too.”
You know what else is cold, boys?
Your DS hunt.
You know, now that I think of it, DS hunt © would make an excellent DS game. The boys have made it through Level 1 (The laundry room), and appear to be making progress through Level 2 (the basement closet), but I should warn them that the final level is nearly unbeatable.
Because even if they find their DS machines, they need to somehow get past the sleeping ogre guarding the bag; Dadzilla ©. Dadzilla © looks harmless, and is harmless as long as the DS isn’t disturbed. But if the DS is touched, Dadzilla © will be roused, and then everyone is in danger.*
*Give me a call Nintendo. We’ll talk.