Suspects Quickly Identified In Exuberant Xbox Charges, Punishment Followed
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Spring has sprung and it is an absolutely glorious time to live in north Mississippi. I don’t think we do a season better than we do spring. The birds are all a flutter. The flora is soft and new. And the cool, clean air makes one want to live out in the yard, cooking breakfast, lunch and supper on the grill. We’ve mastered this time of year and it cannot be improved upon. We are peak spring.
Unfortunately, in terms of column material, springtime always comes up short for me. This is because if it’s not traveling to random little Mississippi towns on school nights to sit and watch what feels like 500 hours of kids’ baseball games, then I’m probably not doing it. I told a friend the other day, “It’s spring now. That means I write about children’s baseball for four months.”
I should be more positive about my position as a baseball parent. It could be way worse. I could be a baseball kid; the one actually having to play baseball! They seem to really enjoy it, though. Children are magical in that way.
Another thing children really seem to like to play is Xbox. Without naming any names, I know one child who may or may not have (he did) run up several weeks of, oh shall we say, exuberant Xbox charges on his parent’s credit card. Said child got stone cold busted because there was really no way not to get busted when the charges show up on the credit card statement. And, what’s wild is that this child knew this. But this child had Spring Fever for games, I guess, and lost all sense. I imagine this child sitting there enjoying his new subscriptions like a teenaged Bernie Madoff….knowing the gig was up before it began but riding it out in full glory till the very last and bitter end.
This child who shall not be named took his punishment of restriction/no-Xbox/no-phone/work-to-pay-it-back very well. Rumor has it, he has a whole personality that came alive during his weeks off the Internet! He drew pictures and hung them on the walls of his room. He sat on the porch in the afternoons with his Mama talking about school and telling funny stories on classmates. He followed his parents around the house, talking a mile-a-minute and asked a million questions about political things. He played badminton for hours in the yard with his little brother, who is really terrible at badminton (and who, inexplicably, got busted mere days later for the exact same Xbox crime…. like HOW?!) Anyway, the point is that this criminal child figured out fun things.
This town is small and we don’t always have a whole lot “to do.” Sometimes you just have to take what you have and figure out the advantages and the limitations.
The other day I got a new sofa delivered to my house. It came in a massive cardboard box. Basically, the biggest cardboard box I’ve ever seen. That younger brother, who is terrible at badminton, took this box into the backyard and immediately made a giant fort complete with strategically placed holes for the barrel of his BB gun. In typical small-town kid fashion, teenaged Bernie Madoff’s newly jailed little brother was making the most of it.