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Mary Oves
Published: Monday, October 18, 2010
Mary Oves
A night with the gadget ghouls

Woooooooh, it's almost Halloween, my family's favorite time of year.

We do a big Halloween production here at the Oves' household. We make chili and spiced cider, we pipe scary sound effects into the bushes, and place animatronic ghouls around a homemade graveyard spookified with floodlights and a smoke machine. It's a blast.

This year the older boys are going to be the Metallic Twins. The eight year is going to be some kind of crazed bloodthirsty hockey player.

I've told the twins that they should rethink their costumes. Because ever since dismal mid-marking period grades came in the mail, and their video gadgets have been removed from the premises, the twins have been wandering through the house, arms akimbo, eyes glazed, moaning, "Please, please, give us our controllers....just for ten minutes, mother..." They're like... Gadget Ghouls.

The rest of us run, afraid that they will try to suck our blood or tear us apart, limb from limb, in retaliation. We turn around, and there they are, moaning. We run fast, and they just walk, but they still catch up to us. No matter where we hide, they find us. They're like Michael Myers and Jason, uh, whatever his last name is.

I have good hard-working boys. The grades were not bad, and a lot of them were great. I'm proud for the most part, but there were a few questionable letters on there. And I figure no harm can come from removing the X-Box from the premises, giving them that much more time to pick up a book to read or to study.

And when I say I remove the games from the premises, I mean that literally. I drive the X-Box controllers to an agreed upon location, to a safe haven. I move them from place to place through an underground railroad. Only I have the power to bring those controllers back into the house.

I do this so I don't soften. The boys know my weaknesses. A rainy day. An A on an essay. A positive email or phone call from a teacher. Any one of these things can cause me to soften like a teacake in July, and relinquish their controllers. And that does none of us any good.

So they're in withdrawal. But a phenomenon has occurred. The magnetic force X-that pulls them toward the X-Box when they come home from school is gone. So after homework, the force pulls them Frankenstein Monster- like to the computers. This is where they can go onto Youtube and watch "well-deserving" children play video games, since they can't.

So I have to kick them off the computers, and the moaning intensifies, their thirst for human flesh only able to be slaked if they find something with buttons or keys. They move to their phones, the iPod Touches, my iPhone. Even though I am afraid, very very afraid, I know what I have to do next is the right thing.

I take the handheld devices. They stare blankly at me, as if wondering how my brain will taste when they chomp down on it. I back away, slowly, so as not rile them. Anyone who watches scary movies knows that if you move slowly, the fiend gets distracted, thus giving Donald Pleasance the chance to bound into the room and save you.

I look around. Donald is nowhere to be found. They are heading towards me, eyes fixed on a point past me. I turn, ready to scream, when I see what they have spotted. It's the television.

The Wii! I forgot about the Wii! I run, screaming, and grab the Wii remotes. I run to my neighbor's house, banging on their doors and windows, screaming to them to please let me in, take these remotes, please!!! Every light is on in their house, but no one answers the door.

Oh no. I turn and see the creatures walking towards me. They are walking slowly, but I know they will still catch up to me. I run to the back of the house, and sneak in the back door and look around. The house is secure. There is nothing left in the house they can possibly play on.

I heave a sigh of relief, and turn to find them standing in the middle of the kitchen. I scream, and they smile. They have won. They have found their old Gameboys. They are surfing with Kelly Slater and Rob Machado. The flesh falls away from their faces, and the room goes dark.

Credits roll.



 

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