Computer Withdrawal

Charlie: It only took me four days to defeat the entire game of “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.”

Cassie: I’m happy for you. How many hours was that total, then, that you were doing electronic games?

Charlie: How did you know it keeps a tally of the time?! It was eight hours and twelve minutes out of my entire life.

Cassie: That’s way too much time, Charlie. Jesus…

Charlie: Mom, I also read five books.

Cassie: Comic books….or real stuff?

Charlie: Some Simpsons graphic novels and the latest “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” book, the brown one. Dad got it for me at the grocery store last night. I read the whole thing in an hour.

Cassie: Hmmm….what happened to an hour of Harry Potter to earn time for the electronic gaming?

Charlie: I think Dad’s letting that slide.

Cassie: Really?

Charlie: Yes. Really. Can you NOT go running to him to tattle that I’m not doing the Harry Potter reading? I really don’t enjoy those books, Mom.

Cassie: It’s not tattling. I’m your parent. I’m keeping track of your gaming obsession.

Charlie: It’s a passion.

Cassie: Obsession.

Charlie: Passion.

Cassie: Well, maybe there are some other things on the computer you could be doing instead of all the computer games.

Charlie: Research. I’m always up for some research. I’m a master at the internet.

Cassie: I’ll bet.

Charlie: Anyway, Dad said he’s going to give me some beginning programming books.

Cassie: He is?

Charlie: Yep. And we’re going to download “Scratch.”

Cassie: Scratch? What’s that?

Charlie: An animated studio for kids. It’s programming without all the code. That’s what I was trying to download that time you banned me from Minecraft. (Pause) Is that ban still in effect, by the way?

Cassie: Yes.

Charlie: How much longer?

Cassie: A couple of days.

Charlie: Oh.

Cassie: So Dad is doing the downloading of Scratch with you? Onto my computer?

Charlie: Yes. You can ask him.

Cassie: I will.

Charlie: I know you will. (Pause) I’m not really interested in all the programming stuff Dad wants me to do, though. I saw Max doing that….working Python and stuff. That’s boring. It’s all numbers and code. It would be much better to build a web site.

Cassie: Yea? Maybe you should start a blog.

Charlie: A blog? Like you?

Cassie: Well, it could be about your computer research, or comments about what you’re learning with the Scratch stuff. That’s quite a name, “Scratch”…it makes me think of “Itchy and Scratchy.”

Charlie: “The Itchy and Scratchy Shoooow” (singing the theme song from the little bit that’s on the Simpsons) That’s true.

Cassie: It’s past noon. Why don’t you go get some clothes on? Then read a book or something.

Charlie: There’s not a thing to read. I’ve read every single book in this house.

Cassie: Oh pleeeese. You have not. You could read the newspaper. Sunday Times….thick with words….the best.

Charlie: (moaning) Ahhh. I’m dying.

Cassie: Withdrawal symptoms from too much gaming.

Charlie: Maybe. The only solution is to do more gaming.

Cassie: Nope.

Charlie: I’m doomed.

Cassie: Go sit in your room and look at the walls. There’s the world map on one of your walls. Go look at that for a while.

Charlie: Can we just go to the library?

Cassie: Sure. But I’m only getting books. Words printed on pages. We’re not getting any more games.

Charlie: It’s possible that “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II” is in.

Cassie: Forget it.

Charlie: Got it.

Cassie: Good.

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