Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 283 - Dave & Busters

Taking two boys to Dave & Busters is like a trip to Disney World crammed into 2 hours.

Each kid gets a card with so many credits magnetically deposited.

As long as they don't leave the premises, they have free reign.

They run* away from you like you were a broccoli and spam sandwich... on whole wheat, frantic, exhilarated, bewildered at the shear number of games. So many games. So many ways to spend their credits. And no one telling them no. No one telling them what to play.

Most of the games spit out tickets. Higher the score, the more tickets. About half way through their credits, they find a game that they are pretty good at. And the ticket binge starts.

It's becomes all about the tickets, because when the inevitable end comes, when their credits are gone, the cup full of tickets translate to booty... booty from the prize room.

They have 19 quintillion tickets to "spend". Their eyes rattle. They. Are. Rich!

Seems like a lot, until you see that a Charm's Blow Pop is 14 quintillion tickets. And no one likes Charm's Blow Pops... the bastardization of the brilliant and delicious Tootsie Pop.

The prize room looks like it's full of great stuff. It's bright, and colorful, and the shelves are stacked high. That's from a distance. When you get up close to the stuff, you realize that it's all pretty much crap.

Ever gotten a gift card to a store that you don't ever go to? I have. It's a kinda sick feeling. You have this pretend money to spend, and nothing you want in the place. But the money's worthless everywhere except that store. So you plod around, your standards lowering by the minute, until, mercifully, you've gone brain numb and you pick the first thing priced remotely near the value of your "gift", just to get it over with.

Now imagine that it's not you, it's your kid. And they're really amped from killing zombies for 2 hours. And they're zipping around the "prize" room, ecstatic at their good fortune and video game skill, ready to plunder the prize room for everything they've got... and then... slowly realizing that their fortune has to be spent on... crap. So they do the plod, you watch their standards drop, and eventually, they exchange their fortune for 3 toys not worthy of a Cracker Jack box, and a Charm's Blow Pop.

But to their credit, they realize that the "prizes" aren't the reward. Killing zombies for two hours, that's the reward, and they can't wait to come back for more.

Good running,

*Running blog quota met.

Numbers: 1.4 tentative miles after yesterday's old-man slog. Much better today.