Remember that song, "Pac Man Fever"? Of course, you do!
Although, at this point in your life, the only words you may remember are, "Pac Man Fever... It's driving me crazy." But if you have kids -- boys in particular! -- you might be inclined to crab, "Xbox Fever, it's driving me crazy!"
My son is afflicted with the dreaded Xbox Fever. He's had it since he entered the world of Xbox Live. Only, unlike a real fever, it's still raging after months and months. And unlike the old school Pac Man Fever, there is no standing involved, no leaning side to side in any kind of physical effort.
No, the modern day Xbox Fever appears to reduce once-healthy, amiable kids that were conversant in multiple topics into immobile drones that can only move their thumbs and ramble incessantly about going to Game Stop.
Ryan: "Mom, I need to go to Game Stop to get Microsoft Points."
Me: "Didn't I just take you there two weeks ago?"
Ryan: "I want to change my gamer tag."
Me: "I don't know what that means."
Ryan: "I want to change my GAMER TAG!"
Now I know how foreigners feel. The same thing is getting repeated, it still doesn't make sense AND I'm getting yelled at.
Ryan: "And when we go, you need to stay outside the store. The guys in there are no-lifes, and I don't want you... you know... talking like, you know...."
Cara: "You're afraid Mom will embarrass you in front of the no-lifes?"
I seriously wasn't sure if I should have been insulted or not.
Apparently, my ignorance about "tags" and "signature editions" and "cheats" is just humiliating when he's around the pro players that haunt any given Game Stop.
Now summer's here. And despite the fact that I have Ryan in camp, I feared the Fever would take hold as soon as he arrived home every day, gripping him in its throes for a good seven hours until I pried the controller from his hot little hands.
I convinced Mike to put a time limit on the Xbox. Ryan just got through his first day with a TWO-HOUR time limit. Seriously, the kid is ready to call social services on us.
Ryan: "My friends think I should get three hours a day for all the nice things I'm doing around here."
Me: "WHAT nice things?"
Ryan: "You know... reading, shooting basketball."
Me: "You read for half an hour, and threw the basketball around for about 12 minutes."
Ryan: "It was more like 15 minutes! And my friends say I DESERVE three...."
...Xbox Fever, I'm goin' outta my mind!