“Lunch with teenagers is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
~borrowed and modified from Forrest Gump
There are several things of which I can be certain. I will spill something on my white pants. I will see someone I know if I go shopping without makeup. If I ask my son to choose a restaurant, he will choose Pizza Hut. Such was the case with the latter on Thursday.
It is always interesting to take my two teenagers to lunch. In many ways, it is similar to the television show, Wild Kingdom, that I watched almost every week as a child. The narrator/explorer would quietly observe, making no sudden movements, so that he could learn as much as possible about the pride of lions or family of crocodiles or herd of wildebeests. If he interjected a comment too loudly or moved to suddenly, the animals might flee…..or eat him.
The conversation began innocently enough. We were discussing music, and for some reason I found myself singing a bar or two of an old jazz tune: “I don’t want to set the world on fire….” This song also happens to be played on the game, Fallout III.
Once this fact was established, my daughter explained to me that Fallout III was an open world, which means that choices can be made with differing results. Or something. It was at this point that my 14 year-old, code-typing, RAM ordering, hard-drive-buying son explained that open world had a more specific definition, and they debated back and forth for some time about this very elusive topic. I began to sense tension in the ranks. This was my cue to interject, lest their squabbling over the technology of virtual worlds spoil the flavor of my thin crust vegetarian pizza slice.
“I am pretty sure that in Pac Man the world was not open because you had to follow that maze…..”
I learned something in that moment……I have three heads. After my teenagers stared at my three heads for a few moments, my son changed the subject by throwing out a term I had never heard.
Now, I would assume that elder scrolls are some sort of uber valuable wisdom hand written on papyrus and found in a murky cave by monks of some sort. That is apparently not the case. Not only are elder scrolls not actual scrolls…..the game that I have heard them playing late at night this summer is part of the…third elder scroll? Or is it the fifth? hey, Thursday was almost a week ago and I have had laundry to do since then. So you can google and find out….the game they play is called Skyrim.
Please do not ask me to explain Skyrim. I am too busy combining my Diet Coke with the Zotz candy I was excited to find at the gas station. It isn’t as much of a rush as Pop Rocks, but it will do for now. So apparently Skyrim is a truer version of an open world. It may or may not have something to do with the scrolls. I tried to follow their scroll discussion as I ate my cinnamon breadsticks with a fork. I wanted to toss in a Dead Sea reference, but I wasn’t sure they would catch it. Eventually, though, the discussion again devolved into a debate. So I decided it was time for me to contribute again.
“I used to have a really hard time crossing the street on the higher levels of frogger…..”
Then something amazing happened. My fourteen year old son, whose pulse I am often tempted to check as he sits at the computer, laughed…loudly. For quite a few seconds. Then he looked at me and said, “That was GREAT Mom!”
I still have no idea why it was so funny. But since it is rare that he speaks in complete sentences voluntarily, much less finds me amusing, I just laughed along. Because, well, I still might try to live out that stand-up comedian dream one day, and the whole frogger bit is apparently gold.
I just have to find a way to open it…….