Saturday, March 26, 2011

About A (Red-Head) Boy

This is a story that happened a week ago.  One of my mom's friends was going to Las Vegas and our family agreed to have her son stay over for three days.  This kid is 10 years old and I've maybe seen him a few brief times before.  All we know is that this is the Brady Bunch and this kid is Cousin Oliver.  So I didn't mind having him over just as long as he didn't raid my room and touch all my stuff.  To keep his identity safe, I'll refer to him as "Dude."

I'm annoying and nobody likes me!  Now make me a sandwich!

But first, about my family--my three brothers to be exact.  I'm the oldest at 23.  My two middle brothers are going to school, doing work, and hanging out with (girl)friends so they are almost always out of the picture nowadays, seemingly content for me to "babysit" Dude because they find him somewhat creepy.  My youngest brother is 13.  Believe it or not, he has autism.  I'll call him "Guy."  Basically, he acts socially different compared to kids his age.  He plays video games like I do and I usually get along with him as long as he's not throwing a fit or screwing with my Xbox 360.  So basically, I'm not used to interacting with a "normal" child like Dude.

With Dude over, at first I'm assuming he will play with Guy, but Guy usually sticks his head in Playstation 3 games and doesn't like to be bothered.  At this point in time, I wasn't really expecting to hang out with Dude, but he wanted to play the Xbox 360 in my room which I let him do with slight reluctance.  Guy comes in to play with him and I go eat a sandwich.  But then Guy jumps back on the PS3 and Dude is all alone.  So basically, the only person Dude has to hang out with is me.  A 23 year old hanging out with a 10 year old.  Yeah, this is the recipe for a Disney channel show or an indie movie I see.  Dude also brought over his stuffed Beagle dog toy which is basically his "security blanket."

But first, an aside.  For some reason, I feel like I've never grown up.  Well, subtle things anyway.  Like we've went to a restaurant recently and my 16 year old brother orders a parmesean caesar salad with crab legs and chives (I made this up) while I order chicken fingers.  I also have toys lying around my room.  I think that Dude saw into my soul and sort of got along with me right away, seeing I'm not this big bad man like most people my age are.

So what do we do?  He wants to play a video game--one with guns but no cursing.  So we play Call of Duty: Black Ops!  We go online split screen.  He just plain sucks with his 0.1 KDR, but he was stoked to play the game as late as possible.  Later, we try to play one of those Halo campaign missions, but we get stuck one one of those flying missions.  I keep getting spawned in mid-air and he keeps dying.  We go back to Black Ops afterwards cause Halo sucks.

He claims he's never spent the night over at someone's house and stayed up late (3 am) before.  I used to do it all the time, I said.  He talked about sporadic things like how Vanilla Ice ripped off Queen's Under Pressure and how LSU Football head coach Les Miles should be fired.  Like I said, this is completely new to me cause I've never hung out with kids before.  He did bring up this point while we were talking; just substitute Donkey Kong with Daytona USA:

Ok, this really didn't happen.  Sorry...somehow I was just reminded of Billy Madison.

Now I'm not pursuing this kid, but he seemed to look up to me.  I'm at home, just hanging out, doing what I normally do with my time.  Sometimes Dude would be out swimming in the pool, hanging out with Guy, or throwing the football around outside.  I was sitting down alone eating Tyson chicken fries at dinnertime when he started to ask questions about me like where I am in school (I have a college degree!!) and do I have a girlfriend (not now cause girls are trouble).  But then he asks this question (I'm paraphrasing):

DUDE: Hey, do you have any friends?

ME: Eh, not really.

DUDE: Why not?

ME: I don't know...I'm not very outgoing and I like a lot of stuff that's not popular so I don't have a lot in common.  Not many people like me.

DUDE: Well, that's stupid because you're supposed to like people for their character, not for their hobbies or their skills.

ME: Why, that's very good advice.

DUDE: You have a friend; do you know who your friend is?

ME: Who?

DUDE: I'm your friend.


I'm going to tell you the truth.  Trying to maintain these friendships and figuring out what (and how) to say things is as tricky as walking the tightrope 50 stories high.  But why?  How much value can you put in a 10 year old kid?  Well, it's nice to see another human being who will actually talk to me; that's new...

Of course, by this point in time, you think I'm leaning towards some Michael Jackson-esque man-boy "relationship," but spare me the grief cause that's not where I'm heading.

Oh yeah, one more funny thing.  He sees my collection of Xalax Lego Racers in my room and says, "Hey I have a few of these.  Next time I come over, I'll give them to you cause I don't want them anymore."  If that is true, then that's just insane.

Anyway, Dude plays two-player Tony Hawk for the PS3 with Guy and then they go to sleep.  Dude leaves at 8 am next morning.  Before he left, I said goodbye and this conversation ensued:

And there goes my "friend."  Ehh, whatever.  I usually rail on kids for being obnoxious and "stupid" (obviously not to their faces...I'm not that big of a jerk) but sometimes they can surprise you.  And kids don't have to put up with crap like politics, news, paying bills, losing weight (eh, most of them), etc. so their ideas seem more "pure" than us adults' ideas.  I know it's just a kid, but it's nice to know I made a friend which made me feel a little better about myself.

But speaking of kids, in all honesty, I love the scene at the end of Step Brothers with the kids.  Seriously, we need more kids to get beat up in movies since they get away with everything while the adults get pissed on.  Rofl.


  1. Nice post Eric, it reminds me I lived a very different life to others in my age group. I think the main reason is that I don't drink: a lot of social activity for young adults seems to revolve around alcohol (in the UK anyway) and I did feel somewhat left out. Looking back there are many reasons why I've remained teetotal since my mid-teens but one thing does stand out...

    Back in 1993, me and my friend had just come out of a fish & chip shop ( after playing a Mortal Kombat arcade machine. We had just crossed the road and passed this old man who smelled like he'd been at the 'sauce' for most of the day! I turned to my friend and said something like "Woah he stinks of booze"..and my friend simply turned around and said "you're going to smell like that one day". It was the fact he said it in such an unemotional way, as if it was inevitable and couldn't be stopped, that made it stick in my head. Funny thing is, if I saw that friend now I doubt he'd even remember saying it!

    PS "Anyway, Dude plays two-player Tony Hawk for the PS3 with Guy and thne (sic) they go to sleep".....typo! :)

  2. That's very interesting. I don't drink alcohol either. I don't see the point since it doesn't seem to taste better than non-alcoholic beverages plus all the stumbling, hangovers, and DUI's.

    But surprisingly, I usually make better friends not in my age group too. Old computer science college professors, little kids, etc. You're right cause most of the people my age just seem to conform to the same-old same-old. Like World of Warcraft, Facebook, parties, etc.

    Not growing up reminds me of Tom Hanks in the movie Big:

    Also, I know what fish-and-chips family stopped at one of those in the UK section of Disney's Epcot Park. Wahahahahaha.

  3. Oops, when I deleted your old comment, it still says 2 replies as if I didn't post here's 3.