We drove down to grandma and grandpa's house after church yesterday to collect a lizard grandpa caught for Ian and Elliott. The boys were anxious to get it since it was the replacement lizard for one grandpa had previously given them. The one that out of the blue decided to die last week and momentarily ruin Ian's life. The untimely death of that lizard came on the heels of the one that hung out with aunt Wendy while we were on vacation this summer and took to feeling ill and "ran off into the woods to find healing" but never returned. I would think that at least one of the lizards we've planted in back yard funerals would have started growing by now, but no such luck. So we resupply lizards at grandpas house. I'm not real sure what grandpa has against lizards.
On the drive down a group of motorcycles, a half-dozen of them or so - some might call it a gang - passed by us on the interstate. Elliott begged me to speed up and catch them. I've watched the news recently. I know what happens when large vehicles rendezvous with motorcycles. So I gave Elliott the most logical explanation I could think of for denying his request.
"Elliott, I've bought you too many video games and iPad apps the last couple of months to be able to afford a traffic ticket. If you want me to pursue motorcycles on the highway, we'll need to quit buying games and save up for a traffic ticket."
"OK, what?" I asked
"OK, let's stop buying video games and start saving for a traffic ticket."
I should have seen that coming.
"Well if I chase down a motorcycle gang - I mean, a group of motorcyclists out enjoying a Sunday afternoon cruise together - the police will not be happy when they catch me, so I'll have no choice but to try to outrun them, which will lead them to arrest me and take me to jail, which will require bail and a lot more money. We'd probably have to quit buying games and save for a couple of years."
"What is bail?"
"Bail is what you pay to get someone out of jail," I told him.
"OK," Elliott said, "Let's do it."
So I agreed that on his 10th birthday we would speed past a motorcycle gang, get pulled over by the police after a brief chase, go to jail and then post bail with the money we save by not buying video games for the next two years. I made the agreement completely confident that Elliott would be begging for a new game or app before the end of the week and would trade in our plans of lawlessness for Angry Birds as quickly as we hatched them. I never considered the Ian effect, though.
Ian, mind you, was in the back seat fairly quiet through all of this.
This morning Ian watched Elliott come to me with the iPad, which 9 times out of 10 is to ask me to download a new app. Ian had just woken up and was still a little groggy and had a hard time making out what had gone on between Elliott and me. So he asked "Dad, what did Elliott want you to do on the iPad."
I told him he had just wanted to show me something. "Why do you ask?"
"Because I was afraid he was wanting you to buy an app and he can't do that because we're saving money for a traffic ticket."
I should have known that Ian had been dreaming about the chase since he first heard it mentioned. He probably has a game or two of his own for sale on Craigslist as I write this. And if Elliott causes me to spend a single cent on a video game over the next two years, you can be sure that Ian will never forgive him.