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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

...Baby You're No Good

Do you remember the story about my daughter playing the computer game, School Tycoon? Since she borrowed that game from a friend, she didn't get to finish playing before her friend wanted it back. Even though her mom, her shameful mom, found her a money cheat code on the internet, she was unable to cheat to her greatest potential.

Rather than being upset that she could no longer play that game, and rather than beg her parents to buy her that game, she rediscovered her GameCube. She only has two games for it because she doesn't play video games very often.

It serves me right. After the last time, I should have known better than to "help" my daughter with this game. I should have given her the, "try your best" lecture. Instead, I took the GameCube controller and tried my hand at Harvest Moon, Another Wonderful Life. I'm married to a part-time farmer, surely I could "help" right? What happened next left us both in shock.

I don't even know what I did wrong but I deleted her game. Poof! Gone! What the fuck?! How'd I do that? Wide-eyed, she looked at me and said, "Uh... Mom? What did you do?" Pretty funny hearing her say something I've asked her and her brother countless times. I offered her the same answer they always give me, "I don't know."

Once the shock wore off, she was slightly amused. I kept saying, "I'll find a way to fix this sweetpea."

She was at a stage in this game where she had already gone through an entire year. She had gotten married and had a baby, which, by the way, she made a point of saying, "Way to kill your grandson, mother!"

I deleted my first grandchild. What kind of monster am I? Hook or crook, no matter what, I had to right the wrong. Two days later, after using every ounce of free time possible, I got her back to where she was with a bonus of her cow being pregnant.

I really liked the game. Simulation farming at its best. It teaches all sorts of good things like being kind to the earth and animals. It teaches about responsibility, community and family life.

One thing I hated was her husband. Total dick! No one, not even a computer dude is good enough for my baby. I'm going to make a fabulous mother in-law someday.

The guy she marries in the game does absolutely nothing. He asks questions like, "Is the farm even making any money?" and "The fridge is empty, think you can fill it up?"

My baby married a fucking bum! And I helped her.

The game offers the options for which husband she ends up with. First the character makes friends with the one she is interested in and it progresses from there. The surfer dude, which is the one she was married to the first time, and who I chose for her the second time, in an effort to make the game as much like her deleted one as possible.

The second guy is a hippy musician who sits under a tree all day plucking the strings. The last guy is a farmhand and would have been my choice had I not been trying to do everything exactly the same.

As time goes on, there are certain questions you are asked. How you answer those questions determines what kind of life you have, which I did not know. I always picked whatever option sounded best, except when the asshole husband asked questions like, "Where are you going?" Rather than say, "Just down the road," I would choose the "None of your business," option. I'm not kidding I hated that dude as much as one person could possibly hate a computerized son in-law.

After my daughter finally forgave me for deleting her entire family, she took over the controls. I was pretty into the game and watched her play often. As the years rolled on, she built one hell of a nice farm complete with all of the extras like a milking room and a food processing room, which made her lots of money along the way.

At the end of the game, the character is supposed to retire and her child is supposed to take over the family farm. I am such a bad mommy! My daughter was so close to the end of this game but bedtime got in the way. She begged me to let her stay up and finish. I insisted that she go to bed and would have something fun to look forward to in the morning. Reluctantly she headed to bed.

Did I mention what a bad mommy I am yet?

As soon as she was sleeping, I turned the game back on. No! I didn't accidentally delete it! It was worse than that.

"Hurry, something is wrong with her!" The doctor came and told her husband and son, he did all he could and said he was sorry.

She fucking died! After all of that!!!

I quickly turned the game off, hoping by not saving it, the ending would be different when my daughter played in the morning. It wasn't. Lane 2 was not only appalled but was really pissed that her stupid husband would get all of her money and the farm, and her stupid kid ran off to play sports rather than take over the farm.

Can I just say, I should have been given an award for my stellar acting skills when her character died. I couldn't very well tell her I knew that was going to happen. Could I?

After the shock of her untimely death wore off, Lane 2 said, "Whoever wrote the storyline in this game is a moron."

When you think about it, she is totally right. What's the deal with death in children's movies and games? Disney has been making a boatload on dead mommy movies for decades.

Anyhow, the girl and I decided we would play again, together. Okay, maybe the together part was my idea. We agreed we would try to get the farmhand dude to marry the character and try our best to not die at the end, even if that means no sarcastic answers to the computerized spouse.

Hmmm... on second thought, maybe I oughta sit this one out.