Monday, November 16, 2009

All I want for Christmas is ... mind control?

My son wants Mindflex for Christmas. Have you heard of it? You put on the headset and use your powers of concentration to move the ball around the game console and through an obstacle course. Seriously, you raise and lower the ball by alternating concentrating and relaxing your mind.

What ever happened to checkers?

And how does this thing work? It’s by Mattel, so it must be safe. Right.

My son tried to tell me it was good for his brain. I told him so were math problems.

Fortunately, it’s a moot point – it cost $143, and I have a feeling after five minutes of concentrating and failing to move the ball through the hoops, they would soon grow bored.

My daughter wants a frog. They sell them at the toy store now for $19.95. She showed it to me as we were checking out.

“Oh, they are great,” said the saleslady. “You don’t have to do anything to them.”

“Not even feed them?” I asked.

“Oh, well, yes, you have to feed them,” she said, “but you don’t have to clean out their cage.”


After two guinea pigs and a rowdy puppy, I heard Santa put a moratorium on live animals in the sleigh. You can thank us for that.

It’s always a challenge to find the perfect gift - one that will make your children happy, but not make you broke. I’m sure my Christmas present dilemma is nothing new. When I was a child, I wanted a Cabbage Patch doll with all my heart. I knew someone who had four, and she pulled down their bloomers revealing Xavier Roberts signature to prove they were the real deal. At $100 a doll, I thought she had to be the richest girl in the world. The sad part is they were so valuable she wasn’t allowed to play with them. She had to leave them propped on her bed like trophies.

I’m sure my parents debated, but wisely they chose to buy me an imitation version of the doll. She was just as ugly as the real thing, and I loved her every bit as much until I outgrew her and left her by the wayside, which happened all too quickly.

Maybe I should follow their example and devise an imitation Mindflex. You know, make an aluminum headband and put some balls on the table. Let the kids concentrate until the balls move or they become blue in the face and grow bored with it. I may not be a mind-reader, but I can predict if I spent $143, I would end up with the exact same result.

As for the frog, maybe I can talk Santa into making some allowances on that one. He was awfully cute!

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