Yet another way in which I am Uncool to my kids

The thing about getting the kids strapped into the car on the way to school is that it’s like rolling a Magic Eight Ball with 50 billion sides. Something’s going to come up, and you never have the faintest chance of being ready for it.

In part, it’s my job to be caught off-guard and flat footed. It helps kids develop their sense of having acquired privileged knowledge that they can use as social currency among friends and family.

This morning’s dialogue:


Yes, Jem?




“Uh… let’s start at the beginning. What the hell are you talking about?”

“Geez, Dad. Obama Alien Defense.”

“Is this a movie or a game?”

A game, Dad.

“On the computer?”


“And what’s going on?” (like I couldn’t guess)

“He’s blowing up a bunch of space aliens with an RPC”

(Think, think, think. I know he doesn’t mean a remote procedure call, though I briefly imagine a code snippet:
MiscellaneousViolence::BlowThingsUp(space_alien_array, max_aliens=50, timeout=10);
But my nerd humor is always lost on its audience)

“An ‘RPC’? That’s um, a ‘role playing character’?”

No, Dad. A rocket propelled chainsaw. Duh.”

(In my defense, I don’t think many dads would have been able to bluff their way past that one. When I was a kid, we didn’t have rocket propelled chainsaws. We had to blow up space aliens the old fashioned way, with lasers.)

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