Bonzo, who is 13, says, “I’m bored.”
I say, “Go surf the Web.”
Bonzo opines that “the World Wide Web << exaggerated rolleyes >> is stoopid.”
Well, he does have a point. It’s all about sitting there reading things, isn’t it? Sitting still and reading things is not what he is good at. Figuring out a way to get a piece of iron pipe attached to the tree in the backyard with a section of tetherball tether, and then experimenting to see whether he can use this to get up into the tree (no) and whether he can sucker his little sister into trying it, too, and maybe getting stuck (yes) that’s the sort of thing he’s good at.
He likes Beast Wars, Playstation, Pokemon, professional wrestling, dinosaurs, Duke Nukem, all the usual stuff. But we’ve been to all those homepages and websites and they just leave him cold. And don’t even get me started on Disney–it’s like they don’t really WANT you to play their games, all the malarkey you have to go through just to get into a game, and then it’s so SLOW.
Nickelodeon is for Little Kids, he says. All the “educational” sites, like PBS, NOVA, National Geographic, Discovery.com, also leave him cold. Too much sitting still and reading.
He got a kick out of Stick Figure Death Theater–for about 15 minutes. Even for grownups, there’s a limit to how long you can sit there and watch those.
I even let him look at the BBQ Pit with me, once. He was slack-jawed with amazement at the way some grownups talk when they think their kids aren’t listening, but unless you know the parties involved, the flame threads aren’t really that exciting. Even the “f” word grows tame with constant repetition. (And no, I didn’t tell him what my user name was.)
We’re rather isolated here–we live in town, but visiting all the Best Buddies requires a lot of parental chauffeuring, and I was looking forward to this summer as the Summer of the Free Internet, when nobody would be bored all summer. I actually thought we’d have to have a signup sheet for everybody to take turns with the computer, but so far, no. La Principessa would rather play Barbies or School, and The Cat Who Walks Alone just wants to check her e-mail. She used to really enjoy visiting the Virtual Mall, but the glamour has worn off that, too. And you can’t try things on. (She used to want to use the computer 24/7 to talk to the BF via AOL IM, but we had to uninstall it because it screwed up Juno. Thank you, Steve Case. Really.)
So, anyway, Bonzo is the only one at loose ends. Any suggestions?