1/05/2008

Rock Band


Dateline : Somewhere in Tx, Jan 04, 2008

Tonight, a teen's tenuous social life is a little bit stronger, and a parent's worries about him are a little less consuming, all thanks to an extremely fortuitous birthday gift from the mysterious 'UncleBill'. "It was so unexpected," says Will, 15. "How did 'Uncle Bill' know this was the answer to all my peer group issues ?"

The mysterious package arrived just in time for the lucky teen's birthday in late December . The carton it arrived in, large enough to contain a human, was a little confusing at first. "We thought maybe 'Uncle Bill' had mailed himself to us, " explained Tommy, the little brother, age 11. But no, the enormous mysterious box contained what every teen wants - the ever popular, elusive video game system, known only to parents and other adults over the age of 35, as Rock Band.

What is this Rock Band , you ask ? What strange power does it hold over the hearts and minds of teens all over the world ? Let us explore its power with an example, drawn from real life.

Friday, Jan 04, 2008 dawned much like any other day at the R-- household. Mr R-- overslept his alarm. Mrs R-- nagged the children to get up and get dressed for school. There was much arguing over who would shower first , second, third, etc, because after the first shower, there is no hot water. The outside temperature was 34 degrees.

Eventually, the children were dropped off at school. Mrs R-- spent the day tutoring reluctant, disinterested students. Will slogged through his classes, making up missing assignments , arguing with his ex girlfriend, flirting with the potentially next one. Tommy told all his friends and teachers about his plans for spring break, almost 3 months away. Mr R-- sat in countless meetings. No one listened to anyone else, no one cared. It was only one of a thousand days in the lives of our typical American family.

As the school/work day ended, Mrs R-- was impatient to leave school - it was Friday, after all. Will tried to hide at the bottom of the campus stairwell, so he could flirt with a cluster of friends that contained possibly the next girl destined to be crowned "Will's girlfriend". A row ensued. Will , embarrassed at his mother's presence and mere existence, lashed out. Words were said, ugly words. Mrs R-- responded with the typical mother reply, "Just wait till your father gets home". Things were not going well.

Back at the house , after various members of the family had been picked up, including Danny, not related by blood but owning a stake in the outcome of events due to his continual presence, a decision was reached : the family went out to dinner. The R-- parents were hoping against hope that something, a miracle perhaps, would happen to restore harmony in their modest home. Little did they know what was only 3 hours away on the horizon.

After dinner, the family returned home. All seemed at peace. Mr R-- watched tv. Mrs R-- surfed the internet. The 3 R-- children, Will, Danny, and Tommy, played upstairs. Ralph the dog slept on his dog bed. It was just another typical Friday night.

At 10:30 pm, there was a sudden and unexpected knock on the door."Who the hell can that be ?" grumbled Mr R--. Mrs R-- scuttled around to pick up all the dirty boy socks laying about, a constant fixture in her home.

The unexpected visitor at the door turned out to be a roving gang of hoodlums, otherwise known as Will and Danny's friends. A loose group of half a dozen male and female 14 /15 year olds, all out wandering in the dark cold lonely small town streets. It was a drizzly 40 degree evening outside ; Mrs R-- had no choice but to invite the interlopers inside.

Awkwardly, the group moved into the game room. A few rounds of pool were listlessly played, soda was drunk,but the party seemed to lack something. A deathly quiet settled onto the group, the evening seemed doomed to failure.

Suddenly, without warning, Will dashed up the stairs, and grabbed his Rock Band. "This will fix everything! " he said to himself. And he was right. Rock Band was just what this sorry, lackluster teen party needed to get things going.

Soon the group was animatedly playing drums, guitars, and singing tonelessly to famous rock songs of old and new. Even little brother Tom chimed in. This gathering had style, it had pizazz. Girls appeared prettier, boys seemed taller, sexier. It was magical. Social tensions ebbed, individuals forgot their petty nervousness. The party flowed well into the wee hours of the morning - and all, I might add, without the corrosive effects of demon alcohol.

"Its the Christmas miracle I was hoping for," Mrs R-- exclaimed."It just arrived a few days late ."

And who is this elusive , mysterious 'Uncle Bill ', the one whose gift made all this possible ? He is continually referred to , but rarely seen in these parts. Is he imaginary, like Santa Claus ? Or real and hard to track down, like Al Queda ? The world may never know.

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