Saturday, December 13, 2003

Pickled Herring & Molotov Cocktails

Spent the afternoon at a "Traditional Danish Lunch" given by my friend Eric. It was great - a small, fun group of people, a lot of new facts about Denmark, a chance to help out (I arranged the cheese, grapes, & crackers while the others assembled the table), and an amazing discovery: I really like pickled herring. Both the red kind and the white kind. I was actually given a red herring to take home! Yum. All the more amazing because I am a vegetarian except on special occasions & when politeness demands that I eat meat (today was both).

Did a little Christmas shopping after the lunch, then took the bus home. A man and his 8 or 9 year old son were sitting next to each other looking through a book they had purchased. The father was pointing out things to his son. It was a nice scene, a father helping a son learn something new, spending some father-son time together. It would have been even nicer if the book had been about dinosaurs, or the solar system, or famous historical figures, or almost anything besides molotov cocktails, sawed-off shotguns, rifles, and all the other weapons described and pictured in this book. It was a video game book, and the father was telling his son all about the various weapons he would get to choose from when he played the game. I'm not one of those people who thinks video games are the root of all evil, not even violent video games. I wouldn't buy violent ones for my own children, and I would be very sparing & selective about all video games, but I don't hate them altogether. Heck, I've been addicted to my share of computer games, and I know if I'd had more games as a kid, I'd have spent hours playing those, too! It's just that the time a parent spends talking to his kid is so important, such an opportunity to help the child discover what's important, learn new things, develop interests... when your dad or mom takes time to tell you about something, it is really highlighted in your mind. It's sad to me that this parent - who seemed really caring - would waste such an opportunity on video game weapons.

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