I Wish You’d Break that Dang DS!

broken DS

By Justin Travers

First of all, I didn’t know what a “DS” was.   I mean, I knew it was some hand-held video game thing.  I just assumed it was a type of video game.  I pretended that the “DS” meant something like “Dramatic Stories”, “Decimals and Sine-Curves” or “Delivery Me Some Sanity”.  I feared, however, that it meant “Death Star”, “Demons of Speed” or “Dirty Stuff”.

Turns out that DS means “Double Screen”.  It’s a video game thing with two screens.  I have no idea what the screens are for.  Or what types of games Zack plays on the DS.  I do know that the DS comes in “DS Deluxe” and “DS Lite”.  The latter is supposed to be less filling, I guess.

How did I find out what a DS was?  Well, I asked my kid.  After we succumbed to the demon and bought it for him.

Now, why did we do this?  Well, we told ourselves some stories, and then we worked really hard to believe in the stories we told ourselves.

Here was the problem.  Zack was spending an awful lot of time on the computer.  He’d play video games, download games and stuff.  It was hard to monitor him on the computer.  And when he would download stuff, we’d get all the Adware, and Fadware, and Madware that went with it.  Our computer ceased to be its previous zippy self.  It. Went.  Really. Slow.

Zack once asked us, “Can I have a DS?”  And then he asked us, “Can I have a DS?”  And then he asked us, “Can I have a DS”?  Each time was met with a firm “no”.  At least from me.  Maybe it was his mother’s fault.

But soon we learned that there was educational software that you could buy for the DS.  We reasoned (read “told ourselves the story that”) if we bought Zack a DS, we’d be able to regulate it better; he would stop jamming up our computer; we’d at least have more control over the games that we bought him.  And he could use educational games.

So we bought it.

I’m telling you – the kid is POSSESSED.   There is a reason why OBSESSED looks like and sounds like POSSESSED.   He is possessed by the DS Demons.

No ADD here.  He uses this thing and won’t put it down.  He ate with it (NO DS AT THE TABLE).  He sleeps with it (OH, IF YOU MUST).  He brings it with him constantly.

I am fantasizing.  Maybe he’ll drop it.  Maybe he’ll break it.  Ha ha!  If you drop it and break it, well, that’s your fault!  The misery will be over.  “It’s a really expensive game, Zack.  If you break, it, I can’t by you another one.”

Dad: “ ZACK, NO MORE SCREEN TIME!  Go read a book.”




The other day, we went to the Donut Shop.   I get a large Hazelnut Coffee with extra cream crème and three sweet-‘n-lows.  Zack wants a donut and a hot chocolate.  I get it for him.  I hand him his sweet stuff.  ARGH. He’s got the DS with him again.  “Dad, can you please hold my DS?”   He can’t hold everything at once.  I take his DS (“argh-it’s-your-DS-not-mine-what-am-I-doing-holding-this-evil-machine-for-you”, I grumble under my breath).  I take my coffee, my gloves, his DS and the napkins with me.  We leave the donut shop.  I go to retrieve my keys.

And the DS drops to the ground.

I stare at the DS.   Zack picks up the DS.   He flicks the switch.   It didn’t work.  Tears well up in his eyes.

“Don’t worry Zack.  You didn’t break it.  Daddy broke it.  Since I broke it, well….”