1000 Wells

Written on January 01st, 2007 by Shawn Anthony

My son just shared a New Year’s Day story with me over a stack of homemade apple pancakes and a bunch of sunny-side eggs. His tale began when I asked him a very simple and very fitting New Year’s Day question.

I asked, “Son, what do you plan to do with the year 2007 now that it is here upon us? It is a brand new, shiny year!”
“Hmmm …” He mumbled. “I think I’ll build a house out of my Yugioh cards.”
“Cool! It sounds like a pretty heavy project. It might take you a while, huh?”
“Yeah, it might,” he said. “Maybe I’ll just become an Emperor instead.”
“Emperor!?!” I said, forgetting to mask the surprise inherent to my response.
“Yeah, you know, like Japan has an Emperor,” he said. “I think I’ll just be an Emperor.”
“Really,” I said. “What will you do as Emperor?”
“I’ll build a big palace with three kitchens and two bedrooms in it …”
“… Two bedrooms?” interpreted his mother, who was simultaneously keeping us well stocked in hot apple pancakes and sunny-side eggs and listening to our conversation with more than a bit of curiosity. “Why two bedrooms?”
“Well, I’ll need a wife,” her son replied. “She’ll need a place to sleep.”
“Oh!,” Mom responded. “So, you’ll sleep in your own room now will you?!? So, what are the three kitchens for? Why three?”
“Well, I will want three dinners!” he answered. “Three dinners at the same time!”
“Oh! OK!” Mom said while laughing. “Three dinners it is! You must be a hard working Emperor to be so, so hungry!”
“No, not really,” he said. “I have servants who do all the work. I even have a team of servants who do nothing but build video games for me.”
“Is that right?” I asked. “So, do you tell them what kind of game you want built, and do they then build it for you?”
“Yes! Yes they do!” He said with an obviously surging excitement. “If they make a mistake they will have to pay! They will pay!”
“Oh really?” I asked with my own bit of obvious curiosity. “What happens if they build a game you don’t like?”
“Well …” he began to say, pausing for a silent second or two to eat another chunk of his apple pancake and to think a plan through completely. “They will be demoted to poop duty!”
“Poop duty!” I said through a sudden and short burst of laughter and a lost chunk of mouth-bound pancake. “What on earth are you talking about, son?”
“Well, I mean they will be demoted to poop duty!” He said as if I was the last person on the planet to hear about the vocation. “They will all have to follow behind my dinosaurs and pick up poop with tiny shovels. The ones who don’t pick the poop up correctly will have all the poop thrown at them by those who do it right. You see? That’s what people who don’t make my video games right will have to do. I am the Emperor, you know.

Thus, began my New Year. I look forward to many, many more stories from my kids in 2007.

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