Thursday, June 3, 2010

Generation Gap

The family has a new vice: Plants versus Zombies. It's a cute video game on the computer that can suck hours of your time away. I'm quick to monitor the kids. There's one particular zombie that pops up and looks just like Michael Jackson did in Thriller. I tried to tell my youngest son about it, and this is how our conversation went:
5 Yr Old: Momma! He does the dance! Watch him do the dance. (points at computer and has seizure, er, dances)

Me: Yes he does. And you're very good at it. But, um, be careful. You almost knocked your brother unconscious. See the zombie? He dances just like Michael Jackson!

5 Yr Old: (excitedly) Michael Jackson's in my class!

Me: Um, no, no that's not who I'm talking about. You see, this Michael Jackson is--

5 Yr Old: No, really, Momma! He's my friend. And he's taller than me. And he has brown hair. And one time, he...

Interesting how the years between us change our perspective on things. Which brings me to another interesting quirk--revisiting old manuscripts. The book I wrote 5 years ago had to be revised extensively. No more floppy disks, now we use thumb drives. Cell phones and computers nowadays can do things they didn't years ago. So having a character stranded on the road is no longer an option, unless the character is in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone. Or the battery died, or he has AT&T instead of Verizon...

Lots of conventions to do away with things technology no longer lets us get away with. I find it amusing to read old books where the heroine doesn't own a computer. She has no idea how to reach someone because the operator isn't helpful. The old days of simplicity in a romantic suspense no longer apply, because with the information age, it's all too easy to track down criminals unless they're hiding out on a deserted island or the boonies.

But the Michael Jackson conversation with my little guy really put things into perspective. Too funny.

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