The robot that never worked

Published 2:39 pm Saturday, December 26, 2009

When I was growing up, my favorite Christmas gift of all time was the Nintendo I opened on Dec. 24, 1984.

It was the original 8-bit gaming system, complete with the robot that never worked.

I loved it.

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The only problem — besides the robot that never worked — was that the neighbor kids across the street had a Sega, and so I wanted that.

If the situations were reversed, and I had the Sega and the neighbor kids had the Nintendo and the robot that never worked, I’d probably want the Nintendo.

It’s the simple concept of wanting what we don’t have, and it holds true with many things in life, not just video games and robots.

Take — for instance — snow.

Most Minnesotans I’ve talked to agree that after Christmas comes and goes, they would rather be on Fiji sipping a banana daiquiri with one of those little umbrellas in it, or soaking up rays in Arizona or Florida.

And the same holds true for the other part of the country.

I know folks in California who would do anything to see snow during the winter, if only for a couple of days.

Two of those folks — they’re actually my nephews — spent early last week sledding until 2 in the morning because it was only several hours earlier that they were home, in San Diego, where the weather hardly ever dips below 70.

The two nephews, Ashton, a sophomore, and Parker, a fifth grader, are spending the week out here, visiting their family, which of course includes myself, who is probably almost too old to go sledding.

I’m not sure if I really have some brilliant point here to make other than it’s fascinating that in the Midwest, we want the weather the west coast has, and on the west coast, they want what we have.

If that’s the case, why doesn’t everyone just move to the side of the country where they aren’t living now if they crave that weather so much?

The answer is simple.

It wouldn’t be long before they would want the other weather again, complete with the robot that never worked.

Well, something like that.