by Cory Wilson
It was the best train. His sixth birthday was announced with the sound of “choo choo” as he moved the sleek toy across the synthetic carpet. It was the perfect blend of tactile stimulation and intellectual involvement. All of the 6 year old children of his class had them, and his parents had known he would enjoy it.
Mark smiled at his son’s joy. As his son’s initial enthusiasm ran out and he began to tire of running around the room yelling “ZOOM!” while sliding his train across different surfaces, Mark picked up his son and placed him on his knee.
“Do you like the train?” Mark asked, as if he needed to inquire about a toy which had been so scientifically proven to be perfect for his son. His son lacked the precise vocabulary to articulate his pleasure.
“It wasn’t always like this,” Mark reminded him. “We had toys, but it was different, they weren’t always the right toys.”
“We had so many toys, hundreds of them! So many that we had no idea what toys were the right toy for us. Oh! It was terrible! Shelves upon shelves of them and picking just one that we wanted to play with was nightmare!”
His son laughed in disbelief at the absurdity of his father’s statements.
“No it’s true!” Mark insisted. “We had to pick, and almost always picked wrong; it was some sick joke of the adults. You’re lucky these days; you always get the right toy. They know what toy is right. “
He hopped off his father’s knee and ran upstairs.
Mark checked on his son to make sure he was comfortably asleep in his bed, and then he went downstairs and laid back on the couch, turning on the television with a one word command. The blue light of the screen bombarded his eyes, the news filled with images of protestors insisting upon one issue or another. “We want to make our own mistakes!” a furious protestor yelled at a camera crew with the intensity of a rabid dog.
Mark laughed at the people screaming about wanting to be unhappy. Humans had always been striving for one goal: happiness. They had it now. These fools felt the need to throw bottles and smash things to prove how much they disliked happiness.
This was their happiness, the confetti of broken glass and the howling of their cries.
Mark turned off the tube and enjoyed the regulation beer, which provided a faultless blend of sweet, bitter, and carbonation. Perfect.