Eldest wanted one thing and one thing only for his 12th birthday: a pair of night goggles. Now, we've bought toy night goggles in the past. They didn't work anything like a spy-enthused, Military Channel-watching, video-game-playing lad would expect. They worked as well as any parent would expect a $20-piece-o-crap plastic doohickey requiring two AA-batteries to work. In short, they didn't work.
But some outfit had started heavily advertising a set of night goggles on the usual suspect channels: Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. And that's what Eldest wanted: the EyeClops Night Vision Goggles. I watched the demos on the web. I read the reviews from purportedly regular Joes and Joannes like you and me. I kind of choked at the price. In the end, Eldest got the one and only item he wanted. We paid 70 bucks for them.
And you know what? They freakin' work. Okay, I wouldn't send him off to battle with them, but they really work far better than I ever imagined.
Not long after the boy's birthday, I did something which I now know I shouldn't have. Hell, at the time, I had an inner battle with myself about doing it.
We have a neighbor with some paranoia issues. For the record, he has only ever done good deeds for my kids, he gives us bags upon bags of tomatoes he grows, and he is like a one-man neighborhood watch committee. But he's scary to a lot of folks who encounter him sporadically. And, let's face it, if he ever cracked one day, none of us neighbors would be saying on the local TV newscast, "I just can't believe it."
So, yeah, one day soon after Eldest's birthday, Ed and I were chatting down on the corner, and I mentioned the goggles. Worse than that, I let him see them. Even worse, I let him try them on as I sang their praises.
I have only myself to blame for feeling watched last night as I took the garbage can to the curb. I couldn't see anyone out there, but I thought I spotted a small red light down around Ed's way.
[And, no, this is not a paid review. I don't do those.] [Not that there's anything wrong with that.]