I swear, kids these days can’t even go five whole minutes without looking at their damn wheel. It’s pathetic. Every time I walk into my daughter’s section of the cave, she’s staring at her friggin’ wheel. Whenever I ask my son if he wants to toss around the old pig’s skin, he’s too busy using the pig’s skin to decorate his wheel. The other day the kid even had the nerve to ask me if I could buy him a new wheel. I asked him what was wrong with the wheel he already had.
He said, “Well, the wheel that just came out is a perfect circle. The one I have at the moment is more like a crudely chiselled octagon.”
“And I guess you think the barter system just grows on trees?” I replied. “The answer’s no.”
“Ugh, you’re being so unfair!” he yelled, which, to be honest, I was quite taken aback by. I mean, since when did he start calling me by my first name? I think what these kids need is a little perspective.
Back when I was a boy, we didn’t even have wheels. If we wanted to entertain ourselves, we’d go hunting or rub two sticks together until they caught fire. Heck, sometimes we’d even rub a couple of sticks together just for the fun of it. We’d have an opinion about everything. Ask us what we thought about our tribal leader, and we’d give you an answer based on whether or not he’d sacrificed any of our family members. Ask us why we sounded so critical of Chief Dorg, and we’d say, “Oh, it’s nothing,” while tightly clasping the heart-shaped locket around our neck.
But ask any kid nowadays what they think of Chieftess Oolg, and they’ll probably say something stupid like, “She’s a complete neanderthal” (which is pretty much the highest compliment you can give someone) despite the fact that her interventionist policies led to the current mess we’re in vis-à-vis velociraptors. They just don’t have a clue.
I know I’m beginning to sound like a bit of a grouch, but the thing is that, when I come home from my soul-sucking job as the witch-doctor’s test subject, all I want to do is spend some time with my kids, find out how their day was, how many nuts they gathered, etc. I’m not going to be around forever—I’m nearly 24 for crying out loud—but I don’t think my kids realise this, and I just know that one day they’re going to look back and regret all the moments we missed out together.
Yeah, maybe it’s an exaggeration to say that “the wheel is tearing this family apart”. I know it could be worse. It could be velociraptors. But still, these kids treat the wheel like it’s the best thing since fire, and I just want to say to them, “Hello? You guys ever heard of sliced bread?” They would say, “No, Dad, we haven’t.” And then I’d say, “Me neither. It hasn’t been invented yet.” And then we’d all burst into laughter, despite the fact that what I just said made no logical sense.