Operation Missing Bucket By Chris Zito

Before we could do anything else today, Vince, my 4 1/2 year-old son, insisted that we try to find the missing bucket from his Operation Game.

The Operation Game has changed over the last generation (or two). There are several different versions now. Milton Bradley has sold out to everyone from Marvel comics to the Simpsons. The generic patient with the wrenched ankle is for chumps, nerds, or worst of all, kids without cable. (GULP!)

Vince is the proud owner of SpongeBob Operation. SpongeBob has all sorts of new ailments. There is no nearly impossible rib to remove, no Adam’s apple. No, this new version has snot coming out the nose and a gaseous cloud coming out of his ass. What kind of insurance does SpongeBob have where he’s covered for a procedure to eliminate farting? If my wife can get this included on our policy I’m headed for elective surgery for sure.


The current version of Operation is also completely electronic.  The kids don’t have to read cards to know what to remove, they listen for a signal that keeps repeating until they have completed say, the “cellphone finger”-ectomy. It’s a great innovation for preschoolers who can’t read, but a nuisance for a parent playing along. For some reason children carry an immunity to repetitive sound.  Vince casually attempts to remove SpongeBob’s “bird brain”  while a tweeting sounds emits from the game board. This does add a certain authentic urgency to the procedure. I’m like the assisting nurse watching vital signs on a monitor as I shout, “Dr. if the tweeting doesn’t stop soon this game is going in the trash, stat!”

This morning Vince informed me that the tiny little white plastic bucket that denoted “water on the knee” was missing from the Operation Game. The bucket measures about 1/8″ by 1/8″. Here’s where having a neat kid shows it’s disadvantages. Vince really enjoys putting his toys away. He loves throwing everything in the right basket or bin. It may be his age, but he’s kinda been this way all along. Mostly it’s great, because his bedroom and the family room (and the livingroom and the dining room and the kitchen) are not covered in toys. But when there is something out-of-place he finds it a little, shall we say, disconcerting?

Finding that bucket goes right on my bucket list.

The good news is that Vince will have moved on by lunch. He doesn’t obsess like his father. He doesn’t hold a grudge like his father. If he didn’t look so much like me I’d insist on a paternity test.  Yes, as I write this, Vince has moved on. And when I finish I’ll go back down to family room and resume the search. Because one reason kids move on so well is that they assume their parents will take care of everything. And at 4 1/2 they should be able to make that assumption.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito


3 Responses

  1. you are lucky to have neat kid… very good, very clever blog

  2. […] Genre: Arcade / Logic (Board/Classic) / For KidsOperation zitotalking.wordpress.com […]

  3. Hey! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick
    shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your articles.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics?
    Thanks a lot!

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