“The Tube” by Chris Zito

We’ve got the average amount of toys in our house. About six rooms full.

Thank God we cleared a few out to make room for Christmas.

Yesterday Vince’s mom was out most of the day. Just us boys. After breakfast we descended to the basement family room where I suggested he play with his toys while I read the Sunday paper. At first he complained but I stuck to my guns. Soon he was busy with a bin of dinosaurs. Within minutes he had moved on to some Hot Wheels. Then he was climbing on me. Nearly four minutes had passed. I turned on SpongeBob.

Being abandoned in front of the TV is a family tradition.

Resigned, I headed upstairs to wrap a birthday present for a party Vince was to attend later that afternoon. The first tube of paper I reached for was almost used up and inside was a sort of light, rolled up cardboard tube. Just for the hell of it I went to the top of the stairs and hollered down, “Vince, I’ve got something for you!” and tossed it down. The first thing he did was pick it up and blow through it like a (1) trumpet. After a quick march around the basement he peered through it like a (2) telescope toward some distance something that only Vince could see. Then he put his hand in it and started waving it around like a (3) robot arm. He finally noticed me and saluted with his cardboard tube arm. “Hello, Captain.” he said in a robot voice.

I’m sure this would have been Vince’s view in the mirror at that moment.

I turned my attention back to the kitchen to clean up from breakfast and here comes Vince with the tube, now unrolled over his head.  “Look, Daddy!” he said, (4) “a helmet.”  He pulled it down over his back. “It’s a (5) hang glider!”  As he headed for the stairs he turned and said, “Daddy, this is a (6)  treasure map.” He stood there unrolling it and rolling it up and unrolling it again, eying up his route to the buried booty! His imagination was cranking on all cylinders. Five year olds don’t need caffeine. Their brains rev up within seconds of awaking.

Thank God there was no actual demo equipment in the basement.
I hadn’t called Digsafe.

Down he went, alone, into the jungles of who knows where to seek the treasure. Nearly an hour passed as I cleaned, read the paper, and eavesdropped at the top of the stairs. All I heard was the occasion pirate voice and a few digging sound effects. When I finally went down to check on him he had his dinosaur crew all laid out surrounding where X had marked the spot. It was lunchtime. The TV sat forlorn in the corner of the room. It was almost enough to make me cancel the cable. Almost. This much is certain, Daddy will be saving all the boxes from the toys Santa brings this year.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito


One Response

  1. remembering him in the box in august–hilarious. imagine what life was like when we were all stuck in the house together, imagining $hit like crazy!!! we could have fueled a moon mission. in fact we tried. xoxo

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