Virtually certain Big Guy’s not ready for a pet
MoMo is my baby dragon at SuperPoke Pets, an application with great value as a procrastination tool. Writer's block? Feed MoMo. Putting off paying bills - play with MoMo.
A Facebook/Twitter friend got me started three weeks ago when she sent me "adoption invitation." I accepted, named him MoMo in honor of the flying lemur on "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and quickly forgot about it.
Then last week people started nagging. "Hey, are you ever going to hatch this thing?" Sheesh, I didn't know I had to actually do something. I thought my responsibility ended after the kid came home. This was getting dangerously close to real parenting.
So I clicked, MoMo hatched and I forgot him again - at this point, I'm sure someone was ready to summon Pet Protective Services. I remembered him when the gifts started showing up. Can't be rude - must play along and accumulate enough points to send return gifts.
MoMo was my dirty little procrastination secret for a few more days, until Big Guy caught me clicking on him.
"Aw, he's so cute!"
"You think so? His name is MoMo."
Fatal error. Once the cute-name factor combined with the cute-and-amusing factor, Big Guy was hooked.
He spent the rest of the day checking my computer every few hours to see if MoMo needed fed or cleaned or attention. "Hey, Mom! This is like having a real pet. Can we get a dog?"
Ay, but MoMo has yet to leave a wet spot on the carpet or shred my nylons. So I stuck to the company line. "We'll think about it when Boots is 6."
"If I take really good care of MoMo, can we?"
He did great for a couple of days, showering MoMo with attention and learning how to buy his gear. We had long talks - or maybe I just gave long lectures - about buying little things versus saving for something big. That didn't stop him from buying a tent before he bought a new habitat, but maybe one day it'll sink in.
We also had long talks about discussing purchases with me before clicking. Yet, one day when I checked on the account, it was suddenly $500 lower. The little rat fink had bought a habitat background. A hockey rink. Just what a baby fire-breathing dragon needs. "He likes it cold," Big Guy insisted.
Note to self: Secure all credit cards and lecture again about discussing purchases.
A few days later, Big Guy's interest started to flag. I checked on MoMo one afternoon and found him surrounded by dirt and covered in flies, his head hanging low.
"When's the last time you took care of MoMo?" I asked Big Guy. "You need to look at him."
He rushed in and genuinely did feel bad about the sad virtual state of things. He's been much more diligent since, and MoMo is fed and as happy as a warm-blooded creature can be living in his icy home.
I've officially ceded the game to Big Guy now. Go ahead: Park your pet in a hockey rink and fill it with as many toys as you want. Just don't come crying to me because you want to buy him a circus home but don't have enough money.
And don't even start about a real pet. I'm already having nightmares about finding a dog who likes it cold stuffed in the freezer, covered with flies and dirt.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.