Angry Birds

 The fractured fairy tale of The Three Little Pigs

Second night in a row, rather than read myself to sleep (The Queen's Fool) I stare at my Iphone, play a silly game, tell myself it's an adult thing, trying to master physics.

This cannot be me!  This is unbelievable, wasting time, repeatedly pulling the sling shot, lifting the bird to the sky, determining the precise arc, angry that it takes so long between turns.  But it is denial; it is me. And it's hard to admit it, although I'm looking for a 12-Step program.

I'm powerless when it comes to Angry Birds.              

The next morning I hold the phone in my hands and glare. "I have a headache," I kvetch to FD. "A hangover from Angry Birds. I'm going to delete it."

"Delete it!" he cries, "and don't even let me see it. You know how easy it is for me to succumb to this sort of thing."

But I don't.  I don't delete it. I think, I'll control this. I can control this. No more headaches. I'll get in bed and read, lose myself in Elizabethan England, and fall asleep unless something very worrisome comes to mind.

Oh, that worrisome part!  We're nearing the spring holiday season, and because I like to enjoy the time with my visitors, most of the cooking is prepared ahead of time, in an ersatz Passover kitchen in the basement. After a few hours of work at the stove, and sorting through dishes, straightening, organizing, doing what a woman does while watching what's in the oven, I am exhausted, but wired. It won't be easy, falling asleep, especially since I've heard some news about a sick family member.

The right thing to do, for someone like me, would be to pray awhile, then go to bed, read, fall asleep. But no. We have Angry Birds.

 I wake up angry at myself, remembering last night, beating the third level of the second tier on the free game, the subtle joy associated with that.  There is an endpoint to this insanity, for never would I shell out money for the ap, the enhanced electronic game, no matter how angry the birds.  And we will run out of free levels to the game.

What is the appeal?  I ask myself, because it's not my thing, not usually, electronic games.  Is it their anger? Does smashing walls to pop pigs unleash some sort of sublimated hostility lurking within me? That's what we say, right?  The game is on my phone because on my last visit, my five-year old granddaughter acted out and nobody had time for her and it was too late to take her outside. I had no idea how far she made it on the game, didn't supervise, but she made it all the way to the second tier. We're talking about a game for five-year olds.

Maybe it's subliminal anger.  Or maybe it's that fairy tale about the wolf and the three pigs. It has to be. Remember? The pigs. launched into the world by kindly Mama Pig, are living peaceably in three different houses, one made of straw, one of sticks, the last of bricks.  Along comes a wolf who cries,

"Let me in or I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down."

I can't remember the rest of the story, but it seems the wolf does manage to eat up the pigs, except for the last, perhaps, because he has made more of an effort at architecture.

Do the best you can and you'll survive

is the lesson for the kiddies.

It's hard to hear a story like this when you're five, especially with pictures. Very violent, traumatic. Then you grow up, and some fifty years later, you have the chance, the opportunity.

And you identify with the aggressor on an electronic game.



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