Saturday, September 1, 2012

Last Spring I wrote about taking The Teen to a Yu-Gi-Oh tournament back home in Daytona ("The Yu-Gi-OH Blues, 2/11/11).  If you couldn’t guess by the tone of that piece, it was my fervent hope that his adoration of this collectible trading card game of infinite editions (translated as infinite new ways for parents to spend money) would fade, much like I’m sure the Osmonds wake up every day and say “Crazy Horses?  What were we thinking?”  I thought that maybe he would come to realize that there are more productive things to do with his time them play cards, things like standing outside the house to get some sunlight and breathe unfiltered oxygen and learning to use soap and shampoo on a regular basis.  (I mean, he’s now called The Teen for a reason.  Although even this facet of his development has been interesting because maybe it wasn’t just personality that kept the girls away until I hit college.  Maybe it was just the smell.)

Well, he’s still playing Yu-Gi-Oh, and he’s really gotten very good at it.  And because I have the car and hold the allowance, I’m still along for the ride.  So here is the 2012 update of what I’ve learned about Yu-Gi-Oh:




No, really, here’s what I’ve learned.

The Teen still wants me to learn to play.  He offers to construct beginner decks for me.  I appreciate that he still wants to have playtime with Dad, but I still can’t get my head around the game.  Plus this year I can’t see the writing on the cards even with my bifocals.

For the third year in a row The Teen and I attended GenCon, the largest gaming convention in the world.  I have come to the conclusion that My Own Flesh and Blood is actually the Crown Prince of Nerds, the hottest thing under 21 in the collectible trading card world.  Of course, as my father noted when he came to GenCon for a day, my mother would also be the hottest thing at the convention.  Mom is celebrating the 45th anniversary of her 29th birthday.

In larger card stores and gaming conventions, there is always a place called the Abandoned Parent’s Corner.  This is where parents, all fathers for some reason, sit pretending to do something…anything…for the interminable hours their kid is playing Yu-Gi-Oh.  It’s a quiet place, as everyone is too busy looking at their watches to talk.  The only motion is when someone gets up to go find a refreshing adult beverage and returns 20 minutes later belching is a most happy fashion, hoping their kid is still there so there will be no awkward explanations for later.

Total count of Yu-Gi-Oh players at Collector’s Cache in Lenexa, Kansas on September 1, 2012:  43.  Total number of females:  0.  Total amount of soap and soap products used that morning:  ¼ bar, unscented.   Bowls used for haircuts:  38.

The only way to get a family photos that includes The Teen is to get him to pose at the “Make Your Own Yu-Gi-Oh Card” booth at a gaming convention.

There are a lot of themed decks.  Many sound very ominous, like Anti-Meta Chaos” and “Skull Servants” and “Bain Capital.”  There is, however, a Rabbit Deck featuring cards such as “Resuce Rabbit” and “Mecha Bunny” and “Super-Nimble Mega Hamster.”  Apparently those playing with this deck get manhandled on a regular basis.  But it sounds so nice.  It makes me feel like Allen Sherman, who wanted his kids to avoid Crazy Downtown and it’s vices like The Frug, but instead stay home and do a nice dance like the Bunny Hop.  Allen lost that one, too.

I get to witness conversations of great import such as “You don’t know what Thunderking Rhino does?  You mean you haven’t played for two weeks and you’ve forgotten what Thunderking Rhino does?  That’s f…ing lame.”  I have also learned that while my generation’s conversational faux pas was “You know,” this generation’s is “sucks.” 


There is a guy named Billy Blades who invented an Insector Deck.  The Teen defeated him in a demo at GenCon this year.  He has not smiled that much since he watched a cat poop on my head.  It is also the only time outside of school that I have heard The Teen refer to any one as “Mister.”  Billy is a pretty nice guy.  He looks about twenty.  I’d probably have to buy his beer.

But in the end there is hope.  About three months ago The Teen asked me if I thought he should stop playing Yu-Gi-Oh, if it was too much of a little kid’s game.  My answer could have been that it’s not a little kids game because at least I can understand Candyland, and honestly I’d probably give it up for Princess Frostine.  But instead I took the parenting route, saying that I thought it was fine for now, but that as he grew older and learned more I thought he would find more things in the real world to be of interest.  Yu-Gi-Oh is fine for now, but if you’re still playing in Grad School we’ll need to talk.

What I didn’t say is that, having been a teen at one faraway time, Yu-Gi-Oh will end when girls truly begin.  So can I be faulted for encouraging him to seek out reruns of Baywatch?  Hmmmmm.  I think not. 





  1. It's good to see the blog back up and running!

  2. Let`s get something straight-
    1: You were doing stuff at gencon- you basically abused the Mayfair Games Catan booth.
    2: It`s Thunder King RAI-OH.
    3: There were actually a lot of girls in the Yu-Gi-Oh hall- most notable a very attractive Poison Ivy.

    Just throwing those thoughts out. And BTW, a cat never pooped on your head.... that`s what your priceless oriental rug is for.

    -The Almighty Teen

  3. Hey Kid...get your own blog. I'll help you set it up. Love Dad.