When I was about five years old, the one thing I wanted most in the world was a Mr. Microphone.
Mr. Microphone was a handheld, wireless microphone with some sort of primitive transmitter in it that would project your voice over an FM radio station on a nearby radio.
Oh man, this thing was the coolest! I still vaguely remember the ad campaign that was on every five seconds on channel 11. You know how susceptible to marketing kids are, how could I resist such an onslaught?
Well, I begged and begged and begged my mother to buy me a Mr. Microphone, but she pulled out her usual bullshit excuse: “You’ll have to ask Santa for it”.
Really Mom? You couldn’t fork over 15 bucks to make all my dreams come true? Thanks a lot. No no, I understand, you’ve got German luxury cars to buy.
Anyway, I wasn’t about to “work” or “save up my money”, so I asked the fat man for my very own Mr. Microphone and come Christmas morning, I looked under the tree and I was not disappointed.
Who cares if it sounded like crap? I was on the radio! I could sing and tell jokes and make fart noises to my heart’s content!
Well, actually, I could do that for like six minutes before my dad got sick of listening to that and sent me up to my room to play with it.
Fuck it, I’d rather be alone anyway. I didn’t need adults pointing out how it sounded really staticky or that I sang like a girl.
Eventually, Christmas dinner came around and I was forced out of my exile and had to come down and socialize with our guests, some of whom were my best friend Ashley and her family.
Ashley was around my age and when my mom started shooting off her big mouth about how I had gotten a Mr. Microphone for Christmas, of course Ashley wanted to use it.
Now, I had left it upstairs specifically to avoid anyone else touching it, so I was not very happy and had to be smacked around liberally by my physically abusive mother before I would go and get it.
I brought it downstairs with the intent of letting Ashley watch me as I used it, or perhaps even allowing her to speak into it for a brief moment while I held it, but she didn’t like this and soon everyone at dinner had turned on me. They were all demanding that I fork over my most prized possession to someone who was clearly not technically qualified to handle such serious equipment.
That uppity bitch was getting pretty pissed off and I can’t say I blame her. My Mr. Microphone was really cool and awesome and I can understand wanting to play with it. My question is: why couldn’t anyone else understand me not wanting to share it?
The world is totally unfair and I was just starting to learn that.
Armed with the assurance of my traitor mom that I had to let her use it, Ashley advanced on me. It really was one of those moments where you can kinda see something bigger is going on.
“Give in! Conform! Do what society tells you!” they all seemed to be saying to me.
I found myself extending my arm, about to hand it over when I suddenly recoiled. I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t going to play their game. I wasn’t going to act the part of the perfect child. No tennis lessons for me, I’m getting a BMX bike and I’m going to do tricks and not wear a helmet.
I knew what I had to do.
I punched Ashley in the stomach and ran for it. I had almost reached the stairs when I saw my father coming at me from the right, I had no choice but to double back.
Ashley had recovered and had joined in the chase. I jumped the three or four stairs down to the conversation pit in our living room and soon found myself trapped; going in circles around a couch as she followed close behind.
My only option was to give up. Hand over my beloved Mr. Microphone and watch while she got her smelly breath all over the orange puffball windscreen.
I looked up to the dining room and saw our assembled guests looking at me with hate. So what if I didn’t want to share? So what if I had assaulted a little girl? Hate? I was five goddam years old!
Well, if they hated me, what did I have to lose?
I took Mr. Microphone, truly the one thing I cared about most in the world and I smashed it on the floor.
Play with it now, Ashley! Take that, you bitch!
As Ashley cried, my mother grabbed my arm and dragged me up to my room.
Everybody seemed pretty disgusted with me, but you know what? Fuck ’em. I’d do it again. I won.