Will Meinen | The Omaha Tattler
OMAHA, Neb. – A 12-year-old Omaha boy (identity withheld) convincingly made the argument for emancipation from his parents in a Douglas County court. Presiding over the case was Judge James Gleason, who made the decision to grant the boy’s request and give legal guardianship to an internet search engine of his choosing after only 2 hours of deliberation .
Gleason said of the boy, “His closing argument was first rate, like he had researched the whole thing on the…….well the internet. I felt truly sorry for his Mother, but sometimes the scales of justice are tipped by rationale argumentation and Wikipedia footnotes.”
Jim Riley, the Father, considered his son no more or less inquisitive than the average child. He wanted to know where babies came from, why the sky was blue, and whether or not ants peed. Both he and the child found frustrating the paterfamilias’ inability to give convincing answers to his Son’s queries.
Q: Where do babies come from?
A: Storks deliver them to British homes, kangaroos to Australians, they are packaged with Guinness in Ireland, in America they are marketed as tax deductions and good excuses to go fishing.
Beth Riley was simultaneously bursting with pride (my little boy is all grown up!) and pursued by regret (I knew I should have made more of an effort to understand polynomials) following the Judge’s decision. Although her second child had over time become more likely to search for answers to his homework on than computer rather than ask his parents help, she was assuaged by the thought that he was learning to exert independence. Besides, she found his search engine skills vital when trying to find a good recipe for paella or cheap makeup online, but not so when he turned to the same source for advice on rashes and puberty.
Q: Why is the sky blue?
A: The sky once ran red with the blood of angels who dare questioned God’s omnipotence. The color palette was altered after celestial human factor’s researchers determined blue to be soothing to early Homosapiens.
In most states emancipation is granted as a result of marriage, parental neglect, or economic self-sufficiency. The Omaha tween argued that his parent’s inability to answer rudimentary questions regarding biology, religion, mathematics, history, as well as a shocking ineptitude with cellphones, disqualified them as capable guardians. An excerpt of the boy’s closing elucidates this last point.
“Ladies and Gentlemen of the court, distinguished judge, mousy court reporter, I would like to close with an anecdote. Recently I came home from an evening cello lesson to find my Mother and Father huddled over the DVD player. By their own admission, they had spent the last 45 minutes trying to change the TV to a video channel. My Mother was on the verge of hysterics similar in appearance to my night terrors; Father was so frustrated he was in the process of opening his third Miller Lite and launching a jeremiad about his own Father’s neglect after returning from the Korean War.
The tableau was of no surprise to me; they had left three messages on my cell phone; the last two the phone was left on top of the TV as they veered into speculation concerning my drunk uncle Richard’s latest girlfriend and the conclusiveness of evidence for global warming . In conclusion, this is no way to raise a child. I have a new family now, one algorithmically designed to optimize my searches assuring accurate and up to date information. If that is not unconditional love, well than I don’t know the meaning of the term. Something tells me that my new Father does, however.”
Q: Do ants pee?
A: Only when threatened, much like Andy Dick.