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Monday, February 23 12:00 AM ET

Chicken Soup for the Geek Soul: Homecoming

By Brian Briggs

It was a tough decision for me.  Should I head home for Thanksgiving at home with the family, or stay in the dorm for the long weekend?  It's a tougher decision that you might imagine. 

At school, I've got fat pipes of broadband and no one telling me to stop playing the Xbox 360 for four days.  At home I have to endure a dial-up connection and become the tech support guru for the entire family. 

You see my dilemma?  I haven't seen my parents for two months.  I suppose I should go home.

I missed out leveling my Night Elf for this? I thought as I chewed on the dry turkey my mom always makes for Thanksgiving.

"Should be a good game today," said my dad.  "Cowboys versus the Packers is always a good one."

Ugh, football, and not even on an HD set.  When would my parents emerge from the Dark Ages?

I smothered my turkey in cranberry jelly and gravy, hoping the next bite wouldn't feel like chewing leather sandpaper. 

Dad said, "Did mom tell you we got a new computer?"

"What?  I told you to tell me when you were going to buy something new, so you wouldn't get a piece of crap HP again," I said.

"Oh, don't worry son.  I think we did a good job picking one out."

I could picture it now, the Best Buy salesman telling my dad that this was the latest and greatest. My dad doesn't know a gigahertz from megapixel.  The salesmen salivate when he walks through the door. And now, Mom and Dad had me home to set it all up for them.  At least, I had an excuse to avoid the football game now.

After dinner, my dad took me upstairs to his office to show me the new computer.  I was expecting a used eMachine, but that's not what I got at all.

"Dad… how… what… how?" I stammered.

"I asked Barry's kid down the street to help me out.  He got all the stuff from Newjack," said Dad.

"Newegg," I corrected.

"Yeah, Newegg, that's it.  I've got another surprise for you son." Dad motioned me to sit down.

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I was entranced by the dual 24" monitors as I took a seat before the beast.

He placed a warm hand on my shoulder as the system booted up and said "We've got broadband, son."

These were not my parents.  They didn't do this kind of thing.  My heart warmed and my eyes watered.

"Why are you crying son?"

I wiped a tear and replied, "You've installed Firefox."

I guess you can go home again.

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