Bristol, Connecticut, U.S.A. — A dastardly disease has descended upon youth in Bristol.
There is no vaccine for it, no cure but time.
The worst part is, it’s contagious and there’s no stopping it. This malady strikes first in the tender years and grows ever worse into adolescence.
A child doesn’t even have to be in the same room with someone who has the bug to get it. Once acquired, the disease becomes a part of daily life.
Desperate parents have pleaded with doctors for a remedy, and they’ve produced temporary ones. But the illness comes back with every new generation enforced and protected against the meager ‘temporary cures.’
Over time and many years of evolution, it eventually takes over the brain and overwhelms the body.
Oddly enough, humans seem to be the only ones affected by this problem?
What is it, you ask?
With this grand evolving world around us, boredom can be incomprehensible to adults.
Sure, it occasionally hits them. After all, weren’t they once kids themselves?
The effect of this weariness has on the over-30 crowd, however, is not so bad.
A classic example of this is the family car trip.
How anyone can be expected to stay calm and quiet in the back seat of a car that seems to be going nowhere is mind-boggling for teenagers.
But adults seem to handle it with their usual moody tempers pretty well.
This is because the boredom bug cannot live in an aging body. For this reason, the bug dies out when maturity sets in.
But in those painful years of affliction, the bug seems to do a pretty good job of aggravating parents.
In reality, the growing cases of kids being bored can easily be blamed on adults.
Symptoms include: an increase of the occasional moan or groan, a severe twitching of the body that lasts until the child is entertained or an uncontrollable urge to disagree with the nearest adult.
Although there is no known cure for boredom, temporary vaccines can be given to alter the state of an infected person.
Video games with detailed graphics work best because they don’t have to be forced on a kid.
Television and an occasional movie can also do the job.
What actually happens when a child is given a dose of entertainment? First of all, it does not rid the child of the bug. What entertainment actually does is numb and neutralize the ailment, leaving it immobile.
As with any treatment, there are two major side effects. The first one can be the result of an overdose of TV and movies.
Since the bug thrives in the brain, the vaccines sent into the body must go into the brain.
After awhile, these vaccines can leave a thick residue over the part of the brain that controls the imagination, and eventually destroys it.
This can have an effect on the child’s academic capabilities. Parents and teachers may see a radical change in a student’s school work and grades.
A stricken youth may lose sight of his priorities in order to spend more time relaxing in front of the tube, letting the set turn his mind to gel.
The second side effect is far worse: invulnerability to entertainment. Over time, a bug makes itself immune to television, movies, video games and other forms of amusement.
Eventually the kid is left unsatisfied by the parent’s meager attempts to keep him content. This can easily irritate the youngster, and in turn annoy everyone else.
So-called “family entertainment centers” may aid aggravated parents and receive applause from young people, but the thirst for newer and better forms of fun never ends.
An epidemic like this was destined from the beginning of life, when the first one-celled organism crawled out of the ocean and had nothing better to do than evolve into a modern-day person.
Perhaps in a way boredom prepares young people for adulthood. Whatever the purpose, it’s obvious that we will have to prepare ourselves for the future and the next generation of the boredom bug.
Bryan Pena is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.