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      12-17-2007, 02:50 PM   #14
Brigadier General
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Drives: MP4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South

iTrader: (0)

The comments he posted up on that auction are hilarious. I wonder how many poeple are bitching to him about all these different issues he addresses.


Thank you everyone for taking the time to comment on this situation, no matter what your opinion is. The response has been unbelievable. I feel that providing this update on my thoughts and intentions is the least I could do.

Concerning my relationship with my son…

I would like to clarify some things: I am not: “sadistic”, “publicly humiliating my son”, “power-hungry”, “an a--hole”, “a douchebag”, or any similarly bad things - especially when it comes to my son. Many of you may feel this way based on the very limited scope which has been provided concerning the background of this situation. I understand this, but I would like to clarify these for those of you who are honesty deeply concerned for the welfare of my son and his psychological well being (which I appreciate).

I am not kicking my son when he is down, so to speak. He and I are very close and are more like best friends than father and son (right buddy?), especially over the last couple of years. I will not get into the details of my family life, but rest assured that I knew when posting this that he would not be driven to run away from home, or do any other of the un-thinkable. If this was a possibility, of course I would not have gone through with it. Think of the auction as me “joshing him”, as friends often do, in addition to letting him know that he seriously disappointed me. Yes, I thought it would be funny to an extent, and tried to keep it light which should be obvious from the description. Calling his friends “delinquents” and threatening to buy him a Barbie game just out of spite are really just jokes. Lighten up people. The good-hearted nature of the auction description was intended to counter-balance the more serious nature of the situation. He and I have shared many laughs about it since, as well as a few thoughtful discussions. To everyone out there who thinks I am a terrible parent, rest assured I am not. Every parent-child relationship is unique and generalizations should not be made. So while I sincerely appreciate your comments, I have no real intentions of them letting them govern my parenting decisions concerning my son.

Concerning the “public humiliation” of my son…

The auction has been getting somewhat out of hand, to say the least. Many of you have insisted that I end the auction and give him the present as this “public humiliation” has been enough. As I mentioned above, I am not publicly humiliating my son. The auction has received some 60 000 hits as of now. This is probably the best indicator of how many people know about this situation in the highest level of detail possible (i.e. have personally read the item description). Anyone who can appreciate the number of people on the world wide web should realize that this is practically insignificant. The odds that someone in my town has read the auction personally (or even heard of it though the very light media coverage it received) are quite slim. Furthermore, the odds that someone who knows my family and can make the connection is even more exceedingly remote. Adding to this, my son does not even go by the name Isaac. It is his middle name and I intentionally used it when creating the auction out of respect for his privacy. Needless to say, this paid off. I haven’t even received a call from a sibling or in-law asking if this was me who posted the auction, although I certainly have been expecting one.

Concerning the fate of the auction…

Well, with that being said, I intended to cancel the auction anyways. Even with the above probabilities running through my head, I was/am concerned for my family’s privacy. My son has obviously learned his lesson. This auction has been lots of fun for us. For the last couple of days, as soon as he comes in the house, the first thing he says to me is “what’s new with the auction?”. We have read many of the comments together (please keep this in mind when writing them) and I think he is enjoying this more than you might expect. As I said, my son and I are more like best friends than “Pa’ and Junior”, and this has become just one more thing we have come to enjoy sharing.

So I decided to let him make the decision concerning the fate of the auction. He thinks it would be “stupid” to cancel the auction right now. While I may not completely agree with this, he undeniably has more at stake her than I do. We talked about it over the last couple of days, especially yesterday evening, and came to a conclusion. We figure one of two things will happen.

1. The auction will finish at an absurdly high price due to uncontrolled bidding, and the high bidder will be a newly registered user who with no intention of paying.. Several bidders seem to have registered just to bid on this auction. I am fully expecting the bidding to skyrocket near the end of the auction. There are nearly 400 people watching the auction. Instead of canceling bids, we have decided on something else. If the seemingly LIKELY situation of a non-paying bidder winning the auction is realized, that will be the end of it. I will not beg or plea someone to pay, nor will I give out second chance offers. My son will get the guitar hero game. Just my assertion of this is almost guaranteeing that this will be the outcome. I can just see all of the “Isaac-apologists” rushing out to get an ebay account right now and putting in a bid of $10 000. Well, go for it if you want. As I mentioned in several comments, my son is a smart cookie.
2. Less likely. The auction will finish much higher than I had initially anticipated, and the high bidder will actually pay. We have talked about this, and my son (always one to seize an opportunity) has negotiated a plan of what to do with the money. We have struck a deal. It seems that guitar hero 3 is not the only thing he has ever wanted. The money will go to good, fair use, and depending on how much it actually is, I may use some of it in a more philanthropistic context. I made him understand that the money is NOT HIS and it is not a situation of “higher bids = better present for Isaac”.


Concerning my disapproval of my son smoking pot…

Many of you seem to think I am an archaic, ultra-conservative who puts marijuana use up there with heroin and cocaine. This is absolutely not the case. I am not ignorant, or anything of the sort. Yes, I realize that pot is undeniably very safe relative to any other controlled substance, and yes, I would rather my son be smoking the occasional joint than going on bender-drinking binges with fratboys or being addicted to cigarettes (he assures me he doesn’t smoke and I believe him).

This is beyond the point. I don’t want my son smoking pot. It’s that simple. It’s my decision as his parent. He knows this, and the topic has come up in discussions prior to this incident. Many of you think it could potentially benefit him in terms of stress and/or school performance. Well, he doesn’t need it. Not to brag, but my son is highly intelligent. He was designated a gifted student in grade 4 by the school board and has stood out from the crowd ever since he stepped into a classroom. Schoolwork comes very easy to him. It is my strong opinion that he smokes pot because he is bored. He is not challenged in school and he lives in the suburbs. Yes, it’s a sad fact: we live in the suburbs and kids get bored here. We have spoken about this and are trying to find ways to circumvent his boredom. Peer pressure is of course another contributing factor.

This also has nothing to do with the legality of pot use. Just because it is legal doesn’t make it right. For all of you out there who have provided me with this fact as part of your argument, I would like to see you give your offspring a cigarette and a beer when s/he turns 19 (actually no, I would not, but you get the point). It is, however, my strong opinion that outlawing marijuana use is a gross hypocrisy while alcohol and tobacco use are permitted. This is just one reason why I am fortunate to live Canada, where the laws concerning pot use are significantly more civilized than in many other developed countries. Not to say they are perfect however.

And to those of you who feel that his body could find some physiological benefit from marijuana use, I am not convinced. I know there are proven benefits for the terminally ill in terms of pain relief and appetite-induction, but none of this applies to my son. Other than this, I think we are a long way to telling our kids “Jimmy, take your Flintstone vitamins, eat your asparagus, and don’t forget to take your bong-hit”.

Concerning the internet discussions this auction has sparked…

I think these discussions are fascinating and highly productive. I am glad to see both veteran parents and young adults getting involved in the discussion, as it is an important one and it is likely one that you or someone you know has had to deal with, or will have to deal with in the future. How you choose to deal with it is up to you. All I know is every situation is unique and cannot be approached in a straight line. Discussion is good to reveal new ideas and perspectives, but ultimately it is the parent who will have to make the final decision as to how to proceed. This decision should be precisely tailored to be as empathetic, pragmatic, and - most importantly - as loving as possible.

Concerning the authenticity of the auction…

A few people think the auction is fake. I guess this does not surprise me, as it almost seems unreal to me at this point. All I can do is assure you that yes, the auction is real, and if you don’t want to bid on it or have anything to do with it, I am fine with that. Please don’t slander me as an alternative.

Concerning the age of some people who are sending me questions through ebay…

I am getting lots of questions from people claiming to be high school students, or of the same age as Isaac etc. who wish to express their thoughtful (and valuable) opinions on the situation. To the best of my knowledge, you have to be 18 to have an ebay account. Please keep this in mind. There are several other forums of discussion on the internet which should not be difficult to find, and many of them are significantly more robust and interactive than this somewhat unidirectional approach of me posting your comments on the auction.

Concerning my son bidding on the item and not paying….

We have discussed this and I am sure he is not. He hadn’t even thought of the idea until I brought it up, as it was put forth in a comment on the auction. Furthermore, as mentioned above, he is too young to have an ebay account. Most importantly, I am confident he will not meddle with the auction because he is simply too interested in seeing the outcome of the auction to meddle with it. Remember, I gave him the choice to end the auction yesterday. And I warned him: if you do set up and ebay account just to be the high bidder on this item, I will report you as a non-paying bidder and give you negative feedback! I’ve done it before buddy, and I will do it again!

Concerning which questions I am posting…

I am trying to give a fair representation of the questions/comments I am getting. I quickly screen the question to get an idea of what it is about. If is not productive in any way, I will not post it – unless it makes me laugh. If it contains foul language, I will not post it. Sometimes I will give a quick response, but not anymore, since I feel that this “essay” says more than a brief response ever could. Actually, I just realized the questions I thought I have been posting for some time are not even appearing on the page… sorry apparently I have saturated ebay’s capabilities and wasted lots of my time.

Concerning the limits of ebay…

I found this interesting, and thought I would share it with you. Ebay allows a maximum of 101 questions to be posted on the auction and 333 messages to be received in your mailbox.

Concerning the date in the picture…

The camera resets the date whenever I take out the batteries. I rarely use it and therefore rarely keep on top of the date stamp. Sorry if this has caused any confusion. The picture was take the day the auction was posted.


k_lid and son.