Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I’m gonna be evicted from Farmville.

I was never what one might call a “dainty” child. I was covered in dirt for the majority of my preschool years, my bangs forever plastered to my forehead as a result of hard play and delighted exhaustion and I was never more comfortable than when I was in my own bare feet (actually, that’s still true).

One of my favorite childhood memories is playing on Granny and Bop Bop’s farm. I remember digging potatoes, snapping peas and riding the tractor with my grandpa (again, mostly barefoot). I still wholeheartedly believe that if you point at a fruit or vegetable with your index finger it’ll fall off the vine. I have no idea if this is a widespread farmer’s tale, but it was taught like the gospel at our house. I’ll still curl up my finger to point at any growing thing…Ah, good ol’ behavioral conditioning.

I didn’t have much career ambition as a kid, but one thing I really wanted was to have my own farm and sell my fruits and vegetables in my very own roadside stand. Yeah. This was a significant part of my life, but I still don’t think of myself as a country girl. Don’t understand that one.

Anyway, back to present day. Obama is president; Michael Jackson is dead, and Farmville is sweeping the nation. I never got Farmville. You have a fake farm. You plant things. You can buy cows and pagodas. I mean, in what real farm do you grow rice, pineapples, cherry trees, pattypan squash and raise bunnies all in the same place? It’s ludicrous! My Farmville started completely accidentally. I was spending the weekend with my friend Su (the one with the awesome dip and Farmville extraordinaire). She signed into Farmville while accidentally logged onto my name and bought a baby turkey that she wanted. Afterwards when she returned to a completely barren farm, she realized what she had done. My farm was born. I still don’t understand it. You send presents like chicken coops to your “neighbors” and fertilize their crops. When the time comes you’re supposed to harvest your crops and you earn coins and XPs (still don’t know what those are) and you can buy seeds, hay bales and garden gnomes with your coinage.

But now that I’m in it, I don’t know how to get out of it. I’ve got “neighbors” that send me things, so obviously I feel obligated to do the same. No one likes a snotty neighbor. And I get the whole harvesting concept. It makes sense to pick the strawberries when they’re ready, but you also have to harvest your turkey. What? Like, is it going to be ready to harvest on Thanksgiving? Do you have to slaughter it? This game is taking a dark dark turn…I found out that when you “harvest” your turkey you collect its feathers. Who would want these? How is Farmer Mellie going to make money by selling feathers? Should I be bartering them instead for glass beads and bits of twine? Are they distributed to elementary school children so they can dress up and unintentionally mock the American Indian? Who knows…

Anyway, I’m hanging on to the farm for now but I spent the majority of my budget stocking up on artichoke plants because they take four days to grow and I’m really not responsible enough to harvest every four hours, but I'm just waiting for that eviction notice to show up on my farm. "You are not motivated. You have not purchased an elephant yet. Get the hell out of our town." Now when someone gifts me a roadside stand, I might get into this game. Who doesn’t love a childhood dream come true?

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