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BOTD 11/20/14 "Computer Complications" A Stevie Production

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David M. Katz


Marshall
Computer Complications
A Stevie Production

You are the father of a family who has recently bought a house in Toronto where there is a severe housing shortage. After losing three homes in bidding wars, you finally managed to buy this one, but you paid far more for it than you are comfortable with... and furthermore, you had to buy it as is, where is... no home inspection or other conditions attached to the offer. The house was one of the least expensive available in the city, bought purely on price, and you made many compromises when you bought it.

Your entire income goes to the mortgage, while the family lives on your wife's income, which is not very high. You are very tight for cash and, to top it off, the house you bought has many, many problems that you did not anticipate. You spend most of your spare time patching things up as cheaply as you possibly can.

Your sons, Sammy, 13, and Charlie, 9, have been understanding - it helps, of course, that most of their friends' families are in exactly the same boat. This summer, Sammy worked very hard earning money to buy a new computer for school by doing errands for some of the local residents, particularly one older man who has had a heart attack and needs help keeping up the house he bought thirty years ago when this was still a working class area. The man paid Sammy well, while remarking  how hard your son worked to earn the money.

Besides the money earned, Sammy also put the birthday money he received from his grandparents into the purchase... and you helped him as much as you could at the time. Finally, Sammy went to the local computer store and picked up his new laptop, bringing it home with great pride. At this time, Charlie, your younger son, was told that he was not to touch or play with his older brother's computer without permission and appeared to accept these restrictions gracefully.

This week, the bath developed a severe leak while Sammy was having his shower and water poured into the basement, leaving your family without a fully functioning bathroom for the last two days. The repair involves rusted out galvanized piping that has been botched together with silicone and becomes far more intensive as you proceed... you are cursing and swearing as you struggle with the rotting mess. Your wife is working - while Sammy disappeared this morning with his friends - he's not quite such a hard worker for you and all. Charlie is upstairs, also avoiding the issue as much as he can.

You are up to your elbows when you hear a tremendous crash from upstairs... upon investigation, you find he had borrowed his brother's new computer and was walking with it opened up - playing Angry Birds - when he tripped and fell. The computer is lying in pieces on the floor - with a huge hole in the screen where the corner of a table ripped through it. Charlie is not hurt beyond a bruise or two - you quickly check him over - and is clearly very contrite about what he's done... he's even crying about it. You don't have the leisure to spend much time consoling the lad - you tell him to put the remains in the room your wife and you use as an office; you'll tell Sammy about it tonight - you have no idea how you'll find the money to replace the thing.

Later, when you are returning home after your umpteenth trip to Home Depot for parts, you hear a severe altercation followed by a thud, and an anguished howl from your younger son. When you walk in, you find your older boy and some friends - Sammy was going to show them some, ahem, pictures that he found on the internet - facing Charlie... whose nose is pouring blood and is obviously broken... Sammy is in the process of drawing back for another blow as you walk in the door...

Sammy - 13
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Charlie - 9
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Of course, your first priority is to take Charlie to the hospital for repairs - while you are sitting there watching the doctor patch him up you are thinking about how you are going to handle all this...

One complication... a thirteen year old can be charged with both assault and child abuse under the Young Offender's Act - and the incident has been reported to the police as required by law and all...


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David M. Katz


Marshall
Do I know how seriously the authorities will pursue this?  If there is a danger of charges I will need to figure out some way to hire an attorney/solicitor/barrister. If I hire one I will let him/her handle the issue.

Hopefully this issue will be allowed to pass.  

The boys have already handled the issue, albeit poorly, among themselves.  No real further action from me other than some severe ear bendings. I also need to monitor them to make sure no further violence erupts.

Charlie will be forfeiting his allowance and birthday money to go towards a replacement machine.  Fortunately the prices of these things are continuing to go down.


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db105


Trailboss
Do we really need to live in a city where we can't afford to live? Can't we find work elsewhere?

Frustrating as Charlie's behavior has been, I am much more concerned about Sammy's behavior. It goes well beyond what a spanking can accomplish. We'll deal with any legal consequences as best as we can and if it gets before a judge hopefully we can get him to order some anger management therapy for Sammy. He needs to understand that things, even if we have had to work hard for them, are still things, and human beings and family are more important.

We will have to speak very seriously as a family. We can't go around breaking each other's noses. Charlie has had enough, considering his age. I'll talk with him, but he's too young to have all our frustration fall on him. I'm not going to make him work to help pay for a new computer, although he'll contribute a small portion of any pocket money he gets, symbolically more than anything else.

I'll do what I can to pay for a new computer, although it may take some time.

In the meantime, we need to very seriously considering selling the house and moving somewhere less expensive where we can find work. If we sell the house a very small part of that money will suffice to buy a new computer.

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Jack


Admin
Sammy had a prized (and expensive) possession broken and could face charges. Charlie is hurt enough. I think all I can do is try to do damage control right now.


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AFinch


Sherrif
At 9, Charlie's nose is all cartilage. So it won't require much repair beyond cleanup, and maybe some repositioning.

Sammy's behavior is more problematic. I can understand how he feels, having worked hard to earn the computer only to have it broken. By the same token, what he's done goes way beyond a brotherly "thumping". Db is correct--"things are just things that can be replaced".

Unless Canada is even madder than I thought, while Sammy COULD be charged under the young offender's law, my guess is that he won't be. There will be an unpleasant investigation, and when the authorities discover that his brother, not his parents, broke Charlie's nose, the matter will likely be dropped with a warning. Hopefully a word to the wise (Sammy) will, in this case, be sufficient. I believe Canada also forbids spanking a 13 year old, so I'm not going down that road. I don't think it would help in this case anyway. And what Sammy wanted to do with his computer at the time of the incident is irrelevant.

While I agree with db in principle, if we've already got roots in Toronto, whether it's job, family, or just "comfort" being there, despite the costs, I don't see moving elsewhere. Besides, my recent searches into Canadian real estate seem to indicate that unless I want to move to the Yukon, it won't be much better anywhere else.

I agree with DMK RE: Charlie's forfeiting allowance and birthday money, for a while anyway. Unless 9 year olds get a whole lot more in allowance than I think they do, he'd be in college before he could repay the cost of a computer. I also agree with DMK RE: consequences--the boys have handled it, poorly, but beyond words, I don't see additional punishment being warranted.

ivor


Marshall
Nothing really to ad to what has already been said, other than the idea of considering emigration.

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squarecutter


Sherrif
Completely flummoxed. Far toomuch to take in . I problem is thateith th state of the house we may be taking a hit in selling that as wel. Could some of the pc parts be saved and then for an appropriate  price someone might manage a rebuild, but to save time I'm taking DB's answer.

Jack


Admin
squarecutter wrote:Could some of the pc parts be saved and then for an appropriate  price someone might manage a rebuild, but to save time I'm taking DB's answer.

It's not a PC, it's a laptop. While laptops have a lot of advantages, they can't really be built and rebuilt like a desktop can.

What bothers me is not the cost of the housing, but the idea of having to pay for a house with no warranty, without having it inspected, and without recourse to 'lemon laws' for what sounds like a dump.

As for the broken nose - you have to remember that Sammy didn't know Charlie's nose was broken. He shouldn't have hit him in the first place, and he sure should have stopped after hitting him in the face, but I wouldn't be happy if someone stole my prize possession and broke it either, and it's only because I'm an adult with a lot of experience that I wouldn't react like Sammy did.


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MemoryMan


Sherrif
Jack wrote:Sammy had a prized (and expensive) possession broken and could face charges.  Charlie is hurt enough.  I think all I can do is try to do damage control right now.

Ditto

Emigration is also worth a thought ............ But Where ?????? scratch

Idea Time travel may be a better option

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Padraig


Trailboss
There are a lot of wrongdoings here in this BOTD. First my utmost stupidy of buying a house I haven't even seen; second my stupidity to spend more then I can afford; third my stupidity to sign a mortgage contract that doesn't let me air to breath and fourth my stupidity not to have damaged displays covered by insurance (though this might be linked to third).

Nevertheless, things are as they are right now.

What bothers me most in the scenario is the fact that Sammy was about to throw a second punch even when he could clearly see the blood comming out of his brother's nose. Though it doesn't make it right, I can understand one punch, but even when he was as mad at his little brother, that's an absolute no go and it has to have consequences. But we all need to calm down first.

---

btw., the DIY replacement of the display shouldn't be that expensive, probably under $100 up to 15"

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I'm in agreement with Daniel (db). Perhaps if we couldn't afford to buy a house, we could have leased a house, condo or apartment and been better off. It's certainly something to consider.

Kat

kalico


Sherrif
Jack wrote:
As for the broken nose - you have to remember that Sammy didn't know Charlie's nose was broken. He shouldn't have hit him in the first place, and he sure should have stopped after hitting him in the face, but I wouldn't be happy if someone stole my prize possession and broke it either, and it's only because I'm an adult with a lot of experience that I wouldn't react like Sammy did.


Im feeling this way also...Im more of the "this is brother behavior"

Im not happy but I think they both should still be punished for their actual crimes......Charlie for the taking of the lap top and NOW Sammy for hitting his brother.....Charlie will have to do allot of extra chores to help pay for a new lap top and Charlie will be getting spanked for lashing out at his little brother.
then we need to work our family it sounds like.....



hugs kal

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