My grandson had an agenda for our week at the beach, which explained why I was sitting in a bowling alley one weekday morning at 10:30.
The day would include arcade games. Arcade games are high on my grandson’s list.
The trick is to arrange bowling, pool, miniature golf, movies and go-karts around the electronic games.
Cullen, that’s my grandson, likes two kinds of arcade games — the kind in which he drives through piles of wrecked, burning cars and the kind in which he’s attacked by armed, red-eyed terrorists.
Using cyber shotguns, AK-47s, machine guns and rocket launchers, Cullen blows up the attackers as they spring from behind boulders, fuel barrels and warehouse doors.
I can’t imagine anything hurting more than getting hit in the head by a rocket, but every fourth terrorist took a direct hit to the groin. Rocket to the groin. Ouch!
At least Gulf Bowl in Foley, Ala., is air conditioned. The day before, at Pirate’s Island, we played miniature golf in what felt like 114 degrees.
My favorite holes were the ones in small puddles of shade.
I blew the Par 3, 13th hole. I wrote 12 on my score card and moved on to No. 14, which was shadier.
Cullen beat me soundly in miniature golf and bowling. I was more competitive with his mother and her brother. With my grandsons, my focus is on keeping my left knee from locking up.
I ride a bicycle, walk and do light weights to stay in shape to do things with my grandsons, ages 2 and 16.
Emerson, the 2-year-old, mainly requires watching, playing with blocks, taking short walks.
Cullen requires planning to work in all the things on his agenda.
Movies require rounds of negotiations. I insist on knowing whether or not there’s a plot.
Cullen likes movies in which things blow up and use CGI. That’s computer-generated imagery.
Since the use of CGI in “Westworld” (1973), action movies have relied heavily on computers to suspend our disbelief.
Our vacation movie this year was “Cowboys and Aliens,” a marriage of film history, “Stage Coach” meets “Star Wars”.
The teaser “a spaceship arrives in Arizona in 1873 to take over the earth. A posse of cowboys and Indians is all that stands in their way” told me all I needed to know.
The movie’s makers must have asked themselves what it would be like if James Bond joined a Wild West show to find the Ark of the Covenant.
On a scale of 1 to 10, Cullen rated the CGI a six. I rated the movie VERY LOUD.
The ringing in my ears had pretty much stopped by bedtime.
We had a good week together. Cullen gave me his agenda. I followed it.
Contact Ed Cullen at firstname.lastname@example.org