Bill of Rights Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 398, December 17, 2006

"The Great Moratorium"


When I Was Your Age, All The Kids Wanted Hoverboards
by Jonathan David Morris

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

It amazes me how 20 years have passed since Cabbage Patch Mania and people are still camping out for "hot ticket" Christmas toys. A couple of weeks ago, people were paying two to three or even four times the sticker price just to get their hands on PlayStation 3s and TMX Elmos. Do you honestly not understand the Overhyped Christmas Toy Process?

Step 1: The toy industry announces a toy that'll be out in time for Christmas.

Step 2: The toy industry fails to make enough of that toy in time for Christmas.

You don't need to stab someone. You don't need to camp out. Whatever toy you want will be widely available by March of next year. You won't have to search for it; it'll be sitting there, staring you eye-to-eye every time you walk through the toy store.

But no. No. You just have to have it now.

You seem to think that having it now will somehow make it better.

Well, I've got news for you kids today: At least you can have a PlayStation 3 now. At least you can have the latest iteration of Touch Me & I'll Sue Elmo.

You know what I wanted when I was your age? A hoverboard.

Guess what: I'm still waiting.

Stick that in your disc drive and play it.

When I was 11, Robert Zemeckis released the second installment of one of the most important movie trilogies ever: Back to the Future, Part II. It starred Michael J. Fox, Michael J. Fox, Michael J. Fox, and Christopher Lloyd. It also starred a flying DeLorean. But most importantly, it starred a freaking hoverboard.

Everyone I knew wanted a hoverboard that Christmas. We didn't get one that year. Or any year after that.

Cynics said hoverboards never existed. We knew they were wrong. We had friends who had cousins who lived in California, who saw hoverboards in Toys R Us all the time.

I've been patiently waiting since 1989 to finally step foot on one of these things. I probably wouldn't know how to ride one. In all likelihood, I would fall off and scrape my elbow, just like every time I've tried to ride a skateboard. This doesn't matter to me. I would take one for the team.

Unlike you, I understand there's a gift much bigger and better than instant gratification. Unlike you, I realize there is more to life than being the first kid to tickle an Elmo on your block.

For me, and for thousands of people like me, time is standing still right now. It will never be The Future until Toys R Us carries hoverboards. It will never be a new day, and we will never grow up—not until we know that hoverboards have arrived.

So don't tell me you "need" a PlayStation 3 for Christmas, you spoiled little post-9/11 American brat. You know what you need? A sense of perspective.

Patience comes to those who wait.

Jonathan David Morris writes from Philadelphia. He can be reached at


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