Truth or Dare

My daughters were trying to teach their six-year-old brother how to play truth or dare in the car tonight. They each demonstrated the protocol.
Eleven-year-old: “Truth or Dare?”
Eight-year-old: “Dare.”
Eleven-year-old: “Eat this Jolly Rancher from Easter.”
And so on.
Simple. Simple game, simple rules.
Eventually, of course, the game will turn into a confessional/peer-pressure-fueled gauntlet of embarrassing, compromising, vaguely sexual and/or overtly sexual acts that will end in tears, rumors, and the always-fun stress-induced eating disorder (can’t wait!) but at this point it’s still pretty tame and kind of cute.
Then it’s my son’s turn.
Son: Truth or dare?
Oldest Daughter: Dare.
Son (producing a Bic pen from his booster seat): Poke your eye out.
Oldest Daughter: Wait, what?
Son: Poke out your eye. The right one.
That was the end of the game. Needless to say we had a good laugh after we coaxed the pen from my son’s hand and convinced him that his dare, while certainly falling within the parameters of a “dare” so-to-speak, was probably too intense for such a casual game, especially with siblings.
“He’d do well in a Vietnamese POW camp,” my wife said.
“Or a Turkish prison.” I agreed.
Though his approach is more pure and honest than the way most middle-schoolers play the game, using the opportunity to commit acts of emotional terrorism on the weaker members of the herd and initiate the new member of the clique in the dark arts of middle school antagonism, it does make me wonder what’s going to happen when he gets to middle school, and at a party someone introduces Truth or Dare as the game of the hour. Will he have learned the proper gaming protocol, or will he jack it to eleven again?
My son: Truth or Dare?
Middle-school jerkoff: Dare, bro.
My Son: Slam your dick in the microwave.
Middle-school jerkoff: Slam my…seriously?
My son: We’re waiting.
I kind of hope it happens.

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