Updating Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Once upon a time there was a girl named Goldilocks who spent all day on her tablet computer.
All she wanted to do was spend every waking hour on the internet, sending messages to her friends at school or searching for pictures of cats in teakettles and watching videos of hedgehogs eating watermelon. She constantly bumped into things when she walked around the house because she always had her eyes glued to her tablet. She begged her parents to let her play with it at the dinner table. Once she even tried to tape it up in a plastic bag so that she could use it while she took her bath!
Her poor parents got so tired of trying to get their daughter off the internet that they decided they would rent an RV and go deep into the woods one weekend where there was absolutely, positively no internet at all. For the long eight hour drive deep into the woods all Goldilocks did was sulk, cry, beg, plead, huff, and pout, even as she played games and watched movies on her tablet. Finally they got to the campsite and parked the RV in a beautiful clearing by a sparkling blue stream under a cloudless sky.
“Smell that air!” Goldilocks’ father said as he stepped out of the RV. “It’s so much cleaner than the air back in that dirty old city!”
“Look at those trees!” Goldilocks’ mother said. “They’re so much bigger than the trees back in the city!”
Goldilocks was still in the RV fiddling with her tablet. “There’s something wrong,” she whined, “I can’t connect to the internet!”
“There is no internet out here,” her father replied.
Goldilocks’ jaw dropped open. It didn’t make any sense to her. “Should I get on the roof of the RV to try to get a better signal?”
“No,” her mother replied. “There is no internet in the woods. At all.”
Goldilocks could not process this and she stared blankly for a full minute before the cold, hard reality hit her that she would not be sending messages to her friends, that there would be no pictures of cats, and there would be no videos of hedgehogs for two full days! “You’re the worst parents ever!” she shouted.
“Enough, Goldilocks!” Her mother took the tablet out of her hands and said, “Go take a walk. Smell some of that fresh air, and look at those lovely trees.”
“You’ll see that the real world is much better than the internet” her father said. “Now go take a walk. Just don’t go too far.”
“Your phones still get internet, right?” Goldilocks asked. “Can I just use your phone? I’ll die if I don’t get on the internet!” she whined.
“Nonsense, Goldilocks, no one has ever died from not going on the internet,” her mother snapped.
“You’ll see!” harrumphed Goldilocks and she stomped off into the woods. She was so intent on being upset that before she realized it she had walked so far that she couldn’t see her parent’s RV anymore. She got scared because she didn’t know how she’d find her way back. “If I had my tablet,” she thought, “I’d be able to use the GPS to find my way back to the RV. I’m going to die because I can’t get on the internet!”
It began to get dark, and in the distance Goldilocks saw a light glimmering for off in the woods. “Surely,” she thought, “that must be the RV!” She walked toward the light but when she got there she found herself not back at the campsite but in front of a lovely little wooden cabin. She knocked on the door to see if anyone was at home. “Perhaps they have the internet and I can send an email to my parents so they can pick me up.”
“Hello?” Goldilocks called out. There was no response. “Hello? Is anyone here?” she called as she pushed open the front door.
She stopped in her tracks when she saw a big computer sitting on a desk. “I’m saved!” she thought. “Surely whoever lives here won’t mind if I go on the internet and send my parents an email so that they can come pick me up!”
Goldilocks went to the chunky beige computer and switched it on. It took forever to boot, and as Goldilocks was an impatient girl she moaned, “Oh, this is taking forever!” Finally she was able to open a browser and get on the internet to send the email to her parents.
“As long as I’m here,” she thought, “I don’t think they’ll mind if I look up some funny pictures while I wait.” Goldilocks searched for cats and hedgehogs and clicked on many buttons that launched many colorful blinking windows. Finally the screen was so choked with popups that she said, “Enough! This computer is too slow and I can’t see what I’m doing anymore!”
She looked around and, on the side table next to the couch, she saw a sleek silver laptop and thought, “Oh, that looks much nicer than this big, slow desktop computer!” It was certainly much zippier than the desktop and in no time she was back on the internet. She checked her email, and though her parents hadn’t emailed her back yet there was an email from a friend with a link to a video of puppies in pirate costumes. She clicked on it, then watched another video, and then another, but the bottom of the laptop started to get very hot. “This computer is much faster than the other one, but it’s too heavy and I’ll roast my legs if I keep using it! There has to be something better!”
She looked across the room and gasped with delight when she saw a tablet on the bookshelf. It was just like hers! She leaped across the room, the laptop flew off her lap and landed with a sickening crunch, then she grabbed the tablet and hugged it with joy! This time she didn’t even bother to check her email and went straight to the video app, curled up in the big soft chair in the corner, propped the tablet up on her knees, and sighed, “Finally! That old desktop was far too slow, that silver laptop was far too hot, but this tablet is just right!”
Soon she drifted off to sleep in the glow of the tablet’s screen with a big smile on her face.
An hour later, three bears came home to their cabin after a fun hike in the woods. Finding the front door open, Papa Bear said, “That’s strange. I’m sure I closed the door when we left.” As he walked into the living room he cried, “Oh, no! Someone has been using my computer and it’s so choked with ads that every time I click to close one two more pop up in their place! Look at all the messages about viruses!”
Mama Bear looked over to where her computer should have been but didn’t see it until looked down at the floor. “Oh, no!” she cried. “Someone has been using my laptop and dropped in on the floor! Now the screen is cracked and it’s making a grinding sound when I try to turn it on!”
“Oh, no!” Baby Bear cried. “Someone has been using my tablet!” he shrieked. “And she’s still here sleeping in my chair!”
Goldilocks woke up and screamed, “Oh no! Surely these big brown bears are here to eat me! That will teach my parents to take away my tablet!” she thought sourly.
At the moment there was a knock at the door and Goldilocks’ parents came into the house. “Sorry to disturb you, but we got an email from our daughter that said she was here and we’ve come to take her home.”
Papa Bear snarled, “Your daughter broke into our house, messed up my computer, broke Mama Bear’s laptop, and has been using Baby Bear’s tablet while we’ve been out on a family hike in the woods smelling the fresh air and looking at the beautiful trees!”
Goldilocks’ parents were deeply embarrassed by her behavior, and they apologized for their wicked daughter. Papa Bear said, “Thank you for the apology, but that doesn’t change the fact that your daughter broke our computers!” Afraid that perhaps the bears might decide to eat them, Goldilocks’ father pulled out his phone and ordered a new computer for Papa Bear, a new laptop for Mama Bear, and a new tablet for Baby Bear.
As soon as he got the confirmation email, Goldilocks actually had the gall to ask, “Well, if Baby Bear is getting a new tablet can I have his old one?”
For a moment her parents seriously considered leaving her with the bears.
The three of them slowly backed out of the house, then they jumped in the waiting RV and drove full speed back to the city.
When they got home her parents made Goldilocks give her beloved tablet to the little girl who lived next door. When she started to cry, her father said, “If you want to use the internet so badly we still have the GPS coordinates to the bears’ house and maybe if you ask really nicely they’ll let you use their new computers!”
Goldilocks thought about it for a moment and said, “No, that’s okay. No one ever died from not having the internet.” Then she went outside and realized that the real world is much better.