Littlegreendude was born on Nov 15, 2001. My son was four, almost five at the time. My son had earned the nickname "Mr. Smiley", because he wore an ear to ear smile on his face from the moment he woke up until he fell asleep at night (usually exhausted from a rough day of play). He was always an early riser. A 5 AM wake up call was a typical occurence in our household. He would run in to the bedroom to my side of the bed and slug me in the arm, chest or stomach. I would open my bleary eyes to the site of that big grin and any thought of anger would immediately melt away.
That fateful mid-November day was one such early wake up call. However, I had made the mistake of working on what is now some long forgotten coding project until the early morning hours. Being sleeped deprived was not going to change my plans for the day. It was a date I had long looked forward to, the release of the original XBOX game console. I'm not sure he quite knew what an XBOX was, but he knew his dad was excited about it, and that was enough to make him want to tag along. At the store things actually went alot smoother than I had anticipated. There was plenty of consoles in stock. We were easily able to claim one, as well as Halo and a couple of other games. Other than the typical myriad of questions being fired at me by my mini-me, things were falling in to place for a fun day of gaming.
Our purchase complete. Our prize claimed. Mission accomplished. We now exited the store, but on the way out he spotted the gumball / vending machines that are placed precisely for his eye level. I figured, what the heck, he had been good. I fished a quarter out of my pocket and handed it to him. He quickly deposited his quarter in one of the machines and gave the handle a crank. He reached his little hand in to the dispenser and pulled out the treasured plastic bubble. Popped it open, fumbled it around, and then looked at me.
Puzzled, with a furrowed brow, came "Dad, what is it?"
I blame it on the lack of sleep. But as I looked down at the little rubber alien on the skateboard. The word "alien" just escaped me, and what came out was:
"It's a little green dude."
Later at home, while setting up the game console, I was prompted for a gamer tag. The answer was obvious.