Over $3 million dollars as a prize. An award. An amount of money paid, not for the cure to cancer or for negotiating a peace treaty between warring countries, but for winning a video game. A 16-year-old young man took the prize for playing a game called Fortnite (a word I hadn’t heard before just last year). A young man who is so young he still doesn’t drive and wants to save the money for his future — bravo — and maybe get a new desk. My brain can’t comprehend this.

A plague of locusts are visiting the bright lights of Las Vegas. Is this one of the dreaded signs we have heard about since childhood? A bug specialist says no. The reason behind this overwhelming insect blanketing? High temps and low humidity. I don’t buy it. There are lots of places in our country with high temps and low humidity so where are those crickets?

Halloween, a sacred day of candy and costumes for children (and many adults) around the country has been celebrated on Oct. 31 for hundreds of years. The real reason behind this holiday is long gone and now there is an odd movement to change that date for convenience. A petition, started last year by a group of parents, wants to move Halloween to the last Saturday in October, regardless of date. The main concern sited is safety for children. I think the main reason is the fact that children and parents will have a day to recover before going back to school. As of a few days ago 100,000 people had signed the petition which means it is headed to the White House.

Data. What is it? In most cases it is your personal information like name, address, date of birth, social security number and most likely account numbers. This precious cargo is supposed to be held in confidence and protected by big companies, right? Well maybe we are putting too much trust out there. Capital One (famous for the line “what’s in your wallet”) has apparently had a breach that will affect about 100 million Americans (not to mention 6 million of our northern neighbors in Canada).

This past Sunday I watched as a grown man walked past me wearing nothing but his bright white underpants. Under any other circumstance this may have generated a call to the local police (especially since he was surrounded by children) but alas, it was just a person playing out a character at the Raleigh Comic Con. My first visit and I was impressed. Young and old, people from all around the world were there in their wild costumes or seeking photos with their favorite characters. TV stars, artists and authors sat behind booths waiting to sign their names and smile for photos. If you have never been, I recommend a day trip next time it comes around.

Remember when you get on an airplane to leave your missile launchers at home. Silly man. A Texas man had a little delay in his travel plans when he boarded a plane in Maryland with a missile launcher in his luggage. Now let’s be honest, it was not active, there was no missile tucked inside, it was just the housing tube, but still to the less educated it must have been quite a shock. TSA kept the item and he was allowed to continue his travels unscathed. Silly man, lesson learned.

Remember knowledge is power, not everything can go in checked baggage, and the future of teens sports could be at risk if big money payouts come from video games instead of sports scholarships.



Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.