I guess when I was about four, some time in 1993 or 1994, my parents and I took the train somewhere one night. It was a huge train station, giant. It had to be. My parents were kind enough to bring me to a toy store in the station, where I perused the transformers. A bearded employee showed me a few, but warned that I had to choose quickly, because the store was about to close.

One transformer caught my eye. It pretended to be a space-shuttle, but when you least suspected it would transform into a robot holding TWO guns. I had never seen anything with TWO guns before, and I had to let the concept register before I decided how I felt about it.

By the time I decided that it was really, really awesome, the bearded employee said it was time to close and that we had to leave. I was distraught. I knew that transformer and I would be parted forever. I would never see it again, not when I was eleven, not when I was twenty-two, not even when I was older than that, if it were even possible.

It didn't matter; I'd lost my chance. My parents tore me away, and as they carried me through the crowded train station that night, I cried "I want that transformer," over and over again, the plea echoing through the enormous rooms. I was sure at the time that everyone who heard me would recognize the tragedy. I realize what I must have seemed like now.

I realize that it did not at all reflect well on my character, and I fear that many people who heard my screams jumped to a conclusion about my parents' character as well. I would like to defend them; as someone whose life had lasted only about 1,500 days, that was perhaps my parents' first big opportunity to make a decision on how to form my character.

I would like to apologize to anyone who was present at the time, seventeen or eighteen years ago. I did not understand how you likely regarded me (as a deeply spoiled child). As a testament to my mother and father's wise parenting, I never did anything like that again, nor, I assure you, do I plan to.

Let me know if you come across that transformer, though.