Once upon a time, a younger version of myself had his parent’s credit card number memorized. With that, he began to order things, without permission, while he was at school in the library computer lab. Much to his surprise, they noticed him spending their money, and he got quite the talking to.
Bearing this personal narrative in mind, I found myself enjoying a Christmas classic from my youth from a new perspective recently. I remember watcing “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” almost on repeat when I would go and visit my Granny. It was one of the things on constant rotation, with The Three Stooges also getting a lot of screen time.
Since I have gotten the new Disney + streaming app, I have started to dive through some of my old favorites from when I was a kid. So watching this particular piece of ‘90s memorabilia, one thing I kept thinking throughout the movie was how long it would take Kevin McCallister, the young protagonist in the movie, to pay his father back for the numerous expenses he racked up during his stay in the Big Apple.
If you haven’t seen the movie, the premise is pretty basic: A kid gets separated from his family at the airport, they end up in Paris, France, and he ends up in New York City. To his benefit, he also lands with some of his father’s belongings ... including his credit card.
From there, Kevin uses the credit card, albeit with some masterful social engineering on his part, to secure a stay at a luxurious hotel. Kevin also mounts a massive roomservice tab, alluded to at the end of the movie when his father screams a grand total when the final tab is delivered to the reunited family.
I do wonder what Kevin’s grand total was by the end of the movie. In addition to the hotel, he trekked all over the city. He dropped some serious cash at a notable toy store, got himself his own pizza and limo, and had to fund his arsenal to fend off the bad guys. But given the size of his parents’ house in the first movie, old man McCallister was probably good for it.
I probably thought too much about it, but I did begin to wonder what that movie must have seemed like to parents. Would they have been keeping their own tabs in their head while watching, as their kid was excited to witness all the unparalleled freedom of Kevin? I imagine at least a couple parents uttering, a couple of times, “I’d kill him.”