Of life and playthings


For today’s Daily Prompt, Toy Story

– – –

There is a real sense in which play was a concept alien to the world in which I grew up. Being the son of two high achieving, austere academicians did that to me; that they adopted a rigorous, all encompasing asceticism merely underlined the near total absence in our lives of anything that didn’t fulfil a function of some sort. The Black & White National television set was the communal alter around which we sacrificed our evenings to learning and current affairs, the gramophone, the vehicle by which nostalgic memories where wheeled out and shared with us younglings.

Kids will be kids though. With time we discovered the joys of table soccer – coca cola tops dressed up in fine livery with the names of global superstars painted on, St Louis Sugar boxes repurposed as goal posts and specialty tops providing super star appeal. With a properly shaped front end, a pastic Berec top could very easily evolve into a 20-goal a season striker, even though smarties tops ruled the roost.

An entire industry grew around the game, wheelers and dealers who trawled the dumps in the posh end of town for smarties tops to trade, administrators who created tournaments the rest of us subscribed to. Having a kid brother proved useful – regular battles or not – for the opportunities it provided for us to revel in the joys of our playthings without risking the wrath of our parents by being caught outside the confines of the mother lode.

Did it change my life? Probably not, except for the friendships it helped forge all those many years ago – O perhaps being the closest example. Apparently though, my love for it was not an abberation. So loved across the country was the game that some smart kid has turned it into a game for mobile. That, just might count as life changing afterall.

One thought on “Of life and playthings

  1. The ingenuity of children cannot be denied! We forbid them guns, and they point sticks at each other and go “Bang! Bang!” (At least, they do here in the US.) Without art materials they draw on the backs of magazines, or on walls. But I’m especially impressed with the ingenuity of your group, with its tournaments and subscriptions. That’s really awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

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