Monday 24 December 2012

Something's Missing In My Life

All the Christmas shopping is now done, everything is wrapped up and I'm planning on doing nothing for the next couple of days.
(Finished before mid-day on Christmas Eve?  I must've forgotten something)
Not that I had that much to do - fortunately I'm married to one of those people who has been organising Christmas since mid-October, right down to the buying of her own presents and handing them to me with the instruction "hide those somewhere"

A few amusing observations from my minimal shopping trips in the past week:
  • People standing around in Argos clutching tickets whilst staring up at a TV monitor - just like a retail version of Ladbrokes or Coral
  • Shoppers carrying huge boxes of toys, gadgets, electricals, or shoppers shuffling along under the weight of 26 carrier bags.  And then stopping at the already crowded bus stop
  • All the bargain shops seemed to be playing the same 15 songs, ranging from the predictable to the very predictable, all in perfect synchronicity.  I can't help but conclude that a 'Radio Pound Shop' has been set up to further sanitise and homogenise our shopping experiences
  • Visiting HMV - this is generally an amusing excursion, comparing what it was like in the past to the overpriced, badly organised, alternative Dixons affair that it has now become.
    The chucklesome event occurred whilst browsing the Spoken Word/Comedy section.  A rack spacer between "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" & "Spike Jones" bore the legend "Jethro Tull" (maybe the Cornish comedian has replaced Ian Anderson?  I think it was just an error of the 'Thelonius Monk/The Loneliest Monk' type)
  • Supermarket customers with two trollies loading them up with the equivalent of the EEC food mountain.  The cynic in me says that about 30% (or more) of that stuff will be in the bin by New Years Day as they'd forgotten about it and it's now out of date.
    And when does anyone buy Advocaat, apart from in December?

Despite these personally amusing diversions and annoyances, I thought about the Christmas presents I had received in the past.
The memory lists the usual childhood and adolescent boys presents - Action Man, a bike, Scalextric, various books (usually of some educational/historical intent).  But figuring high each year was the plastic construction genius of Lego, specifically the Technical stuff (later renamed Technic).
Over the course of a few years I received a veritable smorgasbord of plastic bricks that could be clipped together to form models that you may want to display on a shelf - and then broken down to it's base components and re-built into something else.
In the spirit of dewy-eyed nostalgia, the sets I had (complete with reference numbers, because I'm that sad I can remember them) were:
  • 854 - Go Cart
  • 955 - Mobile Crane
  • 8843 - Fork Lift Truck
  • 8845 - Beach Buggy/Desert Racer
But the one set I never did get, and still yearn for, is 8860 Auto Chassis.

And who wouldn't want that?
Reclining seats, 2 speed gear box and a flat four boxer engine.  It may be left hand drive, but as it is lego it is easily converted without having to send it back to the manufacturer for modification.
30 years I've been waiting for that, and I'm still hopeful of getting it.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I think the last time I heard "Stop the Cavalry" outside of a high street store was probably 1981 or so.