Things To Make & Do
Never begin a sentence ‘When I was young…’ and never continue with; ‘we made our own amusement.’
However, when I was young we made our own amusement, from which something fell out of the Jamboree Bag of my mind; giveaways in British comics, one of which was a piece of cardboard folded from corner to corner with a similar sheet of paper inside it, folded the same way and glued at the outer edges.
When you brought this card down sharply, the paper inside turned outwards from the force of the air and made a noise like a gunshot. I have no idea what they were called but Buster and Beezer used to give them away all the time, and they’d probably be banned now.
As British comics giveaways went, they were paltry things. Stuff made of paper and tiny bits of plastic, cardboard ‘push-outs’ with tabs and slots – how easily amused we were. And no wonder; paper was scarce, resources were poor, but nobody explained any of this at the time.
Other paper peculiarities included a wheel with numbered punch-cut lines in it that you pinned in the centre then aligned and turned, drawing into the cut-out lines with a biro. When you had got to the end of the numbers and removed the wheel, you had a picture. Ooh, and magic colouring books, presumably now also banned for Health & Safety reasons.
But I’m not on the page that says how lucky we were. Can you imagine how exciting apps would have been for smart minds with nothing to do? I expect great things of the next generation, force-grown into clever thinking at an early age. The only fly in that particular ointment is the sharp fall in reading that’s occurring in teenagers, except for studying. Books are fast becoming the province of older people, who have more time on their hands.
But that leaves the Youngs to concentrate on coming up with great tech. Between writing bouts I regularly play games to empty my mind without dulling it, mostly puzzlers and platformers. It’s not surprising kids get stuck into phones at every opportunity; who wouldn’t have at seven?
Were we bored, though? I don’t think so, but I certainly observed my surroundings more.