Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Catzilla, Trains and Spaceships

File this under weird. It will save time. And no, I don't have a therapist...

Imagine the disappointment. The requirement was Hot Wheels . Hot Wheels were cool. All my friends had them. I knew what to do with them (vroom vroom). I had to have one. Plenty of hints were given. I turned up the TV volume every time they were advertised, talked loudly about them, and even drew pictures of them. The  message was abundantly clear. It couldn't be simpler.

What I got was a Hornby Train Set . As I am sure you will agree, this was betrayal of the highest order. My father had deliberately sabotaged Christmas. How could he do that to his son? As my world crashed around me he catches my expression which is a mixture of despair and rage. He knows he's been found out. He bought it for himself to play with. "Open your next present while I set up the train set" he says to distract me. He succeeds for now. A huge plastic Tyrannosaurus Rex emerges from he wrapping. Perfect!

Perfect because it was the ideal instrument to brutalise the Barbie doll my sister had just joyfully received. THE ONE SHE HAD ALWAYS WANTED! War commences. Dinosaur versus Barbie was never going to be an even match and Barbie's head is soon rolling across the floor but still smiling as it tumbled. I am sent to my room despite my pleas against the injustice of it all. My father rages because he has to glue Barbie's head back on to abate my sister's tears and can't play with the train set.

The following day, my father tries to indoctrinate me in the way of train sets. He talks of strange things. Signals, points, schedules, rolling stock and level crossings. This is clearly gibberish. The man must be insane. All I can see is two trains going round and round in circles. And that is it. How can you win this game? He tells me it will be better when we buy more bits. Seeing the trap, I tell him its boring and Hot Wheels are better. I leave because me and the dinosaur have other plans that involve my sister.

The next day, things are looking bleak. Somehow the dinosaur disappeared overnight. I have my suspicions but no one is fessing up. I am really bored now. The train set sits on the floor taunting me. With nothing better to do, I start to play with it. My father is away so I don't give him the satisfaction. I quickly learn that crashing trains is far more interesting than making them go round and round but I would have tired of that if hadn't been for the cat.

Now the cat and I at that time had a similar outlook in life. This usually manifested itself as playing with something until it broke dramatically or proudly bringing in something disgusting from the garden. Watching the locomotive mayhem became irresistible to my furry friend. In cat terms, I was creating excellent content. He chased the train, pounced and missed. This naturally created content for me.

Game on. Operation Avoid Catzilla commenced. This went on for ages until the cat go fed up and sat on the rails to gate camp the train station. Plan B. I brought out the alt train. The one with the cow catcher on it and approach the feline from behind. At which point my father hot drops into the room via the door. The cat being smarter than me dives for cover. A long lecture ensues. "I am not playing it properly" he says. Treat it with respect or you can't play with it again" he says. "Fine I don't want to" I said, and I ever did again. The train set just gathered dust after that.

If you haven't guessed, playing Eve reminds me a lot of about that train set. I often get told I am playing it wrong by some fatherly vet. But there are welcome differences. No one can stop me playing and whatever I do wont wreck the fatherly vet's game. Eve, like the train set, is an environment where you can let your imagination loose. My father wanted to be George Hudson . I wanted to be Catzilla's nemesis. Eve has the capability to support both at the same time. I think my father would have enjoyed it. But I wouldn't have told him about it. He did, after all, sabotage my Christmas. And I miss the cat content. I guess that's why we have YouTube now.

No comments:

Post a Comment