The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

You Feeling Lucky Punk?
July 16, 2007, 7:30 am
Filed under: Comment

So at the weekend I found myself in a kids toyshop AND IT FUCKING ROCKED!

Seriously, it was one of the greatest hours of my life … but it also created a real sense of anger as I realised the little bastards have far better options than I ever had when I was their age.

To demonstrate this … please come on a journey back to Christmas Day 1978.

So it’ll be about 2:30 in the morning and I’d of just woken my parents [who probably had only been in bed for about 20 minutes] with an unstoppable enthusiasm to check if my pressies were under the tree.

While they slowly lift their weary bodies from the bed, I’m rushing down the stairs and pushing open the lounge door where the pressies would be under the lovely Christmas tree.

Being an only child, I can now – with hindsight – appreciate I was rather ‘spoilt’ … but that didn’t mean I got copious amounts of expensive gifts, oh no, it meant I’d get one ‘big pressie’ [budget approx 30 quid] and then a few small things alongside the usual chocolate selection box, pair of slippers and book.Anyway that year the MUST HAVE PRESSIE was the futuristic TIN CAN ALLEY … a game that shot [as the ad said and demonstrated in gasp-inducing visuals] “a beam of light that could knock cans of [the unheard of] DR Pepper from over 20 feet away”.

This was the equivalent of the internet for a young 9 year old, gun obsessed boy and for 3 months, I wanted it more than almost anything in the World.  I have to admit that I had real doubts I’d get it because if memory serves me, it cost 49 pounds … a pretty hefty sum back then and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over my usual unspoken Christmas budget.

Well I must of been extra-good that year because within seconds of ripping off the paper of the biggest package in the room [I was like a piranha with a leg of meat] I knew I’d got it and I was beside myself with joy, excitement and anticipation.

All I can remember after that is …

1 It took my Dad ages to ‘put it together’ as he kept losing the little screws.

2 It needed SIX massive batteries to work and then it only lasted about 4 minutes

3 It was sooooooooooooo noisy it woke the whole street

4 It took about 9 minutes to realise it was no where near as good as the ads made you believe

5 It broke within a week

So what is the point of all this?

Well despite Tin Can Alley being undeniably crap, it always had a soft spot in my heart which is why when I saw this …

… I don’t mind admitting it brought back all sorts of emotions, and because …

1. It cost US$10

2. It only needed 2 batteries

3. It could shoot cans from 30 feet away

4. It had realistic sound effects

5. It was ready to play with straight from the box

… it represented the ‘Ferrari’ of TIN CAN ALLEY and without doubt would have brought a tear to the eye of my Dad.

Now I know … I know … guns as toys are not that responsible, especially as we live in a World where we already have too much shooting, crime and zero respect … however when the alternative innocent gifts have porn names like this …

… you realise going with the ‘guns’ is probably far less embarrassing than having to explain to little Johnnie to stop shouting to the local Vicar, “I’ve got wood, man”

Ahem …

Anyway, these little bastards don’t know their born … but as I am crap at DIY, it’s probably going to lead to less frustrating nights than my Dad experienced when I become a Dad.

PS: To those who want more specific feedback on their A[P]SOTW assignment, you’ll have to hang in there as I’m flying all week – however I’ll write as soon as I can and hopefully explain why a bunch of judges with years of experiences felt some of the solutions were very interesting but not actually answering the specifics of the brief.

13 Comments so far
Leave a comment

do this and do this now rob.

1 cancel all future trips
2 go home
3 take about 50 panadol
4 go to bed and have a deep, deep sleep
5 wake up free from jet lag and fully rested so you wont write any more fucking pointless posts on your blog like this big pile of bollocks

see, i care.

ab x

Comment by andy@cynic

Cheeky bugger … it’s not like you have anything better to do with your life, is it?

Go on, admit it … the anger in your comment is because you always wanted Tin Can Alley didn’t you!?

See I care too …


Comment by Rob

rob, actually i think you desperately need to do a post featuring all the photos of you that you’ve subjected us to over the last 12 months! – yes we’ve had, rob with the turban, rob the asian lady, rob with the boobs and now rob with a tit on his head. love it!!

Comment by lauren

This yarn reminded me of when my parents bought me and my bro a Sega Megadrive. We had been begging for one for weeks, and as a reward for helping out around the house whilst my mum was away on business our folks gave us a Sonic the hedgehog game. We were kinda bummed as we told them we couldn’t play it because it wouldn’t work on our C64. My mum and dad looked confused and then said;

“oh we thought this could play it”

and then they moved apart to reveal a glorious Sega Megadrive in all it’s blue and white boxy glory. My older brother bolted across the room and slid on his knees crashing into the box and opening it simultaneously, I think i just stood there in the kitchen with the game in my hand jumping around screaming.

I can’t wait to play similar tricks on my kids one day. Good times.

Comment by Age

I love that story Age, it rocks … and shows how parents often mean the right thing, but screw it up just at the most important point, ha!

I remember LOADED magazine once wrote an article on their parents and the one that stuck out the most [though it wasn’t the case in my home] was …

“I always looked up to my Dad … I thought he could do no wrong … and then I turned 14 and realised he was a fat bastard who couldn’t program the video”

Comment by Rob

yeah i did want a tin can alley actually you bastard. and where connies photo increases tourism rates to singapore, yours acts as a weapon of mass revulsion.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by Rob

What the fuck were you doing in the toy shop?

Comment by Marcus

That’s what the Police want to know … 🙂

Comment by Rob

Megadrive was Black and blue/white box wasnt it?

I do recall getting a Subbuteo set one year… that revival didnt last long!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I bought the Nottingham Forest subbuteo team 3 years ago even though I’d never played the fucking thing. I am sad. And broke.

[R2D2 arrives in 3 weeks and I got it back on expences, yay!]

Comment by Rob

Age – we were divided by computers. I remember getting a SNES after going on a treasure hunt around the house.

It was a reward for winning a swimming award or somesuch.

Playing tricks on your kids = the future. 🙂

Comment by Will

My parents once bought me a hifi, but for comedy effect they put the wrong labels on all our “big” presents so we couldnt guess by size!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Leave a Reply