It’s school holidays here. You could probably guess that if you didn’t already know. Yesterday enough rain fell in Glasgow to test the faith of Noah. This morning I was suggesting to my little boy that it might be a good idea to go over to the tennis club and hit a ball or two when I looked out the window. I couldn’t get a really good view of the window because the gutter above our kitchen was overflowing and a torrent the size of Victoria Falls was cascading down the building.
It was probably always thus. Every year we get a couple of lovely summer days and ask ourselves why we go abroad It’s so beautiful here, we say, best country in the world. Then it rains for a week. I’m not very good with wet weather activities and the net result is you end up with too many people in one house.
I have one wet weatherish activity which I suggested to my little boy. A few months ago we succumbed to pressure and bought him a games thingy. I say this because I’m still not sure what you call these things. His is a Nintendo (I think.) He’s been in here 5 times to get the Cars game going. He seems to be deluded enough to imagine I might know how that kind of thing works. Listen pal your dad may be a good for nothing rock dude but he drew the limits at playing computer games. If I got bored on the bus I gambled or slept.
The reason he got the thingy was simple. We were all round at pals one night and he was intent on playing their boys’ games. We were acting responsibly. Eating, drinking and ignoring all our offspring big time. It was only when he came through to ask us how he could beat up a cop or shoot some hooker that we figured we needed to divert him on to other games. He was only 5. I think it was AA Milne who said the cop killing starts at 6.
I went to a games shop to buy the thingy. The bloke behind me looked at me like the cool dudes used to look at Bruces records in Dundee. With disdain. I came clean. It was actually quite refreshing to admit I knew nothing about their infernal thingys and the thingys that went inside them. I could tell the cool guy saw me as an interesting social experiment, a species, the likes of which, had not crossed his threshold in many a long year. He took me through it, showed me how to put a small thingy in a big thingy and outlined how to avoid the more violent/adult/pure-mad-mental games. This wasn’t hard to do. It seems to mean ignoring 95% of his stock and concentrating on games where you remember it was first a U film. The thing is, now that it’s raining and the young chap’s got nothing to do he seems to expect me to remember what the bloke in the shop taught me and he must surely know by now the rule of all dads: they know nothing.