King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Tuesday, November 20

Childhood constructions

Just as in the 50s and 60s children had Meccano, or in the 90's they had K'nex (and oh boy how it hurts when trodden on in barefeet), as a child of the 70s and 80s I would play with Lego. Probably one of the biggest Danish exports, along with bacon and porn, Lego was something probably all children would have played with back then. It started off with houses, big clunky bricks that would make perfect domiciles even with sloping roofs (*note to self, what is the plural of roof?*) and hinged plastic windows. One of my earliest memories was making a model of our house, with 2 hinged yellow doors for the garage because Lego had yet to make an 'up and over' type door.
As I grew older, I progressed through the ranks. For my 9th birthday I got a Lego go-kart. A whole new style of kit, it was technical (hence being called a Lego Technics set) and had things like steering. I remember a trip to Chester and a walk around a local toyshop and I fell in love with a large car chassis. It was the biggest kit Lego made at the time, and at a truly staggering £26, this was the flagship of the Lego range. I remember grizzling all the way home because I wasn't allowed it, but in hindsight it probably was a little unfair of me to expect it.
Whilst I should have been more mature and sensible, I got enough money accrued on my 13th birthday to actually buy this car. My mother, suddenly single, had given me a hard time about spending my money on something so frivolous and pointless, whereas I should have spent it on something important like books and stationery (what typo, Dad?) for school (!). I knew I was getting a bit old for Lego, but I didn't care. And so I took a walk up to Woolworths in Crystal Palace that night and returned home with my new pride and joy. It took me days to build it. I can't remember what actually became of the car. I know in an argument my mother had thrown it over the floor, breaking one of the gear wheels for the differential.
Anyway, onto the point. Two weeks ago on a call out to John's very cool school helper Mr. Lewis, John found a box of Lego. He'd had Lego in the past, but never got as passionate about it as he did with k'nex. He asked if he could play with it whilst I struggled away with one very cattled pc, and when I turned round, imagine my delight to find it's one of the very same car chassis kits. John sat and played quietly, and then even more surprising, got to bring it home with him. I categorically told him he's not going to have it to lose parts etc. and that I would build it, maybe with the aim of gluing it together. So for the past week I have sat in the mornings, playing with Lego. Now call me childish, call me a kid, call me immature, but this car is selling for £250 on ebay. It's a true testament to the designers how good this car is. It has a moving 4 cylinder engine, 3 speed gearbox, rack and pinion steering, independent suspension and even a radiator and fan. I'm a happy boy all over again.
And just imagine, if peer pressure hadn't convinced me computers were more fun I could have been a mechanical genius instead of working with these poxy computer things.