We’ve been enjoying looking at presents for the kids and even for someone as young as S at 5 years of age, it’s amazing how much technology is starting to dominate the present scene. He’s still just about young enough to want castles and forts and dungeons and knights and things but increasingly it’s going to be wii, nintendo and play station stuff that he longs for. That’s a great shame I think because not only does it take away that sense of physicality (fans of wii may argue here, but it ain’t the same as the real thing) but also creativity and imagination, that was always the best part of any great pressie. Riding a new bike, playing with a new football, building with lego/meccano were mind and body stretching. I’m not sure kids get the same stimulus with computer games and the like. Maybe it’s just me being resistant to change.
Anyway I was thinking of the best present I ever received as a kid. A new racing bike when I started Grammar school was it for me. I loved that bike. But one that my brother D received also sticks in my memory; the Johnny 7 One Man Army. Does anyone remember that? A weapon with 7 different forms of ammunition; bullets, mortar, rocket, grenade, bayonet and two more I can’t recall (anyone out there know?). It would probably be regarded as very inappropriate for a kid’s present these days but that was one ace machine – substantial, well-built, dangerous-looking, all the launchers worked effectively – firing their killer loads many feet. My brother and I used to have some great battles and it was hard to fight against something as powerful as J7OMA. Jeez it even sounds like an item of army equipment.
I’ve found an ad from some American guy called ‘desert dude’ (though spelt as if he were in Slade) selling one of them and looks like my memory of the armaments is as reliable as our car. Have a look and tell me if you can recall a better Xmas present (or worse selling job). I have to admit it doesn’t seem as formidable in the hands of a 30 odd year old man, in fact it looks very sad, but in the arms of my 7 year old kid brother he looked like the bloody Terminator.