Tales from yonder
Do you remember those Casio watches in the 80's which had a calculator keyboard on them? You had to press each key with a pencil nib to use it. By the time you had got your pencil and managed to press the correct numbers you could've worked it out on a piece of paper. But you know it wouldn't have been as cool, even though your arithmetic might've improved five- fold. Maybe not, because I didn't have one and didn't pass shit. However, my mate Dan did, and he was the one with the watch. Anyway, his watch had a really naff alarm which went beep beep, whilst mine was a melody you could actually dance to. In fact, you could find me most mornings jigging in circles in the centre of the lawn with my eyes closed, dizzied by its sound, which comprised of a staggering eight different beats.
Then there was my new silver transistor radio. The equivalent of an Apple watch now I reckon. I mean I could almost fit it into my pocket, so of course I took it with me everywhere. Every hour, if the radio signal was good enough, I could get the radio DJ giving out the time, plus the news from the UK and around the world. Then...then there was the top 40 every Sunday. It was Spotify on steroids, believe me. You'd find me in one of my secret camps (probably the underground camp at the end of the garden by the apple tree) writing down the high climbers and fallers, the new entries and the top 10. Nobody knew where I was, except for my cat, Scruffy, who often sniffed me out, like any good predator with ten years of decent hunting experience behind him. I was all good as long as those cheapo batteries my dad always insisted upon, kept giving. I mean, I could've listened on my bedroom radio, which had a booming sound, with snazzy equaliser sliders; but it wouldn't have been half as much fun, hidden as I was with this portable little gem glued to my ear - in fear of being found by a nosy sister or a mum on a mission for having 'tea on time'.
But the winner goes to: the Six Million Dollar Man action figure. This is where an ordinary boy from the suburbs of Watford gained a superpower - a bionic eye and arm; and maybe more besides. Not only could I look through the back of the head of this action hero and see a new world, but I could also lift objects with the bionic arm. Also, and it's a big one: I could press a button on the rear of the figure and the arm would lift up by itself - with an other-worldly clicking sound, which mightve even made bats lose their way home at night. If I had this toy on me, I was invincible. The bullies might as well have pissed off right there and then. I could conquer armies with this thing! And I swear to you I saw into the future with that bionic plastic eye. Because you might not have seen much through it, but there I caught glimpses of what was possible in this life, especially with a transistor radio and a melody alarm from Woolworths for company. And it turns out that my life needed the strengths of a superhero to find a way through; the vision to see small things great; the superhuman strength to lift the darkness from a world and embrace the wonder within.