Thursday, 15 November 2012

Top 5 Most Disappointing Things Growing Up

I never liked stories about kids even when I was a kid. Famous Five, Swallows and Amazons, anything by E Nesbit. From a very early age I wanted to be an adult. It seemed much more fun, filled with far greater possibilities. Why be Dennis the Menace if you could be Batman, or James Bond, or well any cool adult? This view did rather deny me the chance of seeing the world with a child like wonder.

A couple of years ago I was sat in my office chatting to a colleague, a man in his 50's. As he looked out of the window something caught is eye.

'Wow, what a wonderful (insert Latin name) fungus on that tree!'

His genuine delight at the wonders of nature both impressed and depressed me. Depressed because although I could see on an intellectual level that this was an impressive thing, I did not feel his joy. So  this curmudgeonly vein I thought it was time to round out my top 5 most disappointing growing up experiences. I started warming to this theme after reflecting on the threat of three more  episodes of star wars.

So here goes

1) McDonalds. It is 1977 and I am 10. My best mate at school is having a Birthday treat and I'm invited. Logan's Run, followed by a trip to McDonalds. I had no idea what McDonalds was but my friend told me it was great.
2) Panto. 1973 and we have a school trip into Newcastle to see Aladdin. My chocolate bar melted. this scarred me. I have I lifelong suspicion of live theatre as a result.
3) Chessington Zoo, Before Chessington World of Adventures there was Chessington Zoo. I seem to recall the nearest they got to big game was a goat, and they had a big slide.
4) Star Wars. Not as good as Logan's Run. Or Planet of the Apes. I hadn't seen Soylent Green at that stage, which is probably a good thing.
5) The Royal Tournament. The programme promised a reenactment of the Battle of Trafalgar. We got two poorly made models of ships making canon noises while a Royal Navy band played in the middle.  A note for the nostalgic, the digital age means that entertainment now lives up to the hype. Can you imagine if Avatar had turned out to be two women in blue tee shirts mucking about in a florist. Actually......

To balance this off I should maybe do a top five least disappointing things but working on a list that starts 'it doesn't make you go blind after all' probably isn't helpful.