Under pressure from his ten-year-old son Jacob, Bromsgrove insurance claims adjuster Roger Wyatt has admitted that he didn’t actually spend his formative summer holidays playing with sticks and fording rivers.
In fact he found the outdoors quite unpleasant, as it gave him rashes. He’d certainly never collected shells or trapped butterflies and only once put a bee and a wasp in a jar together to see which killed the other, finding out after five minutes that neither did.
‘Jacob challenged me to find some concrete examples after I told him off for spending too much time on “that bloody iPad” during the summer and not getting outside, like I thought we did in my day,’ said Wyatt. ‘I wracked my brains for memories of forest adventures, games of cricket on the beach and long afternoons in the tree house, before I realised that these memories were at best exaggerated.’
Jacob had been whining at his father to find him something to do because he was ‘so bored’. Roger retorted ‘We didn’t have half the things you have now and we always managed to keep ourselves busy’, before suggesting helpfully that Jacob read a book or draw something, then threatened to remove all electronic devices from him and turn off the WiFi to encourage him to be more creative.
Under closer examination, however, Roger became aware that a swiftly abandoned night of camping in a tent in the garden and a few bike rides to the shop to buy sweets were about as close as he could get by way of example. He did vaguely remember getting ants to explode with a magnifying glass, but not when or why. The additional revelation that he did indeed spend a lot of time playing electronic games, albeit completely shit ones like ZX81 and Atari, was the final straw.
‘In the end, we agreed to spend most of the summer holiday playing FIFA 14 on the PS3,’ said a relieved Roger. ‘I suppose it all goes to show that things were in fact not a lot better in my day at all, but actually significantly worse. Still, at least trips to the zoo, visits to castles, long car journeys and weekends in caravans are definitely off the agenda.’
Hat tip to RobArmstrong