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PLANE BOSS, THE PLANE!
I can't remember exactly what I
wanted that year for my main Xmas box but I'm certain it wasn't a model
aeroplane or fucking Striker that's for sure. Granted, I had a thing for
Airfix model aeroplane kits - the Messerschmidt 262 was my favourite Nazi
engine of death, so much so I wrote a poem about it years later...
The animals went in two by two
As I got high on UHU
That glued together the cockpit
Of my Airfix Messerschmidt 262
But plazzy Spitfires, Hurricanes, 109s
and 262s were one thing, big fuck off metal planes with real engines that
used real oil and were controlled not by trendy remote control but by a
long piece of string was something quite different. Put simply, this was
the worst Xmas present ever and because it obviously cost a considerable
sum of money, the only other prezzy I got was the
press-their-heads-see-them-kick footy game, Striker.
Obviously I didn't want to look
ungrateful but come on! My ma had been asking me in the run up to Crizzy
what my younger brother, Gareth, wanted for his main prezzy and he'd told
me it was Striker. I passed this info onto her. Our Gaz; Striker! Me,
dunno, maybe it was a racer or something. What I deffo didn't ask for was
Striker or a fucking plane on a string. How upset was I? Imagine losing
your entire family in a holiday tsunami and multiply that feeling by
a billion; that's how fucking gutted I was.
You wait all year for this day, for
that magic morning on the 25th, opening gifts that you've been
blackmailed into behaving good (or not quite as bad) for, for 365 whole
days. So, to get so excited by the prospect of opening all these goodies
you've hinted for and to find only two prezzies you patently didn't ask
for, was on a par with being sold into gay slavery by pig faced pirates.
Me ma must've sensed my acute sense
of bewilderment and asked me if I was disappointed and, as a good lad, of
course I lied and told her I was made up with such great prezzies, then
went back to bed and cried my eyes out for a good hour or so. And to be
honest I wanted my ma and da to hear my anguished sobs and to feel real
fucking shitty about destroying their eldest kids entire life. This has
haunted me ever since, that dawning realisation that your kids are pissed
off by your choice of gift and, no matter how many times you get told
horror stories of the bad old days, when all kids got was a lump of coal,
a tangerine, a sixpence, the top off their dad's boiled egg and a clip
round the ear for a Yuletide treat, it doesn't make it any easier to bear.
I remembered my feeling of emptiness
last year when my eldest daughter who was almost 15, received about a
third of the floorspace of prezzies clogging up the whole of the front
room than her younger sister. I explained that, as she was older, the
gifts were necessarily smaller yet no less valuable; that her tracky had
cost the same as her sister's
My dad and his best mate took my new
model plane onto the school field. They put oil into the engine and after
hours of trying to get it to work, finally managed to get it airborne and
handed me the kite-like grip to which the aircraft was fixed. It went
around ten or fifteen times and made an authentic Stuka like sound and
then the engine went kaput and it crashed to the ground. We tried to get
it back up a few times but failed and so returned home. I put it
back in its box and never got it to fly again.
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