Friday 28 June 2013

TV and Naps

I was trying to keep busy today while the roofers were doing their thing to the house and rather than get involved in something creative or meaningful, I was wandering about the house looking for something to pique my interest. I came across all sorts of interesting things, but none of them reached out and grabbed me.

I picked up the guitar and strummed a few chords (badly), looked at the beehive and wondering if I should put another coat of varathane on it this year. None of the books attracted me and besides, with the constant pounding of the roofers I would have trouble concentrating on even the Dick and Jane collection. I did make a new CD mix that I can play doing the dishes and in fact I am listening to it right now. “Nowhere Man” just came on, that wouldn’t be the world giving me a hint, would it. I waxed the new lockbox I picked up. I got it with the belief that if you have somewhere to keep money and valuables there is a good chance that nature will fill it with money and valuables. Nature abhors a vacuum doesn’t it? I do as well, but that is more me being lazy than balancing the universe.

Part of the trouble with wandering around the house aimlessly, is that you start to notice the jobs that need doing which you have put off for far too long. I put an end to that pretty quick. I couldn’t just watch TV because I didn’t want the roofers to think that I had nothing better to do with my time than watch TV. Busy body roofers! I went into the bedroom with the thought that I might put in some ear plugs and have a little power nap. The trouble with the nap is the same as with the TV, I wouldn’t want the roofers to think I nap all of the time in the afternoon. Just as I was leaving the bedroom, I noticed the Tiddly Winks. Perfect choice, it is active and sedentary at the same time, just perfect for an afternoon trying to fend off nosy roofers.

I bought these a few years ago when I was nostalgic about the good old days when we didn’t need the TV or naps to entertain ourselves. We would spend hours and hours playing Tiddly Winks, smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts. Well, that’s how I remember it. The truth was more likely that we would argue about who started with the Tiddly too close and you have to use the proper Tiddly shooter, a penny just wouldn’t do. On the set I have, the orange and the red appear to be exactly the same colour. I guess the girls would have an easier time with the subtle shades of colour than us boys.

It says that there is a 20 page historical handbook included (lost already) six different coloured shooters, 36 matching Winks in six colours, and one Scoring platform. Now, I just tried my hand at this and either I have lost any hand to eye co-ordination I ever had or it is a lot tougher than I remembered. I had trouble hitting the table! No trouble hitting the floor of course and I imagine looking for the lost Tiddly’s was a big part of the game. I suppose that’s why you find tiny plastic disks whenever you rip up the carpet in a kid’s room. This is a really tough game! There is no way anyone other than a guy with a life sentence for murder would be able to get good at this.

When I think back, I am pretty sure mom gave us a dinner plate to aim at and even then more would hit the floor than the plate. The idea is to use the “Shooter” to flick the “Wink” and put it where you kind of hope it might go. If today was any indication, either modern “Winks” are thinner and more obstinate than the older ones. Instead of me spending hours and hours playing “Tiddly Winks” with joy in my heart, I bet I was trying to put one in my brothers eye. When that failed I would go and watch TV or have a nap. I never managed to put out Steve’s eye, and I bet you would be hard pressed to find anyone in the world that suffered an injury from a “Wink”.

I just Googled Tiddly Winks and it appears there are national organizations and even international competitions. There is skill and strategy as well as terminology, it has a history with the game or versions of it going back to the 18th century as an adult party game. You can’t really blame the Victorians, they didn’t have TV, but naps have been around forever. We humans are odd infestations on the planet.

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