Monday, 21 August 2006
Crap Things Bob Used to Do In The Days When You Had To Make Your Own Entertainment...
...an occasional series.
#1: The Crap 1972 Olympics Board Game...
This was designed and built after the young Bob was impressed by the exploits of the Russian Sprinter Valeri Borzov (especially remarkable as he had such an obviously girly name) and followed in the wake of the infamous White Singlet With Blue and Red Hoops Daubed on it in Crayon that would invariably accompany such fleeting enthusiasms. It was constructed from cardboard in the customary extended oval of the modern running track, with the sprint section exended one of the long straights so as to be level with the apex of the curve, in the familiar fashion. The track was then painstakingly divided into 1 cm. cubes all the way round (obviously there was a degree of stagger involved in the bends which would give the races an element of deceptiveness much as in the real life equivalent, until it "unwound" in the straights.
It was a marvellous sight to behold and took a major investment of time and patience on the part of the young Robert. (although it still took less time to complete than the new Wembley Stadium, obviously) Then came the athletes themselves - tricky. There was Borzov, of course. And the rest were all Americans. So who would fly the flag for Blighty? I settled on Welsh 110 metre hurdler Lynn Davies, as this was before the days of Alan Wells and Amercan boycotts etc. These "athletes" were represented by 1 cm. cubes reflecting the flags of the nations the runners came from. The more eagle-eyed and laterally thinking among you will presumably have already guessed the basics of the boardgame already, but just to be on the safe side, I'll elaborate.
The idea was to throw a dice for each athlete, moving from lane 1 up through to 8 and obviously, the runner who threw the highest scores the quickest would reach the tape first and "win" the race. The plan was to go through the whole roster of Olympic Track & Field events, but eager to test out the the workings of my painstakingly constructed diversion, I began with the sprint. A good job I did. When several hours later, plucky "Lynn Davies" staggered over the line, in (what was, to be fair) a new European record time with regard to this fledgling board at any rate, any enthusiasm I might have had for recreating the entire festival of athleticism had completely evaporated. It just took so bloody long to go through the rigmarole of edging each square forward. Then a gust of wind would blow a Cuban hopeful off the inside lane and you'd have to start all over again.
Children: don't let anyone tell you that the old days were better, before we had computers and mobile phones. It was rubbish.
Next week: Bob & the Cornflake Box and Sellotape John Lennon NHS glasses...
Speaking of making your own entertainment...(for want of a better word...) Bobcast 11 is now up. I'll put 12 up tomorrow as I'm "going up the Arse" on Wednesday (fnar fnar...)
Also, please check out Billy's excellent cast here - apologies for the delay in plugging it, but the last couple of posts were a bit heavy. Apologies for that too.
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