The Grandkids were here the other day.
Young Sir Fartzalott was poking around amongst my ancient collection of Dinky cars and Matchbox cars [which he loves playing with] when he came sidling over to me with that Lady Diana look that usually means he wants something.
"Grandad" says he.
"Yus?" says I.
"Do you have any transformers?"
For a moment I wondered if he was building a radio or an electric fence or something, but then realised he meant one of those modern gimmicks where a car can be twisted around to make a robot. A sort of kid's version of a Rubik's Cube.
"Do you mean amongst the cars in the box?" I asked even though I knew that he knew damn well that I don't He has played with the contents of that box often enough. I also knew that this was a not so subtle hint that he would like a Transformer toy for Christmas. He can whistle for that one as he is getting a pack of 20 Rothmans like every other year.
"Did you not have Transformers when you were a boy?" he asked.
I laughed. "No. They weren't invented then."
"Where they not on television then?"
Again, I had to laugh. "I didn't have a television when I was your age."
He gave me that look where he isn't quite sure whether I'm pulling his leg or not. I get that a lot, and usually with some justification.
"There was no television when I was your age. Well, there was but not in my house. I used to have to go to a friends house, and even then the pictures were in black and white on a small screen, and there were only two channels anyway. I didn't have a television until I was seventeen."
He gasped and the jaw dropped.
"No television?" He clearly didn't believe me.
"No. And no computers or Xboxes or mobile phones or pads either."
His jaw dropped even further.
"I'm not kidding" says I.
There was a long silence as he looked at me like I was a strange specimen in the museum.
"But what did you DO all day?"
We lived, my boy. We lived.