Christmas Time (Or what happened when we got Bop-It)

Do you remember Bop-It? It was around a few years back, very addictive and quickly irritating? Well, Mum thought it would be a good present to us all this Christmas.

You basically have to hold a sideways-S shaped controller and follow a rather irritating American man’s instructions to pull/twist/spin/flick or bop. If you fail you get mildly insulted by the machine and promptly feel obliged to have another go.

My mum perhaps didn’t count on my sister’s incredible competitiveness (and like Monica from Friends her favourite kind of competition is with herself) or the newly minted ‘Party’ mode (you use assorted body parts to really ‘Bop-it’).

We are a family of game lovers, and have often ended up howling with laughter/frustration during a board game or two. Perhaps my sister should stick to board games because she has become a bit of a Bop-It ninja. On the other hand, she has managed to turn it into an hilarious spectator sport.

On beating her high-score she was heard to yell “YEEESSSS!” in a rather manly register, sadly while filmed by her understanding boyfriend. Cue endlessly re-watchable hilarity and a perfect Snapchat opportunity.

Later she broke through the 100 ‘Bops’ barrier and celebrated with (and bear in mind she is a none-more white middle class medical student) an attempted finger flicking celebration of the type more commonly used by 90s scallys. Her thoughtful brother handily caught that on video too…

So thanks Mum and little sister for really bopping up my Christmas. I may just have to start filming more people while playing games. Though I suspect I would have to wait a long time for a similar moment of hilarity during a game of Scrabble. But then again my grandma is coming to stay today, so anything could happen…

Merry Christmas!

What children really want for christmas

Today I asked my class of 8 and 9 year olds “What is it that you’d like for christmas, but you think your parents wouldn’t actually get you?” There was an educational purpose to this question of course (we were writing persuasive arguments) but the answers were most illuminating.

There was the expected range of gadgets (you can’t go wrong with an iPad), pets (from dog to horse to donkey to pig) and toys (apparently a voice-activated secret diary is now on the market folks), but one answer came out of the blue and caused much hilarity.

Me: “So what would you like for christmas, but you don’t think you’ll really get?”

Child: “I’d like one of those little cars that old people use.”

Me: “You mean a mobility scooter?”

Child: “Yeah, an ability scooter!”

I think I’ve discovered a gap in the market – of course a small, speedy, car, ideal for cutting up pedestrians, racing down the street and generally causing trouble, would appeal to kids. It appeals to me now I think about it.

If someone started making them with a Barbie, Spiderman or Moshi Monsters theme they’d make millions. Or they’d have at least one customer. If he can persuade his parents…