Gaming is very different today to when my brother and I were kids. I can still remember being totally enthralled for hours playing Pong on a telly. I think they called it Pong because, let’s be honest, the game involved two rectangles bouncing a ball between them and really stunk. But to us back then it was just like tennis or squash, only better than the real thing because we didn’t have to sweat or leave the house.
But the real ‘fun’ didn’t come along until games like Space Invaders, and then, in the eighties, Frogger.
Mum always snapped at us how we were wasting our time playing computer games and nothing good could ever come from them, but this week she was proven wrong.
My brother had some uncomfortable laser surgery this week, during which they added drops to his eyes so they were completely dilated.
Naturally, he couldn’t drive after the procedure, so his wife accompanied him to the surgery. Well, kind of. She shoved him in the general direction of the doctor’s and then decided to single-handedly turn the retail industry around at the huge shopping centre opposite.
After a few uncomfortable hours, my brother emerged into the street, squinting and barely able to keep his eyes open in the light. He’d managed to message his wife he was ready to be picked up and was straining his eyes at any vehicle which roughly resembled the shape and colour of their car.
Then his phone buzzed. It was a text from his wife.
Cause that’s what you do when someone’s had eye surgery, you text them.
“Can you get across to the other side of the road?” She didn’t want to cross the busy road in her car and figured it would be much easier for all involved if she could simply pull up to the curb on the other side.
My brother looked up and squinted. There were six blurry lanes of heavy traffic in front of him. It would be like playing Frogger while looking through the bottom of a glass.
“OK for sure,” he messaged back. “Don’t want to make it too difficult for you. I think I should be ok, although struggling to to see a little. Just in case I don’t make it across, can you tell the kids I love them.”
Any sarcasm in his remark was clearly lost on her.
“Thanks, will do,” she replied cheerfully. “We’ll look out for you on the other side. Good luck!”
Thankfully, those many hours sitting in front of the telly jumping the little green frog across the road paid off and my brother managed to get across the highway without being squashed, saving his good wife the hassle of doing a u-turn.
So FYI, Mum, you owe us an apology.
When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes
Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’