Personal stuff, not tech, some fiction

A child’s Christmas



Police sirens in my childhood weren’t like they are now when they make the WOW WOW WOW noise that we copied from the American cop shows. Instead, they had that bee-borrr sound, up and down, up and down.

My parents made an terrible error when they bought me a remote controlled police car with flashing lights and a loud BEEE-BORRR sound one Christmas. Christmas was too exciting for words, and as I never had any patience for anything I would get up at a ridiculously early hour to run downstairs and open my presents.

Sometimes I’d be so tired that my parents would find me asleep in the front room – never a “living room” – amidst a nest of torn up paper. But the police car was too exciting. It wasn’t a radio controlled car, as those were too expensive, but connected to the orange remote via a cable that was a few feet long. You couldn’t stand far away from it. And I didn’t as I drove it through the dark of my parents bedroom, sirens blazing.

The Starship Enterprise that fired plastic “photon torpedoes”, little disks which shot out when you turned the top of the saucer, was another present had its down side. Aiming carefully at the baubles on the Christmas tree, which were actually Romulans in disguise, I was a little surprised when the silver bauble exploded into a million tiny fragments of glass, drifting gently down and embedding themselves in the carpet, where they would continue getting into people’s feet for days.

“Glass?” I thought. Who makes baubles of glass? Ancient and fragile, they had made it through Christmases with my siblings: Lynne, running around and shouting no doubt, and David trying to keep up. Lynne, always the Sargent major: Dave the loyal footsoldier, willing to jump off the roof of the shed (and break his wrist) without question.

But they didn’t survive me.