September 24th 1972

watched the earls lose again / in afternoon washed cars got 30p / sold lego to carol”

The earls were Fair Oak’s amateur football team.

If I had a quid for every time I have watched a team of ‘mine’ lose, I somehow feel I would be approaching millionaire status by now?

OK, so Manchester City won a bit in their time, but after I got ‘over’ merely glory hunting a team like Man City, ‘my’ chosen teams have never failed to let me down. Southampton, England, Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Kings.. the list is almost endless.

I have had merely three occasions when I’ve felt proud of ‘my’ team. In 1976 when Southampton won the FA Cup, in 1992 when my ‘adopted’ Denmark (I am half Danish) won the European Championships and just a few weeks ago when my wife and I enjoyed watching the Cincinnati Cyclones fight for and WIN the Kelly Cup in the ECHL (the East Coast Ice Hockey league) playoffs.

Anyway, I digress – sport is such a fickle mistress after all – exactly HOW many bloody cars did I wash to earn 30p  (60¢ in today’s money)? It does say cars (plural) so I will merely have to assume I was, even then, offering ‘customers’ superb value for money!

Carol was/is a relation of the family who lived opposite where we did. I can’t help thinking – maybe with a reluctant wistfulness – that her kids got ALL my best damned toys, lego amongst them.

OK, at 14 I was – let’s face it – a little too old for the classic block building toy, but when I was younger I used to love playing with it.

I was introduced to it maybe differently than other kids of that era purely because it was a Danish invention. (The name comes from the danish phrase “leg gødt” or “play well”) Every year we would go and stay with my grandmother (or ‘mormor’ as regular readers may recall) in Copenhagen, and pretty much every year both she and other Danish relations would gift me various Lego kits – enough to keep me quiet during family reunions whilst everyone else got their proverbial ‘drink on’.

Lego nowadays hardly seems to resemble the simple toy I played with back in the seventies. Now there seems to be far more of an electronic influence, all kinds of extra equipment – motors, gears, lights, etc – included amongst the plastic bricks. Indeed, the Lego ‘brand’ – for that’s what it is now – has grown so much it encompasses computer & games and theme parks.

It has also contributed to a fabulously-funny online trend, namely lego-animated versions of films, tv shows and pop videos… an example of which I present here for your viewing pleasure


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