I need your opinion.
Last week was Little Guy's birthday. Thanks to the generosity of family and frineds, he's managed to save the princely sum of £120.
'I want to buy a Ninetendo.'
'Because they're an outrageous amount of money for something that's not even the teensiest bit creative or constructive.'
'But all my friends have got them ...'
'Aha! So that's it ... You only want one cos everyone else has got them.'
'No - I really do want one.'
'Look. You know how it goes. You'll play with it non-stop for a couple of days, then it'll gather dust in a box and probably get broken. You can do the same with something costing a fraction of that money.'
'OK. I promise I'll play with it all the time and not put it away.'
'Eeek! That's worse ...'
'I won't play with it all the time then ...'
'Exactly! So why pay all that money for a passing fad? That's more than the rent. It's more than the weekly shopping budget. It's more than I've spent on clothes for the last 10 years, for chrissakes!'
'But it's my money ...'
'And I don't want it going to support a pernicious form of capitalism that preys on children and turns them into zombies. I wouldn't mind if you bought a bike or something that you'd get loads of use out of, would get you out in the open air and would be good exercise ...'
'But I've already got a bike ...'
'The answer's still no.'
3 pairs of accusing eyes drill into Nasty Mean Mummy, who pretends not to notice.
So tell me the truth, am I wrong? Am I mean? Do I have a problem with the 21st century? With boys? Is it boring to prefer books or old-fashioned toys and games to chunks of techno crap?
There's a postscript. I'm talking to my brother on the phone later, convinced he'll understand.
'Your kids didn't have Nintendo or Playstation or any of that crap, did they?'
'Oh yeah. L's still got his Playstation1 with loads of games. Racing and stuff - nothing violent. He hasn't played with it for years. I'll bring it next week.'
So there you have it. Looks like LG has discovered the magic of wish fulfillment.
Everyone's a winner, babe.
LG gets his Playstation and gets to keep his money.
And I don't have to feel guilty - either for supporting the manufacture of this junk by buying it, or for being mean to LG.
Now don't anyone dare to tell me Playstation 1 is out-of-date and what he really needs is ...