While I was attempting to make a boat by gouging out a block of wood someone came and suggested to me that it can be just as much fun to call a stick a boat and drop it into running water. This was a favourite game when it was raining at school; the enjoyment of which, I gather, can only be stopped by separating the little ones from the big ones.
As I'm not discussing education any more, this about little school and big school aught to have been in a parenthesis. But parenthesized phrases don't seem to be quite necessary, unless we like to have different ways of holding up our trousers. But the generation raised by tv doesn't consider braces an acceptable alternative. But those of us, who are waiting for someone to complain about us contradicting our way into a small set, are quite happy for boys to wear a uniform. But we accept that boys with unshakeable common sense might find braces impossible to live without.
When I found myself amongst boys who called themselves men for a rudely fashioned stick they had shared with a girl, I went into a toy shop bethinking myself that perhaps I was just an overgrown boy and not only children need something to occupy their minds with (hobby shops are for those who don't like the word toy). Computers provide us with seemingly endless challenges, but some of them truly are out of my reach. Computer games, to a cynical programmer, are all about persistence at bashing the buttons while wiggling the joystick.
In terms of activities which are only mindless if we place bets around them, I prefer a puzzle to a hand at solitaire. Bringing myself to the date, we can but remember that makers of bags of air, which are the cheapest way to distribute a crunch without any nourishment, the least likely to stay in a litter bin let alone a dump, thus the least likely to be put in a litter bin, for a time included pieces of puzzles and other toys, at no extra charge.
As an alternative to lighting a spliff and getting the munchies, there are worse activities than sawing away at a bit of wood.
I don't mean to say that we have written the improper fraction and encircled it with Greek letters. Of course, while fractions with a numerator greater than the denominator do seem to be unwise, when we talk of something not being proper it seems improper to apply it to the abstract, as if a dream could be improper.
The fraction referred to would be good enough if we were making gross estimates while playing with a bit of wood, for example; perhaps, too, in the calculations for lengths of dress material.
It must be noted that a woman who makes dresses suitable for ladies who do intend to capture the attention of a young man, though she may only do so using dress patterns, it is likely that she no less possesses the arts of a witch than those who get young men to look at the word spell and put peanut butter on their face because it seems like a good idea.
Toys for boys also require patterns. There are times when a young man whose attention has been captured, finds himself with very little interest in the things around him, though the things themselves are the same as before. Hence the toy-shop referred to.
And then I discovered my ideas had been very wrong indeed.
The designing of toys is a matter of social engineering.
Social engineering cannot exist without being a religion.
Thus consumer choice in a toyshop supercedes any symbol worn round the neck.
Some boys, it seems, decided to lay store in a future in which they could be proud that they chose to let a woman dictate to them as a mother would to a child. I didn't take exception with that decision. But that decision comes down to being given a corner in a home and designated toys to play with.
No doubt it's fun when you're young, and you're asked to invite your friends so that your wife can pose in her latest nightie. And maybe you're quite happy for your friends to be thinking about what they saw when they go back home and are playing with boats in the tub, because you accepted the dictation about how a woman is to be pleased.
Don't grow up: adults make the biggest fuss about who they're thinking of when they're happy.