Remember that time when you were about 8; you were bored out of your brain on a rainy day, stuck inside with nothing to do and no one to do it too (baby brother having already dobbed you in for daring him to eat chalk, dog buscuits or the ball of lint you found under the piano)?
The sound of the rain on the windows synched up with the thrumming of boredom in your blood and just made everything so much worse because there. Was. Nothing. To. Do.
You mooched around the house, disconsolately throwing yourself over pieces of stuffed furniture and whining "I'm Booooooorrrrrred", until whichever unlucky adult burdened with keeping you off the streets that day, eyes rolling with frustration at saying 'play with your toys/why don't you draw mummy a nice picture?/read a book' over and over for hours on end, finally stuck a stack of brightly coloured plastic cups in your hand and said, "stack these, fast".
No? Me neither, because when I was a kid we didn't have fancy pants made up sports like speed stacking. We had lumps of coal and a three mile hike to school in the snow, up hill both ways, followed by a sound beating with a hickory switch when we got home. Halcyon days.
These days it's all parti-coloured cups and world records and national teams jetting off to Germany to stack for the dignity and pride of the people of Aotearoa.
We were lucky if we got a game of tiddly winks and a clip round the lug hole! Look up there. Mark Hammett knows what I mean.
I never got to stack 3-3-3 in under 1.48 seconds while the Guinness Book of Record official watched, steel eyed and grim, as I fumbled through my first two attempts, only to nod grudgingly when I finally blew the Argentinean world champ out of the water with a 10-1 that broke the land speed record. Not like these modern kids.
If we wanted to stack stuff we used paper cups. Or mum's best crystal tumblers and I don't think I need to tell you how that turned out.
So, you feckless youths better count yourselves lucky, you don't know your born, with your fancy stack mats, world governing organisation and swishily accurate automatic timers!
You even get a national team! When my favourite pastime was lying about and complaining about there being nothing to do, do you think I got a national team to look up to? No I did not.
Well, you can have your Black Stacks and your American Fluoro stacker sets, your championship tournaments conveniently located in the Manawatu, and your world records. I'll be over here with my pet lump of coal, nursing my chilblains and complaining bitterly about capricious youngness.
* The National Speed Stacking Championships are this weekend in Palmerston North. Are you going?
- Kapi-Mana News