My Dad bought a Spectrum off of Ebay a few years ago and spent about £12 on it if I recall, the scalping b*stards had not caught wind of the retro resurgence at the time so all was good in the world and everything made sense.
He brought it in to me and I asked what it was, he said “Its what I used to play on when I was a lad.” I was like “You what mate?”.
He plugged it in and it sparked to life, the screen was grey and so bright it made my eyes burn from the inside out I still see “(C) 1982 Sinclair Research Ltd.” burned into my vision, it forever haunts me.
It worked, so that was a start, next we needed an auxiliary cable and the fabled stereo system that I knicked from my Dad in my emo phase to listen to Bullet for my Valentine on CD because I had no idea what an MP3 was.
My Mum at the time was watching us from the other side of the room, shaking her head, “Thats another f*cking £12 down the toilet, what is it anyway?” she says laughing, my Mum was never into games, she preferred listening to The Pet Shop Boys and doing things that did not involve computers, I can literally think of nothing worse.
Anyway after about an hour we dug it out of my room with an AUX cable and plugged it in, then spent 20 minutes on the internet looking at the manual for the stereo because I apparently “I was doing it wrong”.
I insisted that I was doing it right, my Dad then springs up into the loft to get his box of Spectrum games out so we can do some Farther + Son bonding over some old games.
He ends up pulling his back but soldiers on anyway because hes stupid like that, he then tells me theirs “A f*cking spider the size of a dog up there” I tell him to shut up and start the game.
He types LOAD “” hits enter and presses play on the cassette recorder.
My ears die, the sound that can only be described as a million livid mosquitoes being sucked up a Henry Hoover echoed around the room, my Dad grins, my eyes bulge as the sound is so piercing and grating that my head is blown clean from my shoulders into low earth orbit.
I am kidding, but I did plug my ears.
That sound is the data stream coming off the tape and being rendered audibly, I wish it didn’t.
Either way Jetset Willy ends up after what felt like eons of listening to the beginning and end of the universe all at the same time very quickly and at very high pitch.
With my ears ringing I look at my Dads face and what only can be described as utter satisfaction, I smile and pat him on the back and watch him devolve into a 12 year old kid, playing games, it was glorious.
After about 3 days he ended up putting back in the loft as my Mum was “Sick of seeing that f*cking 21 quid doorstop” lying around.
A damn shame.
Anyway it has now been relegated to the loft with the cutely named Boris, which by the way must eat rats or something because last time I saw a spider that big was on the Discovery Channel, it should not exist, but it does.
Just to wrap up, In wake of Farther’s Day coming up this just popped into my head the moment I think of my Dad which is a lovely thought and one I wish to keep.
So, Happy Preemptive Fathers Day to all you Dads with sprogletts hanging off your ankles.
Maybe one day you can show your kids your old computer and say “This is what I used to play when I was a lad” then they may just take off their holographic visor or what ever they will use and have their ears torn off by data steams coming from cassettes.