As a 23 year old male with not enough time on his hands, I naturally spend an obscene amount of time reminiscing about the good old days. You see, growing up isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but worse than ruining my vision of the future (how are we not living on Mars yet?), my newfangled maturity has also turned on my Rose Tinted Spectacles. Maybe childhood wasn’t that great after all; school was rubbish, Sky+ hadn’t been created yet and I couldn’t even chose which clothes were bought for me. Just how easily pleased was I?
Do you remember how exciting the weekly trip to McDonalds used to be? A ritualistic combination of chicken nuggets, fries and a soft drink that included a complimentary toy for your entertainment. They held school parties and provided an alternative to your forlorn jam sandwich on school trips. Nowadays however, McDonalds is an obstacle to be overcome, a temptation to be resisted. Give in, and you’ll sacrifice minutes of your life eating reprocessed cow elbows while humouring the local drunk. You also have to keep tabs on your personal belongings in case one of the resident chavs takes a liking to your single worthwhile possession.
Santa Claus is coming to town, but he’s only here for an easy wage and to humour his jobseeker’s allowance officer. Gone are the days of the latest Star Wars figurine or £5 HMV voucher from Uncle Bob and Aunt Fanny. Hiding in their place like some child-napping changeling is a calender or anything else just big enough to make you feel guilty for having spent your measly student loan on food instead of throwaway gifts or multipack Christmas cards. We used to joke about socks but these days that’s all I want, sad as it may be. I can, after all, wear socks.
3. The Weekend
Unless you’ve won the lottery of life and bagged yourself a dead-end office job that respects the laws of the working week, chances are the humble weekend is as dead to you as your childhood hopes and dreams. The rest of us have to make do with shift work, forever dreading those two days in which everything you know and love dies, as you attempt to be punctual and spend your break queuing for a Boots Meal Deal.
Do you remember Space Jam? It was awesome wasn’t it? Wait, what’s that…Bill Murray was in it? It turns out Garfield wasn’t the only element of that film, one of my childhood favourites, that I appear to have overlooked. It’s also a bit rubbish. As a kid, each trip to the cinema was an absolute delight, an event rather than a mere time-waster. These days however, each excursion is an intricately plotted mission impossible that tries to ensure that the timings I choose leave me as near-alone in my screen as physically possible. I can no longer watch films with people, whether I know them or not, and churn out a stomach ulcer each visit with the amount of pent up aggression I must take out on my overpriced popcorn.
HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT YOU’RE HERE TO WATCH?
5. The Zoo
A school trip staple and all-round great day out, the zoo used to be an excuse to marvel at animals twice your size, hang out with your friends and test the face-painting abilities of the employees. Having reluctantly grown up, however, it now represents three of the five worst smells known to mankind, a sorry collection of the same few animals you have encountered at every other zoo and some of the most dubious ethics known to the entertainment industry. Joining museums, swimming pools and the library in the list of places I never go to anymore, the zoo is yet another reminder of how easily pleased I was as a child.