As I march relentlessly through my forties towards the deep earth which eventually will swallow me up, I am becoming increasingly aware that the fleeting powers bestowed on me as a robust, thrusting alpha male are beginning to dwindle. Never an easy prospect that, although I have been cushioned from the full impact thanks to the distinct lack of successors in my flat. Not having kids basically means you can run up and down the stairs with a face like Russell Crowe in Gladiator, barking orders and pretending you’re in charge. But it is a life in aspic: Sooner or later you will meet your nemesis, and last night it appeared in the form of my friend Nick’s middle offspring.
Alfie is thirteen and no fool. He can whip his way around Logic like one of them Apple Genius nerds in Regent Street and bang out a few toons in less time it would take me to remember which drawer I’d put the manual in. He uses three letter acronyms for everything & understandably expects those within his orbit to keep up or get off the pot: It’s a brutal world out there. So when Nick left the house to go pick up his daughter, I was left for a few moments staring starkly into the face of the future. But, dear readers, you’ll be pleased to learn I didn’t just lie down & hand over the baton. Oh no! This ole boy has a bit of spunk left in him yet, you bet your bum! So I countered with the only weapon I had left: Ignorance.
Alfie: GTA5 is awesome! Lucky I’ve got the Mac to myself or Dad would probably use up all the CPU.
Me: What’s GTA, Alfie?
Alfie: Grand Theft Auto?
Me: I see. And what’s CPU?
Alfie: Central Processing Unit. It’s how much power you get allocated for what you’re doing. Basic stuff, really.
Me: Oh right. Is that good?
Alfie: Sure. You know when you get graphic drag on TOD4? Means you’re getting low.
Me: Sorry Alfie, what’s TOD4?
Alfie: Tour of Duty! You need to be backed up or your reaction kill time gets slow.
Me: Er…reaction kill time? Alfie, do you have to kill everyone all the time in every game?
Alfie: Pretty much.
Me: Gosh! In my day we used to bash a square ball at each other for ages. Doubt it needed much CPU for that. And no-one really got hurt, either.
Alfie: Sounds boring.
Me: It was.
Turns out the only thing the young ’uns can’t cope with is ageing opinionated technophobia. You see, a world in which everything is better, quicker, sexier and copiously more violent will eventually have to implode, and the dinosaurs that feared extinction will once again rule the earth: It’s the law of nature. Unless, of course, I manage to pop a sprog out before I turn up my toes. In which case the whole of the above is utter bollocks.