There’s probably something incorrect going on with a missing apostrophe in that headline. I prefer it without, and it’s my blog so I shall headline it as I wish. And at least, as all readers know, it has the correct three-exclamation-mark structure.
I am currently No.1 Mr. Cool Dad with my daughter for solving her Rubiks Cube. This is mainly because, after solving her Rubiks Cube, I hid my ‘How to Solve The Rubiks Cube’ book that I’d dug out from the loft. She doesn’t need to know about it yet, and I would prefer that crushing ‘oh – my dad’s not actually the best in the world at everything’ moment that all kids must one day experience to come a little later in life. (If you do not count me walking into the glass doors whilst carrying her out of the delivery room).
Anyway, I am glad that the Rubiks Cube is coming back into fashion as it has a particular place in my childhood, viz that I was known as the best and fastest person in the school at completing the puzzle during its 1980’s heyday. Being the best at something is important when you’re a kid. I was a pretty good programmer on the Sinclair Spectrum, but one of a few; I was in the top set for most things, but so were lots of others. But I was the best and fastest at the Rubiks Cube.
I did not have a girlfriend.
My top Rubiks Cube-related memory is set in the bar at the local cricket club. I am probably eleven or twelve years old, cubing furiously on my own at the table, possibly with a coke and a packet of crisps beside me. The scene goes like this:
MAN FROM OPPOSITION TEAM ON NEXT TABLE (BIT PISSED): That kid’s just done the Rubiks Cube.
ME (BASHFUL): It’s easy.
OPPOSITION MAN (BIT PISSED): If you can do it again in less than five minutes, my mate here will give you a fiver.
HIS MATE (BIT PISSED): What…?!?
ME (STAR STRUCK): Okay then.
[PAUSE WHILST TWO BIT-PISSED MEN MESS UP CUBE.]
FX: DOING-CUBE TYPE NOISES
[THREE MINUTES AND FOURTEEN SECONDS LATER]
OPPOSITION MAN (BIT PISSED): Wow!
HIS MATE (BIT PISSED): Wow!
ENTIRE OPPOSITION TEAM CHANTING IN UNISON (BIT PISSED): Fiver! Fiver! Give the boy a fiver!
HIS MATE GRUDGINGLY HANDS OVER A FIVER, WHICH WAS WORTH £8000 IN THEM DAYS
ME: Wow! [SCUTTLES TO OTHER TABLE] Dad! Dad! Look!
MY DAD (BIT PISSED): Son. There is something that you need to know. In situations such as this, it is the proper, manly, thing, to take the money graciously and then to go to the bar to buy those fellows a jug of beer. I shall come with you.
BARMAN (BIT PISSED. THEY ALL WERE): Here is your jug of beer. And a small amount of change.
This memory has stuck with me. It taught me so much about life.