Arthur, Europa Report, OMD, and the 1982 top 40

It’s 11:20pm on Saturday night, and I suppose a small part of me is writing this to placate a voice in my head that’s busy whispering “if you don’t write something in the next 40 minutes, you will not have posted anything today” – which you might presume is dictated by an audience eager to read the words I might contribute the internet each day – whereas the truth is more aligned with an obsessive compulsive mania to “not miss a day”.

I can feel the OCD part of me growing, year on year. I finally returned home late last night from a few nights away with work, and was surprised and delighted to discover that the washing up had been done, and the kitchen and lounge were pretty clear. Of course I then discovered that the playroom had been trashed, the study had been trashed, the younger children’s bedroom had been trashed, and there was a mountain of washing in the bathroom a mile high. That’s what happens when you have three school age children, you both work full time, and only one of you is left in charge for a few days.

Guess who got up at 8:30am this morning (after initially waking up at 6), and immediately started running here, there and everywhere, forcing the house back towards normality. By mid-morning the worst of it was done, and I diverted myself with our youngest, who “as bored”.

“Can we get a football game for the computer ?”

I paused for a few seconds, scratching my head.

“If you hang on a minute, I might have something you’ll like”

The minute stretched into an hour, but at the end of it she could click on an icon on the desktop of the computer in the study that turned it into a Super Nintendo from 1987. The X-Box 360 controller became a joypad, and she could choose from a number of games that hadn’t seen the light of day for two decades. I shouted for her to come and look.

“This… is Sensible Soccer”

For the next half an hour I watched her play a frantic game of football on the computer, with little men made of pixels running this way and that, kicking a tiny football up and down the screen while the crowd roared in response. It brought back memories of finding time to have “one more game” before the bus left for college when I was 17.

Ah crap. I really was going to finish writing this before midnight, but got distracted by a family bag of Kettle Chips, and late night TV. An hour has now passed, and I’m watching an episode of “Top of the Pops” from 1982. Pans People are dancing to an ELO track. It’s hard to think of a time when performers would phone in their performance, and a dance troup would provide visual accompaniment. Meat Loaf is on now – in an old video with Cher – “Real Dead Ringer for Love”.

I need to go to bed. I’m just rambling on about random nonsense now. I’ll start commentating on each step across the room in a minute.

Before finishing, I suppose I should empty a forgettable movie from my head – “Europa Project” – an obvious rip-off from A Space Odyssey 2010. I watched it in a state of almost continual confusion, and by the end didn’t really care if they crew of the spaceship survived or not.

Ah crap. OMD are on Top of the Pops now. Time to go to bed. They are all playing synthesisers, and none of them are plugged in. And oh look – the lead singer isn’t lip synching very well either. Utter, utter shit.

Postscript – the next track – while publishing this – was “Arthur’s Theme” by Christopher Cross. Amazing song.

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