I’m back in Hometown* for a fleeting visit in order for my doctor to oil the parts of my six million dollar body. When I arrive in back in town, I always play a game called Top 3. It’s a game matched only in its entertainment value by its simplicity. What you do, or rather I do reader, is from the moment you, or I, step off the train, you/I look for familiar faces. And so, you/etc count the first three people you see in your Hometown that you recognise and can put a name to. Or a nickname. Or at least some local gossip. The game ends once you’ve spotted the third person. These encounters have to be random though: family members meeting you at the station do not count, nor does your neighbour washing his car outside his house or the shopkeeper selling you a Boost from that shop you always go to which he has owned for the last 20 years. Now, if you are really anal, you can make a note, be it physical or mental, of these people and see if any patterns develop over the years. You know, like if Spotty Fisher who used to mercilessly whip you with a wet towel in the showers after Rugby is spotted an inordinate number of times hanging around by that roundabout near the station. Erm, not that I do that or anything readers. Make notes I mean. Or hang around roundabouts for that matter.
I used to play Top 10. Very similar game, with a slight tweak I’m sure you can figure out. The thing is though, 10 is too high a number for me to reasonably spot nowadays. Time was when I could step off the train and tick off my first two before I’d even left the platform, but no longer. The familiar faces of Hometown are slowly but surely draining away as the years since I lived here lengthen. Even Burping Ron** seems to be fading from view.
So, I got into my sister’s car having made no early inroads into Top 3. As we drove home I kept an eager eye out for any familiar faces or recent Hometown developments.
“Ah,” I couldn’t help but note as we past our local parade of hoodie patrolled shops, “I see our local video store has changed it’s name from Star Video to Star Movie; no doubt a reflection of the decline of VHS.”
Dear me. I am becoming a boring old man.
*The Bear, if you’re reading, that’s the last time I drive all the way to Craptown just to surprise your ass if you’re going to insist on being so anti-social as to be doing other things and not staying in to answer the door when I come knocking with beer unannounced
** Note to self. Burping Ron is sorely lacking any decent interweb coverage. Put together a Wikipedia entry.
4 weeks ago