It would be a christmas in the mid-80’s when cousin Iain got his Crossbows & Catapults set. I showed little interest in it initially – I couldn’t tell you what I got that year, but the fact that Iain’s present of choice involved Viking vs Barbarian conflict and not some kind of space battle probably had a lot to do with my apathy.
As tradition dictates, the family ended up at Auntie Mary’s place for a slap up meal at some point over the festive period. For some reason Auntie Mary has always been well stocked with office equipment – from “magic” markers that at some point I had been accused of getting my younger cousins to sniff for kicks, to thick sheaths of paper and rubber bands a plenty, she was better stocked than Office World.
It was the quality rubber bands, however, that transformed Crossbows & Catapults from mundane to the extreme battleground depicted in the adverts. The catapults didn’t exactly need souping up, but the crossbows, my word, with their puny elastic bands replaced with taught rubber they became weapons of mass destruction.