Grand Theft Childhood - Janet Christie
Mum's the Word column
I’m on my phone booking Eldest to come and stay and feed Biggie Smalls while I go walking. He’s always amenable, but sofa surfing at Other Parent’s helps give my place an added attraction, plus I’ll fill the fridge and telly.
And while he’s on the line… “Sorry I shouted out about loving you when you were on speaker phone the other day with your band pals…” I say.
“S’OK, don’t think anyone noticed.”
“How did you get on ‘laying down tracks’? Is that what people say?”
“Er dunno. We were shooting a video anyway. Where we were filming, there’s a coliseum of pianos and a model car and we’ll do a green screen with background so we’re driving in a psychedelic world…”
This is why I don’t bother with drugs… I have children to mess with my mind.
“I’m getting flashbacks of when you and Middle used to let Youngest drive the car in Grand Theft Auto,” I say.
“But she just drove around, didn’t get out of the car, so it was all fine…”
“Well,” he says, more reflective now he’s well into his twenties. “You can’t help but hit people when you’re driving in that. We probably shouldn’t…”
“What? That’s not what you told me at the time.”
“Well obviously you hit people. But she knew they weren’t real.”
Did she? From memory this was not long after a time when she thought anyone walking the streets of Edinburgh in a big coat was a bear. An idea I encouraged, if I’m honest.
“I don’t think GTA was a good experience for a child,” I say.
“No. Or us showing her Shaun of the Dead. She was maybe a bit young...”
“Oh god. That’s why she still thinks zombies are real... kind of…”
“Yeah. These things probably explain a lot about her,” he says,
“Like what?” I ask, but he’s gone.
Later she calls me too.
“You know how I’m starting driving lessons again,” she says. “I don’t know why, but I’m a bit scared about it.”
Hmmm. Maybe she should ask her brothers about that.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.
Subscribe to scotsman.com and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.u2swisshome.com/subscriptions now to sign up.
Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.