Erections, nostalgia and arcade machines

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My favourite arcade game used to be the 2p waterfall. I don’t know if you get them everywhere, or just in the kind of shit seaside town I grew up in. A combination of permanent drizzle, a shingle beach, and water you have to have rabies jabs to swim in meant that traditional outdoor activities were far less tempting than the arcade.

Those zombie games – where you shoot as many as you can before you have to buy more credits – did not distract me for long. Nor did the crappy air hockey that only ever worked when it felt like it. My fifty pence bought me far more fun at the 2p waterfall. You put the coin in the slot at the top, it falls, then the drawers slide in and your coin falls to the next level. If you’re lucky it pushes more coins to the level below, and then more, and eventually you hear the delicious jangle of money dropping into the scoop at the bottom.

In reality you’ve won ten p, but it feels like you’ve won the jackpot.

Those used to be my favourite, until one afternoon.

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Things I do that are sexist

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The other day, I was playing Magic: the Gathering online, like one of the cool kids. I like to play it in the evenings, because I find it relaxing to scream ‘Fuck off with your TWATTY DRAGONS’ at the telly while glugging wine. After half an hour or so of being repeatedly beaten by a bunch of cheating nobheads, I realised that I’d been horribly sexist.

“Oh look,” I’d exclaim when my opponent brought out a ridiculously overpowered beast which which to savage me. “I imagine his bastard ogre will decimate my teeny elf in a manner of seconds.”

And it did. But that’s not the point. The point is I was playing against someone with a generic, genderless username, and yet I’d repeatedly referred to them as ‘he’. In fact, almost every Magic opponent online is a ‘he’ in my mind, despite the fact that I would rage against anyone who told me any given game was for boys or girls.

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