In return for me teaching him how to play the classic pub game of cribbage, Jack has introduced me to the exhilarating but totally confusing world of True Skate.
I can tell you are already feeling uneasy on my behalf. Does True Skate involve me in committing my poor, aged body to some kind of wheeled boots or board? Have I invested in adequate protective clothing such as a helmet,
boots, knee and elbow pads and tough leather gauntlets? Have warnings been sent out on social media sites and local newspapers warning when and where I will be True Skating here, there and everywhere so that residents can arrange to be elsewhere or,
at the very last, tucked up safely in their beds with a soothing cup of cocoa as I crash by their property?
Please don’t worry any more. True Skate is a
strictly on-line experience which involves only the use of a mobile phone, two fingers (or thumbs if you are really, really skilful) and a brain. It helps, I have found, if the digits and the brain are in some way virtually connected. I am still trying,
with limited success, to make that connection. In the immortal words of my hero, Captain Titus Oates: I may be some time.
You can download True Skate from an app
store (other apps are, of course, available, I say hastily.) It will cost you £1.49 which is much less than the price of a Magnum ice cream. Jack tells me this is extremely good value for a game with such excellent graphics, the most authentic skateboarding
game ever, to quote the blurb. I am not qualified to pass an opinion on this but I am prepared to trust Jack’s judgement, just as he was prepared to accept mine when we discussed the finer points of totting up your cribbage scores, including the
certainly-not-to-be-overlooked “One For His Nob” when you hold a Jack of the same suit as the starter card. Yes, dear boy, perfectly serious...
readers may remember me mentioning that it was Mr B who taught me how to play cribbage, many moons ago. He still likes to claim most of the credit for any close-fought game I may win at one of our regular cribbage sessions. “She had a good teacher!”
he will crow, delightedly. Occasionally he is kind enough to praise my aptitude as a pupil as in: “she always listens when I point out that she is doing wrong” which can probably best be described as damning with faint praise.
When it came to passing on my cribbage knowledge to Jack I tried to remember exactly how Mr B had introduced me to the niceties of the game but, alas, I could not remember for the
life of me. So I carefully considered how Jack and I would play several games with our cards laid out in front of us while I explained what’s what. Jack had no time for this – one short demonstration and, at his request, we were straight
into a proper game, cards held close to our chests, no holds barred, as we tried to outwit each other. There are No Flies On Jack.
Unfortunately, when I
take on the role of pupil to his teacher, I fare very, very badly. Jack shows me how to start the virtual skateboard running by making repeated backwards movements with my index finger. Next, he tells me, I need to tap down on the tail of the board,
then (with the same finger) kind of push down on the exact spot in the middle of the board which will cause it to flip over. Or not, as the case may be.
a patient teacher but now he has returned home I have to decide whether I want to persevere with True Skate. On the positive side, wouldn’t he be proud of me if, next time I see him I could demonstrate an Ollie, a slide or even a crooked grind? I take
to YouTube and watch a couple of videos which only succeed in making me even more confused. I read a few reviews: “There is nothing more satisfying,” gushes one, “than thinking I want to kickflip over that pyramid and land in a backslide
tailslide down the rail.” Personally, I can think of a few other sources of satisfaction...
True Skate is, apparently, physics based which may be why Jack
is so good at it compared to me whose last physics lesson was back in circa 1963. Indeed, the physics engine and controls are strong enough that even a skateboarding neophyte will be busting out cool tricks with ease once they grasp the mechanics. I
am quoting, of course. Couldn’t you tell?
Don’t expect too much of me, Jack. I will try, I really will.
As your Grandad (aka Mr B) is fond of pointing out, I am, indeed, very trying....