A cast on your arm: the eight coolest things ever when you were eight

LIFE was incredible before you cared about stuff like inflation, mortgage rates and hormones. Which also meant coolness was achievable if you had this stuff:

A cast on your arm

From showing off about the gory details to the customisable surface to the way it got you out of doing any writing for months, the intense pain and temporary disability was worth it for the rockstar glory.

Diet Coke and Mentos

Knowing that, at any moment, you could combine two items and create an explosion? Firing a two-litre Coke across your neighbour’s drive? And getting away with it by calling it science?

A big stick

A kid with a big stick is a living legend. The only real option for using it is to announce, ‘look how big this is’ before being told to put it down before it takes someone’s eye out, but it’s a short and sweet taste of the high life.

A slide into a swimming pool

Doesn’t matter if it’s five feet or 50ft long, the sheer out-of-control thrill of hitting water at velocity cannot be beaten. An adrenaline high you’ll chase for life.

Copying catchphrases

In the modern age they’re from the internet; back in the day they were from adverts. But all eight-year-olds agree: no matter how many times they’re repeated, they never get any less funny.

Hair gel

There is only one styling option for hair gel at this age, and that is to make it all stick up in the air. Subtlety is for uncool cowards with boring, gravity-obeying tresses.

A cast on your leg

All the cred of a cast, and getting to carry round two big sticks with you everywhere you go. Or being pushed in a wheelchair by your mates using your leg as a weapon.

Dog on the playground

The only visitor to a school ground that could trump a cast-wearing, hair-gelled, catchphrase-spouting Year 4. Bonus points if you got to watch a dinner lady try to catch it.

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Why I should be running vital public services, by a pirate

YO ho ho! Captain Clegg here, feared freebooter of the seas whose only loyalty is to gold, explaining why it’s crucial to put vital public services in my hands. 

Arrr, I sail the oceans in search of trading ships then I and my doughty crew board them, cutting throats and filling our hold with booty. Also, I am the ideal man to run key elements of your national infrastructure.

For example water, for the salty sea is my mistress and my home. With nothing but my three-masted ship and my cutlass I turn that briney into a fortune! And I can do the same for you.

By which I mean take command of your waters and make myself rich. None o’ that filtration nonsense, or sewage. Shit in a hole and drink rum, that’s what we do.

And power? Why, haven’t I been harnessing the wind and the sun since I took to the high seas? Ain’t I an expert on gouging the innocent for every precious ounce of silver? So who better?

Trains? Transportation be my very lifeblood. Not an hour of the sun’s light goes without my studying shipping routes. And I promise you this, not a passenger on those trains would leave without their valuables stripped from them, naked, tarred and feathered.

So I, my first mate Vagabond Jack, and my parrot Polly here will be taking over your water, your energy, and your transport links from now on. Not a man jack of those Tories will vote against me because I schooled with ‘em at Eton.

Set sail for Britain’s freeports, me hearties, where pirates such as we are welcomed! Let’s board old Albion, drain her coffers dry and chain up her people as galley-slaves! Let’s see if they even notice!