When I was about 11, I desired nothing more than a proper remote-controlled car. For my birthday I got a Tyco Scorcher 6x6, which felt like a coming of age; a graduation from AA-battery powered toys to something with a feisty 9.6v battery pack. If you watch the advert, you’ll agree it looks really hard-wearing and should put up with anything a suburban cul-de-sac can throw at it.
Within three days of unpacking it and charging it up, I’d broken it beyond repair by parking it in a puddle. A bloody stupid idea, but I had to find out whether it really was as invincible as the advert made out. It was probably designed with Texan summers in mind, not drab British autumns. You could say I was moving fast and breaking things before my time, but that would have been little consolation. Having broken a thing, I was no longer able to move fast. That was my last ever remote-controlled car.
My latest swathe of devices all seem to be waterproof or water-resistant. Is it because of this traumatic childhood experience that I had to face down my fear before taking a bath with my Tolino ebook reader or going swimming with my Apple Watch? Or do we need a word for “the fear of submerging consumer electronics”?
I dunno… submergangst? H₂Noooooo!?