Saturday, 23 June 2012
He's the Boss
Precocious prepubescent smartypants Patrick Bossert wrote You Can Do The Cube at the age of 12 and it proved to be the bestseller of 1981, shifting 1.5 million copies. I read and re-read the book and still couldn't solve the puzzle, except by smashing my cube on the floor like a dunce and reassembling the pieces. This was a somewhat unorthodox method and generally frowned upon by the boffins at school.
I nursed a strange obsession about Bossert for a few years. I knew that he lived somewhere near me was about the same age as me, and always kept a look out for him in town. We even had the same haircut (as did most of my friends). I knew he must be close at hand but never found him, in much the same way the cube solution always eluded me.
Twenty years later he returned to haunt me when my wife revealed that she went to school with him. Small world, innit? I felt some small satisfaction that I had somehow moved a step closer to the man by proxy. Not exactly 'closure' but near enough.
Bossert's follow-up was Micro Games, a selection of dull codings to occupy nerds like me spending hours tapping into our ZX Spectrum/Commodore 64 only to be thoroughly disappointed with the end result. Intended to stimulate the nascent generation of techy whizzkids, all I felt was disillusion and the realisation that I was never going to be the next Clive Sinclair. Brainiac Patrick of course grew up to be a captain of industry and all-round success.
Woo-hoo. Go Patrick (sound of teeth grinding).