Anyone with boys at junior school will be familiar with the words "Match Attax" and "Yugioh". For those of you that aren't, they are the current flavour of trading cards which appear to occupy said children during every free minute of school. I remember having a similar thing in the 70s called Panini which which were stickers, I'm currently trying to track down my completed 1978 album to show Jake as he seems to have been bitten by the bug.
I'm actually very much in favour of them, not least because it gives them skills in negotiation which will be invaluable when they are older. Lets face it, almost every aspect of life involves negotiation of one sort or another and the better you are at getting the favourable end of the deal the further you'll get in life.
Unfortunately the only lesson Jake was learning is that bad deals are a lot easier to do than good ones!
The other problem was, when Jake rushed up to me after getting home from school shouting " dad, dad you'll be so proud of me, I swapped Torres 100 club ( purchased on ebay for nearly 10 quid two days earlier ) for a man-of-the-match and 3 shinies (sum value £1.50) " I just didn't have the heart to tell him he'd been shafted and that I wouldn't be bothering to bid at 11.30 at night again in future.
However the thought of, at the exact same moment the father of Torres' new owner, slapping his son on the back with pride, while saying " thats m'boy" was sufficient provocation for me to suggest to Jake that he might like to reassess the match attax exchange rates.
It didn't matter that Jake was £8.50 down on the deal, more that someone had got the better of him or that he'd get the reputation of being an easy target.
In fairness, after giving him some guidelines on card values and explaining the term 'poker face' the swaps have got, well... less bad since Torresgate, but whatever they are I always agree that, yes I am very proud!