In days gone by, in Siam, white elephants (which were essentially normal albino elephants) were considered sacred. This meant that by law, all white elephants had to be lavishly cared for by whomever owned them.

This little law came in useful for the king. You see, if one of his subjects irked the king, then as punishment, what the king would do is send a white elephant (as in a real live and kicking elephant) to the poor hapless courtier as a gift.

Now, the poor courtier was obliged to accept the gift, as it would be a massive insult to the king to refuse. Invariably, what this meant, is that the man would be reduced to poverty trying to pay for the lavish care required of him for the white elephant. A form of punishment unrivalled anywhere else.

Well, in a more modern version of this, a relative buying your son a Wii for Christmas (despite advice from me that it should be a Playstation or an Xbox) amounts to a white elephant.

You see, the problem is, last night after going to buy a Wii game for Cole, so that he would have something to play, it occurred to me that just about every game requires a special remote to play, which is extra, and if you want to play multiplayer, you would need TWO. At least with the other consoles the standard controller is more than sufficient.

And another problem is that there are far less budget titles available, which means having to fork out full price for games.

All this amounts to quite a bit of bother, especially when the economy is really biting hard…