Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 10 April 2013
No job for old men
My daughter called me up on Saturday to say that she was just getting in the car to come to visit from the North, via Cadbury World in Birmingham, which - I guess - is a shrine to all lovers of cheap chocolate.
I sort of understand, mainly because I once visited the headquarters of Bahlsen in Hannover and was amazed at how reverent I felt when picking up some hotel keys from the night porter there - I found myself thinking, "Blimey! This is where all those chocolate biscuits are made!"
In a vain attempt to burn off the excess energy of her small son which was created by all that chocolate, we arranged to meet up the following day at an 'adventure park' near Keynsham (spelt K, E, ... you have to be my age and British to understand this reference) which I never knew existed.
I arrived at this place and explained to a girl in the entrance hut that I was due to meet my daughter and grandson inside, but she apologised for saying that even if I didn't have any rides on the Dizzy Ducks, I would still have to pay £7.50 to get in. I asked her if there was a concession for the over 60s, and she said that this was the concession price for old men. Since I hit 60, I have always been slightly offended when nobody asks for I.D. when I try to take advantage of any concessions.
I found them watching kids chuck themselves down hair-raisingly high - actually vertical - huge slides and then we went to the cafe for some really disgusting lunch. I went outside to smoke a covert cigarette, and saw this bloke in the photo wander up to some parents, and ask them if they would like him to twist some balloons into amusing shapes for their captive children.
They were given the choice of 'giraffe', 'poodle', donkey, etc. etc. and each one would cost fifty pence. They settled on the first one he mentioned, and soon he began inflating a bright orange balloon at waist height, using a little pump. I was not quick enough to get a photo of that bizarre image, but you can imagine what it looked like in this climate of Operation Yew Tree investigations.
Ok, I know I have the mentality of an 8 year-old, but I always have to resist the temptation to ask for a phallus-shaped confection with balls on the end whenever I see these people at kid's parties or wherever, but I am sure he would have wanted a lot more than 50p to make it. At his age, a lot more - more than his job was worth.
I wouldn't have wanted one of his amusingly 'animal-shaped' balloons if they were free, and I'm not sure the children did either, but I did feel a bit sorry for the bloke. What a way to make a living.
Have you ever met a child who finds clowns anything other than terrifying?