Rainbow episode review: House of Cards

Sometimes it’s nice to just be a dick for no reason. If you do need a reason to be a dick, I suggest the following reasons:

– Someone’s being slow at a cashpoint

– That woman off that advert

– They’re riding those fucking quad bikes outside your flat again

– You’re awake

In this episode, the Rainbow gang have all decided to be dicks to each other for no real reason. They do that sometimes. That is the plot. Then they all make friends again.

Spoiler alert.

Zippy’s building a house of cards (quite an achievement when you’ve only got one arm), when George rocks up and shows off his new hat:

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“What do you think of my new hat Zippy? I made it myself!”

Pop quiz – will Zippy say:

a) “Yes it’s a beautiful hat and not at all shit.”

b) “It’s quite a nice hat, but I’m more interested in your opinion on Cartesian dualism.”

c) “Lol what a shit hat.”

If you answered C – congratulations!

laughing

This is not what George wants to hear. He responds to this honest assessment of his hat making skills by knocking down Zippy’s house of cards. Zippy responds by screwing up George’s shit-hat and throwing it eight inches away.

housethrowing

George responds by invading a small patch of land off Zippy’s east coast. Zippy then imposes economic sanctions on George.

Then the U.N.’s fucking peacekeeping boats arrive.

UN boats

This is sufficient to unite Zippy and George in their scorn of Bungle’s shit boat, which is infinitely shitter than George’s hat.

Bungle’s made the boat for Christopher, who’s coming round later. You know what? I bet Christopher, being a grown man, would love it if just for once Bungle made him some fags, booze and hookers, instead of an eggbox he’s going to have to keep out of some misguided sense of loyalty and guilt.

Anyway. Before Christopher comes round with his poker face and his disappointment, Bungle must show HMS Rubbish to Geoffrey. In a cunning move, he puts the boat ON A SEAT, to keep it safe. Remember this information, you’ll need it in about 30 seconds.

seat

“Will you two keep an eye on it for me?”

Zippy: “No, it’s a shit boat, like George’s shit hat. Look after your own stuff.”

George: “Ignore him, he’s just having a period. I’ll look after it, because I would never be a dick for no reason, like I was a couple of minutes ago. Look how better than Zippy I am. I do awareness selfies on Twitter and everything.”

Meanwhile, This is how Zippy makes his houses of cards:

head

He has to prop them up against his head. AGAINST HIS HEAD. That’s dedication. It must have taken hours, and it makes George’s actions even more dickish.

Bungle leaves, having completely secured the safety of his boat. An argument ensues, in which Zippy and George call each other “silly” (in the Rainbow universe, ‘silly’ is code for ‘stupid ham-faced cunt’. Only you can’t say that on Children’s ITV on a Friday lunchtime).

As if he hasn’t been enough of a tool, George starts laughing at Zippy when he struggles to build a house of cards. Imagine laughing at someone with one leg because you’d just beaten them in the 500m hurdles. Now punch George in the face.

NB: I had to go have a cigarette before writing this next bit, because it made me so upset and sad. Three weeks after the last scene, Zippy has finally managed to build another house of cards using only his head.

Geoffrey comes in. Geoffrey has a brilliant idea.

wat 1

wat 3

wat 4

 

Clap. Clap. Clap.

Fuck you Geoffrey. I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.

I’m not crying.

Zippy, quite rightly, has a nervous breakdown. Geoffrey stands there like “Well, what are you getting so worked up about?” In this episode, we learn that Geoffrey is in fact a raging sociopath.

sociopath

George comes back, and he and Zippy put aside their differences in a mutual decision to never speak to Geoffrey ever again. I don’t know why George is mad at Geoffrey, maybe he didn’t retweet one of his awareness selfie tweets.

truce

Geoffrey gets back on their good side by reading them a story about a camel, while Zippy builds another house of cards. They can’t possibly fall for that old trick – “Oh I promise I can change, she meant nothing to me, let me read you a story about a camel…” we’ve all been there, am I right ladies?

After the story, Geoffrey decides it would be a good idea to not look where he’s going and knock down Zippy’s house of cards A-FUCKING-GAIN.

house again

I never thought I’d say this, but… Geoffrey, you arsehole. You fucknut. You pube of the devil.

However, things now take a surprising turn. George, still mad at his lack of retweets, laughs at Zippy’s house of cards falling down again. Zippy retaliates by throwing George’s drink in Geoffrey’s face. I approve of this.

drink

Geoffrey storms off in a huff. Can eagle-eyed viewers spot why he shouldn’t have slammed the story book down there?

smash

Enter Bungle, who, amazingly, has been the least shit one in this episode. He checks on his boat:

oh no

Geoffrey broke his boat in a fit of North Korean rage.

Bungle starts crying and shouting at Geoffrey, in the manner of Kat Slater or similar. Geoffrey deserves this tirade. I’m certainly not going to stick up for you this time Geoffrey. You’ve actually made me root for Bungle. I have my limits.

crying

“My boat’s ruined! It’s a good job it was shit anyway!”

Geoffrey tries to mediate between them all, not realising that HE IS THE PROBLEM TODAY. Fucking hell Geoffrey.

sorting

A kind of truce is reached, which is good because it’s time for Christopher’s visit. Someone should tell Bungle that he’s probably going to be relieved not to have to take HMS Wank home with him.

The gang decide to not kill each other, and later on we see their various projects have been restored to full glory.

later

Although I’m still not happy with the whole house of cards thing. They should at least acknowledge how impressive Zippy’s original attempts were. Jesus Geoffrey, you two-armed psychopath.

Christopher arrives, with his guitar (which he just happens to always have with him, even in the bath). Bungle accidentally scars him for life with some paint.

christopher

After my earlier breakdown over Zippy’s house of cards, that screenshot had the opposite effect, and I had to stop writing to laugh quite a lot.

Paintgate threatens to start an all-out war again, but Christopher intervenes just in time, by being able to instantly write a song about the exact thing that’s been going on in this episode. It’s called ‘Why Did You Do That’, and miraculously the others can all instantly make up verses too.

Everything’s fine after the song. Everyone’s friends again, and if you say anything bad happened ever then you’re lying.

Now everything’s sorted out, I’ll leave you with Geoffrey considering knocking over Zippy’s house of cards again and how hilarious that would be. What bantz. We never find out if he does or not. Don’t do it Geoffrey.

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Fin.

10 toys in every doctor’s waiting room

Did I ever tell you about the time I got ill on holiday, and ended up being sick all over the doctor’s office, including up his sleeves? That’s the kind of kid I was.

This tendency towards chicken pox, mysterious childhood snots, and trying to wangle time off school led me to be familiar with the toys in the doctor’s waiting room. These toys were invariably covered in germs and various bodily fluids, but this didn’t deter me.

These days, whenever I have to go to the doctor’s I am generally to be found scrolling through my phone with all the other anti-social automatons in there, but when I was a kid, a trip to the doctor’s was an excuse to go crazy with the communal bits of plastic and soiled books. Obviously I couldn’t go too crazy, as I was either ill or pretending to be ill.

Anyway, here are 10 toys that always made being violently ill fun…

1. Matchbox Activity Bear

matchbox activity bear

This chap lived at the bottom of that plastic toybox that graced the corner of the waiting room. While it was really meant for babies who were too young and stupid to play with the cooler stuff, I did while away some pleasant minutes honking its nose, spinning the things on its foot, and trying to avoid the month-old Ribena stains on its general person. The babies would just have to find something else to do, like pooing.

2. Tomy Tutor Play Computer

tomy tutor play computer

I always wanted one of these but never got one. I once had a bash at mugging another child to try and get one (didn’t work – since I was 3, I wasn’t very good at mugging). However, I did get to play with it at the doctor’s, which is maybe why I was ‘ill’ so much.

When you pressed buttons on the keyboard, different pictures would pop up on the screen. To me, this was some sort of magic. Also, no Windows updates. I predict that after the apocalypse, when we have no electricity, we’ll all go back to using these.

3. Fisher Price Chatter Phone

fisher price chatter phone

This was used for three things. Firstly, phoning up your friends while they were at school, so you could brag about not being at school. Secondly, phoning up She-Ra, Zippy or any of the Turtles to tell them all about your mystery illness/discuss a crime that needed solving. Thirdly, pulling it along by that string, trying and failing to not get it tangled up in the legs of tutting adults.

4. Pop Up Pets

pop up pets

This was a mini Krypton Factor for small, slightly ill children. Not only were you supposed to guess which animal would pop up from the picture clues on the front, you also had to figure out how to make the pets pop up. As you can see, sometimes it’s a simple button, sometimes it’s a twisty knob. That chicken one’s really obvious, that must be Level 1. Also, a chicken isn’t really a pet.

5. Trolley with building blocks

trolley with blocks

The waiting rooms of my childhood weren’t too fond of stocking toys that contain loads of small parts, but there were a couple of exceptions. One of these exceptions was the pull along trolley that contained an unspecified number of wooden or plastic building blocks. I say unspecified, because you were never guaranteed to have the full set of blocks due to them having been eaten, stolen or pooed on.

I always viewed this trolley as one of the greatest toys ever, again due to me never owning one of my own. Strangely, I never used the blocks to build anything, I just pulled the trolley along, displaying all my hoarded blocks like some sort of Gollum.

6. Books

hungry caterpillar

Pop-up books, books with furry and shiny bits, Ladybird ‘Read It Yourself’ books. All the books, without exception, will have the following –

– Pages 1 and 16 missing

– Crayon scribbles

– Bits torn off most pages

– Pencil indents from where a child has used the book to rest their drawing on

– One mysteriously damp corner

7. Stickle Bricks

stickle bricks

Another exception to the ‘no small parts’ rule, Stickle Bricks were Lego’s spiky and useless cousin. Used for building nonsensical, overlapping structures, and also for making patterns on your arms to prove you were ‘hard’.

8. Wind-up Musical TV

wind up tv

This was a good toy to play with if you were genuinely ill, and didn’t have the energy to go carting blocks around or phoning imaginary people. All you had to do was turn the windy-knob-thing, and a ‘TV show’ would parade across the screen to the accompaniment of lovely glockenspiel music. If you got bored with this, you could always pretend you were watching Going For Gold.

9. Playskool ‘Lil Lady’ Buggy

ladybird buggy

Usually with soiled doll occupant.

I would sit in my corner, with my blocks and my scribbled on books, and watch as the other kids fought over this. For some strange reason, no one ever had it in the ‘pushchair’ position; it remained resolutely in the ‘pram’ position. The doll that lived in it would usually be naked and have one strand of hair left, and would be called Malcolm.

10. Fisher Price Play Family Garage

play garage

This graced the bigger waiting rooms, and most primary schools – back in the day there was no better pastime than doing the elevator ‘n’ slide combo. Also came with that one really pissed off looking figure, who had just had to fork out to unclamp her car.

In order to play with this, you either had to break your leg in order to get into a big hospital waiting room, or beat up Peter Reveley, thus cementing your position as ‘hardest one in Reception class’. I never did either of these.

A guide to 80s caravan holidays

These days, children go on four world cruises a year. When I was growing up, we didn’t have such luxuries, and had to make do with a more modest form of holiday.

Most people would trundle off to the seaside for a week or two every summer. Some families stayed in a hotel or a B & B, some families threw themselves on the mercy of Butlins, but the best families stayed in a metal shed on wheels, otherwise known as a caravan.

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I have two main memories of caravans – one good, one bad. The bad memory is of being dragged round caravan showrooms on a weekend, endlessly crunching over gravel and staring at wheels and towing frames, since I was too small to actually see into any of the caravans (caraven?). I have no idea why we went to these places so much, and it seemed like we went every week. To my knowledge, we never bought a caravan.

Our modus operandi was to hire a big static caravan at one of the many parks scattered around the East coast, and this was always a cause for great excitement. What would our caravan be like? Where exactly would it be parked? Where would I be sleeping?

Well, the answers to these questions were always as follows –

1. Exactly like all the other hundreds of caravans on the park – sometimes with slightly darker wood panelling, or a different type of chintz on the cushions.

2. Next to a family with a barking dog.

3. On the brilliant double bed that was made out of a table and wizardry.

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We always had our own shower, so I never got to see the toilet blocks in these caravan parks. I suppose I can live with that disappointment. But I always frequented the site shop, which sold necessities like inflatable dinghies and the Beano.

So how did a typical first day of a caravan holiday pan out? Well, if you’re me, it went like this –

5 a.m. Wake up, realise it’s the summer version of Christmas Day, leap out of bed yelling, only to be ordered back to bed.

5-7 a.m. Play with She-Ra figures.

7 a.m. Get up properly. Enter the kitchen to find a mountain of sliced meat sandwiches in food bags on the worktop.

8 a.m. Sulk because your mum has made you wear your best flowery culottes, and you look like a div in them.

9 a.m. Watch your dad attempt to fit everything you own into the car. Hop up and down with excitement until you need a wee. Get in your dad’s way. Dad insists you can’t take your A La Carte Kitchen on holiday. Sulk.

10 a.m. Set off!

10.01 a.m. Turn round and come back because the mountain of sandwiches is still in the kitchen.

10.05 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Pass the time on the car journey in the following ways –

– keep an eye out for the sea for the entire two hour journey, because “first one to see the sea wins a pound!”

– kick the back of the seat in front

make your parents play your Handful Of Songs tape 20 times, or just entertain everyone with your singing

– accuse your sister of biting you, whether she has or not

bite your sister

ingoldmells

12 p.m. Arrive! Wait half an hour for the caravan keys, then run into the caravan to have a wee.

12.05 p.m. Explore the caravan and unpack. Be relieved/excited that once again you’ll be sleeping on the fold out bed/table.

1 p.m. Go out to “explore”. This must be done no matter how many times you’ve visited the place before. Exploring must be done in case someone came along during the winter and knocked all the arcades and cafes down, replacing them with other arcades and cafes. This never happened.

1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Spend £10,000 of your parents’ money on the 2p machines. Expand your collection of novelty erasers and plastic watches that don’t really tell the time.

5 p.m. Return to the caravan, arms and pockets full of plastic crap, stopping only for tea. Lose points if you have to eat the rest of the sliced meat sandwiches for tea. Normally, you can manage to wangle some scampi.

6 p.m. Go out for the evening! This outing could take several forms. Sometimes, we went to the ‘Family Club’, a side room of a pub that had sticky floors and knock off Disney characters drawn on the walls. It also had a kind of children’s bar where you could buy Panda Pops and flying saucers. And it had a more or less permanent children’s disco, hosted by a husband and wife team dressed as Cherokees. Many a happy evening was spent by me in the Family Club, taking part in kids’ talent contests and losing, failing to learn to spin plates on a stick, spilling lemonade on the floor, and making up my own dance moves to Blame It On The Boogie.

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If your family was feeling particularly swish, you could spend the evening at a cabaret club, where singers, dancers and comedians of questionable talent paraded round the stage, bellowing Tom Jones hits at an indifferent audience.

Our cabaret club was the Galaxy Showbar, and to my childish eyes it was very glamorous indeed. It was definitely somewhere that required wearing your best culottes.

9 p.m. Return to the caravan, red eyed and grouchy with tiredness/too much pop, and have some supper.

9.30 p.m. Bedtime, but if you were really lucky you got to stay up and watch Tommy Cooper or The Grumbleweeds on the portable TV before you went to sleep.

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Mornings in a caravan were the stuff of legend for two reasons. Firstly, you were woken up by a dozen seagulls tap dancing on your roof. Secondly, the first thing you encountered upon waking was the smell of bacon frying. No exceptions to this rule – it must be bacon, and it must be fried on one of the gas rings in the kitchen. There is no leeway with this, it is the golden rule of caravanning – always fry bacon, preferably for bacon sandwiches. Muesli is unacceptable, and will result in being disqualified from the caravan park.

Now you could really settle into caravan holiday life. This included (in no particular order) –

– getting sand in your pants

– getting sand in your pants despite having been nowhere near the beach

– going round the market, buying clackers, and toy dogs on leads, and Mr. T stickers

– playing tele bingo all morning, trying to get enough wins for a ‘Deep Dea Attack’ playset, but coming away with yet another bookmark

– visiting the Indoor Play Centre (if you’re in Ingoldmells) – a place so marvellous it will get its own post in the future

– eating blue ice cream that fails to taste of anything but blue

– looking out from the East coast at the sea, and being convinced that every bit of land you could see was France

– having donkey rides on the beach

– constantly having to put the windbreak back up when it got blown over

– insisting that all your barbies want to go into the swimming pool with you

– hanging your She-Ra knickers on the washing like outside for everyone to see

– burying your dad up to his neck in the sand while he sleeps

going in gift shops, and always coming out with trinket boxes with shells glued on them, despite having bought the same boxes last year. The ones from last year always disappeared. I suspect they found their way back to the gift shop, where we bought them again.

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After two weeks of solid fun, you would all pile into the car and drive home again. Provided, of course, your family could fit into the car after you’d packed all the various pieces of crap you’d bought and won.

These days, I don’t really go on holiday as such. I just turn my phone off for two weeks, close the curtains, and sit around in my pants watching Teleshopping. Maybe I should have another trip to Ingoldmells, even if I won’t fit on a donkey any more.

Candyfloss and shat pants: a guide to the fair

Somewhere along the line, I’ve become middle aged. I’ve suspected it for some time, what with me liking to wear slippers and making a noise when I get out of a chair. However, my rapid descent into old age was proved beyond any doubt the last time me and Alex went to the fair.

Expectation: eat candyfloss and hot dogs until sick, go on all life threatening rides, not really caring if the rides are held together with sellotape. A good time is had by all.

Reality: walk around a windy field for a bit, tutting at things. Shake head at the fact that the rides are held together with sellotape, exclaim that “you wouldn’t get me on that death trap”. Fail to even get excited at prospect of winning copyright infringing knock off toys. Go home for a nice cup of tea.

this way

It never used to be like this. I used to love the fair with a passion bordering on wanting to marry it. It was up there with Christmas and trips to the seaside for excitement value. But somewhere down the line I got old and boring. Since you probably don’t want to read about me having a nice cup of tea and doing the large print puzzles in Chat magazine, instead I’m going to tell you about the best things at the fair.

1. Hook a Duck

hook a duck

 

Hook a Duck is brilliant because it’s impossible for me to lose at it. Even I can just about manage to hold a stick and point it at a plastic duck. Admittedly, this wasn’t always the case when I was a child. Sometimes the guy running the stall would get so fed up with my clumsy attempts to manipulate the Hook a Duck pole without taking his eye out that he would just grab the end of my pole and attach a duck to it. In my head this was perfectly valid, and in no way made me a loser who failed to even win at a ‘prize every time’ stall.

Hook a Duck is also ace because it’s the fairground’s premier spot for winning shit. I don’t mean this in a Jay-Z ‘You ain’t winning shit’ kind of way, rather that you can win all sorts of crap. The following prizes are staples on every Hook a Duck stall in the land –

– knock off Disney soft toys, possibly with the face of one character on the body of another character
– a dead goldfish
– a plastic ‘fashion doll’ whose arms have detached themselves while the doll is still in the packaging
– key rings featuring things and people that were the height of fashion three years ago

As a way to tempt gullible young children into parting with their money, the stall would be festooned with ‘big’ prizes, all hanging off the roof, daring you to try and win them. The big prizes were usually giant soft toys that vaguely resembled a cartoon or video game character you’d heard of. To be honest, the big soft toys could have looked like Jeffrey Archer and I’d still have been desperate to win them. It goes without saying that I never won a big prize, not ever. I don’t know anyone who did. There must be a way of winning them – maybe you have to save up your ‘wins’ or something? But come on, what kid is really going to have the self control necessary for that? It’s always much better to win a ‘fashion comb’ or a broken yo-yo, because at least you get to play with it NOW.

2. Waltzer

waltzer

The favourite ride of chavs everywhere, who will compete to see who can go on the most times without dying or getting thrown out of the fair for constantly breaking the ride rules. The ride rules are as follows – sit the fuck down.

I had a bad experience on the Waltzer when I was nine. I went on with my dad, who is even more of a wuss than me. Somehow, we managed to be put in a car where the bar wouldn’t fasten down properly, and as a result spent the next three minutes getting flung around the car, holding on for our lives while accompanied by German techno. I’ve been in funner situations than that.

Needless to say we escaped with our lives, but for those three minutes I had visions of getting flung out of the ride car, hurtling through the air at 7000 miles an hour before landing on my face.

Chavs have no such worries, and will happily spend the entire duration of the ride attempting to stand up, attempting to undo the bar that’s been put there to stop them from dying, or attempting to have sex with their woman, again to the accompaniment of German techno.

3. Dodgems

dodgems

I’ve never understood why they’re called Dodgems. What is it you’re supposed to dodge? It certainly isn’t other cars, because everyone knows the sole purpose of this ride is to crash into as many people as possible. The people who named this ride are idiots.

Dodgems are another thing I’m quite good at, because you don’t have to do any normal driving, like remembering to go in a straight line or indicating. You can indicate if you want to, but Dodgems style indicating involves shouting “YOU’RE ON MY LIST!” at people in a nearby car, who will then look at you and tut.

When you’re a kid and you go on the Dodgems, not only do you have to wear one of those stupid horrible seat belts that attempt to actually saw you in half, you also have to be accompanied by an adult, who will do all the driving because you can’t reach the pedals. This results in you sitting there being bored, while the adult drives you round in nice, steady circles, all the time making sure to not accidentally bump into anyone, but instead giving them a cheery wave as they pass by.

This is a shit way to do the Dodgems. The correct way to do the Dodgems is as follows –

1. Get in a Dodgem car. Do not bother with seat belt.
2. Pick the person you least like the look of.
3. Spend the entire ride ramming that person’s car. Bonus points if you can keep them in a corner for the entire ride.
4. Run off after the ride before the person can punch you in the face.

4. Ferris Wheel

ferris wheel

Ferris Wheels are the worst ride in the world. The only exception to this is that rollercoaster in Japan where you’re only strapped in by one finger, but I might have dreamed that.

When you go on a Ferris Wheel, you sit in a rickety, swinging cage thing. If you’re on a date, you sit next to your date. Sometimes, if you’re riding alone, they pair you up with someone else who’s riding alone, so not only do you spend the entire ride in abject terror, you also have to make endless small talk with a woman called Sheila, who has chosen to wear culottes. Assuming you survive this part, you then spend the next five minutes going round and round and round.

Ferris Wheels are not meant to be ridden on, they’re meant to be blown over by a stiff gust of wind. Look at that picture. That does not look safe. When I have something circular and flat, like a bagel, I do not immediately think ‘Oh I’ll put it on its side, that will keep it nice and steady.’ I lay it down flat. Then I put ham on it. You can’t even put ham on a Ferris Wheel.

5. Ghost Train

ghost train

I haven’t been on many Ghost Trains, but I’ve been on a few. The scariest one I ever saw was in Bridlington in the 80s, and I never even rode it. That’s how much of a coward I was.

Of course, these days it’s different. These days I delight in trundling past plastic skellingtons, bits of crepe paper that waft annoyingly in your face, and fibreglass demons with red lightbulbs for eyes.

As a grown up, the most frightening things about Ghost Trains tend to be the following –

1. The fact that the man operating the ride has drunk 9 cans of Stella
2. The possibility that the kid in the car in front of you will do a shit

Certainly, the ride itself isn’t scary. In fact, Ghost Trains are more scared of you than you are of them. Take, for example, the Ghost Train we encountered last year. It was so scared of us that the minute it saw us coming it broke down. that’s how much it didn’t want us to ride it.

6. Limbo Dancer

limbo dancer

Limbo Dancers are good because they tend to be festooned with terrible paintings of celebrities you may or may not have heard of (see above). They’re also good because, occasionally, you get to watch an old lady that’s been tricked into going on one by her grandsons. This old lady will invariably be wearing a loose fitting, flowery skirt, which will blow over her head and flash her knickers at people every time the ride drops down. Ok, I only saw this once, but I live in hope that it will happen again.

I don’t go on Limbo Dancers, because I don’t like that feeling of ‘leaving your stomach behind’. I don’t like drop towers for the same reason, but I do like hills on rollercoasters, because at least then you get to be on a rollercoaster, and that’s cool.

Chavs like Limbo Dancers, as do 10 year old girls. These riders are stupid, because one day the ride will malfunction. Instead of stopping a foot from the ground and going back the other way, the seats will just thud into the ground, causing all the riders’ arses to be pushed up into their mouths.

7. Scrambler

scrambler

I’m still not convinced that this is the proper name for this ride; for years I’ve just referred to it as “You know, that side to side one (makes mental, dangerous gestures with arms). Stop pretending you don’t know what I mean.” But this is what Google says, although I didn’t have much luck with the search term “What’s that ride called”.

Consistently one of my favourite rides, because it doesn’t go up high, unless it malfunctions. Speaking of which, never go on this with a morbidly obese person. You will die.

8. Burger van

burger van

Always my favourite part of the fair, because I am a big fat pig. Normally run by a man called Les and his pissed off looking wife Pam. They must serve you with extremely bad grace and throw your change at your head, otherwise it doesn’t count.

When I was a kid, the burger van would always be my first port of call, because I was a greedy little shit. As soon as my chocolate smeared hands were free of whatever KitKat or Wagon Wheel I’d been eating on the way to the fair, I would grab my parent and drag them to meet Les and Pam, and to buy me all the food in the world.

The food from the burger van is some of the most delicious food known to man, especially when the hamburgers are those weird flat hamburgers that might be out of a tin.

Other brilliant food that must be purchased from the van includes:

– a hot dog that is three inches of dog inside six inches of bun
– a huge ‘dummy’ made from sugar and E-numbers
– a lukewarm can of Tizer
– a bag of candy floss that you’re not allowed to open until you get home, by which time you’ve been sick so you don’t bother opening it, and then it goes all hard
– for the parents – a polystyrene cup of tea, containing liquid that actually burns your tongue out of your mouth if you even look at it

And there we have it – everything you could possibly need for a super fun time at the fair. If you’ve done the fair correctly, you will leave with your arms full of illegal soft toys and your jumper full of sick. You will only go to sleep that night after an hour of begging your parents to take you back for one last go on the Hook a Duck, despite the fact that the fair closed three hours ago.

Of course, now I am approaching middle age, my evenings have stopped being filled with candyfloss and sick, and are now filled with Ovaltine and regret.

Cartoons, haunted tapes and The Lovers’ Guide: Video shop memories

Cartoons, haunted tapes and The Lovers’ Guide: Video shop memories

I’ve wanted to write about the video shop for ages, but my flea-bitten memory has refused to sick up the appropriate facts, until now. Thanks to conversations with my parents and sisters, I realise what a brilliant experience the video shop was for me. For my parents and sisters, not so much.

Here are a load of my dredged up memories about the video shop. You’ve read this far, you might as well carry on.

The first thing to do in order to get a trip to the video shop is to be good all week. This consists of not doing the following:

– Calling your sister a “bastard”, a “bustard”, or telling her to “huh off”

– Nipping

– Writing a list of all the swear words you can think of, then accidentally leaving it in a place where your dad will find it

– Using all your mum’s VO5 Hot Oil to make a “magic potion” while playing She-Ra.

Continue reading “Cartoons, haunted tapes and The Lovers’ Guide: Video shop memories”