On the way home the other day, I saw a lollipop sign casually leaning against a house.
Of course, it occurred to me to steal the lollipop sign. I am only human. But then I thought about all those poor starving orphans who wouldn’t be able to cross the road.
I also started thinking about Playdays.
I remember three things about Playdays:
1. The Why Bird Stop
2. That northern kid who went “Where does it gerrr?”
3. The name of the show was always changing. I only remember three of the show’s 11,000 names – Playbus, Playdays and Playboy.
I had a Twitter conversation about Playdays, and most people agreed that the Whybird Stop was the place to be. All other stops were shit, and you might as well have been watching Spender.
Were they right about Whybird being the best stop? Are all my Twitter followers just weird morons? I don’t know, and yes.
Let’s have a look.
The Patch Stop
Patch is a doll who keeps changing sex, and who goes out with its carer. The carer thrusts the doll in the faces of the bemused public.
In the one I watched, Peggy (the girl Patch) is at the market. She starts her own market stall from scratch like some sort of shit Apprentice task. She’s also roped in some child labour to make merchandise. I’m not sure what the child slaves have made, but I’d like to stop watching now.
Other places Patch visits include Spearmint Rhino, Greggs, and Doncaster.
The Tent Stop
Let’s not beat around the bush – the Tent Stop is a room full of grown men and women dicking about. What I got from watching ten minutes of an episode is an increasing sense of ‘what’, and the suggestion that I should take a pogo stick to a Michael Jackson concert. I don’t understand this, so I’m not going to make it any easier for you to understand it either.
There is also this two-dimensional man called Humphrey, who I do sort of remember.
One man just stands there with a big clown, going “wobble wobble.”
These people have been told to “find a space”, and then just do the first thing that comes into their drug addled minds.
We watched this as children.
The Dot Stop
Unanimously thought of as the most terrifying and shit of all the stops. Even the girl who announces “It’s the Dot Stop” sounds bitterly disappointed.
Dot is a frightening mute woman. I’ll tell you what Dot is. Dot is Mr fucking Tumble.
Because Dot is a mute, the only sounds are an occasional command from the narrator, and a random assortment of squeaks and bangs. I feel sorry for blind people watching the Dot Stop. Shut your eyes and it’s like a song written by Yoko Ono.
There are different Dots. Perhaps Dot regenerates every once in a while, like Doctor Who? ‘Dotctor Who’. Shut up.
The Roundabout Stop
This is a roundabout made from cardboard or something, and some puppets, and 60,000 presenters all sit there and think about that time they auditioned for RADA.
This one is about Winter. Do you remember when we had Winter? It’s been banned now, along with sugar and words.
There’s a mop with a hat on. They’ve given it a name and everything.
Budget for this episode – 1p.
One of the puppets has got a mulberry bush to keep them all warm. How does a mulberry bush keep you warm, I hear you ask?
Apparently the answer is ‘you dance around it’, instead of my guess, which was ‘set it on fire’.
The Why Bird Stop
Why Bird is the Godfather of Playdays, as I’m sure you’re all aware. She lives in the lost property office, next to a computer that makes fart noises.
In this one, Whybird and her helper are making disguises. Whybird’s disguise is apparently that of “a very rich person”. The disguise consists of a hat made out of Woman’s Own.
Poppy the cat has turned up. No one I spoke to likes Poppy. She sounds like a Liverpudlian that constantly has someone standing on her foot.
Poppy and Why Bird sing a song about swapping ears with other people. Amazingly, I haven’t started drinking yet.
There are lots of crossovers on Playdays. Please, no one do slash fiction of this show, I couldn’t handle that.
The Playground Stop
A load of kids get together and have a better time than the viewers, who are sat watching Playbus. The two stand-out features of the Playground stop are that sometimes it’s presented by Dave Benson Phillips, and that it features singing puppet Lizzie –
I have memories of being a huge Lizzie fan when I was little. However, further research has led me to wonder if it was actually TV-am’s ‘Mad Lizzie’ I was obsessed with:
I guess you’ll never know, or care.
The Poppy Stop
Poppy is a cat with a lot of problems, judging by her haggard appearance. I can’t find any episodes of the Poppy Stop so I can’t comment too much. I assume she dicks about with humans and sings songs about colours and shapes, before pissing on the furniture.
Poppy replaced the Tent Stop from 1995-1997. I didn’t watch it by then – I was busy listening to Radiohead and writing shit poetry.
I’ll leave you with the theme tune, because earworm.