One of our sets yesterday was a kids workshop. There’s an entire area at the festival for children. The person on before us was impressively lively for 930 in the morning. At the end of his spot he threw a bucket of custard over himself and the children roared and squealed with laughter. I was wrestling with whether I admired this man’s commitment to entertaining children, that he would seemingly happily douse himself in custard for their amusement, or whether I pitted him for his life choices. Still, I suppose there are some people who feel ground down by the monotony of their dead-end jobs, and they are considered to be “normal”, well-adjusted adults, whereas this man spends a couple of hours a day making silly noises and throwing custard over himself and gets the reward of seeing and hearing joyous, ecstatic children. So who’s really the mad one? Arguabley this man is more liberated than the majority of us.
I wonder whether he gets sad though knowing that one day the very children who once found him hilarious eventually turn their backs on him, finding him too immature and simplistic for their tastes. Or maybe he’s happy in the knowledge that there will always be children to entertain and impress, and he’s not in it to gain a long-term fan base.
I certainly wouldn’t be able to do his job. There’s no way I’m getting covered in gloopy liquid for anyone, unless maybe there’s an orgasm at the end of it. And even then, obviously the context would have to be very different, and certainly wouldn’t involve being stood on stage in front of lots of children; I thought I’d better make that clear.
Again, like with the pissing dog-lady, how do you get into a job like that? Did he wake up one day and think, “I’m fed-up with being a banker. Everyone hates me, and I’m feeling depressed. But what else can I do? Banking is all I know.” Perhaps he was grappling with this dilemma whilst eating dessert with his family, and being so distracted in his thoughts, he accidentally knocked over the custard bowl, which drenched him. His instant reaction was annoyance, but then he looked up, and through his custard spattered eyes he saw his children laughing hysterically at what had just happened. He hadn’t seen them this happy for months; he’d been such a miserable bore to live with.
So shocked and moved was he by their reaction that he refilled the custard bowl and proceeded to pour it over his head. His children howled with laughter. He felt so good. He couldn’t remember when he’d last felt this happy. Come to think of it, it was probably the last time he’d been covered in custard, but let’s not go into that here.
He opened some more custard tins and poured them into the bowl, which he dramatically poured over his head, this time adding a series of silly noises. His kids fell to the floor clutching their chests in fits of hysterical laughter. His wife was so moved by her husband’s sudden and surprising transformation that she didn’t even mind the fact that there was custard covering her new carpet. She couldn’t remember when she’d last seen him this happy. Come to think of it, it was probably the last time she’d seen him covered in custard, but as I said before, let’s not go there; I wish you’d stop trying to make me talk about that, you dirty animals.
He continued to experiment with different pouring techniques, and noises, until he’d entirely exhausted his custard supplies, at which point he went to the shop, and bought a vat of custard. His kids had told all their friends about their hilarious dad and the custard routine, and consequently he found himself being hounded by children, asking him to perform it for them. And he was only too happy to oblige. Of course the kids loved him, but their parents weren’t too sure. When they heard about the man who covered himself in custard and entertained children, they were more than a bit suspicious. After all, the man in question was a high-flying banker. He was the reason why they’d all had to pinch the pennies for the last few years, and now he was luring their children to him for highly circumspect reasons. But when the parent’s saw what was actually going on, and saw that it was merely a harmless bit of kid’s theatre, they immediately forgave him for his financial transgressions. They booked him to do children’s parties. The banker quit his job and spent all his life savings on custard.
Sorry, I got a bit carried away there, and have essentially spent over 500 words writing a fictional story based solely on the final minute of a children’s entertainer’s act. I think it’s safe to say that I’m definitely in no position to call anyone else mad.
Observing the children’s uproarious reaction to the man’s custard-covering finale, we were a bit nervous about having to follow such a clearly successful performance. We didn’t have any custard or any props with us at all. We were just planning on singing a few funny folk songs and telling a few stories, which let’s face it, isn’t anywhere near as exciting for kids as a man covering himself in custard. There wasn’t any time to change course now though, as we were straight on, and we didn’t have time to go out and get emergency custard supplies. The children did seem to enjoy our act, and a few of my jokes got some laughs from the kids, but I’d be a fool to think I could rival the custard routine. Still, we probably got paid the same as he did, and we didn’t have to cover ourselves in custard, so who’s the real winner?
Just two more days and two more gigs to go before we head back home. It’s been a really amazing tour. Let’s just hope we don’t manage to bugger it up right at the end. I’ll keep some tins of custard in my accordion bag just in case our final performances start to flounder and need redeeming by an emergency custard routine. Michael’s got a dog costume, which he can put in his guitar case. He had it long before he saw the pissing dog-lady, but it might turn out to come in handy for a different reason to its originally intended purpose, which I’m not going to divulge now, as much as you might want me to, Chloe. If you see a YouTube video of Michael rolling around the floor in a dog costume, spraying a water pistol between his legs to recreate a pissing effect, while me and Sean pour custard over ourselves, then at least you’ll now know why. Fortunately, we haven’t had to resort to any of that yet, and the audiences have been seemingly very enthused by what we do. And I’m also getting quite a few more Dollop readers and listeners from Australia since we’ve started gigging here, although that might not still be the case once they realised that my blogs are about pissing dog-ladies, vegan porn stars and fictional stories about bankers covering themselves in custard.