Tuesday, 24 July 2007

To be continued

Shark, Squirrel and Tiger go off to track fairies in a wood, courtesy of the parks department. I don't go, actually. I've already drunk the contents of the thermos flask and read the newspaper down at the local kiddy theme park. So I drop them off, with Ermintrude, to do the fairy business without Grit. I go home and compose an email. To the parks department.

The email is prompted by the fact that when we get to the wood, an enormous queue is standing beside a sign that reads 'Today is a pre-booked event! If you have not booked you WILL be turned away!' But at this point, Grit is smug. I have paid a whopping amount of money to get Squirrel, Shark and Tiger onto the priority lists which mean we should be able to swank in there, shout 'we have passes!' and get straight in to the excellent activities organised by our wonderful parks department. (Hey, one of them might be reading.)

Only our names are not on the list. There is no Squirrel, no Shark, no Tiger. 'You have to book!' says the astonished parks lady.

Well, I think, not only did we turn up for this event 30 days early, I did speak on the telephone, twice, to someone who said they were part of the parks department. So that's what I say. I say I have booked, on the telephone, and I have bought passes. 'Passes?' says lady parks. 'Are there real passes? I venture. 'Only we haven't received anything'. I do not say that actually I posted an empty envelope to you, and got a nice letter back, asking me if I'd like to send a cheque.

At this point, with the queue beginning to lengthen, and the dawning realisation that this one might take longer to unpick than fifteen seconds, nice lady parks waves us through, and Bal, the local storyteller, shuffles his feet, and looks like he might need to muster another group, quickly.

And I've sent the email to the parks department, outlining my confusions, and booking us into everything all summer long. It's bounced.

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