Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Holiday fun

Tiger declares hunger strike.
Tiger refuses to eat. She wants to go home and she wants to go now. Starvation is the only way to get there. She alighted on starvation after everyone ignored her rolling around the sofa yelling I hate this place! I'm never coming here ever again! I hate Norfolk! I hate it because Pontins is here! Tiger, we all ignored you because inside, we were all there with you, rolling around screaming.

But we are not leaving. Because in the last 24 hours I have convinced myself that this is good for your education about British society. So lump it. I know your first experience of a night away from familiar surroundings and your own bed were the private rooms of the converted stables at the Great Park at Windsor, the Queen's estate. Here there were real sheets and blankets, and none of those fancy foreign continental quilts. There were corridors where entire rooms were given over just for playing table tennis and chess, and there were servants and a chef who came to ask if your coloured rice was orange enough while you were in the midst of a full dinner in gracious surroundings. Well Tiger, you know what? For most people, That's not normal.

And yes, I know Pontins stinks. Literally. The beds are like rocks. The carpet is walking around holding up its new disease so we all get to admire it. The kitchen has e-coli. But do you know what? I am not giving up.

OK, I admit I have to bite my lip and not yell I agree! For God's sake let's get out of here! Because Tiger, living on a run down council estate is part of how we must understand Britain today and the people in it, and believe me, there is worse to come. So I do not shout You have yet to walk through an underpass in Middlesbrough! No. I remain calm and say 'Tiger, there is PGL on this site because Pontins have subcontracted all amusement to them for a price, so do you want to go on the zip wire and quad bikes this afternoon? For that, and for you, money is no object. Good. Now eat your Shreddies'.

Tiger shouts obscenities through the window,
while Shark regards the advancing bedroom carpet.

Shark and Squirrel go swimming.
Shark says the pool is so cold she is looking for penguins. Squirrel says can she get out. I observe that if we are forced into a corner and have to tackle the lifeguard to escape, we will win. Easily. He's aged twelve. I wouldn't trust him to buy a ticket on a bus safely, let alone save my daughter's life in sixty centimetres of ice.

Grit observes the ladeez.
I don't have enough tattoos. I don't have a cigarette butt dangling from my lower lip. At size 12 on a good day, and size 14 on a fat arse day, I am still a willowing sylph. The minimum size you have to be is Planet Jupiter. Now I am not against fat as such, of course not, because it is good for a cuddle and I have enough of it padding round my rear end to insulate a small house over winter, but there is a point when it is too much. This morning I have watched it stagger from doorway to railing, wobbling blue and red and pimply, covered in home-made tattoos, then the owner lolls a lardy roll of it over a railing where it hangs there while another part of its blob sends out a hacking cough to all the inmates below, sucks on the first tobacco of the day and yells Fucking get in here! Now! Incidentally, that is possibly a chat up line.

We try the fun factory.
Do not, like us, think this is a kid's indoor playroom. This is a large darkened hall with grimy plastic chairs and tables arranged in regulation rows where you drink beer and play bingo. I would show you a picture of it, but at this point my camera covered its eyes and started screaming.

We all descend into Hell (located next to the shop).
I feel physically sick just thinking about this. In progressing from swimming pool to shop we must pass something resembling Las Vegas but without the sophistication. We cannot swiftly cross this particular circle of hell because the carpet is carefully designed so that our feet sucker to it. Slowly, but with rising nausea and developing panic attack that we may never get out alive, we make a gloop gloop progression towards clean air and daylight, sometimes feeling our way past the corpses propped up against the ping ping machines. At the entrance to this foul and stinking hole, one of the ladeez leans, feeding a slot machine with coins. She is there at 10am this morning. She is still there at 8pm this evening. She is no longer blinking. God help us all.

The family sticks together.

Tiger is zooming round on her quad bike. Shark and Squirrel are watching, and waving. Tiger suddenly crashes into the tyres bordering the track, which is pretty impressive because she ends up at a 45 degree angle, upwards. Nick, the instructor in charge of the bikes, sets her back on course and jocularly calls over to Shark and Squirrel 'Oi! Don't put her off!' Squirrel is inflamed with indignity and righteousness. Putting her off?! She was supporting her sister! YOU ASKED FOR IT. Squirrel grabs a handful of gravel and threatens to chuck it in the direction of Nick. Pebble dashing his face would be good. Shark flips her back on him and starts kicking up her foot to send up a meteor shower of gravel at his head. Nick, wisely, immediately surrenders with two outstretched palms that he cowers behind, then runs off. I apologise, and enter in the spirit of Pontins by offering to clip them both around the ear later. Quietly I think, yup, these three can rip each other apart, call each other all the worst names they know from all the universe, but you suggest in public they might not support each other and you are a dead man walking, matey. That is called sibling loyalty.

Blood is thicker than water. As we are about to find out.

But Dig may save us!

Pontins brings out the British officer class in Dig. He's taking all this with a lot of stiff upper lip. He has grown a handlebar moustache and was found earlier today at the back of the mini golf circuit shuffling soil about his feet.


Michelle said...

lol we've just got back from camping at a burial ground. It was bliss.

Very quiet ;-)

Samurai Beetle said...

Trying not to laugh as baby is finally asleep on my chest! Also, can Pontins be that bad if it has internet access?

Elibee said...

Tom Dick or Harry. This might help!


Pig in the Kitchen said...

oh no. It sounds like you are embroiled in a real-time car crash! I LOVE the lady resting her fat on the railings...i have to read the post before to understand why, WHY you are there!!!


Trevor said...

Pig-in-the-kitchen is right. It's just like watching a car-crash. You know it's going to be awful, and that people are going to get hurt, and that it's not at all funny, but you just can't look away.

In this case, of course, it IS funny. But only because it's not happening to me...

Good luck, if things don't improve I suggest letting Tiger have her head. Given a free rein I reckon she'll have you in a upgraded room with private facilities before you can say 'Who was that small, hungry looking girl chasing the camp director with what looked like a stuffed unicorn's head?'

Suburbia said...

OMG this sounds SO awful! I can't belive you managed to stay put. It sounds like the perfect sterio type holiday camp, almost unbelievable!!
Hope you are all in good health! ;)

Minnie said...

LOL!!! I knew you'd love it!!! xxx

I don't approve of the swearing, though!!...or the gloop hanging over the railing.

Anny said...

LOL! Great to know we were not the only ones with the same thoughts... Don't worry, now we can call ourselves "survivors".

Grit said...

hello folks! what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, eh?