OK, so, I’m on my third glass of red wine. And it’s a Thursday. And I’m making no apologies. When you know why, you surely would tell me to insert a couple of straws into the rest of the bottle and sink into sensory oblivion.

I have spent four hours of my life in the throes of non-rapture, non-fun, non-desire, non-fucking-anything-other-than-sadistic-pseudo-masochisitc-dubious-pleasure.

Yes. I was at a pantomime. In the company of around 500 children. Ranging in age from five to twelve. A joy. It was not!

I will never have those hours back again. But, if I did, I would have my legs waxed or deliver a baby or two. Or insert hot wires up my nose. Get my drift?

I have seen The Wizard of Fucking Oz several times in my life. At no point did it ever feature excerpts from ‘Grease’…..’we go together like shanga-a-lang-a-ding-de-ding-de-dong’ or whatever the ‘words’ are that I so cannot be arsed looking up. It never at any time had ‘Uncle Sam’ come on and give us a rousing chorus of ‘I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandee’. Nowhere that I can recollect did cowboys make an entrance and perform several ho-down, shoot-em-up numbers. I don’t even remember there being cowboys. There certainly was no one, in my foggy memory, asking ‘what did the fox say?’ Who gives a fuck what the fox said? Well, apparently five hundred children did. ‘Cos they stood and shouted/sang from the top of their lungs whatever the feck it was the fox might’ve/should’ve/could’ve said.

Add to that the multitude of opportunities provided by those kind actors to involve the children in their masterpiece and you have screams of ‘Oh, yes he did!!!!!!!!!’ or  ‘Oh, no he didn’t!!!!!!’ depending, of course, on whether ‘he’ did or didn’t. Sacred heart of all that’s holy………….

What is this phenomenon that is the pantomime? Or, in common parlance, the panto?

Is there another country in the world that feels the need to subject teachers/parent helpers/parents/grandparents/whoever-has-the-misfortune to this annual audio-visual assault on the senses?

Seriously. Is there? Is this a British phenomenon? And, if it is, why is it? At this point, I should probably google the answer but, honest to god, I cannot be arsed.

My brain is only coming down from the experience. I am still mentally calculating how many times  six year olds actually need to go to the toilet. I mean really need as opposed to, ‘I feel like a walk/would like to check out the toilets here’.

I also took a snack of jelly babies with me. And I feel a bit sick. What the fuck was I thinking? Jelly-fecking-babies? What possessed me? Must have had a momentary throw-back to my plooky youth and thought, ‘What the feck!’

So, yes, pantomimes.

And now I can hear my six year old in the room next door whingeing to her older 12 year old sister that, ‘it’s not fair!’ And, frankly, maybe it’s not but I don’t feel like investigating any more trivia today. Because most of the time what irks kids is trivia. Builds backbone. Thank god. That means that for most kids their lives are made up of the most trivial crap that it is possible to imagine. e.g. ‘He/she is looking at me. He/she said I was a loser. He/she said he/she wishes I went to a different school. And that I would die.’ Now, the last one I would deal with. Bit unkind that one.

But, god save us from trivia of the awful childish kind. Nope. There’s worse. There’s the god-awful trivia of the adult variety. Case in point. ‘This fucking job does my head in some days.’

Shiiiiit! Was that me? So, yeah, trivial complaints from me about a job that I love most of the time. But, fuck me, on a day like today, all I want to know is if anyone has a couple of straws? Really, ‘cos other wise, I’m taking it by the neck. Ho-Fucking-ho! And a merry panto season to you!