Storm clouds hang heavily over our little enterprise at the moment.Audiences are conspicuous by their absence and receipts are falling.
The Latvian juggler recently had to be paid in ten and twenty pence pieces from the toffee apple stand. Having seen his act more times than I care to remember, I would say it would make more sense to pay him IN toffee apples.
There is a school of thought that says people need a laugh and some thrills in tough times. What they didn't factor into the equation is the fact that the only time there are "thrills" in THIS establishment is when there is an accident.Such thrills usually end in a flashing blue light receding into the night and more lurid headlines in the local press.
As for the laughter bit, while everyone needs a good laugh when times are hard, paying for the dubious privilege of engaging in outright mockery is regarded by most folk as an indulgent extravagance.
Embarrassingly, I seem to be exempted from the rash of economies taking place at Pettigrew's just now. Au contraire, by contrast with the rest of my fellow, mummers, chancers and clowns, money has been positively splurged on me in the last seven days.
The tricycle that I use in our act ground to a halt when one of the back wheels sheared off right in the middle of the proceedings the other night. Mind you, it got a bigger laugh than anything else we did. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I have been furnished with a brand, spanking new tricycle that plays snatches of "Greensleeves" when I press the bell which, admittedly, can cause confusion when the children in the audience line up in an orderly manner for ice cream before our "fifteen minutes of fun" is over.
Also, following my ongoing problems with chaffing caused by the lederhosen, I have now been attired in spangly shorts and a gold lame waistcoat. I must admit that I felt a bit of a fool at first (which is, of course, what I am paid to be) but the combined effect of my sporty new trike and the sequins on my shorts sparkling in the circus lights is really rather spectacular and I have started to enjoy being at the centre of things.
I have heard mutterings that I am getting above myself and becoming a bit of a prima donna. I deny this of course. Anyway, how do you maintain a low profile while parading around in a gold lame waistcoat and spangly shorts.
AUNT SALLY A Mr. G BROWN, of 10 Downing Street says: I take great offence at being refferred to as a "SOCIOPATH" in your last posting. It's a bit much when I am bending over backwards to clean up the mess I made in the first place. Oops!............
Marcel says: "Bending over backwards, eh? We may have a vacancy for you......."
Pettigrew has us booked for Dunfermline, hometown of our own dear leader, Gordon Brown, who, if things get any worse for him (can they), may well be back on his home turf before we arrive.
If that, indeed, turns out to be the case, I hope he decides to pay us a visit, if only because I don't like to think of a "sociopath" with no means of diversion. You never know what they might be planning.
Shabby though our little Dunfermline Circus is, we should be able to keep his mind off things, even if only for a while.
There's the Great Vertigo and his high wire act.. He walks the length of his wire balancing a beach ball on his head while, somewhere in the background Fred Astaire warbles "there may be trouble ahead" on a scratched old 78. On second thoughts, that may only serve to remind Gordo of his own recent predicament.
There's always Bruno, our Latvian juggler. He prefers "They Call The Wind Maria" as his musical accompaniment. Presumably that's the same wind that keeps knocking his whirling plates off their poles. Apparently, the Circus would have turned a small profit last year if it hadn't been for all the china he smashed.
No, no, on second thoughts Bruno wouldn't do either. There are too many similarities between his act and Alastair Darling's "handling" of the economy.
There's always that "sweet little ginger nut", Candy, from our act, who tops off the evening by handling Bruno's balls. Now stop that you..............
What I mean is she does this twee little number where he throws little red and blue rubber balls at her and she throws them right back.
That's it! No skill. No panache. No doing it blindfolded or backwards and over her head or anything like that. Just back and forth, back and forth....... like some quietly demented tennis game for people who cannot handle excitement.
All the time she's doing it she has this mad, fixed grin plastered over her features. It's unearthly. No, wait. We can't have that. It would remind him of ...........Hazel Blears! He may be the worst P.M. since the invention of the wheel but I would not wish that even on him.
No, I very much fear that if it's a powerful and lasting diversion that he is in need of, there is only one thing that will do. He'll have to have a Jumbo Fish Supper with an extra portion of pickled onions, followed by a deep fried mars bar and eat it on a shaky bus going home!!!! The ensuing two days of vicious indigestion will probably be enough to ensure that he forgets he ever was P.M.
A MR. Tutti Del Frutti (of Sam and Ella's Golden Fryer, Dunfermline)says:
If a dat bum comes in my place I'll give him a Jumbo Supper all right......and dat deep fried mars, and dat.....red pudding I been trying to get rid of since the Falklands and dat jar with the boiled egg that gone purple wid green stuff floating in the bottom and....and
Marcel says: Enough. Enough. Now wash your hands thoroughly and get me a packet of peanuts! Anyway, I said diversion - not olivion!