A few years ago, we bought tickets for Katie to go see the Wiggles. Unfortunately, that meant that we had to go too. To see Anthony and his geriatric mates jump around in spandex before getting carted out the back and taken straight to A&E.
Ha! No. I wish. The Wiggles. Hmmm. Where to start…
One of the many things you don’t realise is going to happen when you have a kid, is that you lose control of the TV. Having lived with my other half for a good ten years before we had children, I was used to having to watch some kind of crap now and again. Or I would just walk away, find a quiet spot and read a book.
Then Katie arrived. And we were still OK. We watched the odd box set, Grand Designs worked well, and whenever the Housewives of wherever came on, I’d take a hike. Like wise, Erin wouldn’t hang around when the Discovery channel was on.
Then, after a year or so, Katie somehow, surreptitiously took control of the TV. And someone, somehow, filled our house with Wiggles DVDs.
To begin with it was OK. But after a while, the ‘Everybody clap, clap clap clap’ got a bit fucking annoying. So I tried to broaden my daughter’s cultural horizons. Balamory was imported from Scotland; the Mr Men were purchased. Hi5 were given a try.
But nothing seemed to do the trick quite as well as the Wiggles. “Wake up Jeff” “Fruit salad, yummy yummy.” Fuck me I can remember it all.
Now we’re pretty good with the kids. We don’t just plonk them in front of the telly all the time. But sometimes, you just need a break, or you’ve got to get something done. And having a little one trail around makes it nigh on impossible to do anything. So the TV goes on. And the Wiggles go on, and eventually, it’s like the seventh circle of hell.
It’s a testament to how much I must love my daughter, that when I saw the Wiggles were going to be in town, I bought us all tickets.
I was actually looking forward to it.
At least I know all the songs, I thought. It’s always good when you go to a concert (of a bunch of losers who couldn’t cut it so decided to pitch their meagre talents to a demographic that might appreciate their shitey music) and you can sing along. With the two year olds…
But seriously. I was looking forward to it. Katie absolutely loved these guys. She was going to be so excited to see them live on stage, and I couldn’t wait to experience it with her.
The day arrived. We headed out to the enormous exhibition hall, full of excited families and little kids going freakin’ bananas.
Two steps out of the parking lot, and we hit the merchandising. A Dorothy the dinosaur was purchased. $25, I think. I can’t imagine it would have been any less than that. Anthony and his chums are the richest entertainers in Australia – out doing even Kylie Minogue. And you don’t get that rich without knowing how to screw people over.
Anyway, Dorothy in hand we progress to the auditorium.
Two steps through the front door, and we’re hit with a balloon seller. Although I wish it had been the other way around.
“Daddy daddy daddy!!!!”
“OK sweetheart. We’ll take a Dorothy balloon please.”
I take the large, helium filled metallic balloon, and the little weight required to stop it from taking off, and I hand them over to Erin.
“Thanks. How much is that?
And then she really hits me.
“What? Are you kidding?”
“No, yes they are a little expensive.”
“A little expensive!”
Fuck, I mutter under my breath as I prise $40 out my wallet to pay for a minute or two’s worth of fuel for Anthony Wiggle’s fucking boat.
Forty fucking dollars, but hey, to keep my wee daughter’s face lit up like that, worth it. Just.
Fuck, I mutter again as I turn around to see Erin standing there without a balloon in her hand. Katie’s mouth hangs open as she begins to utter a scream, almost as gut wrenching as the one I feel in my soul, as the large, helium filled metallic balloon floats to the ceiling of the enormous auditorium where the Wiggles are about to perform. Pfwooo….
I turn back around, take another $40 out of my still open wallet and hand it to the frightened looking balloon girl. Without a word she passes me another Dorothy, and a little weight that I tie to the ribbon before handing it over to Katie.
“There you go sweetheart. Let’s go see the Wiggles shall we?”
The fucking Wiggles.
Ten minutes was all she lasted. It was too loud.