Sunday, November 07, 2004

they drive by night

Do you ever wonder where 'fair people' live? Maybe they live near you. Maybe you're all 'fair people'.

Each year the Family Backroads ventures to the village bonfire and firework display and last night was no different. As always, a small fair accompanies the goings on. It's nothing much... Hook a Duck, a little Ghost Train, a few Roundabouts, a couple of DogBurger stands and the obligatory Ice Cream van.

Wandering round the fair after watching the fireworks... (we seem unable to tell a story with fireworks in this country don't we? When you see displays abroad there's light and dark, the sense of gentle build up leading to a momentous crescendo. Over here it goes SHOCK AND AWE, b i g g a p, MORE SHOCK AND AWE. a n o t h e r b i g g a p, MORE SHOC... oh, it's finished.) ... I notice the same faces. Not the locals, but the people running the stalls. They walk in an endless circle around their little stalls handing out prizes, collecting money, arbitrating between skriking kids and obstreperous chavs, always wearing the same world weary expression whilst sucking the living death from a Berkeley Light.

They dip in and out of filthy denim pouches, giving out tokens, making change. In many cases, lashed to the corner of the stall is a 1960s Silver Cross style pram complete with witless staring infant, sucking the living death out of a grubby dummy and absorbing the job description by osmosis...getting ready to man the stall from around 2020 onwards.

After the fair, no-one thinks about the fair people. This morning, looking over at the Rec, they're all gone... back to a little Brigadoon where it's always Bonfire Night for somebody.