Spent the most Appalling evening last Friday at the Annual Road Safety and Travelwise Quiz, County Final.
Went with Middle Son and a few other children from our school, plus parents, traipsing down to a nearby seaside town.
Had to arrive at 5.45.
Were told that Final wouldn't start until 7.00pm and that we could leave our children there for Registration while we went for coffee.
Yippee! we said.
Until we left venue. Looked up the road. Looked down the road. Looked round the corner and round the next one.
Middle of nowhere.
Coffee would be difficult.
In the Impossible Bracket, perhaps.
Wandered the grim streets until we found pub.
In desultory sort of way bought drinks and chatted for the hour we had to kill.
Back we went. Dragging our feet and Sulking.
And there the fun Really Started.
Waited for twenty five minutes in 'Foyer'. Hideous decor. Nothing to do.
Began to feel desperate with Boredom and the evening hadn't even started. Read small adverts for Car Valeting and Pizzas on grubby notice board in corner.
Had a mint. Jenny had brought some.
Finally were let in to Assembly Rooms.
Walked down aisle to find our seats. Those sort of seats that Snap Shut like a vice if you stand up, trapping tender flesh of thighs.
Sat down firmly in seats. Louise, on my right, began to have Serious Giggle Fit, when Simply Vast Individual sat down in front of her. Her view was Totally Obscured. She had to lean on my knee to see the stage. So she did. For remainder of evening.
A series of Very Dull Women went up on stage and proceeded to talk about Road Safety, Schemes, Partnerships, Leaderships, Forums.
Every one of them thanked all the rest of them. Someone else got up and thanked them all again. Someone else thanked all of us. Someone else thanked all the children.
We were prepared to Eat Our Feet with Boredom.
And then, finally, the Quiz Began!
Huge screens on either side of the theatre had the questions on them.
But, just in case we couldn't read, the Quiz master read them out.
Very. Very. Slowly.
100 children on stage had pads in their hands on which were letters A B C and D. Had to press the right one for each question.
Audience participation Nil.
Watched children pressing pads for an hour and a half.
Best Night Out Ever.
However, Howled with Laughter in Interval.
Quite a Dull Man got up on the stage. With the microphone.
Our bottoms were Numb with sitting so long on Hateful Seats.
We had run out of mints, our only fuel since lunch, and were beginning to find nothing to laugh about.
But then it all changed.
Our Dull Man spoke.
'Well,' he said, smiling Broadly. 'I think that we can all agree that this evening has been a Lot Of Fun.'
We fell apart with the most Appalling Bout Of Giggles.
Tissues were passed up and down the row. Louise on right was beside herself. Tears pouring down her face, she struggled to compose herself for a good ten minutes. Jenny, on my left, did her dirty old man laugh, wheezing and chuckling. Carolyn, at the end, kept us topped up with more giggles as she passed comments down the row, like she was handing out sweets.
Torture it was.
At least fifteen minutes passed before we had all settled back into the Stupor of Boredom once more.
Occasionally one of us would have a mini Laughette as we recalled the Fun.
Finally, finally, the evening was Done.
Lots of people, the same ones, got up on the stage again and thanked us all, and each other once more.
We all found our bags and waited until we could move.
Hell would be more interesting.
Row after row of children went up to collect simply Enormous Cups.
Flash! Photos! Hooray!
Needless to say, our children didn't win a Thing.
Some twenty two minutes later, after more thanks and congratulations, we were Allowed to Go.
Just a fifteen minute wait for our children to move from stage to foyer. And then Glorious Home.
Never has the sight of my bed been so appealing.
Never have I been more relieved to see my Husband.
On tucking up Middle Son, three hours after his normal bed time, I asked him,
'So, darling, did you enjoy yourself?'
'Yeah, cool,' he said, as he plugged in his thumb, and turned over on his side.
I left his bedroom speechless.
Sometimes, words do fail me.
Middle son thought that evening of Complete Hell was Cool.
Must take him o the Annual Knitting Competition one day.
See what he thinks of that.