Show Time

               “Please could you help me, I am looking for gate two” I asked a lady in a high vis jacket

               “No” she replied “there is only gate one and gate seven”.

               “My colleague has just called to say he is by gate two” I tried.

               “Your colleague is wrong, it is only gate one or gate seven”. The lady in the high vis jacket was not in a good mood.

               “Only one or seven? That doesn’t make sense” I said, to nobody in particular, as she walked off.

               This was the start of my day at the agricultural show. I had been sent by work, armed with a load of leaflets to try and spread the word about the care home I have been working for. My boss gave me specific instructions not to bother with anyone under 50 or who ‘look like riff-raff’.

               After finally finding my colleague (who actually was at gate two), I was taken to our stall which was in the trade section between somebody who made miniature ceramic animals and a company who specialised in hydration products for dogs. Apparently, water bowls are very last season…

£12.50 for half a pizza – I’d better start saving.

               Considering admission to the agricultural show was £25 per person (not including parking) and there was a long line for people to get a vegan burger for £9.50, it was fair to say that there wasn’t a lot of ‘riff-raff’ present. Rather designer wellington boots and sports cars were the order of the day.

               As time went on, I realised that for somebody in the process of choosing a care home, an agricultural show may not be the first place they go for information. I noticed that one of our competitors had a stand too, so I went along to see how they were getting on. I feigned interest and took one of their gift bags. Alongside all the glossy brochures I got a small box containing a piggy bank. Considering they charge £1200 per week, a free piggy bank seems a little unsubtle.

                During another lull in proceedings, I went to have a look at the pig show. The creatures were being paraded around and I later found out that ‘best pig in show’ was the award being competed for. The announcer, however, was not happy. Over the PA system to the whole showground, we heard “Ladies and gentlemen, you will notice, the trainers are all well-groomed, except for Kevin. I would advise Kevin to spend more time with his wife and not spend all night with Michelle if he is serious about winning”.

I know how it feels…

               On my way back I noticed a company specializing in ‘freshwater extraction’, a health food stand being staffed by two people eating chips and a van charging £12.50 for half a pizza. It made me think I am in the wrong business.

When I got back to work, the boss asked ‘did you manage to get rid of all the materials’?

               “Yes” we replied truthfully (omitting the fact that much of it went in a skip).

               “Great, I’ll sign you up for the next one in a few weeks”.

               “Oh good” I sighed.

At least I will be able to find out the latest on the Kevin/Michelle/Wife/Pig scenario. Perhaps I could pitch it to ITV, it could be a nice Sunday night drama. I could play the announcer or (more likely) the pig.

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