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Thursday, 26 July 2012

Banana Splits

Ok so it's been a while. Not just writing but also posting. I've been working on a few things but slowly....and mostly weekly newsletters and match reports for the cricket clubs! I have finally found some time to contribute to the Weekend Writing Challenge and took - banana skin as the topic for this week! Here is my 'bit'.

How had it come to this? A rain soaked summer had left his Prospero postponed and his Demetrius drenched whilst in July two of the Merry Wives of Windsor had been washed away! Daniel’s outdoor Shakespeare season was an unmitigated disaster but nothing compared to this. With bills to pay and plays cancelled left right and centre he was delighted that the agency had come up with an acting job. Then to find out it was not only acting but television, well, he dared to dream – could this be the big time? What he hadn’t envisaged was stomping around a sweltering studio as a singing, dancing banana surrounded by babbling foam-headed children’s TV characters and quite possibly the nation’s worst behaved six year olds.

‘Let me just get this right’ Daniel panted, ‘after I finished the song, you want me to try the splits?’

‘Pretty much Danny boy. Oh this time give it more spajazzle will you?’ enthused the director. The fact the director looked like he was just out of nappies riled Daniel just slightly less than being called “Danny boy” and slightly more than his propensity to invent words in every other sentence. Apparently “spajazzle” was a mixture of sparkle and jazz. Daniel fought the urge to tell the obnoxious chap to “pizoffle” and returned to his mark.

By the fourteenth take things were getting not only ridiculous but outrageously hot. When his head emerged, red faced and saturated in sweat he was hardly recognisable compared to his Malvolio last year in Hyde Park.

‘Just focus on the money, focus on the money’ he chanted under his breath, casting his mind back to the cluster of red topped bills scattered across the kitchen worktop. ‘It’s all about the money, money, money’ he deliriously sang.

‘Right we’re nearly there’ interrupted enthused Vince the writer, a veteran of such hits as “The Bumbles in Toyworld” and the irritatingly infantile “Gagoo Gogaa”. It was no wonder people derided the hopes for our species mused Daniel. ‘Just one more go eh Francis?’ The director nodded and attempted to organise the chaos.

‘Okay okay places people. Can we get those kids the fruit again please?’ it was like watching a man herding cats and provided welcome amusement as well as a rest of Daniel as he looked on from the wings. ‘James take that peach out of your pocket, thank you. Will someone please ask Michelle to stop crying and play nicely? Get her the kitten again if you have to, excellent. Henrietta, what’ve you done with your banana? No darling your banana that’s your leg. The banana sweetie? No? Never mind, a new banana here please someone.’

Exhausted Daniel trudged back to his mark before taking a lung full of air and donning the head of his tortuous costume. As he waited for his big moment he swallowed down the burgeoning rage not to mention his pride, quelled the irritation at the inane lyrics and annoying tune and prepared to burst on to stage to deliver the closing verse.  Daniel struggled to stay in character; he was a serious method actor after all, as the brats adorned with fake, gap-sprinkled grins and bright eyes, fuelled by a constant conveyor belt of chocolate and e-number laden fizzy pop raced about belting out the song. Finally his moment arrived and he skipped onto stage, front and centre, bursting into a frenzied wail.

‘Apples peaches pears and strawb’rries if you want to thrive.
And don’t forget bananas ‘cause then you’ve got five.
So now we’re fit and healthy we can go out to play,
Singing our Fruity Booty song the Fruity Booty way!’

As Daniel flung his arms out with as energetic a set of jazz-hands as ever seen in children’s television he strode forward. Unbeknownst to him Henrietta’s banana, or rather the leftover end and skin, had re-emerged at the most inconvenient time.

Despite the extra £500 paid to him for not only managing the splits but also an impromptu high-note that really “sold the whole meaning of the song” and his “commitment to the Fruity Booty Bunch” Daniel couldn’t help but feel rather sick. As he hobbled home, tears still trickling from his eyes, there was a feeling in the pit of his stomach that he had in some way sold out on his chosen career path and, perhaps, it was time to look for something a little more sedate until the autumn castings came about.