Most cities these days are equipped with something called a splash park. Splash parks are rubber-padded, open-air water fountains in which little kids can frolic on a hot summer's day.
When I was a girl we had a Slip-and-Slide. This was basically a series of bin liners fused together and sprinkled with water so that we could throw our bodies along the chute like human bowling balls. In order to get enough speed, we'd place the apparatus on a slope, but were too impatient to de-rock the area, so the Slip-and-Slide offered the same sensation as careening face-first down a mound of hypodermic needles-only less safe and more painful.
For obvious reasons, the splash park has replaced the Slip-and-Slide. Since splash parks are used by the general public, they often attract various characters. Here are six children you'll meet at the splash park.
Charlie Chicken Nugget
Charlie has mistaken the park for KFC and soaks himself in a brine of stagnant water and then rolls around in a coating of sand like a piece of fried chicken. His hair has absorbed more debris than a night-time nappy and his crevices will continue to hide sand until The End of Days.
Eddie squats over a jet of water and just lingers as if it were his own personal bidet. His misplaced pride in his squeaky clean colon is clear as he insists on making overconfident, unwavering eye contact with each passer-by.
Her parents have come from their stately manor in the countryside to see how the city plebeians live. Polly is dressed in the same bonnet and baptism frock Prince George wore at his christening. Her mum is trying hard to capture a photograph of Polly's first encounter with both a fountain and a poor person. Unfortunately, the picture is inevitably ruined because of a photo bomb by...
Sally skips around the playground wearing nothing but a Burberry cap. Her parents don't notice because they are too busy arguing loudly about who left the 55-inch flat-screen TV switched on at their council estate. You have seen more dignity on a Jerry Springer panel.
Andy is in his underpants because his parents came to the splash park totally unprepared. They didn't pack a swimsuit, sunscreen, or snack because they go through life just "winging it". They are the same people who take 30 minutes in the ASDA checkout line because it never occurred to them to have their bags and payment method ready upon completing their shopping. This same laissez-faire parenting style will eventually turn Andy Underpants into...
He is too old to be playing in this arena, but lacks self-awareness and has decided to use the park as a place to practice his aim with a water gun. His target: toddlers. Where are his parents? Does he even have parents? And how the hell is he already growing a moustache at age 11? You don't have time to answer these questions because he has begun to spray your unassuming two-year-old and she is crying. You scoop up your child, wag a shaming finger in the general direction of his moustache, and leave the park.
You are now mentally exhausted and swear off public places until next summer-which works out well, since summer in Britain only lasts the one day anyway.