Before conceiving this foray into the theatrical world, I’d sneaked into the forbidden territory of the old man’s shed and made up a few wooden swords. Why it was forbidden is still a mystery, a total mess with rusty tools strewn amongst sawdust, iron filings and old paint tins. Making theatre props is way more dangerous than script writing but I managed to craft some passable swords without a scratch.
I must have been a bossy, precocious little boy because I somehow convinced the neighbourhood kids to help me out. We set up an old sheet as a curtain on the back veranda as it was a natural stage and I went into director mode.
We'd barely started scene one when Maid Marion, obviously bored with my crappy play, decided to investigate my caged budgie. This was the point in life in which I realized my priorities. What Maid Marion wanted was more important than …anything.
“Can I hold your budgie?”, “Your wish is my command”.
Budgie flew away and I watched my carefully crafted production descend into futile budgie chasing. Kids, including the fair maid, then buggered off home…..
Mother; “What’s this mess on the veranda? Clean it up” Old man comes home after an exhausting day feeding the seagulls.
“You let the bird escape? Do you know how much it cost?” Pocket money confiscated…my Airfix Spitfire postponed for the eternity of a week.
The Shakespearian prodigy decided that this thespian bollocks was too dramatic and sacrificing budgies and spitfires for Maid Marion, was a mugs game.
He eventually made a living trying to cage budgies.
So the budgies are Boeings and Airbuses and the cage a piece of promulgated airspace but the analogy works for me. Escaped budgies in air traffic control can ruin your day almost as much as it did for Robin Hood.