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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The Magic of the Purple Suit

I made the mistake of returning to the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest shopping mall today. It was, incidentally, the same day that Barney the Dinosaur was scheduled to make his appearance.

Walking through the mall was like trying to swim against the tide during a Cape storm in the midst of winter. I was met by wave after wave of parents with their little human counterparts, each wearing the same large-eyed spellbound expression, some with their fingers in their mouths.

Each seemed to be thinking the same thing. “He’s here.”

The tide was headed in the same direction so I followed suit. It was fruitless to resist. Besides, the only way for me to reach my destination was to brave the food court and it seemed like that was where the action was going to be taking place. I had no choice.

The crowds circled the main stage in their droves, most of them reaching no taller than my hips. An announcer began talking over a loudspeaker which was followed by an expectant silence. The multitude of excited, unbelieving little faces all stared ahead waiting breathlessly while their parents gave each other aggrieved nods and fixed smiles.

And suddenly there he was. A man in a familiar-looking purple suit hopped up and down the lit stage with his arms outstretched, a warm smile painted on his larger-than-life face. It seemed as if the whole of Canal Walk exploded into a frenzy of screams and giggles as he bounced from side to side. He stared at no child in particular but I’m sure in each and every one of their hearts, he was looking right at them.

Then the music started and then the singing and I walked away, thankful that I had somewhere else to be. A person can only take so much Barney.

I’m pretty sure that Father Christmas wouldn’t have received the same reception.

 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    December 22nd, 2008 @15:07 #
     
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    Aaaaaagh! Pure evil in a fuzzy purple casing! If my daughter even thinks of getting in to Barney, I'm sending her back.

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  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    December 22nd, 2008 @15:40 #
     
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    It was like the Children of the Corn out there. They all had the same glazed expression, like it was Harry Potter himself come down from Hogwarts come to pet them on the head. You cant fight that Lauren. You just cant.

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