Monday, May 25, 2009

Explosive bags of joy

Growing up in London gives a young boy a dangerously high sense of expectation.

Every cinema has to have 54 screens; every ice cream van has to have eight kinds of green syrup; every McDonald's has to have a jungle jim the size of the international space station.

The norms of the Quaint English Childhood become so assumed that when this infantile house of cards is knocked away, and a 13-year-old boy is uprooted from Ilford to Feohanagh, it can be quite the culture shock.

Jaggy-legged farmers with glass eyes wandering the cattle paths of yore aside, Ireland's greatest oddity is its dodgy theme parks.

Compared to Alton Towers, the generic Irish rollercoaster is as impressive as a Mick Flavin sortie into ensemble hip hop.

It is with tepid joy, therefore, that The Board greets the news that Funderland will be de-camping to Groody after a five-year absence from Limerick.

Is it possible to get excited by rickety bumper cars, wave after wave of barbaric neon and an overall sense of tacky inadequacy? The answer is yes. Very much so.

Unlike The Board, the skittish young people of Limerick have little frame of reference for what a proper theme park should be (i.e. good), and as such will be bags of explosive joy for the two weekends Funderland will be in Limerick. Hooray for that.

The Board, however, will remain a dismissive cynic secretly dying inside because he is too tall to go on rollercoasters anymore.

We all have our crosses to bear.

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