Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Jump! Monkey boy, jump!

Renaissance man or clockwork orange man
At the renaissance fair there was a wonderful game where a boy (or a man in some cases - I'm afraid that I did not see any ladies trying it, which is just as well or else I would have had to avert my eyes!) tried to get to the top of a pole and retrieve a little bag. If he managed it then it that he had won a prize. Originally it was greased with fat - thus 'climbing the greasy pole'.

An ungreased pole.
Note the bags half way down.
They were hoist high when the boys of Chavagnes waged war!
Like many things in life it seemed so simple, just a little pole, and our boys are quite agile - especially when it comes to escaping from conduct detention.

So when they saw the pole, they thought that this was going to be a walk in the park. Well it was a walk in the park at a euro a throw, but, hey when you have a chaplain abroad with money to burn in his pocket, then life is your lobster. Or something.

The one who we thought was our prize pole climber
So groats dutifully handed over the first of the monkey boys tried, and I have to say that he was our favourite. Well he tried manfully (for an eleven year old) but failed. I then had to go and find Mr Tyldesley, who had become mysteriously lost near the damsels in distress!



And in the intervening moments a new boy to the school had scooted up the tree and won a prize!

I had seen boy after boy fail, grown men weep, sadness disappointment and dispair in the eyes of the contestants.

Meanwhile to the victor the spoils.
I missed it because of having to rescue Mr Tyldesley from some damsels in distress.
What prize of glittering gold could there be for the vanquisher of such a formidable foe? What gain beyond compare?

It was a biro and a lolly pop.

A monkey boy

But forever those lines from the scriptures "Jump! Monkey boy, jump!" will mean a little more to me, and my life has been changed... in a renaissance way.
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