I remember going to the Royal Show as a kid and loving every minute of it.
I couldn’t wait for showtime to role around each year. The rides, sideshow alley and show bags were my favourites.
However my parents would steer me towards the animal pavilions, the wood chopping and “interesting” demonstrations. Surprisingly it was among the animals I saw people living my dream.
While looking at a seemingly endless row of horses in their stalls we came to one stall that at first appeared to be vacant.On closer inspection instead of a horse, there were sleeping bags, a camp stove, thermos flasks and pie wrappers.
Then came the realisation. There were people actually living at the Show! How good was that? I even had visions of being a barker on the Tilt -O -Whirl (apologies to Cousin Eddie – Christmas Vacation).
Can you imagine going to the Show before it even began and being their every single day until, all too soon, it came to an end?
Well, I never got to sleep there let alone work alongside the “Laughing Clowns” in sideshow alley, but as news presenter for Channel 7 we often broadcast 7 News from a special purpose-built studio at the Showgrounds.
The gloss of being there every day quickly wore off. Even the donuts and hot chips started to wear thin (not so my waistline).
Inevitably the weather was wet and cold and we missed the airconditioned comfort of our regular news studio. No longer a hard-bitten on the road journo I longed for the more gentile form of news delivery.
But as they say “The show must go on.” Everybody who couldn’t get to the Show saw me as a easy mark and would ask me to pick up their favourite show bag in My spare time. “How many Bertie Beetle bags was that?”
My daughter took me back to my childhood a few years ago when she said “Gee dad you’re really lucky, you get to be at the Show everyday!”
Be careful what you wish for.