‘Penny for the Guy?’

'Penny for the Guy?'

Commercial Road Portsmouth outside the local coffee parlour stand a group of four teenage lads with their guys. All trying to charm a few pennies from the punters coming in and out of their chosen venue.

I watched with interest as this young mum accompanied by her little boy in his pushchair stopped alongside them. One of their group suddenly produced a balloon and quickly inflated it. I naturally assumed that this was being done as a gesture of kindness and that the balloon was going to be given to the little chap in the pushchair?

However this was not the case. It would appear that this was in fact to be used as a replacement head for one of their flat spindly horror masked little guys; each of which lay sprawled un-ceremoniously on the pavement beside them!

Now I can actually remember making guys as a kid around their age when we lived in a place called Hebburn in County Durham.

I spent ages sourcing old clothes from anyone who could help. These were then dutifully stuffed with an assortment of daily newspapers and straw. Then the ends of the jumper and trousers were secured by pieces of string or twine cut to size! I even recall fashioning a hat and spending ages making it a face before colouring it in and again sticking on more straw for the hair.

The guy was also life size in it’s proportions and substantial enough to be transported to each venue in our mums old pram.

People would smile and compliment the effort we all put in, and it was built to last. Right up until the night of the great bonfire in fact!

So proud of this guy was I, that when it came to hurling him onto the fire; I actually remember feeling almost sad at having sent him to meet his maker amongst the flames!
That’s why I was so impressed yesterday with the lady from ‘Matalan’ who appeared on my blog page and who had taken two hours to prepare her make up for Halloween. Such efforts really should deserve our acknowledgement!

I know that its easy to hark back to what we used to do; and how different it was then? However, we enjoyed taking a pride in the whole process of building the best guy possible and making it as lifelike as we could.

I will admit we cheated one time and actually dressed up a little mate then stuck him inside the trusty pram. Trouble was he got shook and prodded so many times by people who were not convinced that we had made him that he ended up walking home crying and still dressed up as a guy!

I will say this for these four little enterprising individuals though. They were all very polite and shared their pitch without any arguments.

As for their guys though?? Well I am convinced that they could have done better!
And just one final thought. In these days of equal opportunities why is there no ‘Penny for the Gal?” Now that might motivate these four lads to make more of an effort eh?

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