My husband, Dynamo, Sausage and I went on a magical mystery tour yesterday. At least that’s what we’re calling it. It was actually a humungous shemozzle, but the kids enjoyed it.
P’s sister’s daughter attends a Special School in town. The Lion’s Club of WA had donated a lot of tickets to a show called Razz-Ma-Tazz to the school, but no one seemed to want them, so she got some for our family as well as hers. We none of us really knew what the show was. We just knew that it was on at the Perth Convention Centre on that date at that time – that was the info on the ticket.
We figured it was school holidays, something to do, so off we went. I’d insisted that P could drive. The Convention Centre is right in the busiest part of the city and it’s a nightmare of buses, one-way streets and off-ramps that take you unexpectedly onto the freeway system. Sure enough, when we got to the Centre, there were no entrances on the side we approached and no way to get to the other side without a long circular tour of the CBD (carefully avoiding off-ramps).
Eventually we found the street that ran directly into the Convention Centre’s big underground car park. One problem – the big sign saying ‘full’. We were told we could wait for maybe five minutes, maybe an hour, until a place became available, or we could take our chances somewhere else. So off we went again, finally finding a multi-story car park not too far away...a very expensive multi-storey car park.
At exactly the time the show was meant to start, we got to the door of the Convention Centre, only to be met by a very apologetic young man who told us that someone had made a mistake on the tickets. The show was actually at the Perth Concert Hall, a kilometre back up the road. But there was a shuttle bus to take us there and back. So we got on the shuttle bus, which was full of babies, kids in wheel-chairs and peeved looking grown-ups, plus myriad mosquitoes, and we waited...and waited...and waited.
The bus did try to go. It’s a wonder the engines didn’t blow up the way the driver revved them, but we didn’t move a centimetre. Then the driver of the bus behind got on and suggested we might go better if we put the ramps (used to get the wheelchairs on) up off the ground. Obvious really. Except that they were jammed now from being pushed to move in the down position I guess.
So we all piled off the bus and onto the one behind. I’m sure we broke all the legal limits as to numbers of passengers on public transport, but off we went on another circular tour to the Concert Hall. Half an hour late for the show and somewhat disgruntled, we snuck into the back of the hall and took our seats.
The show? Well, all I can say is that the kids seemed to enjoy it – a ventriloquist/comedian, an acrobat (we missed most of his act) and a magician/Charlie Chaplin impressionist. They weren’t bad. If I’d only had to go to the local Town Hall and managed to see the whole show instead of only two-thirds of it, I might have really enjoyed it, especially the magician who managed to create a rather beautiful ‘blizzard’ as his finale. As it was, by the time we got home (having grabbed lunch at a rather expensive up-market cafe in the CBD before leaving), I’d decided never, ever, to accept free tickets to anything in Perth again.
The look on Sausage’s face when she looked up in the main business street and saw the skyscrapers for the first time in her life, might, just might have made the trip worth it. But we could have done that without the nightmare of the rest of the day.
PS. In a late edit - I should add here that this is in no way a criticism of The Lions Club (who were very generous) or the Razz-ma-tazz show people. The whole day just turned out to be a 'comedy' of errors. I should probably learn to be more grateful.