Yesterday a small boy with a big head approached me in the city square with a crumpled paper bag. ‘Would you like a Liquorice Allsort? I’ve already eaten six and I’ve just remembered I have a Big Delicious Lunch with my famous collection of socks in twenty minutes.’ I vaguely recalled his famous collection of socks from a recent magazine article, ‘Footwear That Have Started Up Successful Small Businesses and Now Can Afford Big Delicious Lunches.’ I believe this particular collection of socks had invented the Upside Down Bus Ticket – a hilarious prop, which could be used to provoke silence and throat clearing in almost any situation.
I myself had not lunch for several days now, due to General Forgetfulness - who had many medals pinned to his bulging chest, but could not recall what most of them were for - and General Loss Of Appetite - who appeared on my doorstep and stood in front of the fridge after I witnessed a man devour 46 hotdogs and half a pineapple at a recent family function. The fashion in which his teeth grated against the rind as he devoured the final quarter of pineapple was particularly alarming. Why I sat there at the picnic table for the 62 minutes and watched, I’ll never know. There probably wasn’t anyone interesting to talk to.
General Loss Of Appetite was suddenly called off to an altercation between Admiral Struggles To Put Sunglasses On Other People, and Sergeant Needs His Sunglasses Put On Right Now And By Another Person And If It Is Not Done Correctly First Time He Will Cause An Altercation, and so my answer to the child was ‘Yes. Please.’
As my teeth sunk into the liquorice’s dark corrugations, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed an elderly gentleman constructed entirely of Liquorice Allsorts looking rather forlorn. I offered him a barley sugar which luckily happened to be nestled in the dusty depths of my jacket pocket. He graciously accepted and his colourful face broke into a smile, which broke into the barley sugar. We then both spotted a small girl who was made only of sugar and barley. She had seen us. The Liquorice Man offered her a jube from a packet he had in his wonderfully textured aniseed vest, but a teenage lad covered in jubes took offence. I passed him a musk stick discovered stuck to the bottom of my shoe, just as a slender, pink man approached and raised a fist as if to strike the young chap. (He hardly resembled a musk stick – it must have been unrelated matter.)
The Barley Sugar Child quickly popped a chocolate freckle or two - I was uncertain, as I was several metres away at the time and had left my spectacles in General Loss Of Appetite’s glove box – into Slender, Pink Man’s mouth. He was then approached by a dog covered in Hundreds and Thousands with his leg in a cast – we all felt terrible - and so on, and so forth. Mints, jelly babies, chocolate covered almonds, and lollypops; they all made an appearance that day in the city square. (Turns out the ‘I Look Like Food And Am Not Sure If I’m Happy With That’ convention was just down the road.)
I got all fifty of them together and we became a 32 piece band (there was a rigorous audition process) named Lolly Bag and The Contents. I was the bag as my physique at the time quietly resembled one. I had not attended the gymnasium for some time. I threw them some guitars, drums, a stick with bottle caps nailed to it - there weren’t quite enough proper instruments for everybody, some just held hands. The Slender, Pink Man demanded that his instrument be repeatedly punching the Teenager Made Of Jubes – said something about him stealing his wife’s car. And we travelled the world singing songs about Desserts and Plastic Packaging.