Friday, July 30, 2004
Who needs snow?
These are the steps of Portsmouth Guildhall, where I got to see such paragons of entertainment as Roy "Chubby" Brown and Australian rock band Thunder (you know they rock because they have a bloke named "Snake"). I should point out that I got into both of those shows free. Next month it will play host to the Pompey Beer Festival.
The rest of the time, its steps serve as a place to sit on warm, sunny days and drink Sainsburys bitter whilst watching kids fail to master various skateboard tricks in the square.
Once, a group of kids got their hands on a number of those plastic pallets that supermarkets use for loaves of bread, and used them as sleds to power down the Guildhall steps. The kids were perfectly happy sledding from that middle bit, but after garnering sufficient cheap-beer courage, I asked to give one of the sleds a try and trekked to the very top of the steps.
I was a little big for the sled -- I had to press my knees into my chest. And sitting at the top of the steps, I couldn't seem to scoot myself over the edge.
"Give me a push, will ya?" I said to one of the kids.
I think I immediately recognized this as a very stupid thing to request -- hey, kid, push the drunken American down the steps -- but it was too late. I shot down the steps with such terrifying speed that I now feel like wetting my pants just thinking about it.