Article Archive

Acid Tongue 882 - A Fete Worse Than Death

Author: Dave Jory
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
I have some issues with kids, but in general I like their style.
I say this because I was recently roped in to a role as face painter at a school fete. This occurred due to a disastrous series of events and quite frankly I would’ve done almost anything to get out of it.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you can’t get out of everything. Sooner or later you’ll have to make good on a commitment.
So there it is, Sunday morning, I’ve turned up at this fete, and I was sat down at the face painting table. I’ve never done face painting before and all I had was a laminated book of photos showing how the paint jobs should look, a pile of paints and one thick, cheap paint brush.
The first kid of the day was about three, flanked by his exhausted parents. He wanted to be Spider-man and I wanted to make him Spider-man, so I opened the laminated book and used that as a rough guide as I began smearing the kid’s face with red paint. Then a few thick, black lines down the face. Face painting is hard and I was botching it up. I was looking at his parents mouthing silent apologies. When it was finished it looked nothing like the photo in the book. It looked the way Spiderman might have looked if someone had kicked the shit out of him and jumped on his face.
But when I held the mirror up to the little kid’s face so he could see it- he loved it. His little imagination filled in the blanks, blocked out the shoddiness of my paint work and he convinced himself he looked like Spider-man.
Seeing how pleased that kid was by my half-assed effort made me wish we could maintain those low expectations well in to adulthood. Imagine disappointing a sexual partner, only to have them use their imagination to convince themself that you were really very good.
Anyway I spent the day face painting and every kid wanted to be Spider-man, so by the end of the day the fete looked like it was raising money for to assist Spider-man’s deformed children.
I will never be dragged in to something like helping out at a fete ever again. The organisers of that event are dead to me now. But I will never forget the looks of joy on those little kid’s faces.

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