Now that most of Britain’s shops have decided to save the world from waste by charging for plastic bags, they always ask me the same question when I get to the checkout:
‘Would you like a bag for your shopping?’
And I always reply, ‘Not unless I take up juggling.’
Actually, I’d love to hire a really good juggler and get him/her to stand in for me at the till.
Then I’d answer. ‘No problem. My friend here will take care of it.’
The next thing you know, my stand-in would start juggling ALL my shopping in the air.
While that’s going on, no doubt to the bemusement of the other shoppers in my line at the checkout, I’d be passing round my ‘Take me to Cuba, or walk the plank’ buccaneer’s hat, for donations.
Cash only, no cards.
It will all go towards the cost of the stuff I’ve unloaded from my trolley – which the checkout person has scanned and is now waiting on payment.
If the shop’s manager comes up and asks what’s the problem I’d tell him/her I’ll be paying for my purchases as soon as my ambidextrous partner and I have raised enough money – from anybody willing and silly enough to cough up.
Of course, he/she may suggest you aren’t allowed to juggle the goods until they’re legally yours.
I would then come back with something along the lines of (depending whether I’m heading the queue in Harrods or LIDL), ‘It’s either these three bottles of vintage Dom Perignon White Gold Jeroboam 1995 that I really really want but can’t afford to purchase’ (who can, at around £7,000 a pop?) ‘or keep on juggling my credit cards until the bottom falls out of my high street bank.’
Time for the left hand to learn…
Politicians and other alleged serial expenses cheats, take note.
This is an opportunity for you dodgy guys and gals to actually look as if you are prepared to do something for all that money that seems to come your way with minimal effort on your behalf.
Juggling your finances will make a change from cooking the books. Though not much.
For the the rest of you honest folk (well, relatively honest, like me), especially passengers on a cruise ship looking for something different to pass the time, may I recommend the art of tossing objects in the air and catching them with your hands.
That’s preferable to dropping said objects (plates, cups, Champagne flutes, cutlery, empty ashtrays, Havana cigars, two pursers, three seagulls) on the head of the nearest passenger or crew member.
OK. So it takes a little practise. But after that, it’s easy.
Especially if you’re only playing with three balls.
If you’re playing with four or more, maybe you should join a TV freak show (such as Britain’s Got Talent).
Or inform the Royal College of Surgeons, who will no doubt wish to take down your particulars.
…what the right hand’s been doing
Getting back to the juggling, most people start with three balls.
Or even better, three bean bags, which, when they fall to the ground, as they will invariably do in those early ‘Hup, hup, hup. Thud, thud, thud’ stages, don’t roll away into the ship’s swimming pool.
Or under the feet of a steward who is carrying a large laden tray of food and/or drinks.
Or over the side of the ship.
Once you get the hang of this new skill, try to rope in any gullible passengers who may be tired of cruising around the globe, or life.
Explain to them that ‘group juggling’ will result in higher fitness levels while they’re stuffing their face on the cruise. At the very least, they will become more proficient at grabbing all that free nosh.
Also, they could notice vast improvements in their job back home.
For tossing things around the old workplace is said, by some people who have turned the art of juggling into a business, to improve communications within work teams.
Group synergy is the name of this juggling game. It, allegedly, encourages participants to learn to work and act together.
As for family communications, or rather some of the things you’d like to say to the other half or siblings you’ve grown tired of – it’s time to start juggling sharp knives. You throw them; they try to catch them.
Just don’t throw up the cruise
Back on board, for those of you who are not paranoid schizophrenic homicidal maniacs and prefer to keep it all fairly good-natured (and less lethal), why not throw in the occasional trio of rubber chickens?
And whatever is looking sad and lonely on the ship’s luncheon buffet table.
Even better, why not toss that bill for the extra expenses incurred during your cruise – some of them from hitting things and other people with the stuff you’ve been chucking around.
When you return home, you’ll have a great answer for the first person who asks you the usual question, ‘What was the highlight of your cruise?’
To which you reply, ‘Juggling with my balls.’
By the way, if you’re Green and wondering…
Yes I do get the fact that there are far too many plastic bags floating around the world.
Guess I’ll just have to start carrying a reusable one when I go shopping.
Or roll up three and learn to juggle them.