When my son was about four years old I took him to the big show at the foreshore (I forget its name; it happens every year. You know the one). He was mad for a showbag, but not any old showbag. The one he wanted was called the Secret Service Showbag. He would not be dissuaded or tempted by other, more fey and age-appropriate showbags, but his mum was not best pleased when I brought him home wearing fake shades, a badge, and toting a side arm and pump-action shotgun with a bandolier of ammo draped across his shoulder. How we laughed!
At the time it was the most militaristic showbag I’d seen, though I found the remains of this one in the creek after the show. Who would put an AK47 into a kids’ showbag? What was the theme: Militant Rebellion? Soviet Weaponry?
The AK47 is famed for its robust durability, which has made it the automatic rifle of choice for revolutionaries the world over. Obviously the young revolutionary who got his mitts on this one was tougher than your average dissident as he’d busted it completely before he’d even got home.
I have to say that the show snuck up on me this year. Even when Richardson Park was fenced off I was left pondering. I thought to myself, if the carnies are going to camp there, where will the big top go? The penny dropped when the first ride arrived.
It was timely that this ride, the Midnight Express, should appear in the park at the same time as this post from Ruth Cotton’s Hidden Hamilton blog on the original midnight express: the nightsoil trucks that collected our city’s poo in the days before sewage systems. And where was it all, ahem, deposited? Yup, Richardson Park. No wonder those fig trees are so healthy.
Further downstream I came across a super-person’s body part, complete with revolutionary star. Or is the star no longer associated with the likes of Fidel and Che? Have we moved on, or did Hollywood just slurp it up? For the life of me I cannot figure out what this might be used for.
It might be a dispenser for anti-capitalist drinking straws, or perhaps a proletarian popcorn holder. I may be wrong.
Viva la revolution, comrade.