At five years old I noticed that while my older siblings weren’t in school over the summer they still seemed to disappear for the day. I didn’t really care where they went because no doubt I could have just as much fun at home. But I was very jealous of the packed lunches my mother made for them, and most of that jealousy revolved around the juice cartons she sent them off with. I wanted one. But I wasn’t allowed one because they were for the packed lunches. This was so unfair, it wasn’t my fault I wasn’t old enough to go wherever they were going that meant they needed juice cartons.
Eventually though I was old enough. And what I discovered was that during the school summer holidays parents didn’t want to have to entertain their kids, so they sent them to school to be entertained by some randos there. From what I remember you could choose what you did in the morning and then again in the afternoon, most of the things you could do looked an awful lot like more classes and I was done with those for the summer so I picked sport in the morning and cooking in the afternoon. Sometimes I’d mix it up and do it the other way around. By this time my mother wasn’t just sending us off to school, she was coming with us and teaching the cooking stuff. Which is why I knew cooking would be a safe bet. Sadly this meant no more packed lunches and I never got my damn juice carton!
Every once in a while though the people in charge of this thing thought I needed to vary my choices more and they’d make me choose something other than sport or cooking. Which I thought was pretty rude but choose something else I did. Most of the time it sucked, but one glorious day it didn’t. I have no idea what I picked because I can’t figure out what exactly we were supposed to be doing, maybe music. But I was introduced to a man with shaggy green hair going by the name DJ Cabbage.
Well I had a new idol. This guy was hilarious, he made fart jokes, introduced us to the didgeridoo, made cabbage seem like a good thing and did no actual DJing whatsoever. I was sold, I wanted to be a DJ when I grew up and we had Mr Cabbage to thank for it. For years afterwards I modelled my behaviour on this guy, fart jokes galore, and in the absence of an actual didgeridoo there was a metal pipe I could take off the vacuum cleaner that worked pretty badly to be honest.
And I know what you’re thinking, where is this guy now? How can I book him? I want to meet him. Well I’ve got some awkward news for you. I found out years later that DJ Cabbage turned out to be a kiddy fiddler and should most definitely not have been allowed to be alone with any young children, never mind a group of 30. And while my life goals had moved on from DJing once I found out what it actually entailed I was disappointed to lose an idol, you just can’t idolise a paedophile.
The first time I saw Jimmy Saville I thought to myself and said as much to my dad ‘that guy is a paedophile’. My dad assured me that he wasn’t, the guy did plenty for kids charities blah blah blah. If anything I thought that made him sound more guilty, still not sure I’m pleased I was right about that one. But after the DJ cabbage dilemma I’m certainly more suspicious of children’s entertainers.
What a roller coaster of a story that was. The waiting and anticipation for a juice carton that never came, finding an idol, losing an idol and a healthy dollop of suspicion. And what’s the moral of the story?
Don’t make Hansen choose anything other than sport and cooking, obviously. I would never have idolised a paedophile if I’d just done sport and cooking. What a kerfuffle!
P.S. There was another time they made me choose something I didn’t want to that ended with 9 year old me having an argument with a 30-something year old woman about how I’d learnt nothing in her class because I already knew it. Cue very grumpy 9 year old Hansen giving an apology speech that dripped with sarcasm.
P.P.S. Cabbage is a fun word to say.