THE RETURN OF PETER PAN 2014
THE RETURN OF PETER PAN…2014
The arch enemy:
((Political Correctness and Health and Safety))
Ladies and Gentlemen: boys and girls. Peter Pan is set to strike again.
A sequel to J.M. Barrie’s classic tale will be published in the very near future, in which Tinkerbell will be replaced by a male fairy named Firefly, the Darling little children are all grown up, Neverland is blighted by pollution and Nana the dog, is sadly dead.
Darryl Ashton has obtained this exclusive interview with Peter Pan to find out what went wrong. Peter says: “What has the world come to when someone like me is no longer allowed in children’s bedrooms? OK, so at first inspection things don’t sound too great.
I am someone who climbs secretly through children’s bedroom windows. I have a friend called Tinkerbell who is, yes, a ‘Fairy’. The two of us tell the little Darlings’ to forget about their parents and come away with us on a big adventure to Neverland. But relax, will you!
Looking’ back I guess my problems really began when I started planning this return trip to Britain after some 100 years. Do you know how hard it is for a guy like me to get the paper work together? By the time Childcare Agencies, Social Services and The Criminal Records Bureau had vetted me, the magic was wearing pretty thin, I can tell you.
Was I self – employed? Or were Tinkerbell and I in a VAT – registered partnership? Did I have a pilot’s licence, which met all compliance standards? Did I have the relevant Visa for tourists from Non – EU countries? Questions, questions! Don’t all these regulations get you down? Anyway, as Tinks and I soon came to discover, Britain has changed beyond all recognition in the years we have been away.
Our first discovery, much to our horror, was Wendy, and her brothers John and Michael, were some time ago taken into foster care. We learnt that their parents, who were in the habit of leaving them in the care of Nana the dog, had been stripped of access to the children.
TV crews chased Mr and Mrs Darling down the street and a police guard had to be placed outside their door to prevent vigilante gangs from attacking them. Well, that was all too much for Nana the dog who was carted off to an RSPCA hospital, where she was soon being seen by a strange Australian man with a beard and a didgeridoo, who said he could make her a star, on, Animal Hospital.
Nana said she’d rather be put down, so after a quick call to an assisted suicide group called Dognitas, the old dear’s now pushing up the daises next to Shep in Blue Peter’s garden. Such a waste, she’d been trained by Norland, you know.
But I don’t suppose that means much these days.
Unsurprisingly, the Darling children went rapidly down hill from there. Shunted from one foster home to another, they fell in with the wrong crowd. Before long, Michael was wearing a hoodie and worse, hanging out with Prince Harry’s lot. As for little John, without any proper father figure to look after him, he found solace in a new faith, changed his name to Sinbad, and was last heard of heading for the Afghan hills for a spiritual vacation. Which is why Wendy got back in touch with yours truly.
So with no one else left to help her, Wendy closed her eyes tight and sent a wish to her old mate Peter Pan. I must confess, when her message first popped up on my Blackberry, I winced. Is there nowhere the office can’t reach me these days? Even Neverland? So I made a few calls, and whaddya know? Hookie agreed to help me out. Yes, I know he’s a rogue and bounder who has polluted the whole of Neverland, after swapping the Jolly Roger for a fleet of turbo charged jet skis.
Big mistake. We’d scarcely set foot in London before the anti – terrorism squad and Hookie was carted off to Belmarsh. You should have heard him shouting when they took him away! “I am Hook, one time bosom to Blackbeard. The only man to send a shiver up the wooden stump of, Long John Silver. The only consolation for the poor Captain was that the crocodile never made it through the security checks at Neverland Airport”. The other passengers heard that clock ticking in its belly and said they would not travel unless the croc was chucked off the flight.
As for Tinkerbell, no sooner had she returned to her old haunts than a gay rights group called Stonewall said it was totally unacceptable for her old name to be retained. When asked for an explanation, they just threw their eyebrows to the ceiling, sucked in their lips like lemon quarters and gasped: Firely was so much more ‘now’. They even wanted Tinks to change her gender, but we’re still negotiating on that. The Elf’s trade union is pretty sticky on that sort of alteration.
The fairy costumes had to go too, something to do with stereotyping. But when I showed Tinks her new thong, her little pilot light went out altogether, and I’m afraid no amount of Polish plumbers can get it started again. So now I’m stranded and alone, with only my shadow for company. Even Wendy has cut off contact after getting a six – figure deal to appear on a Celebrity show---get me out of here! All of this I can tell you, is incredibly upsetting.
What has happened to Britain these days? I know Neverlands not perfect, but it’s a place where time stands still – and innocence is preserved and I like it that way. Today’s inspectors and officials all say that they’re only interested in protecting children. But by imagining the worst of people they are only wrecking the very innocence they presume to defend.
As I was telling the tooth fairy the other day: “You know Gums, sometimes I wonder if childhood itself is vanishing”. And do you know what she said in reply: “Sorry Pete, I’ve gone private. If you want a consultation, you’ll have to pay up front”.
How about ‘Pay – as – you – go? Sorry Pete, it’ll Neverland!