“Every year as a kid we used to go to Benidorm for our holidays. I’ve been about ten times. We were one of them families that ate in the same place every night because all I used to eat was spag bol and ‘Les Dunes’ did the best one you have ever tasted!
Then we would go to the karaoke bar ‘Shooters’. The karaoke man was called Al he was one of the nicest men I’ve ever met, and we kept in touch . Except the last time I heard from him he was in Strangeways Prison. It wasn’t for anything serious – he just forgot to take his hire car back!
My Mam was a singer and my Dad was a pianist. Now he’s a penis but I’ll tell you about that later. Karaoke was part of our holiday. My Mam would get up and she was a really good singer. She would always do a Whitney Houston song – usually ‘I Will Always Love You’. When my Dad got up we used to stick tissues in our ears. He was crap! But when he sang ‘Penny Arcade’ he used to let us get up and help him sing. There’s a line ‘ring on the bell on the big bagatelle’ and the people in the bar used to join in and ring the bell. I absolutely loved it. Every time I hear this song that’s exactly what I think of.
One time we were singing it and out of the corner of my eye I seen a big guy -probably about 40 clem- sit down in one of those holiday chairs – the white plastic garden ones with wobbly legs . It was like slow motion. The legs just started to spread and one by one they just snapped off. As an adult you try and hold it in but I was just a kid. I just couldn’t help wee myself laughing. Within seconds me laughing set the whole pub off. Everyone was just rolling around – even the man with the seat still stuck to his bum with no legs attached!
I don’t speak to my dad now. Long story short, he had a bit of a mid-life crisis. He’s now the Henry the Eighth of Thailand, so hearing this song make me think of all the nice times we had when we were younger and still talking.”
Photo: sent by Emily, Doxford Park, Sunderland