Dear Mr. Jobson from The Skids

We are putting together the kiddies' entertainment for the local carnival in September and were just about engage an alternative contractor when we heard your catchy jingle ''Come and Play Circus Games, Come and Play at Circus Games'' on 'Top of The Pops 2'.


Your rival competitor offers 'Balloon Shoot' (Grab those darts and see who can pop the most!), 'Duck Pond Dangler' (catch a quacker with a pole and find a hidden number on the bottom and win a prize!), the self explanatory 'Guess the Jelly Beans' and 'Tin Can Knock Down', and 'Ping Pong Toss', which my son confesses he thought until this time to be a song by The Fall.


We were wondering if you could give us more information about 'Mission Is A Gambler' (presumably some kind of one-armed bandit), ''The Wager, the One Card to Play'' (perhaps Pontoon with a low stake) and ''Mother Is A Gambler'', which we assume from its role reversal reference to ''The House of The Rising Sun'' to be a pop song lyrics conundrum affair


We sincerely hope that if successful in securing our business you would be willing on this occasion to waive your ''no children today'' rule, and look forward to hearing from you in the near future.





Derek Philpott (and Son)




Dear Derek and Son,

Many thanks for getting in touch with your unusual request. My immediate response is that the alternative sounds like much more fun than blasting kids with my deeply meaningful yet deeply pretentious lyrics. I also thought that ‘Ping Pong Toss’ came from the pen of the mighty Mark Smith and have been happily singing along to it in the shower for many years. This will stop immediately. In the meantime, if you wish to continue with ''Circus Games'' then I would be happy, on this occasion only, to waive my normally exorbitant fees. I can feel through the lines of your very kind letter a history of refusals, defeat and ignominy that at the very least has not made you bitter. I want to help!

The song was written in a moment of self-deluded narcissistic oblivion. I remember it well. It was a brief but highly creative moment in my life - where words were bent in the name of art and the end result was meaningless existential poetry such as “Mission is a gambler”. I remember the time, the day, the month, the year but cannot really remember the why. But I hope you agree Derek and Son that the word ‘Why’ is extremely over-rated in terms of Pop Culture.

A game of low stake pontoon would be a wonderful interpretation of “The wager, the one card to play.” I have spent many days dwelling on the meaning of this line and have decided to go into a long period of therapy to examine both this and “Mother is a Gambler.” There can be no doubt that I need help and I think I need it quickly. My Mother, a deeply religious soul, was never known to take a punt but then again she gave birth to me which in essence would suggest that she is a gambler in the extreme. The meaning of the line is therefore typical biographical mirror-gazing drivel emanating from a second rate mind. But if you want, and since I'm doing nothing else with my life, I would be happy to come along and do some magic tricks and an acoustic version of said song.

You never know, by pulling the rabbit out of the hat, we might get to the bottom of this mystery.

Yours and willing,

Richard Jobson

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