As you are no doubt aware Alton Towers have taken the earth-shattering decision to ban skimpy swimming costumes for their male guests. They’re making them go naked – no, no, no, that was a joke; they’re making them cover up by insisting that all men wear swimming shorts while at the park and at the Splash Landings pool.
Now, if you ask me – and no, no one has – this piece of legislation is long, long-overdue. The Speedo look might just pass on the Continent, but in Blighty it’s a bit rich isn’t it? Plummeting temperatures, the threat of a downpour constantly hanging over us like a drizzly sword of Damocles? Give it a rest. Those alpha males who took to Alton Towers in little more than a pair of briefs no bigger than your average train ticket must surely have been northerners, because, as a rather delicate southerner, there is simply no way I’d brave the outside after a dip in the pool in anything less than a full-body wetsuit, a scarf and thick woolen mittens.
Anyway, that rather grisly episode is behind us all now: history has closed the page on that menacing chapter.
The only question that remains is: why stop there?
Below is a list of things I’d like to see banned from Alton Towers. Feel free to tack some on at the end. We’ll get a list together, then I’m writing to Mr Towers…
Everybody loves a good poncho
Right, first up, I’d ban the selling, acquisition and the donning thereof of ponchos. I’m not talking about genuine ponchos, you understand; I’m not having a dig at the Hispanic overcoat of choice. No, I’m talking about the sorry excuses for ponchos that get handed around every time it gets a little bit damp. They are, effectively, shopping bags with eye-holes cut in. There is simply no way that one could protect you from one of Mrs Tittlemouse’s delicate sneezes, let alone a gale force storm. It’s preposterous:
Dad: The heavens have opened, let’s take shelter!
Mum: Don’t worry dear, I’ve got three-and-a-half yards of cling film here.
No, no, no. They’re out: right out.
Photos. Yep, I’d ban photos. Why is it that the second you step off a ride someone wants to sell you a mug with a picture of you screaming on it? I can understand the appeal when it’s a ride like Rita, Queen of Speed, but when you’ve just hopped off the Squirrel Nutty Ride I think photographic evidence is bit over-the-top. No one’s putting that on their mantlepiece.
That brings me, rather neatly, to the Squirrel Nutty Ride itself, yes I’d ban that too. Yes, I know it’s a ride for little children. It lets them “travel in their very own acorn”, but I maintain that this wasn’t made clear to me at the time… the boys from the stag do still won’t talk to me.
You know, I’ve got quite a taste for all this banning lark, it turns out… I’d ban queues, I’d ban bum bags, I’d ban loud noises, I’d ban really scary rides, I’d ban the lot.
Sorry about that. I seemed to got a bit carried away there. Anyway, if you have any suggestions about what you’d like to see banned from Britain’s theme parks add it on here, I’m drafting the letter as we speak…