The next station was a spear throwing one. I was pretty dubious about the team building day to begin with and this only stood to intensify my feelings about it. I failed to see how the act of throwing a spear could help to improve my performance as an accountant. There were(more) no buffalo in the office that needed urgent or in fact any kind of spearing. We had already done an obstacle course, done a zip-line and ahead I could see the human resource crowd trying to construct a make-shift raft at the edge of the lake. I shivered at the thought. I was not one of those people who derived pleasure out of jumping fully clothed into a swimming pool or any body of water. Water was cold and wet and being capsized either intentionally or due to poor craft-building skills was not my idea of a fun time. Oh I could see it coming. We all jump in and there will be back patting and selfies and it will be later discussed over a glass of bubbly. By Monday morning nothing will have changed and the fragile connections we will have made with our fellow employees will have faded into a vague nod by the water cooler for maybe a day or two then back to the usual business of ignoring them. I shuffled forward and the chipper dude with the bleach blonde hair and combats handed me my spear. He seemed to have been injected by an overdose of enthusiasm and the only thing I felt like spearing was him. The target was a bulls-eye painted on a pallet board. I raised my arm and did my best to aim. The spear took flight, wobbled and landed well shy of the target in the grass.(less)
I could see the tip of the spear begin to wobble. It was only a slight shift in position initially, but the arc grew larger and larger. I looked a Frank Jr. and his face was red and slightly melty.
(more) "He's going to faint." I whispered to Margery.
Margery's perma-smile faded slowly as her eyes grew wider. She could see it too. The heat from the spotlights must have made the stage feel like an oven. And Frank Jr. was never exposed to any discomfort. He was a spoilt kid and was now learning that life isn't always what you wanted it to be.
Frank Jr. began wobbling in tandem with the spear. His head was perched on jelly and his eye lids were butterflies.
"Oh no!" Margery's gasp was loud enough to be heard by the Fitzgibbins.
"What is it pet?" Helen Fitzgibbon leaned forward from the seats behind.
"Little Franky Jr. is going to fall!" Her expression was suitable for learning that you had cancer and needed to get your affairs in order because you had only weeks left. It was not appropriate for when your son is going to fall over.
And I hated 'Little Frankie Jr.'. I hate that she added the 'little' and I never wanted the addition of 'junior'. The main reason being I didn't want to call him Frank. It was a tradition in her family but I always felt it was the ultimate in egotistical fatherhood.
There was a crash on the stage. I looked to see that the palace guard were now one short. The other cast were frozen solid and silent. That was at least a benefit.
I took a deep breath and enjoyed the silence before I knew I would have to talk Margery out of going to A&E.(less)