Monday, December 29, 2003

Story time!

We're always concerned here at Panda Pops that we need to recognise the diversity of our audience. One thing that we worried about in recent months that with all this talk of buff hotties and the sending of death threats to Evanescence, there was nothing on this blog suitable for our younger readers. So, in the aim of redressing this unfortunate oversight, we bring you what we hope will be the first of many editions of Panda Pops Story Time!

Today's story: William's Career Day

It was yet another rainy day in Hungerford. William stood on tiptoes on his bed and peered out of the window. Outside in the street, the mums and dads and boys and girls were wearing their plastic raincoats and carrying umbrellas. William sighed. He didn't want to go to school today.


William's mum Annabel was standing by the door.

"Come on William, you'll be late for school. You don't want to be late today, it's Career Day!"

William's heart sank. Now he really didn’t want to go to school. Career Day didn’t sound like much fun. William’s best friend Gareth was having career problems, no one was buying his records any more. William didn’t want to end up like that, and he didn’t want his teacher, Mr Cowell, to shout at him.

“William?” shouted his mum from downstairs. “Don’t forget to put your wellingtons on, it’s very wet outside!”

William had a brilliant idea. He ran to the cupboard and grabbed his special Wish Wellingtons. He shut his eyes and began to concentrate very hard.

“I wish…I wish…I wish my career was still really successful!”

William’s wish wellingtons sparkled as he made his wish. He quickly pulled on his plastic raincoat from behind the door, and hurried downstairs to join his mum.

The school day seemed very long for William that day. All through painting, and sums, and even through his favourite class – music – he was worried about how Career Day would go. He’d already seen Gareth looking very worried after coming back from his talk with Mr Cowell, and he didn’t like the way the new girl Michelle was looking at him.

Just after lunchtime, when William was in the middle of reading his favourite book about the animals on the riverbank, Mr Cowell called him up for his careers talk.

“You look worried, William,” said Mr Cowell. “Please, sit down. I can assure you, you have nothing to worry about. The latest sales figures are very healthy. Your new single and album have both made number one, your single sold well enough for some shops to run out, and your album sales have been faster than those of your debut. This is all very encouraging.”

William breathed a sigh of relief. Once again, his wish wellingtons had done the job.

“Can I ask you something, Mr Cowell?” said William.

“Of course you can, William,” said Mr Cowell.

“Well, that new girl, Michelle – she keeps looking at me all funny. Is she okay?” asked William.

“Oh, yes, Michelle,” said Mr Cowell. “Well, it’s funny, really. We weren’t expecting her to be here. There was a lot of competition for the empty place at this school, and she won the vote. She doesn’t seem to be coping well, though. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’d left us by next Christmas.”

William smiled inwardly. His wish wellingtons had brought Michelle to the school because she posed no threat to him; the wish wellingtons had disposed of the real competition many rounds previously. His career was safe, and he could stay at the Pop Idol school in comfort and reassurance. How helpful his Wish Wellingtons were!

The End.

There’ll be more from Will Young’s Wish Wellingtons soon, if we feel like it.