By KATE HUNTER
Every village, town and city has its show. Or a fete, fair or carnival.
In Queensland the big one is the Royal Queensland Show every August. Being klarsy up here, we call it ‘The Ekka’ (short for exhibition).
Like any show, the Ekka is where the community gathers from near and far to show their wares and to compete in good-hearted competitions of artistic and physical ability.
It’s also where children spend their hard-saved pocket money on bags packed with bizarre toys, lollies that don’t even pretend to be naturally coloured or flavoured, vouchers for theme parks they’ll never set foot in, drink bottles, backpacks, tattoos (hopefully temporary), wigs, lunchboxes, USB sticks, headphones and sporting equipment. It wouldn’t surprise me if bed linen gets packaged up in a show bag soon. I’d love that.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by The Royal Queensland Show. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in her own words.
It’s important that we, as parents, don’t bitch too much about showbags – because there’s a direct correlation between how much parents say they hate them and how desperately children crave them.
There is NO LOGIC to the showbag. They make no sense and the sooner we accept that, the happier everyone will be.
My mum is in her 70s. When I was little she’d tell me stories going to the show with her brothers and sisters. Showbags were then called, ‘Sample Bags’ (even I remember this) and they were given out free by manufacturers keen to get people to try their products. Mum tells me of getting tiny packets of flour, sachets of instant coffee, little pats of butter and motel style boxes of breakfast cereal. Good times.
Now showbags are an attraction in themselves; and planning their purchase can take WEEKS, which is approximately quadruple the lifespan of most showbag contents.
But this is where I need to be very careful I don’t turn into a mood-murdering mum.
Too much of life, in my opinion, is spent evaluating value, doing what’s sensible and wise.