Ivor Cutler
The Shapely Balloon
"Mammy, I want a balloon"
"A balloon? What do you want a balloon for, son?"
"To play with"
"To play with? Do you think I'm going to lay out good money so that you can play with a balloon? Certainly not. Start again"
"Mammy, I want a balloon"
"A balloon? What for, son?"
"I'm hungry"
"Alright. Here's thrupence, go and buy one"
"Thank you my mummy"

"Can I have a balloon please, shopkeeper?"
"What for, son?"
"I'm hungry"
"We don't stock that kind"
"Look here, just give me a balloon. Here's my thrupence, I'm hungry for a balloon"
"Oh no, no-oh. We only sell them to play with"
"Alright then, I'll do it your way. I want a balloon because I'm hungry but I'm going to tell you I want a balloon to play with, but you're not to tell my mother I want a balloon to play with because she knows that I'm buying a balloon because I'm hungry for one. Do you understand?"
"Perfectly"
"Good. Give me a thrupenny balloon to play with"
"Are you sure that's what you want it for?"
"Now look, we've gone through all this before. Give me a thrupenny balloon to play with for goodness sake and let me get out of here"
"Alright. What colour do you want?"
"Any colour"
"What shape?"
"What shape have you?"
"That shape, and that shape, and that shape over there, and this shape, and that shape"
"Give me that shape"
"There you are. Four pence"
"But I've only got thrupence"
"I'll cut a portion off"
"Then it won't blow up"
"You want a thrupenny ballon, don't you?"
"But it's no good to me as it is"
"Of course it is, look at the shape"
"Oh alright then, I'll take it"

"Mammy, I've got it"
"Let's see. There's a bit off!"
"Yes, it's a four penny one and I've got thrupence worth"
"The man's a fool. Take it back and tell him you want a whole one"
"He's not going to like that"
"Tell him your mother said so"

"I've brought it back. My mother says I've to get a whole balloon for thrupence"
"Look son, you wanted that shape"
"Yes, I like that shape the best"
"Well, they're four pence"
"But I've got to have a whole one"
"Alright, here's a shrunken one. Right shape, right price"
"But it's only the size of my thumb!"
"So?"
"I'm hungry for a balloon. That's not going to a**uage my hunger"
"A**uage? Don't you use these dirty words in my shop. Get out, go on, get out of my shop! A**uage indeed, I don't know what the younger generation is coming to!"

"Mammy, look. A thrupenny balloon. It's the right shape, but look at the size!"
"That's not going to a**uage your hunger"
"That's what I said to the man, and he got furious and drove me out of the shop and told me not to use these words. What'll I do, mammy?"
"Why don't you sit down and shut up? Can't you see I'm writing your auntie Mildred a poem for her wooden anniversary?"