Albert at the Seaside
There's a famous seaside place called Sellafield
That's noted for nuclear waste,
So Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom and their son
Went to visit the place.
A grand little lad were young Albert,
In his tracksuit and trainers, right nice.
And a Sony stereo Walkman
From Argos last Christmas, half price.
They didn't think much to the ocean -
The sea were all frothy and pink.
There were no fish, no birds and no people.
Why, it almost made you think.
So seeking for some entertainment,
They visited nuclear plant
Where they'd particles, X-rays and ions
And other delights to enchant.
Now Albert had heard about ions -
How they're kept safe as can be,
So he goes through this door marked "No Admission"
(He just thought it meant it were free).
Inside were all pipes and ladders,
And dials, and buttons to push.
So Albert, being an inquisitive lad,
Tried them all out in a rush.
An alarm bell then begins ringing,
And folks all around start to run.
But Albert, still wearing his Walkman,
Was quite unaware of the fun.
In the snack bar, Mr Ramsbottom
Was asking the woman "What're these?"
"Oh, they're called Sellafield sandwiches -
They're made with re-processed cheese."
On the tannoy came an announcement,
That although nothing were wrong,
All visitors had to leave pronto,
So please could they hurry along.
"Where's Albert," cried Mother in panic,
"I thought he's too quiet to be true.
I hope he's not got into mischief,
With him in his new trainers, too."
A chap in a white coat assured them
It was only a practice drill,
But another started to mutter
About some place called Chernobyl.
The daylight was fading quite quickly,
But Ramsbottoms were demanding the truth.
Then out of the darkness before them
Emerged a luminous youth.
It had finally dawned on young Albert
That something wasn't quite right
When his stereo Walkman had melted
And his track-suit gave off a green light.
The men from the plant were right sorry
That Ramsbottoms had had such upset.
They refunded their admission money
And asked to forgive and forget.
The newspapers later reported,
An amount (microscopically small)
Of radiation had been emitted
But no staff were affected at all.
Now when Albert recalls his adventures
That fateful day at the seaside,
Beneath his stereo Walkman,
He really glows with pride.
Peter Higginbotham (c) 1987