After hearing an extraordinary number of horror stories, I decided to blaze my own trail to organised children's party violence. So many unlucky revelers, old and young, have been deeply frustrated by indestructible piñatae.
First, the children try. The line cycles twice, thrice. Then the adults lend a hand. Then better weapons are chosen. Then the piñata falls to the ground and an exasperated mob gathers around the pig, donkey, love-heart - or, in ancient times, an image of the rain god Tlaloc - and beat the living bejesus out of it.
Yet even then there may be no satisfaction.
I warn you now: commercially acquired piñatae are a risk. And over-enthusiastic home papier-mâché artists can, unbeknownst to themselves, be paving the way for disappointment. I, however, am building an exemplar of the ancient Aztec art.
From the outset, we thought a single-balloon form was too common, and decided to make it a double. But what could double spheres represent? Someone suggested a pair of tits. The kids would love it, I know - but there will be unknown parents at the party and people can be embarrassed by the mildest things. If we moved to a tri-spherical form, we could have an insect - head/thorax/abdomen - but to me this seemed like overkill, [and too much work.] Then came the suggestion of a spider. They do have a thorax, but it's sort of integrated with the abdomen, and so the idea was adopted - until the question of legs came into play ...
To cut an interminable story short, Polly's piñata will resemble a bullant from a parallel universe.
To establish the correct level of whacking-resistance, we have brought the spheres into the house - so they do not acquire moisture from the atmosphere and become soft. If this does not work, I may use a little vinegar in order to degrade the paper. [An idea borrowed from the cryptex in The Da Vinci Code, [if it works for papyrus, it should work for newspaper, non?]]
We narrowly avoided the trap of putting unwrapped sweets inside. [When they fall, they fall on germy ground.] Today, Jenny brought home an alluring selection of lollies - and an abundant one. There are few things worse, I would guess, than a miserly piñata.
The party will be in the park a few doors down. Several weeks ago we identified a perfect branch from which to hang the piñata. Last week, the council came and chopped it off. There is another useable branch, but it borders a six foot drop into thick blackberries. On this point we still need help. I shall integrate a new harness into the design, as the weight of confectionary has changed the centre of gravity, but there is still nothing to hang it from. Ideas? Anyone? If ever you feel like commenting, now is the time.
The final issue is the thwacker. Mick Lewis suggested a long pole with a sharpened scythe on the end, [but then he also advocated the use of 2-stroke petrol]. It needs to be something kids can use. A cricket bat...? I have one of those things you open/close high windows with... Someone else suggested the legs be detachable thwackers... a great design idea, but the image of six over-stimulated five year olds thronging around something and beating it to a pulp suggests a level of sophistication which I'd like to think our civilisation has transcended.
Anyway, here is a photo of what I have achieved so far. In a week, you will see these same elements transformed into a bona fide wonder.