Now, the difficulty with the stocks is getting someone in them.
Perhaps I should explain, if only because the stocks haven’t really been a thing for thirty-some years.
Stocks used to feature at all village fêtes, and for probably hundreds of years. The set-up is easy. You have two pieces of wood, which are hinged at one end and locked at the other.
Mirroring each other, the top and bottom edges have semi circles sawn out of them, to provide space for the insertion of a volunteer’s neck and hands.
Once prone, they are locked in place, and people pay an amount (50p or similar) to throw wet sponges at them.
In terms of volunteers, you want people who are popular but not pitied and certainly not despised. The difficulty with people who usually hold a position of power is the temptation to throw the bucket as well as the sponge.
You can’t have people who are unpopular, because they’d never get out, there would be a queue around the block. True, you’d raise decent money for charity, but they’d wind up rocking back and forth in a corner somewhere.
You need good-natured people, like my buddy Pete (pictured). Popular, not the boss, game for a giggle. A rare breed is Pete.
I think it’s important to remember that the world has changed. When I was a kid, I suspect the stocks would have been used, at village fêtes and similar, by people who’d been wound up by the same idiot all year. But, put him in the stocks, and they could claim their revenge and with proceeds going to charity, no less.
As for myself, if there was someone I wanted to throw things at, I wouldn’t want witnesses.
If it needs saying – we’re planning the Legion’s summer fête at the moment.