WILLO TALK: Bear necessities

AS a journalist, it’s always nice to get feedback on the things you write – especially when it’s a pat on the back.

Not very many people ring us up and say thanks for putting my son in the Mail, you did a lovely story on Page 7 about him getting locked up for six years for armed robbery.

Over the years I’ve lost count of the number of times someone’s rang threatening to put my windows out, torch my house or shoot my dog. The fact I’ve never had a dog doesn’t matter, it just shows how worked up some people can get when they read things in the paper.

So it was nice to hear from a couple of people who agreed with my comments on this page last week about a trip to the cinema being overpriced.

Judging by the calls I took, it seems I’m not the only one who feels us parents get completely stuffed when it comes to treating the kids.

Talking of being completely stuffed, has anyone ever been to the place in the MetroCentre where the little ’uns can make their own teddy bears?

For anyone not familiar with the idea behind it, stage one sees the kids choose a lifeless empty bag of fur which suddenly turns into a cuddly toy once it’s pumped with foam by one of the ever-smiling teams of assistants.

For an extra two quid you can have a heart stuffed in it, then we get the chance to give it a name which will go on the official birth certificate.

Once it’s all sewn up, that’s when the real fun starts when happy smiley assistant girl directs you to the “wardrobe”.

Here we are faced with an assortment of clothes for your new bear, dog, horse or whatever you’ve chosen, ranging from a selection of underwear to dresses, suits, sports gear or beachwear.

You can get sunglasses, hats, bags and a whole host of other accessories to complete the look.

But the final straw for me always comes when we make our way out of the “wardrobe2 to the shoe shelf, where for anything up to £20 - yes, that’s £20 - you can get the bear completed.

If you can get out of the door with change from fifty quid, consider yourself lucky and whatever you do don’t turn right because the Disney store is down that way.

I’m not the only one who’s been done in there, but I really felt for my mate who told me he couldn’t get out for a pint last weekend as a trip to this particular shop with his kids had left him brassic until payday.

But surely he should have realised when the soft toy dog was getting stuffed that as it had four legs, it would need two pairs of shoes.

It just goes to show that even grown men can still make schoolboy errors.