Having tied the scalps of both Blickling Hall and Beatrix Potter’s Cottage to my belt, my touristy sightseeing self spent Saturday taking in the new London Pumadelica.
Situated on the bank of the Thames just a mile south of the London Eye, this big cat theme park boasts far more delights than its New York, Madrid and Botafogo counterparts.
The Big Apple may have its rotating “Pussycat Wheel”, and Madrid pulls no punches with its daily Boxing Felines Challenge, but the London version of this famous franchise trounces all comers with a stunning Pumaic Telekinesis Hub. Plus, “London” sounds less like it’s been plucked from a snotty nostril with a grotty fingernail than “Botafogo”.
Granted, the Pumadelica’s entry fee is a whopping £27.75, but as London prices go, it’s a far more tempting offer than half a pizza in a pub full of rowdy Spurs fans or paying off a tramp for twenty minutes — especially as you get a free mp3 download and a waterproof Noel Edmonds Is A Twat hat.
Personally, I didn’t believe a word of the telekinesis hype and suspected foul play (or a struggling magician), but as I filed into the Hub alongside my fellow pleasure seekers, I couldn’t help noticing that all the seats were arranged in circles — on the ceiling.
“How do we get up there?” I said to the steward.
His eyes twinkled with more raw glee than a trampolining fat man having his flesh slowly worn away by a curvaceous nymphette armed with a feather duster. “Just wait till the puma arrives.”
The cat in question was a 12 year-old female by the name of Soozi. Formerly of Freiburg Zoo, she looked so stunningly sleek as she was led onto the podium that she could easily have been mistaken for a lithe midget tightly bound in a dozen pairs of tights.
The lights dimmed, and the expectant crowd held its breath. Was this a con, some kind of con? Or a massively elaborate joke involving umpteen TV crews, Derren Brown and Fearne “impossible to find a well-fitting dress for” Cotton? An oddly unsettling levity possessed me as crazy ideas tumbled around in my head. Of all the scenarios perfect for the resurrection of Syd Little’s career, a mock puma telekinesis act was right up there with a revolving gunge tank or dancing BBC weathergirl whack-a-mole, and given the advancing years of Cliff Richard, Brucie and Lulu, I began to picture an inflatable three-wheeler bouncing along a zany obstacle course, tossing off the two veteran showmen before plunging Scotland’s finest into a timed striptease knockout tournament with Carol Vorderman, David Suchet and the bloke with curly hair from The Krankies. Then it dawned one me: Hey! I’m ten feet off the ground! Supported only by the miracle brain of a telekinetic puma savant called Soozi!
That crazy cat lifted us all up into our seats, one by one, to the tune of Rocket Man. She made Uri Geller look like an ugly fraud with a badly depeted dinner service, so amazing were her powers of magic and mystery. Only it was for real! We remained in our seats for a full fifteen minutes, pinned to their vinyl trim by the power of feline thought alone (though some of the children’s seats were lined with velcro, and the disabled ones had belts and handfuls of nails).
So if you’re looking for a new tourist treat in the capital any time soon, I can’t recommend the Pumadelica enough. I’m still buzzing from all the excitement, and as a bonus, the free hat came in handy when next door’s cat snook into the kitchen and tried to throw up behind the microwave.
Details are here if you need them: