It was a quiet Saturday morning and only the slightest breeze whispered through the new green leaves of the willows along the river bank. They had finished breakfast and Badger was reading the paper, Ratty was occupied on his netbook and Mole was ruminating.
‘Have you read this about the sports day?’ Badger asked them.
‘No, what?’ They both looked up.
‘You can buy tickets now, on the website’ said Badger. ‘I’d like to go. Let’s all go!’
‘Give me the address,’ said Ratty. Badger called it out and Ratty tap tapped on his netbook and the site came up.
Parp! Parp! A car hooter sounded outside the front door of Badger’s tree trunk, and there was the low rumble of an idling motor. Badger opened the door. Mr. Toad waved at him from the driver’s seat.
‘I say Badger I thought I’d call round to see if you’d like to go for a spin.’
‘Perhaps later, Toad. We’re busy buying tickets for The River Bank Sports Day. Would you like to join us?’ Toad went inside and they all gathered around Ratty’s netbook. Toad was enthusiastic.
‘Gosh, what a huge number of sporting events! What do we want to see?’
‘We can’t do that yet’, said Ratty, taking charge, ‘we have to create an account first.’ He was twitchy and impatient. ‘There’s a link here’. He clicked on it and his brown whiskers dropped in dismay. ‘Oh! Look at all these questions. Who’s going hold the account?’ They decided Badger should do it, and by coffee time they had created it. After refreshments, Badger asked,
‘What events would we like to see? There’s a whole list of them here at different locations.’ They all went quiet while Ratty explained the instructions to them.
‘We have to choose what we’d like to see and they let us know if we can see them or not...’ Ratty was scrolling through pages and pages of instructions, ‘...and we have to pay’ he scrolled a bit more,’...and we can only pay with a River Bank Card and we have to give our card details now.’
‘Oh no! Has any of us got a River Bank card?’ asked Mole.
‘Not me,’ said Badger, ‘Never run up credit.’
‘Nor me’, added Ratty, ‘all my assets are in my hedge funds.’
A sense of disappointment filled the room but Toad was searching his wallet.
‘I’ve got one!’ he announced triumphantly, flashing the necessary plastic.
'Phew’ said Mole, ‘that was close. I thought none of us would be able to go.’
‘Let’s get on and choose our events,’ suggested Badger. There followed a lively discussion for half an hour until they came to some agreement about what to book.
‘What do we do now, Ratty?’ asked Mole.
‘Well,’ said Ratty squinting at the screen, whiskers quivering, ‘It says here...’ he paused as he read it all,’ it says here we have to register our choices and they’ll tell us what we can see and then they make the charge on the card, but if we don’t get the tickets then they don’t charge us but if we do get the tickets and our card expires before the designated date, then we can’t...’
‘Enough!’ shouted Mole who was not normally short-tempered, ‘it’s too complicated. Besides, it’s lunchtime and I’m hungry.’
‘Let’s stop for lunch,’ suggested Badger, ‘and after we’ve registered our choices we should work out our travel arrangements.’
‘But if we don’t know what events we’re going to see, we don’t know which locations we’ll have to travel to,’ protested Mole with perfect logic.
‘We could go in my car; that would be jolly’ offered the Toad, not because he was kind but he saw an opportunity to show off his motor.
‘I fear that would be worse,’ said Ratty, ‘if we all end up with tickets for different stadia and you have to drop us all off at different places...’ he was studying the screen again, ‘and if you have to stop halfway on a Park and Ride scheme and then we all have to...’
‘Stop!’ shouted Mole and the friends stared at their normally placid friend in astonishment. ‘It’s all too complicated. Can’t we just go on a picnic instead?’ and he disappeared off to the kitchen to find some food.