A heart-warming story about a man and his pet gypsy has become a huge success for Channel 4. But adoption agencies are warning families that it’s not all plain-sailing, if you take on an obese caravan enthusiast.
“I first saw Barry rooting about in a scrap yard”, explained Jeremy Hawkes, “he was sawing holes in the skips and trying to sell the off-cuts back to the owner. He looked so helpless, desperately holding the scrap merchant in the air by the throat, pleading for just a couple of extra thousand quid.”
Hawkes scolded the scrap merchant for teasing the gypsy, and befriended Barry by offering to buy some pegs from him. “£50 for three pegs was a little unrealistic, but when I looked into his wild, bloodshot eyes I could see the big lug had some fight left in him. I wanted to give him a second chance, so I popped him in my Volvo and took him home with me.”
Hawkes’ wife wasn’t sure about Barry, and they left him in the garden while they discussed the pros and cons of gypsy ownership. “Julie raised a number of objections, which I dismissed as racist. But in the end her heart melted when she heard the patter of enormous feet, as Barry wrestled our new aerial off the roof.”
Hawkes isn’t surprised that the documentary about Barry is so popular. “He’s quite a character, he really does get up to some antics”, declared the proud owner, who’s watch is missing. “The number of times I’ve found him trapped in the airing cupboard! I had to use a broom to lever him out again this morning, but he dove straight back in. He said he ‘just wanted another quick look’ at the water tank and piping. He’s such a scamp, copper is like catnip to Barry.”
But Hawkes thinks owners need to think carefully before homing a traveller, as they prefer not to be on their own. “Barry wasn’t himself for the first week or so, then we realised he was pining for something. I offered to fight him but he lost interest almost as soon as I blacked out. But he’s much happier now we’ve got him some playmates, the agency was desperate to rehome some Scouse Wives.”