Monday, 1 March 2010

Entertainment or Torture?

We have a frightfully jolly evening here in our village. Once a year.
In the Village Hall.
Everyone arrives. Has a drink. Tables for eight are spread out around the room.
Gradually everyone settles down around their table and the Entertainment Begins.
The first year Husband and I arrived here, we ambled up the road to the Village Hall, having been invited to this Annual Delight. We were under the mistaken idea that there would be Food, Drink, and the chance to Mingle a little with the people we were going to live amongst.
Arrived a Tad Late.
Sat down at table with Total Strangers.
And watched, in Befuddled and Horrified Fashion, the Entertainment.
Old men with Harmonicas would get up and fiddle about singing something.
Ancient women would recite Poetry. For Quite a Long Time.
Keen Guitarists would Dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum for Prolonged Moments.
Once, a girl sang, in quite a different key from her Accompanist, a song of love and loss. We laughed Silently and Agonisingly the whole way through.
Never Again, we thought.
I don't think we've missed one. There is something strangely Compelling about Local Entertainment. It's just so bad that it's a Must in the social calendar of the year.
But this year it was different.
Husband and I had been Roped In to creating some Entertainment ourselves.
We had thrown together some Husband and Wife material, his and hers stuff, which we thought hilarious. Which was worrying. As it probably was a load of Bollocks. But, what the hell, it was surely better than Harmonicas.
Oh. My. God.
Nearly didn't do it. Nearly baled out, last minute fashion, owing to nerves and lack of bottle.
However, thought What The Hell again and got on with it.
So, with thumping heart and racing pulse, entered the Village Hall.
We were third in Programme.
Had to sit, with stomach churning, all the way through the Cold Meats and Salad Fare, followed by Apple Pie and Cream. Threw back a couple of drinks.
Watched Act 1. Two ancient ladies recite Poems.
Act 2. Man with Harmonica. Sang quite a few songs. Almost nodded off.
Then us.
Dragged our chairs over to where we were Performing.
Husband calm and cheerful.
Me a lump of Nerves and Jitters.
And began.
Everyone laughed! Guffawed! (May I just say that we WANTED them to laugh... we WERE being amusing, honestly)
Sometimes we had to stop altogether to wait for the laughter to calm down.
They LOVED us.
And I really began to enjoy it.
Sitting there with Husband, saying the words we had practised over and over again, seeing the sea of faces roaring with laughter. Seeing Husband's face, enjoying himself hugely. Grin from ear to ear.
We finished. The applause was prolonged and genuine.
Husband and I had smiles to match.
We gave our last bow and went to sit down.
Hooray. That was done then.
Had to sit through eight more Pieces of Entertainment.
Man with lots of pieces of paper, who read from his pieces of paper. For Ages. Lost one of his bits of paper and had to search, forage even, for it, amongst his considerable wear.
People with stiff faces from trying not to Yawn.
Someone got up to recite some Poetry. Spoke at length about a bicycle. Not sure why.
And then it was time for the Community Singing.
Ker'ist. I thought my smile would actually damage the muscles in my face, the ache was so acute.
Finally, at twenty nine minutes past eleven the Entertainment came to a slow and shuddering end.
The Relief! The Joy!
Husband and I made our way down the hall to the door.
'Lovely act!' someone said.
'You were brilliant!' said another.
'God, you were funny!' said yet another.
We smiled at them and made our Modest Exit. Basking in glory.
Out we went into the cool night air.
Man with pieces of paper was standing there. The one who foraged through his clothes trying to find Page Fourteen of his Amusing Anecdotes.
'Lovely act!' someone said to him.
'You were brilliant!' said another.
'God, you were funny!' said yet another.
Perhaps we'll leave Britain's Got Talent for other acts then.
Quietly, though, I think we did Rather Well. And I know for sure, that both Husband and I loved it.
We'll have another go next year. Maybe with a Harmonica?
See you then!


Tattie Weasle said...

Sorry laughing! You were great! You were brillaint!!!!
I'm wiping the tears away now - honestly!

Tatersmama said...

Oh MY! I'm afraid that next year, you'll either have to invite us, or video the whole thing! (well, perhaps not the bloke with the papers. Or harmonicas. Or memories of bicycles. Okay, just the part with you in it.)
Because I'm SURE you'll be invited back since you were a "lovely act", "brilliant" and "God, you were funny!":
After all, basking is sooo good for the soul...especially the way you tell it!

word veri: fiacksgo
The act with the man and his harmonica was a complete and total fiacksgo!

Troy said...

Only one thing to say......WE WANT TO SEE THE SCRIPT. And no bullshit, no excuses, you can just cut and paste it into blogger.

I'm sure you were both brilliant and funny.

Troy said...

Oops! Sorry! I meant to type the last sentence of my comment above onto the blog of the man with the harmonica but got carried away whilst typing on yours.

Anonymous said...

Please please please tell us more...... Troy is right - the script must be published!

Nancy said...

I'll bet they are hoping you come again next year, as well, after the line up before and after. :-)

Bernie said...

Would of loved to have seen your act, it sounds hilarious....just as your post is describing it.
..........:-) hugs

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

OMG - you have me crying with laughter and it's only 7.35 am!! Could picture the scene exactly as I have been to similar occasions and if I had been sat at your table would have been snorting and hysterical and completely out of control. Could you and Husband do a video of your Act, PLEASE, and put it on your blog or just let us know when and where the next gig is and we'll all be there. Fantastic fun LWM - thanks for a great start to the day. A x

geraldgee said...

"The Ladybird World Mother Duo"
Sounds great.

London City Mum said...

I am inviting myself next year so I can see with my own eyes.
Failing that I am volunteering my services as personal bodyguard, given that you will be in much demand and have autograph seekers swarming around.

With my hand in a splint I can guarantee I look particularly menacing and have now started telling people that my injury was due to 'boxing' (the ice) so they do not mess with me.


Janna Qualman said...

Well, of course they have to say that for everyone (and I guess there are different kinds of brilliant), but with you I believe it all! You're a hoot. Wish I'd have been there.

Guess who they'll be coming back to next year? ;)

Bernie said...

I surely would have liked to have been there. I just know yours was probably the hit of the evening from the way you write. Sometimes watching bad is more entertaining that watching good--I am referring to the bad acts before and after you. Just so you don't get the uncontrollable laughter syndrome.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Come again.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

How fun that sounds. I don't think you'll need a new act next year. Sounds like this one worked. Oh, to be so relaxed in front of one another. Very special.

Debbie said...

Sounds like a great time. I agree that local entertainment is always the best! (Or at least the most entertaining.)

Working Mum said...

I wish I'd seen that!! I agree with Troy - publish the script! Just reading your post was funny.

Ladybird World Mother said...

Yet again, what lovely comments from everyone, and so sorry to YET AGAIN do a one for all. Life still mad...too much to do, in not enough time. BUT glad that you have read this post and enjoyed it... we did have such a fun time creating our 'entertainment' ... haven't a clue where our 'script' might be. I suspect just in our heads now!
thanks again, folks. You are just too kind to a girl... makes my day to read such nice things. xxxx

Robynn's Ravings said...

Of course I miss all the best entertainment being stuck over here! Thankfully, we have you regularly. (Well, not like THAT!) But really, couldn't you VIDEO tape or something? It would be BRILLIANT! No TRULY!

Glad you had fun and imagine the shock the whole village must be experiencing at actually being royally entertained!

Pam said...

It sounded great and I would love to have seen it. You were very brave!

Ladybird World Mother said...

Robynn - oh, bless your heart... how nice it would have been to have had you in the audience! xx
Pam - you have no idea how brave I was!! Terrified was putting it mildly... thanks for lovely comment!

Clippy Mat said...

that sounds like fun! I would love to have seen it and I am sure I would have been laughing the loudest.
well done.