Halloween! Jesus! (Not completely apt I know) But it was a hell of a night.
We arrived for our show on the beach – dressed to kill. Andrew as a saucy vampire, and me dressed as an ‘Eva Braun’ style nurse – complete with a giant hypodermic, ready to inject a noxious venom into anyone with whom I was displeased. Luckily nobody got on the wrong side of me – that is, other than the ‘Walton-esque’ family who decided to leave mid-song. Five of them trailing, lemming-like, directly in front of me, intent on making an exit whilst I was singing a top ‘G’!
I wouldn’t mind but the beach has a multitude of exits – left across the sand; right across the sand; even a quick paddle through the water: all of them preferable to a slow saunter through our spotlight, therefore shadowing mine and Andrew’s faces and leaving us in semi darkness! Incredible! If I don’t like something, I leave in the interval – and if I’m gonna vomit, at least I duck whilst retching! Rude fuckers! Still, I presume the plain children were tired – they certainly looked as if they needed their beauty sleep!
After finishing a particularly ghoulish performance, during which I almost gave one pensioner an aneurysm by sitting on his lap and pushing him backwards onto the sand, whilst Andrew caused three middle-aged women to reach for their ‘Tena-Ladys’, we collapsed onto the bar, hidden behind our classy gold back-cloth we’d purchased from the market in La Linea!
As I changed, clumsily, out of my hot pants, into something less comfortable, Andrew went front of house to receive the muted adulation of which we were assured – sadly he was met by a less positive reaction.
As he joined our audience, sweaty and still a little emotionally weak after the show, an acquaintance of ours managed to block his path and said, without anything positive to couch it,
‘You are fat!’
Not a complimentary word about his beautiful singing or the stylish way he can wear a ‘Tom Jones’ wig.
Just those three words.
Andrew,(good boy), came back immediately with,
‘And so are you!’
‘Yes’, our friend continued, ‘but I am not an entertainer!’
I cannot reveal my husband’s response without revealing the identity of the rude git to whom he was responding. That gentleman may be impertinent – but I am not quite as cruel. Suffice to say, he is an overweight merchant seaman with a paunch twice as big as Andrew’s.
A case of the pot-belly calling the kettle black methinks!
It is astounding to me that just because one puts themselves up in front of a crowd to entertain, it seems that some people feel they can be abusive and unkind, and say whatever comes to mind. This would never happen in everyday life. Can you imagine pointing out to the woman behind the fish counter that her breasts were sagging and she was looking a little green behind the gills?
I came off quite well. Nobody said anything negative to me. But then again, I think I looked rather frightening in my naughty nurses outfit, and with an extra ten inches! Always a plus. Had the impolite dick-head spoken to me in the same manner, I may have shoved one of my stilettos straight up his poop-deck!
It is not that Andrew or I are minus a good sense of humour – quite the opposite. With both of our upbringings it has been essential to find something to laugh about on route.
My father was the catalyst for the development of my humourous safety valve, and even though the ride was often dangerous – I shall always thank him for helping me discover it.
My dad began his flammable career working as a young fireman with ‘white watch’ at Richmond fire station. Before this, he had driven a number 9 bus across London. This was not on a whim of his, but as employment. Though the latter scenario was to follow many years later – when my deranged pa would steal a double-decker from Catford bus garage and aim for a pensioner’s wall! All of this at six in the morning, shirtless and shoeless, and as high as a republican on election night!
Years before, during happier times, I had once been a delighted passenger, when aged 7 or 8, on route to ‘The Sooty Show’ at London’s Mayfair Theatre, I had boarded his vehicle with my beloved nan and sister. His driving career then had been more sedate, before later careering alarmingly, with his young family in tow, into the fire service and onto ‘blue watch’ in Tooting. It was here the real emergency began and it wasn’t long before our entire clan were on ‘red watch’ as father took us all closer to the edge, and the South coast. My poor sister still can’t hear the name ‘Bournemouth’ without wincing.
After being ‘sectioned’ on many occasions, him, not us,(not quite!) and still continuing with his driving occupation, though now completely unofficially; speeding in stolen crisp vans across the country; wheel spinning me into the playground and scattering my fellow pupils so that I wouldn’t be late for assembly; racing against the oncoming traffic for nine miles on the M3; lifting our entire family into the air ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ style over a mini roundabout during one Easter outing: you get the picture!
After more than enough of these evil ‘Evil Knieval’ moments, my family found it better to laugh in the face of this auto-adversity, rather than cry over spilt brake fluid!
I have nearly always managed to continue with this practice throughout my adult life – and find it makes for a much easier existence to look for the laugh in any drama – however black it may be.
I believe this tactic could never be more relevant. Especially with world events unfolding as they are at present.
So when staying up through the night to watch the U.S. presidential election, I kept this lightness of being at the forefront of my mind, especially as I had more than a hunch that the pollsters had got it wrong, rather like the infamous ‘Brexit’!
Whilst marvelling at the erudite Emily Maitless on the BBC, her political semaphore quite exemplary, as she stood in front of her map skillfully fingering her Virginia and her Nebraska, I couldn’t help but smile as all the experts had to eat their words. It was clear most of them didn’t know their Arkansas from their elbow. I knew I shouldn’t laugh, but as I mentioned earlier, in the face of adversity, I know no different. In my world – it was just another scary ride unfolding.
So, as Trump trumps, I am clinging on for dear life. As we mount the political sidewalks and no doubt run the red lights of democracy and decency, I am fastening my seatbelt and holding on to that great trait that the U.S.A. has always shown to the world.
Yes, this sometimes petulant, and often naive great nation, has always taught us one thing. That the glass is always half full. That maybe because most of them have already imbibed the first half !
But hey, I’m still smiling, and still laughing. And very thankful, that at least my father isn’t in the driving seat!
And one thing I know for sure. If we can deal with a muppet in our audience – then we can certainly deal with another one in the Whitehouse.
As long as we hold onto our sense of humour!
The First Lady !
And finish the other half of the glass!!!