Tuesday 5 July 2011

Death and Taxes

Someone once said that there are two things that are inevitable – death and taxes.

A happy sod that must have been.

And what is more….. they were wrong!

There are two others – the Tour de France (mentioned yesterday) and the Dance School’s end of term summer show.

This year, it was so inevitable that they decided to do it TWICE!

Rehearsals on Friday went on until 11.30 in the evening!!

My daughter is in the show, my wife is in the show, the WHOLE village will be there - if I don’t go my name will be Pariah Mud.

“What time does the show start?”

“Well, we have to be there at 7, the doors open at 8 and the show starts at 9.”

This is summer, this is the south of France, this is the Salle de Fetes – nothing will happen before the sun cools down.

“We aren’t in the first half”

I see a glimmer of hope here!

But I didn’t say anything.

“We’ll send you a message at the interval.”

If I agree to this am I showing lack of interest for which I will suffer in damnation for months after?

“Ok, sounds good.”

It was a beautiful summer’s eve on Saturday so I decided to go by bike, I could work out the return leg later.

Being as the town where all this excitement unfolds is some kilometres distance at 9.20 I decided to set off – I could always sit by the river with a pizza waiting for my call.

I chose the forest rout – a weaving dirt track that descends through pines into the valley from where I could pick up the disused railway line that parallels the river.

The sun was turning deep orange, the pines were ablaze as I negotiated the storm tossed rocks on the forest trail.

Just as I reached the forest edge my phone beeped – signals in this part of the wood are inconsistent, God knows how long the message had been sitting there.


What!? This NEVER happens in France! The show started on time?!

Or…. Early?!!

I was under (very) strict orders to film this ( with a camera I had never seen before) as my wife was trying out a new number and needed a good video/film thing.

I looked at my watch.

Ok, I’m still 10 kilometers of serious biking away, but I have the wind behind me and I can count on Frank making at least two trips to the bar in the interval.

Should I send a text – “on way, dance slowly” – or will that just antagonise everyone?

I decided to keep stum, but pedal like I was possessed.

I passed someone in a tractor.

I didn’t use my breaks at the crossroads.

Along with death, taxes, the Tour de France and the Dance Schools end of term summer show there are two other things you can count on as inevitable.

One involves my son and his shoes by the front door – something that has no place in this tale.

The other is that the interval at the Dance School’s end of term summer show will be longer than the first half – I arrived as people were still loitering with drinks watching the sunset.

I sent a quick message backstage –“here” – making it look as casual as possible, and took a seat in the front row that said it was “reserved.”

If you look as sweaty as I did, you usually get away with this.

I took out the camera.

I knew the battery was charged up, I knew that there was a hard disk thingy not a cassette but I didn’t know how to turn it on.

For some reason I decided to try once the lights had gone out and the president was making a speech.

The camera plays a very jolly tune as it comes into action, and from the front row the President’s microphone was more than capable of picking it up.

Some of the youngest students misread this as their cue and came bouncing on in their tutus.

The president stopped in mid speech, Martine- the parent in charge of controlling the smallest started flapping her arms from the wings, the sound technician misread this a cue and started the music for the tango number and Nicole, the head of the school, appeared in the other wing flashing a torch at the sound desk – only this was knocked from her hands as the Tango dancers pranced onto the stage.

To us in the audience everything appeared normal so we started clapping.

There is one other thing that is inevitable – along with death, taxes, the Tour de France, this summer show and my son's inability to put his shoes away – your camera will just not be ready when chaos like this breaks out.


Vicki said...

Oh thank you, Chris. My best laugh of the day - love it.

Anne Hodgson said...

Wonderful!! When is the Bits 'n Bob's/ Show 'n Tell Movie coming out??

popps said...

Vicki - if i have made you laugh my day is complete!

popps said...

Anne - we just need to raise that finance!