Friday, 25 November 2016

Money for Old Rope

truck hits train on junction fatal errorHooray! The weekend of the Portsmouth Royal Historic Dockyard Festival of christmas is here! I've been waiting a whole year since the last one.
Anyway, like the new-fangled responsible adult that I want to be, I reset my own alarm clock for 645 and slept. Sadly, I had set it for 645 pm so the first I knew anything was wrong was when backup reveille trumpeter and taxi-driver 'Bud' whipped me with his own trousers and informed me I had 29 minutes left before we left the house. This was actually quite enough time as breakfast #1 was ready for me and I'd already put my socks on the night before to save time and the Acting Bag with all of its stuff (remember this) was ready by the front door.
festival of christmas portsmouth dockyard actorSo we texted Sydney to say on-our-way and drove down to their house, playing 'And the Angels Sing' by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra (1939) at top volume to listen to the clever vocals, tveetling trumpet and bum-banging big band sound. In fact, it was so good we played it again for Sydney's benefit and when it was over, that's when they remembered they had forgotten their passes.
Now, for those of you who do not work on a functioning naval base with armed guards and actual warships on active service, forgetting your security pass is a Class A Fatal_Error, so we drove back to their place and travelled many roads (how many roads must a man drive down? 42) and got to the theatre 4 minutes late for our Call Time. Still, you've got to laugh, because nobody noticed.
illegal begging fundWhat people did notice was that only 3 of us turned up, the 4th driving in from miles away but forgetting to get her licence to miss school. So we got changed and walked to the Dockyard and performed our sketch as best we could with 3 people and a following wind. Soon, we had performed it 20 times or so and voluntarily cut our own tea breaks down a bit so we could go begging. This was a gas last year where (as chimney sweeps) we scored £3.90 by asking for money for food, please don't send me back up the chimbleys 'cos me lungs are all shot through.
Bizarrely, this year we were classed as too young to be chimney sweeps so we did the Ropery sketch instead. But our calls of "Please give us money for me brother, he's injured" and "gizz some spare change, Guv, I haven't eaten in days" worked a treat and we collected £7 from the good old British public, although you've gotta ask just how ethical that really is. My patter was quite divisive, in that I successfully divided the coins from their owners very efficiently. Then we handed out free child tickets to the Snow White panto at our theatre: when I approached kids to offer them the free tickets, they ran away, but the girls were much more successful. I didn't threaten to kill anyone, honest. So, by the end of the day, I was both tired and wired, good to get home but eager to explain all the good bits. Thankew, thankew, I'll be here for the rest of the weekend ...
Sang carols until socks were stuffed in my mouth slightly before 10pm.

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