Monday, July 01, 2002

Concert last night at my eldest daughter’s school. That’s three weeks of my life I’ll never see again.

The latest trick for these do’s is to make sure that everyone’s kid features in the big finale number. I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts half of the choir were lip-syncing at the end, held in place by the music teacher’s sadistic desire to see us all suffer along with her.

Last night’s soiree was an evening of Medieval music, Gaelic folk tales, and dance. Now this calls for heavy cocktail consumption. We’re talking Mescal with pineapple juice and a WD-40 chaser.

Now don’t get me wrong: I love to see my little girl on stage. My heart quite literally does soar when I see her up there, and hear her sing. But it’s hard to maintain school spirit after the fourth hour of experimental Japanese flute music.

After the first day of madrigals, my seat neighbour violently attempted to seize the 9-volt battery I had cunningly rigged to deliver wake-up shocks to my inner thigh. Luckily I was able to slash the back of his hand with the souvenir program. Apart from the writhing, this was the highlight of my evening.

Medieval dancing looks like Nurse Ratched has told the Obsessive
Compulsive Ward that they have to entertain her if they want to see today's happy pills. A dozen or so people wandering slowly about in expressionless unison. Repeat. I may have nodded off during their second week, but by this stage we were just hoping to make it to interval without having to chew a foot off. No wonder the English started the Crusades. It was all about dodging next Friday's social mixer with the King of France.

At interval I noticed the school canteen was doing a brisk trade in racehorse stimulants and pharmaceutical cocaine. These went well with the molten lava mini pies and tepid soup. A shady character asked if I was interested in tunnelling out, but I was afraid he might be working for the guards. Back inside.

Time seemed to be slowing to a standstill, but a quick check of the ski poles we had hammered into the glacier showed this not to be the case. One guy’s heart stopped from sheer boredom, and the orderlies thoughtfully dragged him outside before hitting him with the paddles.

By the end of the evening, most of us looked like we were auditioning for Unnamed Patient #3 in the theatrical revival of Awakenings. And we today we got the bad news: Hawaiian Variety Night.

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