Captain Midnight here, reporting from the home front in Acton.
I must say that London life is very exciting. There are many new things for Himself to get his addled head around. For example: on Monday evening just after I got back from a hard day at the dog minder, Herself said:
“It’s choir night. Do you want to come?”
I thought she was talking to me so I wuffled about in a generally excited way to show that I was definitely up for a bit of a singsong. It turned out she was suggesting that Himself (he of the tin ear and eccentric vocal chords) might like to go with her to the West London Community Choir to sing some Christmas songs and carols.
There was a long pause as Himself scraped together a rather unconvicing smile.
“That would be… er… nice.”
Herself decided to take that as enthusiastic assent, picked up a bundle of sheet music, and marched us all out to the car. Before you could say Handel’s Messiah, we were inside St Peter’s Church, Notting Hill being greeted like long lost friends by lots of women he and I had never met before.
Himself looked a bit shell-shocked, though being a babe magnet myself, I’m an old hand at that sort of thing. I advised Him to stand back and let me handle the onslaught of patting and chin-chucking while he gathered his strength for what was to come.
Soon it was time to take our places. Himself turned white and clutched the sheet music (which by the way He is quite unable to read) like a drowning man holding on to a lifebelt.
“Are you a Bing or a Bowie?” the conductor asked Him.
“Bass or tenor?”
“Sit with the basses. They’ll look after you.”
Looking after Himself is really my job so I went with Him. There was much whooping and hollering to warm up and then they were off: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Brutal is the only word for it.
Plum. Plum. Plum. Plum. Plum. Fa la la. Fa la la. Plum. Fa la. Plum. Fa la.
His eyes wandered desperately over the staves searching in vain for something resembling a note while he croaked random syllables in a voice that was more Banshee than Bing or Bowie. I wagged my tail to help him find the beat but he didn’t seem to notice. When it finished, he grinned triumphantly across the room at Herself like a man who against all the odds had just survived a train wreck.
I’m glad to say that things got better when we got onto the carols, though I still don’t understand why they don’t have dogs in them. You’d think shepherds would have had dogs wouldn’t you? But apparently not. No mention of dogs anywhere near the baby Jesus.
But, I digress. As I was saying, things got better when we got onto the carols. Pretty soon Himself was belting them out and by the time we did The Twelve Days of Christmas, he was actually laughing with pleasure.
I suspect we might be going again.
This story made me so very happy, Geoff. It’s perfectly placed prose. And so delightful. I could see and feel it all. And the joy you describe is contagious. You’ve made my day.
Thank you Tor. It’s so lovely to read your appreciation.