This year, I need to spend more time with my family. I have not been a dutiful daughter in recent years, and am feeling a little guilty. For this reason, I found myself sitting in the local Pensioners’ Pub on Saturday night, one of only four people under the age of 50, watching an Elvis impersonator with a comb-over and an alarming case of angina.
To give the man credit, he was absolutely fantastic as a soundalike of The King. Unfortunately, in terms of looks, he bore more of a resemblance to a used car salesman who wears fake leather jackets and spends Friday nights drinking pints and eating Scampi Fries in the Queen Vic/Rovers Return or similar before stopping in for a pasty supper on the way home. Once again though, great singer.
I must admit that despite my desire to be lofty and condescending about the event, I had a really good night. ‘Elvis’ was thankfully totally self-aware, and had no qualms about pointing out his lack of resemblance to The King. Following a particularly energetic dance routine, he paused to get his breath back and staggered, gasping, over to the railing behind which we were sitting. “I’m gettin’ too old for this,” he wheezed to one of the surprised-looking elderly ladies who made up the majority of the audience. “I was 73 last week ye know.”
His humour and ability to sing salvaged what could have been a completely disastrous evening, all circumstances taken into consideration. I was suitably amused by his occasional references to Northern Irish politics throughout the performance. “Won’t you please surrender…” he crooned beautifully. “NEVER!” he concluded in a sudden unexpected roar. Sister, Becs and myself got into the swing of things, and sang along heartily, arms waving etc. There was something quite ironic about being caught singing “Just one Cornetto…” to the tune of “It’s now or never”, and being caught on by, erm, Elvis.
Things were equally hilarious when I found myself in the queue in the Ladies’ at the interval listening to a completely unscripted but Oscar-worthy dialogue between several batty oul’ weemin. One old dear was slightly annoyed that the random stranger she threw her arms around couldn’t quite remember the solitary occasion on which they had previously met, 32 years ago. After lots of “Wullie’s aunt’s best friend’s sister-in-law” type of descriptions (“No, no, no! That’s Wullie Greer the postman, I mean Wullie Greer the plumber, Elsie’s daughter’s second husband!”), realisation finally dawned. “Aye, ye remember me now! I’m the one that ate the whole pavalova at thon party at Vera’s house in 1976!”. I bit my lip and stared desperately at a small stain on the ceiling. “Och, aye!” came the priceless reply, “Is that how ye got the nickname Pav?”
Speechless, I looked around for anyone else who might find this remotely funny, and caught the eye of the only other Under 50 (besides Becs, Sister and myself) in the building, a young girl with goth-style clothing and scarlet streaks in her hair, who looked about as at home at this event as a gospel hall member at a death metal concert. She looked at me in utter confusion and I felt a sense of solidarity as we made eye contact in the mirror. It took me a good 10 minutes to regain my composure when I returned to the table.
Best £7.50 I ever spent.