Last night I went and stood in the rain in a field in Maghera.
This was more fun than it sounds, because there were a couple of hundred other people there, along with Mr. Whippy (my hero!!), lots of guitars and drums, and one Brian Houston – in my opinion, one of Northern Ireland’s top musicians, who should really be a lot better known than he is. Brief, funky, banjo-like demonstration coming up:
It was a great night, although I was slightly perturbed by one of the local singers who played first and announced that he was a member of the Pro-Celibacy Brotherhood (“We take singleness very seriously”). Which, as I remarked to Billy Joel (that would be a clever combination of Billy and Joel, see what I did there?), was extremely funny if it was a joke, and incredibly disturbing if it was serious. I couldn’t really tell, until he launched into a unique version of I’m a Believer with lyics such as “I thought love was more or less a series of chemical reactions” and “I’m a PCB member, I couldn’t leave it if I tried…”. Made me laugh, anyway.
The star of the show was, of course, Mr. Whippy. But he was closely followed in amazingness by Brian, who showed up in his odd shoes as usual. I don’t mean that his shoes were odd, I mean that they were odd. Hope I cleared that up for you.
It seems to be his “thing”. I’ve never seen him in matching shoes, and to be honest, I’d feel cheated if I did. Anyway, he launched into a bouncy set of new songs and his most popular old ones. It felt good to dance, it felt good to sing, it felt good to be having fun. And at the end of the night, as Mr. Whippy left, he delighted his crowd by playing his familiar, happy jingle. He got a standing ovation. All was right with the world. Mind you, I was suffering from an alarming caffeine crash following my earlier few hours spent drinking gallons of coffee in Starbucks with Nelly.
That stuff is like rocket fuel when you’ve mostly been drinking mild filter coffee at home – I was shaking like an alcoholic when I left her and went in search of the car. Incidentally: Fairhill car park? A no-go if your parking skills are limited at the best of times, and more so if you’re still not used to driving your father’s car, which is somewhat larger than Rio the Clio. It took me several attempts in 5 different spaces to get the thing parked in the first place, and then I nearly reversed into an indignant, horn-blaring Mini as I was trying to get out with my leg shaking like crazy on the clutch. I stalled three times in my caffeine and stress induced fluster, couldn’t reach the ticket machine to get out of the car park, and then almost crashed into a wall. I think I would have been safer drunk-driving than caffeinated-driving.
I was incapable of stopping a torrent of senseless words spewing forth from my lips, which left my parents regretting asking me for a lift up the town when I got back. It’s probably a little worrying to be driven by your fidgety, shaking, hyperactive daughter while she babbles incessantly about how many times she’s almost wrecked the car in the past half hour. They practically leapt out before the car had come to a complete halt.
Fortunately, the only crash that occurred was in my body, when the caffeine high gave way to a sudden energy slump, which sadly was not helped at all by a nap at Betsy’s house, but improved significantly by the consumption of a Creme Egg en route to the concert. My poor body. I should really consider doing No. 3 on my 101 Things list soon, you know…