Saturday, 21 November 2009

Chapter 27 - Boom Will Rock You

At 6 pm, barely an hour and a half before the concert was due to begin, the drive leading up to the arena was ominously quiet. I glanced out of the bedroom window which afforded excellent views of the empty roads and lanes leading up to the Manor.

'Oh, I do hope they won't be disappointed,' I said. 'They've put an awful lot of work into this concert. It would be awful if no-one turned up.'
'We'll still go,' said Andy. He adjusted his bow tie in the mirror and turned to face me. 'Too much, do you think?' he said. 'Too formal? Too grand?'
'It depends,' I said, 'on whether you are going to wear anything else.'
Andy looked down. 'I thought I felt a breeze,' he said.

In the dressing rooms behind the arena, Boom Penguin were holding a team-building session.
'Who are we?' said Boom.
'Boom Penguin,' said the rest of the band.
'And what do we do?' said Boom.
'We boom,' said the band.
'And what happens when we boom?' said Boom Penguin.
'The who world rocks,' said the band.

Boom looked from Bob to Srtix to Dave and back again. 'Okay,' he said. 'No can we try that with a little more conviction?'
'I'm afraid I'm finding it hard to be convinced of anything, ' said Bob morosely, 'when the arena is echoing to the heady sound of silence.'
'Oh, don't you worry,' said Boom, cheerfully. 'The fans won't let us down. Trust me.'
'I tried that once,' said Dave, 'and look what happened.'
'The past is the past,' said Boom. 'You watch. That arena wil start filling and soon you won't be able to move for the smell of rock and roll.'
'Someone's coming!' shouted Mrs Slocombe, bursting into the dressing-room as fast as her skin tight cat suit would allow. Her head was half-filled with curlers, amd Mrs Pumphrey was in hot pursuit.
'Will you come back this instant,' shrieked Mrs Pumphrey. 'How can I do your feathers when you won't sit still??'
'See!' said Boom triumphantly. 'I told you they'd be here. Our fans,' he sighed, dreamily.
'Don't get too excited,' said Honeybun, appearing behind Mrs Pumphrey. 'It's only something to do with the firework display.'
'The fireworks?' said Mrs Pumphrey, frowning so hard her false eyelashes came unstuck and landed in Bob's pre-concert gin and it snifter. 'I thought Tango Pete and his cousin had set everything up already.'
'Apparently not,' said Honeybun. 'This guy says they forgot to put in some kind of detonator device. He says that without it, the evening is going to end as a damb squib rather than a triumphant bang.'
'Well, we don't want a damp squib, do we?' said Boom. 'The bigger the bang, the better, eh darling?' and he gave Honeybun a dig in the ribs.
'I wouldn't know,' said Honeybun. 'Now if you'll excuse me, I'll take this firework chappie up to the display area so he can do whatever it is he has to do to the fireworks.'
'Fine,' said Boom. 'Me and the guys have important prep to do, anyway.'

'And so do we,' said Mrs Pumphrey, ushering Mrs Slocombe from the room.

The firework man followed Honeybun through the arena and out the back to where a small, gentle slope had been punctuated by a selection of various firework structures.
'Leave me to it, love,' said the firework man. 'You get on. You look like you're busy.'
'You have no idea,' said Honeybun. 'There's all these rock fans to start shepherding about for a start,' and she swept her hand across the rows and rows of empty seats.
'Was that sarcasm?' asked the firework man.
'No,' said Honeybun and left him too it before the sharpness of her wit caused her to lacerate her tongue.

Once she was out of sight, the firework man got to work.
'An extra fuse here,' he muttered, 'and a bigger fuse there. And I fink that 'oneybun Slingsby and 'er gang might just regret messin' wiv me.'
Reaching into his pocket, the firework man, or should I say 'firework' man, pulled out a piece of official looking paper. Unfolding it, he scanned the contents for the hundredth time that day.
Across the centre of the paper, in deep red letters, was written the words 'APPLICATION REJECTED.'
Letting out a stifled growl, which could have been due to his pent up anger, or the fact his faLse beard was excessively bushy, the 'firework' man screwed up the paper and flung it into a box of Roman candles.

* * * * * * * * *

Three quarters of an hour to go. Then thirty minutes. Stix was performing an agitated rap on his dressing table with his drumsticks, Bob was sitting against the wall looking morose. Out in the corridor, Poulet Nous could be heard rehearsing the tricky harmonies for Mamma Mia. And then...then the cars started appearing and filling up the car park. Cars, and more cars, and then a coach. A couple of motorbikes, followed by more cars.

Boom, who had been standing outside the arena staring across the countryside, breathed out a depp and thankful sigh.
'They're here,' he whispered. 'My fans. My devoted fans. They've come. They haven't let me down.'

And turning, he ran back into the arena towards the dressing-room, letting out a giant and excited scream that was most unbecoming of a cool and happening rock star...'THEY'RE HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE!!!!!!!'

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