Talent Show – Variety

A week before the talent contest, Barry dropped round at Sindys house casually handing her a bag full of his dirty laundry.

“Just a few more bits Sind darlin’, it’s only ’til I get one of my own, did you wash my lucky pants by any chance?”

IMG_6049Sindy had been rushed off her feet, ironing his socks and folding his going out shirt when she had discovered some incriminating evidence that he may have been up to his old tricks and decided to confront him.

“Barry, have you been ….gambling again?”

He was deep in her fridge with his mouth full of her secret stash of chocolate bars.

“What?” He answered in a confused way, then saw the playing card she was holding up.

“No, of course not, Sindy believe me, I don’t do that no more.”

She studied his simple face for the tell tale signs of deceit but he held her gaze steadily while munching away and her suspicions were quelled.

IMG_6059

“Oh Barry, don’t you ever eat at home?” She lovingly filled the bag with his freshly pressed clothes as he rummaged in her cupboards for the hidden crisp stash. Sindy had the best snacks and Barry was a very lucky man.

IMG_6060

Fast forward to the night of The Ritzys Talent contest. The enigmatic owner and tonights compare Darius, introduced the next contestant as ‘Magic Barry – The man of Mystery.’

The ladies in the audience cooed their appreciation at this fine figure of a virile young man, Barry lapped it up, basking in the adoration with a half hidden smug smile.

He had been secretly practicing for ages and now it was the big night.

IMG_6068

From out of nowhere a magic wand suddenly appeared in his hand as Barry began his performance using exaggerated gestures, all the while keeping a totally straight face.

A magic box was placed on the green baise table as the wand tapped it three times while he incanted the magic word ‘ALACAZAM’ .

IMG_6083

The shocked gasps rippled across the awe inspired auditorium as he slowly opened the magic box revealing……

IMG_6087

BARBIE!

IMG_6092Ta-da

Barry’s first magic trick was incredible and the crowd went wild, especially after he carefully closed the box and deftly tossed it around on all its corners, there were absolutely no holes or gaps (maybe mirrors… but nothing was ever proved)

fullsizeoutput_99c8

Barry’s next trick involved three cups and a real egg, this got even more gasps from the amazed audience as the egg disappeared from the table.

IMG_6108

Only to reappear under his magicians Fez!

WOW! What a talent, how did he do that?

Although the cheap seats at the back couldn’t really see very much, even so they clapped loudly with the rest.

IMG_6116

Just to show off Barry miraculously conjured not just one egg cup, but three.

Goodness me, this man had talent!

IMG_6122

Barrys final trick was a classic slight of hand card illusion, asking a random lady from the audience to name a card, he magically produced this exact one ( the Queen of Hearts) from the pack. The back row were seriously unimpressed which, in hindsight, was not his best choice of tricks, it always went down well in the pub but sadly not in a theatre of this magnitude.

IMG_6124

Barry the ‘Man of Mystery’ was unceromniously ushered off the stage as the set needed to be changed while the interval rush for the bar kicked off. He didn’t even get his full applause but Darius reaped the profits.

Suitably refreshed for the second half, the curtains opened and welcomed to the stage the ‘Many Faces of Max’ – Impressionist extraordinaire.

Laughter peeled loudly as he stumbled and bumbled around as Benny Hill.

IMG_6134

His Tommy Cooper was hilarious, especially as Max used some of the same tricks as Barry but they all went terribly wrong to the great amusement of the now tipsy audience.

Barry was the only one not laughing.

IMG_6136

Max even got an encore for his inspired performance as the popular and precocious child star Bonny Langford, singing her heart out very loudly

“I’m just a girl who can’t say no…..”

They were rolling around the aisles in merriment and one old lady even had an unfortunate accident because she’d drunk too much in the interval.

IMG_6147

Darius introduced the hot new singing sensation KSSK ( vaguely pronounced Kissed) with their amazing vocal version emulating the popular Swedish group ABBA.

They had a phenominal stage routine with sycronised arm waving and everything.

IMG_6150

Their rendition of SOS was …almost …in tune.

When Sindy hit the high notes, the rest gave her some harmony almost loud enough to drown out the wavering finish.

Nonetheless, the girls flounced around the stage as if they were superstars and everyone could see how much they were all enjoying the limelight.

fullsizeoutput_99fd

They were just going into their second song ‘Waterloo’ when, for some unknown reason the microphones stopped working.

Darius ushered the confused performers off to stage right with a fixed grimace of a smile on his weary face.

It had been a long night.

IMG_6159

The final act for this frenzied and strangly laughing crowd was a total surprise to Old Mrs Sindy, who was sitting in the second row next to the lady who had wet herself earlier. She’d only come to support her darling daughter but now was amazed to see on stage, none other than her new gentleman friend, Sir Charles!

IMG_6167

“Hello Sargent Life Guard, have you seen Her Majesty the Queen recently?” asked Sir Charles.

“Yes, I have”

“And did she offer you a beverage?”

“Yes she did.”

“What was that drink?”

“A gottle of gear.”

IMG_6172

“Ho Ho, my wife has just come back from a holiday in the Caribbean?”

“Jamaica?”

“No, Trinidad actually.”

“I say, I say, I say, did you know that my dog has no nose?”

“No nose? How does he smell?”

“Awful”

And it truly was an awful performance, everyone could see his mouth move, even so Sir Charles probably received the loudest and longest amount of applause of the whole evening.

IMG_6166

Now we have all witnessed the variety of entertainers, who would you pick to win the contest?

 

©Juliette Dodd 2020

Ken’s Unisex Salon

It was a very busy Saturday morning at Ken’s newly opened Unisex salon, the very first of its kind in town and ever so trendy and fashionable.

Customers lined up waiting for Ken’s magic touch, he was rushed off his feet and that was just the way he liked it.

IMG_3766

Old Mrs Priscilla was a familiar client and had been getting her ( difficult and challenging) hair set as regular as clockwork, 3 times a week since time immemorial; being one of Alphonso’s legacies, although Ken would have preferred all his clients to be the young and beautiful, such s life!

“Did you get my favourite setting lotion in, Ken dear?”

“Yes Mrs Priscilla, they still had some old stock at the suppliers, it’s almost a museum piece! I ordered the whole lot especially for you.”

“Good, I can’t be doing with all this new stuff, it brings up my hives.”

IMG_3770

“What’s the latest on Number 69? I heard they had another weekend party…..with foreign gentlemen!” Mrs Priscilla didn’t hesitate to make wild assumptions, maybe she was a just little bit jealous?

“Oh my, I really don’t know, you’ll have to ask Karen when she’s finished with her customer.” Ken refused to join in with this topic, he’d been at that party too…and yes, all sorts of guests attending, foreign and otherwise!

Karen waved from above the dryer.

“I won’t keep you too long dear, just finishing a perm.” Ken handed her another magazine and promised a cup of coffee.

fullsizeoutput_926b

The doorway darkened as a tall dashing gentleman in a striking red uniform marched into the Salon.

Ken greeted this new comer with a warm smile, people glanced around and some audible noises of appreciation were heard, everyone loves a uniform, especially a red one with lots of shiny brass buttons.

“Sir Charles Emery VC, pleased to meet you young man.” A very formal and loud introduction from this distinguished military Gent.

Ken was a little bit flustered, he liked a man in uniform too,

“Hi I’m Ken, how can I help you today Sir Charles?”

“I need a wash and trim if you please.”

“Of course, if you don’t mind waiting a short while, I’ll get Karen to give you a good going over.” Ken saw the amount of Brylcreem on his bonce and passed that sticky job swiftly on to his eager young assistant.

Karen was a very good scrubber and always enjoyed the hands-on approach.

IMG_3779

Settled into a waiting chair next to Mrs Priscilla, Sir Charles immediately started up a conversation.

“Good morning Ma’am, beautiful weather for this time of year, don’t ya think?”

She tittered like a schoolgirl, he really did remind her of her long departed Daddy.

“Yes the snow seems to have missed us this year, I love a mild winter, don’t you?” Starting off on safe ground, she was dying to know who this handsome and very smart stranger was.

IMG_3782

“Yes indeed, but when I was in active service in the Argentines, we would have given our eye teeth for snow, damnable heat, it even made the brass sweat.”

“Oh that sounds so exotic, where else have you been?” and Old Mrs Sindy was immediately draw into deep discussions of foreign climates and their downside compared to good old Blighty.

IMG_3787

“And you dear lady, is there a Mr Priscilla?”

“No, he’s been gone these past ten years, the swinging sixties affected his mind.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, you must be terribly lonely?”

“Well yes, but he still sends me an occasional postcard from Naples, apparently he’s opened a home for orphaned teenage boys…a heart of gold really.”

The stories one hears in a Hairdressing Salon would make your toes curl, all of life’s rich pageant is discussed, even the most taboo subjects, in here there were no holes barred.

Sir Charles was ever thankful for Unisex Salons, the whole of womankind eager to engage in the most intimate of conversations, he was in his element.

IMG_3788

As the old lady was ushered off for her finishing procedure the Salon door swung open and a tall mysterious figure entered.

Ken was the most attentive and welcoming host and rushed to greet this latest customers, her graceful entrance oozed refinement and breeding, Sir Charles sat to attention with keen interest.

fullsizeoutput_9281

Hmm, though Sir Charles, she is just the sort of lady he was looking for, as he twirled his moustache in a nonchalant manner; hoping she would be seated in the now empty waiting chair next to him.

IMG_3796

That was not to be, Ken had been expecting the arrival of his most honoured client, he swiftly took her coat and directed her to his special chair to begin his skilful hair magic.

He knew Madame Sylvain must never be kept waiting like a common peasant.

fullsizeoutput_9273

“Won’t be keeping you long now Sir, Saturday is our busiest time and everyone wants their hair done for the weekend, have a magazine.” She kindly offered the latest edition of Cosmopolitan. Poor Sir Charles almost got the shock of his life glancing through the glossy pages to the features, so engrossed he hardly heard his name being called.

‘Well I never’ he thought as he tore himself away from a very detailed diagram of an orgasm.

IMG_3807

“Oh, there is a lot of this sticky stuff to wash out Sir, I’ll have to do a third shampoo…is the water too hot?”

“Mind my ears please my dear, they are beginning to burn.”

fullsizeoutput_9276

Sir Charles was lucky to be sitting right next to the target of his interest, although he couldn’t hear any of the conversations over the whooshing water in his ears.

“I think its all out now Sir, did say you wanted a trim?” whittered Karen.

“Yes, regulation please.” Karen had no idea what that meant so she guessed it was a short  back and sides.

fullsizeoutput_9278

“Perfection!” Ken stood back to admire his complicated up-do, he loved dressing Madame Sylvain’s perfect golden locks,  it was so satisfying working with very long hair for a change.

“Gut, you have pleazed me Ken, I am happy viv your vurk.”

Ken knew she was a very generous tipper and he always gave her his special customer service.

fullsizeoutput_9277

“Do another wash there, Karen,” he called over, “And use the industrial cleaner from the back room.”

Sir Charles had been straining to hear the conversation and gathered she was a Hun, or so it seemed, he made a note to return next Saturday morning or even better, to glance over the appointment book and get her name and address.

IMG_3822

Madame Sylvain was in a hurry, there was still a lot of preparation to do before the VIP guests arrived this evening, at least she was at her most presentable, entertaining Royalty was her speciality.

fullsizeoutput_927a

Sir Charles stared longingly after the beautiful continental lady as his head got severely scrubbed for the fifth time, damned that Brycreem, he cursed to himself, else he could have been accompanying her out of the salon.

 

Will Sir Charles ever meet Madame Sylvain?

Does old Mrs Sindy have a new crush?

And what about the Greek room?

 

©Juliette Dodd 2020