Line Dancing Evening of CERTAIN DOOM
WARNING: Contains traces of bleakness, murder
I step out onto the small stage in the local village hall, a sea of expectant faces looking up at me.
A sea of expectant faces, belonging to a large crowd of middle-aged people dressed in cowboy hats, cowboy boots, and utterly ridiculous cowboy outfits. I dare say some of the ladies were dressed in cowgirl outfits, but it was all I could do to swallow back the wave of nausea that welled up inside me at the sight of these excuses for humanity.
"Welcome," I say at length, "welcome to this very special evening at the Wyke Regis Memorial Hall."
There is a murmur of appreciation from the crowd, and a barely restrained "Yeee-haaaa!", which earns the skunk-eye from the stage.
"A very special evening,"I continue, lying through my teeth, "That will be spoken about in hushed tones for many years to come."
I've paid a lot of people to hush this up. There will be no tittle-tattle, hushed tones or otherwise.
"And have we got an evening of Lion Dancing for you!"
A hand goes up at the back of the hall.
"Don't you mean 'line dancing'?" asks a Good Ole Boy, "We've paid for line dancing. My doctor says I've got to do-si-do my partner three times a week, or there'll be hell to pay."
"Ah. I'm afraid there's been a bit of a misunderstanding. Cold or no cold, my hideously expensive radio adverts clearly said 'An Evening of Lion Dancing followed by all-meat buffet'. "
"So where is the all-meat buffet? I see no all-meat buffet!" shouts one of the rounder cowboys. God help any horse that he ever has to sit on in the remaining two minutes of his life.
"Any. Second. Now."
And outside the heavily soundproofed Memorial Hall, a passer-by might conceivably have heard the roar of several exceedingly hungry wild animals, the screams of the trapped victims, the spatter of arterial blood up the blacked-out windows, and the faintest trace of "Achy Breaky Heart". But there is nobody there. Nobody except the Circus Ringmaster, counting his share of the door money.
The War on Line Dancing: IT HAS BEGUN