That got your attention!
Steve and I have just done something out of character. No - we didn't 'wave our legs in the air'; we attended a dinner and "Songs from the West End Sing-a-Long".
The reason being it was a prize. The owners of the High Rocks Inn in Tunbridge Wells, the venue for the Association's Annual Dinner, kindly donated two tickets for the meal and show as a raffle prize. The lady who won it didn't really wish to attend (she lived quite some distance away). I offered to buy the prize from her , donating the money to Association funds, which she agreed. Everyone a winner!
The venue owners, Guiseppe and Maggie Cappalazzi, were incredibly generous. Not only did they give the prize, but also sent across a bottle of Champagne and liqueurs. We were also seated at the best table in the room; directly in front of the stage. They couldn't have been kinder. And the food was super.
As we entered and were escorted to our seat, Steve said, "there are an awful lot of people here staring at you. Now they're waving." I nervously glanced around the room to see two thirds of those attending were local Party members. With fifty pairs of eyes watching, I waved in the general direction of the crowd; a bit like Eva Peron from the balcony of The Casa Rosada. Any hope of a quiet, low key evening out with my partner quickly evaporated, however, when the following announcement boomed over the PA system, "Ladies and gentlemen, please give a big welcome to our Conservative Party prize winners, Andrew Kennedy and Steve."
All around me I could hear them chuntering. "I knew he was one of those" and "is that what Steve looks like". Then, right on cue, just as the background music died away, one old duck at a table behind could be clearly heard saying to her guests, "he's supposed to be on a sponsored slim, not sure if he's started it yet." Another formidable Grande Dame appeared in between courses, and without so much as a "hello" or "how are you" said to Steve, "you don't look much like a vicar to me." Don't you just love Tory women!
My heart went out however to the entertainers; two perfectly nice singers who had to try and get a response from what must have been the most critical audience in Kent. "Join in on the chorus", "sing along if you know it", "come on - everybody sing" were all met with stony silence. Finally, in an attempt to get some participation, "wave your arms in the air". Nothing. At this point he was standing alongside a table containing Tunbridge Wells Conservative's very own coiffured Hyacinth Bouquet. "Well, if you cannot wave your arms, how about waving your legs in the air" he said, with a wink in her direction.
The thought of this particular member waving anything in the air, let alone her legs, was too absurd to contemplate. Unfortunately, this was the very same lady who in the very same room a year earlier had almost passed-out when Stanley Johnson told her that the RSPCA had given him the Dick Large award because he has a large dick. She had clearly remembered the slight. As she left she stopped at my table, eyes narrowing, and said, "I suppose you put him up to that, I don't find such smut at all amusing."
That was an interesting evening, said Steve as we left. Maybe next week you'd like to come with me to the Church Quiz Night.