Monday, September 27, 2010

Bill Oldie Gets Up and Sits Down

Oh yes Zoot (comments below) I remember the Belvedere! Shabby, damp and pondering its very existence every day.
I think I've written about this before but if you were very (un)lucky, you could witness a Sinatra-a-like in a beige suit and Grecian 1000 hair, singing lounge songs to his own reflection in the back mirror-tiles, accompanied by Bill Oldie on pianner.
Bill was about 150 years old and wore a brown suit that had probably seen better days even when he bought it. Although he was almost completely bald, a thick and lustrous tuft of grey hair poked out of the top of his shirt, as though it was making a bid for freedom before Bill pegged out. He was painfully tall, and painfully thin.
'Yer Shepherd's Pie's ready!' the woman behind the counter would shout, and pop a piping hot dish on top of the piano.
'Bill wants to get up! He's getting up! Help! Help!'
Several pubfolk rushed over to help him as he slowly, slowly rose from behind the piano, peering brightly from behind his spectacles and desperately grabbing on to the piano-lid, the back of his bentwood chair, anything, to gain a bit of leverage. This was clearly an Event.
Sitting with our half-a-lagers, we marvelled at the Sunday lunchtime excitement.
'It's OK! It's OK! He's sitting down again. You all right, Bill? It's OK! He's alright!'
Wow. Sunday lunchtime on the Brighton seafront.
We won't see days like that again!

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