The Thamensian

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‘OH God am I in trouble now’

Readers with reasonable short term memories will recall that back in the early summer I had a splendid time at the Elms Park ‘Music in the Park’ event.

A combination of sunshine, good company, good music, smiling faces and about eight cans of lager meant that I was in fine spirits by the time that the last band appeared.

I thoroughly enjoyed their high velocity SKA act, packed full with the hits of the Selector, Specials, the Beat and Madness and by half past 10 I was still baying for more.

They hadn’t played Baggy Trousers and when my old friend Simon pointed this out to me I felt it was only fair to share this observation with a wider audience.

We began to bounce a little and chant ‘Baggy Trousers’, joined by a small but enthusiastic crowd of like-minded (ie drunk) people around us.

It was tremendous fun and was like being transported back to evenings at Friars in Aylesbury, but with added paunches and bald patches.

Up on the stage a harassed looking MC called Paddy tried to shush us. He began very politely but you could see the panic in his eyes when we chanted louder.

He may have had a microphone but we are experienced barrackers and were relentless. “Look, we want to run this again next year and the license is only until 10.30pm,” he pleaded. Which only made us worse.

I think it was only when I fell off my sandals and painfully trod on a stone that I stopped, meaning that Simon was on his own for a moment and his nerve faltered as people around him told him to ssshhhhhhhh.

We let the MC off, and you could see the relief on his face as we shuffled into the night without our requested encore. I have often thought of that MC since. He was obviously used to a more genteel audience and not usually heckled quite so much. What did he do for a day job?

Imagine my discomfort then, dear reader, when, attending the Christmas lights switch-on last week, the same MC bounded on stage. I was just about to bounce down the front and request Baggy Trousers when someone introduced him: “Now, with his Christmas message, please welcome Reverend Paddy Harris.”

OH NO. I have heckled a vicar. Really loudly and for quite some time. Help. I will never get to heaven now.

I swear there was a moment when Rev Paddy locked eyes with me with a triumphant ‘Heckle me NOW’ look in his blessed eyes. So, publically, I apologise. Sorry your Reverence. I was just enjoying myself.

Luckily I believe the Church is full of forgiveness. I am truly penitent and will redress the balance by buying the new Cliff Christmas song, if that helps. I promise to behave myself in 2012. Honest. Pray for me, readers.