Parte the Firste: Punch & Pedal Pushers



It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Scandinavian in possession of inflated assets, must be in want of a career in musical entertainment.

How this notion lingered in my conscious as I sat with Cassandra, my sybling and confidante, in front of our magic lantern (so kindly bestowed upon us by a Mr. Hitachi from one of the Far Eastern colonies) and witnessed the multitude of melodic delights that those amusing foreign peoples are inclined to perform for us at each springtime.

But, oh! How those tiresome Daphne and Seagull girls did annoy us so with their overly dramatic flicking of hair and claims of being able to provide both 'music' and indeed 'drama'. I doubt that they will be received at Netherfield this year. Our protestations were soon lost to the evening gloom however, as we sipped at our sweet apple punch from the prestigious Woodpecker Orchards and allowed the songs to one by one caress our ears.

How I liked the entry from LITHUANIA. Cassandra ably informed me that this is somewhere near France and I bowed to her superior knowledge with due humility. The young singer, whom I believed to be called Esther, was resplendent in the fashion known as the 'pedal pusher', which Cassandra told me is immensely popular in the County of Essex. This caused great excitement, as we both hitched up our petticoats to see which of us did indeed have the most flattering thighs. I was vexed to discover that it was indeed Cassandra and she remained quietly smug in her chair for some length of time.

I do not care for her more vain airs and so I chose instead to watch the singer from BELGIUM. I was shocked to discover that this seemingly innocent ditty concerned an appreciation for the most unfeminine act of belching. The fact that the colour scarlet so dominated the mise en scene of her stage presentation left me in no doubt as to her background and I secretly wished that she finish no higher than eleventh, or perhaps twelfth equal.

I hoped for a more subtle style of dress from the raven-haired SPANISH vocalist, but the shocking gaudiness of her gown very nearly gave me the vapours and I can only imagine that this girl was a colleague of the Belgian competitor. How refreshing then, for a more suitably attired singer to adorn the stage, a Miss Dragovic of CROATIA. This is also near France, Cassandra informed me once more. This lady, whose full name is presumably Dorothy, was more preferably dressed and it was nigh impossible to catch sight of either wrist or ankle. She sang a fine song too, an anthemic ballad in gentle praise of a virginal creature from The Scriptures.

Oh, what was this? Miss Dragovic then most publicly removed much of her clothing in one swift movement and it became apparent that she believed in neither bodice nor petticoat. How relieved I was that dear father was not present. The embarrassment of witnessing such blatant femininity would no doubt render him quite tense and stiff.

It was the turn of the entry from the ENGLISH ISLES at this juncture. We cheered as loudly as was possible without causing interruption to the kindly Wogan gentleman who so thoughtfully sits behind our armchair each year and reads the programme of events out to us. Cassandra and myself marvelled at the ingenuity behind the performance of this song (which will have to be translated as I Do Beg Your Pardon? for more refined circles). By employing a cacophonous quintet to interpret this sensitive tune, then it would surely stand out in comparison to the talented singers performing the other songs. Genius. I allowed myself a quite smile and prepared for an English victory.

Return The Good Reader to Miss Austen's Opening Page

Proceed, Good Reader, to Parte the Seconde

Proceed, Good Reader, to Parte the Thirde

Proceed, Good Reader, to Parte the Forthe