Parte the Forthe: Plums & Prejudice

Cassandra knowledgeably informed me that ISRAEL is the capital of Belgium, and it is surely a most popular destination, for those in the audience showed great exuberance and appreciation for the song, even before it was performed. The four young men who did perform were extremely excitable, finding it difficult to keep still, and it would appear that someone in the stalls was celebrating their birthday as they kindly took every opportunity to wish them many happy returns. We congratulated them on their kindness, sacrificing what must have been a very original lyric for the sake of just one face in a crowd. So rare, in these misanthropic times.

Then, tragedy. The MALTESE entrants had elected upon the same method of attaining victory as the English group. They too had wrapped a caterwauling group of young women in silver cloth and forced them to sing a simplistic popular song. This would surely detract from the performance of fifteen songs previously, and I crossed my fingers, hoping that these impudent ragamuffins would not pass the forty point boundary.

We were once most vividly entertained at Glyndebourne by a group of Australians under the nomenclature of Bjorn Again. How cunning of the GERMANS then, to employ their Turkish equivalent to perform the song concerning Joseph and the Virgin Mary's game of Musical Chairs in a stable as they awaited the Messiah's birth. There was much waving during this song (presumably at the member of the audience who was celebrating their birthday) and a young mill girl was also present, so grateful at missing bath night that she clung to one woman's hand with clear eagerness.

My derrier was starting to twitch with numbness, so I was pleased to see the penultimate act take to the stage. The emaciated gentleman who performed for BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA received much sympathy. It was quite clear that his skeletal state was caused by one of his backing singers eating all of his food, as well as his best stage clothes. This peculiar chant did not rest well on our ears, reminding us of the incantations that one hears at the homes of those who have visited India for a season and have so chosen to fill their drawing rooms with ethnic furniture. I did not care for it.

The final song from ESTONIA was thus made all the more welcome, especially as it involved our favourite subject of expensive jewellery. Miss Samuel's father must surely have the initial 'H'. This was however, a most enjoyable way to round off the proceedings before those vexious pair of girls returned to the stage to introduce the cabaret act that would entertain us whilst the peoples of the continent indicated their preferences via telegram.

This act involved many people dancing in a field and becoming overly excited by the sight of a figure wrapped in feathers, whom I instantly recognised as Mr. Dana International, arriving to move her lips in synchronization to the tune from a hidden gramophone player. These people became even more excitable when they moved from the field into the auditorium, and then the cabaret was over. Daphne and Seagull then attempted to convince us that it had been somehow entertaining, before Yiggle, the oddly melancholic-sounding Israeli, asked the people from around the continent to count the telegrams they had received.

At this point, matters became somewhat confusing.

I recalled a County Fete some years ago, where my father had entered his lush ripe plums and shiny pair of melons for the fruit and vegetable show. They were fine specimens, which glowed when rubbed furiously. However, they did not receive any prizes. Instead, all accolades went to a much younger woman with distinctly smaller melons and no plums to speak of at all. It was later revealed that this woman was a close neighbour of the judge. Due to the dust caused by the beating of carpets in her back yard, the woman often left the judge's rear entrance quite filthy. Therefore, she made frequent visits to the judge's abode to rub his wood down and give his knob a good polishing. It was thought that her prize was merely a reward for being such an attentive neighbour.

It would appear that copious amounts of knob polishing takes place throughout the continent, as I soon noted how countries with connecting borders were especially kind to each other. However, despite so many countries being in proximity to France, the French peoples could not revel in such a bushel of points. I felt quite sure that the Irish would lavish their highest reward on their good English neighbours, but there was obviously a delay in the telegram service to Dublin.

Cassandra observed that there must be some exceedingly ill-behaved children in Lithuania, and some exceedingly deaf people in France.

The Maltese clearly felt guilty for stealing our idea and awarded England its highest score of the evening. The Turkish Bjorn Again did exceptionally well, although the mill girl had still not retired for her bath. There was also much sympathy for the gaunt Bosnian performer as sympathy votes, no doubt accompanied by luncheon vouchers and new clothes, arrived by the truckload.

I felt sure that the Icelandic chanteuse had victory clearly within her grasp, but Miss Nillsson had obviously polished more knobs than the former. This is not surprising, Iceland is cold and remote, where knobs tend to be smaller. The Swedish tribute to Ascension Sunday therefore became the eventual victor. Mr. International was so shocked at this result that she momentarily fainted, coincidentally, at the same time that Cassandra fell into a deep slumber with her head almost submerged in apple punch.

As the performers returned to the stage to say 'Hallo" to a gentleman or lady known as 'Looya', I realised that the next Singing Festival would be held in the Swedish provinces. I considered awakening my sister to ask her of the whereabouts of this nation but I stopped, Surely, I thought to myself, it is somewhere in the region of France.


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