Sunday, 24 May 2009

Oh Lord, Kumbayah

Talking of wandering acoustic guitarists, I have a litany of tales, and some feature the author as aggressor. In the following however, I am innocent.

A while back, my family and other animals undertook an odyssey by air and sea to the remote island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. In 1949, Ma left the island to begin a new life in England, and, 50 years later, we were returning to our roots.

The first evening ashore, Nelly and I find ourselves at Donny's Bar down the sea-front, surrounded by hoards of new-found family and friends, and gregarious islanders. Ever-growing ranks of gin and tonics, beers, cocktails and sundry libations range along the length of the bar waiting to be downed, so naturally we down 'em.

By about 1 in the morning, I've been talking bollocks for four hours already, and Nelly's staggering around somewhere, chatting everyone up and having a whale of a time. A huge man-mountain, calling himself Hog (pronounced Hoag) invites us to go fishing on his catamaran the next morning and we agree enthusiastically.

Hog then announces that it's time to go down to the Honeymoon Chair. Sounds perfectly reasonable to us, so we follow the small crowd a ways down the sea-front promenade, until we arrive at a huge white marble chair, very decorative and there to commemorate something-or-other.

We take up our positions and Hog reaches behind the Chair to produce a black bin-bag which subsequently turns out to contain a substantial supply of beers. Hoorah! Beers duly distributed, there's an air of anticipation and expectancy. Then, a guitar is produced, strings are tuned, and things take a turn for the worst.

As if on cue, the assembled launch into a full-throated rendition of "Kumbayah". Nelly, who has an extraordinarily high embarrassment threshold, joins in with great gusto. A range of decoy tactics and escape strategies flash through my mind. It's obvious to me that the group intend to perform the long version. In the end, I opt to simply walk away, leaving Nelly to it.

Of course, we forgot about fishing and the catamaran, and never saw Hog again.

No comments:

Post a Comment