If You’ve Never Burned down a School …
We headed out for the evening show - the sixth
and final one of the day after diner and arrived in ample time,
carrying on the tradition of being late for everything except the
shows. It was a good room, with a stage at one end, and a bar at
the other, which was odd considering this was a school hall. The
Germans obviously take their beer very seriously and educate their
children from an early age to appreciate it.
Kirsten had come down, though unfortunately Clive
couldn't make it having recently damaged his knee chasing his kids
round the garden. I'd been baiting her all the evening earlier about
the fact that we were going to make her get up on the stage and
'volunteer', and she had protested adamantly that she was having
no part of it. More fool her then for sitting in the front row.
The hall gradually filled up. Not quite to capacity,
but our reputation was spreading and they'd heard about us now.
Of course they were going to stay away. Finally it was time to get
on with what we were there for and start the show. Two forty minute
sessions, with a gap in the middle. We did all the things we'd done
previously, only this time we could take our time over them. There
was more possibility to chat with the audience, as we had more English
speakers, though again, Horsch was there, perched on the edge of
the stage to translate where necessary. Once again we balanced,
juggled, and fooled our way through. Jonathan managed to pick a
volunteer out of the audience who told us he was a policeman. OK,
so from then on we were both very careful not to steal the show
(sorry), although we did find out later that he was (only) a forestry
policeman. Do people really steal forests?
When we came to doing 'the walk of death', we needed
volunteers from the audience once more. Kirsten was definitely in
for it now. We had four volunteers. We needed one more. Jonathan
was laying the ground work. "OK, we need one more beautiful
volunteer". I looked at Kirsten. I couldn't quite gauge if
she was up for it or not. She wasn't actually volunteering in any
way shape or form, but we could possibly get away with it … It was
then that I recalled the age old adage ... "never mess with
the person who's preparing your food", and certainly not if
they’re the sort of person who’s into fermented fish.
Almost two hours later allowing for the intermission
and they were all shouting "Zugabe" again. To be honest,
I'm not quite sure how we stretched what we had to two hours. What
I was aware of was I could think of nothing else that we could do.
We had done it all. We'd played with all the toys, we'd told all
the jokes. Well, there was the one about the two Dutch nuns, no,
that would never be appropriate.... erm .... Jonathan was obviously
having the same dilemma I was, and then he saved the day as he turned
to me and said one simple word …
If you’ve never seen a school burn down before
it really is an amazing sight.
It was an obvious call really. The van was just
outside. We could set up in a few minutes. The ones who wanted to
stay warm could watch from the big windows, and everyone else could
bundle outside and watch us burn ourselves. Always good for a laugh,
watching a pair of idiots set fire to themselves. It's ok folks!
We're professional idiots!
So that's what we did. OK, we didn’t actually burn
the school down. We quickly set up some juggling torches and Jonathan
juggled and did a few fire impressions while I set up my staff which
takes a little more preparing on the grounds that the wicks are
three times the size. We finished the show with the classic twenty
five foot fireball, and some fire spinning.
Then all kind of gifts came out of nowhere from
our hosts including the classic Pottery Wellingtons - I'll wear
them next time I'm out with the dwarves, and a bottle of a local
brew called Underberg. More on that later. It’s really quite … special.
We headed back to Clive and Kirstens lovely home
where we sat, had a drink and told each other stories while we slowly
came back down before retiring for the night. This time, I made
sure I'd put my clock forward.
If only I’d known then how pointless that was.