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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Dancing cheek to cheek

One of the advantages of living 60 miles from a woman is that you can do things in your own house they wouldn't dream of letting you, if they were closer. 

I don't mean 60 miles from any woman of course. That would be impossible. Scientists have shown that there are woman all over the surface of the Earth and you are never more than six feet away from one. No hang on a minute, I think that's brown rats. 

Sorry guys, I read so much science these days I get confused. Where was I? That's right, doing things she wouldn't let me. Now I'm not talking about deviant stuff with bras and pants and high heels and fishnet tights and ... Ahem. 

I don't do that stuff. I'm talking about drumming. Show me any woman who would let you set your drum kit up in the living room and I'll give you a fiver. I don't believe there is one, anywhere in the world. But as my son says, there's always somebody somewhere complaining about something

"Did I hear you playing the bongos in there," the postman says, as he hands me the usual bundle of bills and tempting offers to join the mega-rich by working two days a month selling yellow snow to eskimos.

"Certainly not," I say. "I was working."  

"No you weren't," he says, shaking his head and wagging his finger at me. "I heard you."

Now this postman looks like Pat but his real name's Jim. He does share many of that affable character's qualities though. He's a friendly guy with a cat, a ready smile and a well developed community spirit. He cuts old people's lawns. So he's a nice man. But - and here's the problem - Postman Jim will talk bollocks on your doorstep all day long, if you let him. 

"It wasn't the bongos," I say. "Only guys with snake hips and small lecherous moustaches play the bongos. I was playing a drum kit. 

"In your living-room?"

"In my living-room."

"Don't the neighbours complain?"

"No they don't. Years of practising my grumpy bastard at No 3 persona has trained them to ignore me. Besides I've got double glazing and I use light sticks, so they can't hear me."

"I could hear you."

"You have bats' ears and were on my doorstep."

"No need to get personal," he says. "Listen, I love drums. Can I come in and listen?"

"No you can't," I say. "Don't you have letters to deliver and a cat to feed?"

"What kind of music are you into?" he says "Rock, jazz, blues?

"Rock now but I want to play everything," I say. "Even Beethoven's 9th Symphony."

"I like rock best," he says. "Used to listen to bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd."

"Good stuff," I say, starting to shut the door. "See ya."

"Lemme tell you a story about the time I saw the Sensational Alex Harvey Band play live at Cameron Park," he says, shoving his foot in the door and giving me no option.

"Make it quick," I say. "I got work to do."

"So they're playing Dancing Cheek to Cheek and they've got these three gorgeous backing singers, and Alex keeps going behind them and bending down, putting his head close, as he's singing. Geddit?"

"Hilarious," I say.

"That wasn't the best bit," he says. "He gets to the end of the song and these women turn round and there's no back to their skirts. It blew me away. I've never really got over it. 

"I was headed for university till I went to that concert. Now I can hardly navigate around the village. Sometimes I put people's letters in their dogs' mouths instead of their letter-box. It's a tragedy. I should have been a nuclear physicist." 

"There's still time," I say reaching to my bookshelf beside the door and handing him Feynman's Lectures Volume III. "Go read that and we'll talk again in a month." 

"Thanks," he says. "Hey, I'm a drummer too. I'm going to beat it now. Ha ha."   

"Ha ha," I say and close the door.

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