We’ve just done one of our free community events, performing at an old people’s home in Liverpool. It was a lovely gig and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. But then at the end, chaos occurred.
As we bid everyone goodbye and made to leave, we heard a kerfuffle from behind us, and a cry of “wait” from one of the ladies. Looking round, we saw that some of the residents had started getting money out of their purses. We tried to stop them, but they were resolutely thrusting it into our hands. It was impossible to stop them and hand their money back, as more and more hands kept going, until everyone started joining in. As the enthusiasm for this exercise increased among the residents, the amounts of money that were being presented to us were getting larger and larger, with some people handing over notes. If we’d have accepted all the money that was being thrust at us then we’d probably have come away from this short afternoon performance in an old people’s home with more money than we’d made on any of our actual gigs. We kept trying to hand people their money back, but it was becoming increasingly difficult as more and more people pushed their hands at us and dropped their offering on the table. The table was now covered with coins and notes. Plus, we had no idea who had given what. If we tried asking people what they’d given, so that we could give it back, they either refused to tell us or said they couldn’t remember, which may have been true – after all they are ninety and their memories are probably not brilliant – or just an excuse to stop us returning the money to them.
The staff attempted to step in and reissue the money to people, but they had no idea who’d given what. The place was in chaos. Some people had gone to their rooms, realising that they hadn’t got any money, and were now coming back to give us money, not realising that we’d actively been avoiding taking it for the last five minutes. Some people were pursuing us out of the place, still trying to give us money.
The staff are clearly not going to be able to give the right amount of money to the people who gave it, and so maybe we should have accepted. But it seemed wrong to offer a gig for free and then end up coming away with hundreds of pounds. But is it patronising of us to refuse their money just because they are in their nineties? We refused the money as soon as it was offered. Had we accepted, would staff have stepped into intervene? Regardless, it just seemed inappropriate for us to accept.
But maybe we are going about our performance career in the wrong way here. Maybe we should be using the money from benevolent old people to subsidise our gigs for everyone else. The beauty of this scheme is that the old people don’t have to travel anywhere, because they live in the venue we’d be performing in, as it’s sheltered accommodation. Therefore, with the money they’re saving on travel, they can afford to pay a healthy amount to us. Also, the fact that these people are reaching the end of their lives means that they’ll be able to afford to be extra benevolent.
The three of us wouldn’t need to bother paying for a hotel, because we’d be able to stay in the residential home, either sharing a bed with a benevolent old lady, or taking advantage of any beds that have recently become free due to a resident dying. The bonus of this scheme is that there’ll be some lucky ladies in their nineties who get to have a night of passion with a man in his thirties, which we’d be offering as a free extra. Or maybe we should be charging. After all, I doubt that any of these ladies in their nineties would have ever thought they’d get the chance to spend another night with anyone ever again, never mind someone so young and attractive. I mean, obviously there’s a chance that they might be lumped with Michael or Sean, but at least they’d still be getting someone young. Then, with all this money we’re making and saving from gigging to and sleeping with old people, we’ll be able to lower the fees on our main gigs. I cannot see a problem with this scenario, and I intend to forward this Dollop onto our agent immediately.
I think it’s very doubtful that the staff at today’s home are going to be able to give the right amount of money back to the right people. Perhaps the residents will just decide to split the money between them equally. They may even elect to put all their money on the table and split all of it equally between them, and start a new utopian life where everyone is equal. This idea might then spread into other old people’s homes, and this might eventually filter down to the rest of society. Sadly, this would eventually invariably lead to people being put to death, as yet another communist attempt fails to effectively get off the ground. We thought it would be nice to do some free gigs for people in the community, but we may have ended up accidentally launching a bloody communist revolution, resulting in the possible death of millions. Lesson well and truly learnt. We’ll be sure to only do gigs for lots of money in the future, and hope that the people in the residential home in Liverpool either die or have a collective memory laps before they can set their communist plans to action.
Sorry if you were hoping for some showbiz stories from the folk awards and conversations with celebrities, but I find all of that massively daunting and intimidating. I am much more secure and content being in my own little bubble, writing blogs about having sex with ninety-year-old women. But come on, let’s be honest, you would clearly rather read about fictional communist revolutions brought about by ninety-year-olds in a residential home than listen to me having a conversation with Martin Freeman, wouldn’t you? What? Really? Oh, well, sorry.
The title of this Dollop, Money From Old Folk, is meant to be a sort of pun on Money For Old Rope, but I’m not sure if it works and was maybe a bit too subtle. That’s the trouble with me: I am just too subtle. I’m sick of people constantly telling me that, time and time again. “Oh you’re so subtle David,” they say. I would tell them to fuck off, but I’m far too subtle to do that.