I got a comment today from Delyth Forkington-Smythe (probably not The Delyth Forkington Smythe, although you never know) who responded to yesterday’s Dollop simply with, “honest!” I hope she didn’t do this in the hope that I would base an entire Dollop around her, as I did with Clair’s “different!” comment yesterday, because I won’t be doing that. I am attempting to temper my neurosis in this Dollop.
So, I have spent the entirety of today in deep reflective meditation, in order to calm myself down after yesterday’s neurosis. I found a guided meditation session on Youtube, closed my eyes and prepared to relax and become utterly blissed out. It was all going so well, but then the man conducting the meditation session, guru John Smith, instructed me to think of positive images. He asked me to imagine the most beautiful flowers, to think about a wonderful sunset, and to envisage the smile on a baby’s face. Sadly, this reminded me that I am blind and so have never seen any of those things, and this realisation caused me to fall into an anguished depression. But then I punched Michael in the face, and that cheered me right up.
We’re playing a free festival in King’s lynn, Norfolk today. By free, I mean free for the audience, we’ll still be getting our standard fee: 50 quid, a tub of jelly babies and a sacrificial goat. Well, we’ve won two Folk Awards now, so we can get away with charging such fees. I mean, we’ve had the sacrificial goat on our rider for years. The jelly babies and the 50 quid came after the prestige of the award wins and was wangled by our unscrupulous, hard-nosed agent.
It’ll be interesting to see how many people turn up to watch us, as our performance is on at the same time as the FA cup final, plus it’s forecast to rain, and the festival is outdoors without any covering. But if no one turns up then I won’t take it personally, after all, I’m not the kind of person who gets paranoid or neurotic.
The last time I was in Kings Lynn was 2005, when Sean and I went Hitch Hiking. We got picked up by a man in his sixties called Stephan, who, as well as offering to take us to a good pick-up spot a few miles down the road, also suggested that we went back to his house first for some food and drink and to freshen up. However, our time with Stephan brought us a lot more than mere repast.
We got to his house and he offered us food and drink and we got chatting. He told us that he was really into his martial arts. “Stand up boys,” he requested, “I’ll show you what I can do.” We were both a little concerned. After all, we had only just met this man. He had picked us up and driven us to his house, which was a bit off the beaten track. He had then plied us with food and drink. Had he deliberately done this so that we’d be too bloated to run? Maybe that was the reason he hadn’t eaten or drank any of the food he’d given us – so that he’d be nimble and energetic enough to practise his martial arts on us.
“Stand up,” he excitedly instructed. Nervously, we stood. “Now, let me explain what I’m going to do and what’s about to happen.” My god, this man was a premeditating psychopath, who got a perverse pleasure in explaining his planned dastardly deeds on us before he carries them out. He’s like a baddy in a film. Hopefully, just like in films, his narcissistic prevarication would prove to be our saving grace. There are so many scenarios in film and TV where the baddy spends so long bragging about how great he is and blabbers on about what he’s going to do to his foe now that he’s captured them, that he ends up squandering his opportunity to execute his plans, and is thwarted. The baddy could have easily won the day, but his garrulous hubris is his downfall. Maybe we could keep him talking for so long that we’d eventually get discovered and saved, or we could use the time to hatch an escape plan.
He explained that he was able to put energy into parts of his body in order to facilitate him being able to attack and defend easily without even having to tense his muscles and use any real physical strength. Fortunately, his way of proving this to us was fairly inocuous and non-combative. It involved us feeling his arm in order to ascertain that his muscles weren’t tensed, and then for us to try and move his arm. Upon inspection, it appeared that he wasn’t tensing his arm muscles, yet when we tried to move his arm, it wouldn’t move. Then, he would declare that he was about to dissipate the energy, , at which point we were able to move his arm, although we couldn’t identify any muscle change. At one point, both Sean and I were trying, while he gleefully shouted, “go on, harder, pull it, push it, bend it,” but even with the two of us trying, we couldn’t move it. But as soon as he said “I’m releasing my energy,” we were able to move it again.
This was a really fascinating and interesting experience, although goodness knows what his neighbours must have thought. If they’d have looked out their windows just a few minutes earlier, they would have seen a man in his sixties escorting a couple of teenage boys into his house. Then mere minutes after we’d disappeared inside, they heard him shouting, “go on boys, pull it, push it, bend it, go on boys, harder, harder, can you feel my energy boys?! Can you feel my energy?! Can you feel it boys? I’m releasing my energy now boys.” They would either think that there was something disturbingly kinky going on, or that we were playing some kind of advanced and weird version of the game Bopit.
So that’s the story of when Sean and I tried to pull a man in his sixties in King’s Lynn. Well, that’s that story of when Sean and I tried to pull a man in his sixties in King’s Lynn; I might tell you the other ones some time.