Unleash the beast! pt.2
Graham R. Cooper
Last Monday’s unleash-the-beast, with its topical references to Halloween, and a ready- made costume, seemed like as good a place as any to start the reading at Gillian and Nick’s. They’d asked a couple of weeks back whether I’d read some blog posts to them.
I’d read some out loud to June, but not to anyone else. I use photos to illustrate what I’m writing about, so I wasn’t sure how they’d fare at a public outing without some accompanying visual cues.
“Unleash the beast!” is my command when I press the button to switch on the electric log cutting saw. But it could apply just as readily to a character in a Marvel comic you dream up for me when I’m wearing all that gear.
‘Unleash the beast!’ to start the evening, meant I could at least kick-off with a flesh and blood visual spectacle, and then I’d just have to carry on regardless with a reading of the other six posts I’d earmarked for inclusion. Quite literally ‘sounding them out’.
The costume did the trick and got us into the swing of things. Nothing like getting in character to help you get over yourself! Gillian and Nick, and even June who’d heard it all before, smiled or laughed in the right places, so I guess, ruse or not, something went right.
You’re probably wondering how I managed to read out loud wearing a mask and earmuffs, and peering through the scratches and haze of safety goggles. I didn’t. Those accessories had to be put to one side once I started reading. Handy performance props though, and kept on display beside me.
Zorro loomed large after the reading as well as during. My seven year old self’s exposed backside when I tore my Zorro costume was in no way as humiliating as six year old Nick forced to sit at his school desk with only a towel to cover his privates because his trousers and undies got utterly soaked from slipping in a deep puddle.
Excitedly moving on (thank goodness!), he vividly recalled Zorro using his sword to slash a dinner plate size ‘Z‘ into the clothing of yet another vanquished villain. And Gillian, despite the gulf of so, so many years, got the theme tune going through her head. A couple of minutes later, once I’d found it on my phone, we let the music take us back some sixty years.
The evening was spiced up by the crystallized ginger inside Gillian’s buttery shortbread – yum! But sobriety reigned in the beverage department: chamomile tea and water. June reckoned that was a good thing because she didn’t have to worry about my “getting carried away” after a couple of glasses of wine. I reluctantly had to agree, not wanting buffoonery to get in the way of how I read my writing.
For my finale (wow that sounds grand!) I chose youve-got-to-be-kidding because it was a light-hearted performance piece with not a solitary sobering thought within cooee. My worry this time was the need to explain, in a few places, what spelling, and hence meaning, was intended for a particular word. A sustained play on words can be a bit of a challenge for the listener when she can’t see them in front of her.
As to the success of the evening? I think I’ll play the long game on that one: an invite, at some date in the distant future, to go round and do another reading. Perhaps Joyce (June’s mum), is right when she tells me that I’m a patient man.
Still not told you much about the saw. It came as a kitset and assembling it was a real headache – many of the instructions ‘lost in translation’! I’ll call next Monday’s post: The electric log saw, that way I’m less likely to go off on a tangent!
As always, thank you so much for your company. Bye for now,