Monday, May 23, 2011

Losing your audience to a dress

I agree to talk about Phoenix Park in Dublin to an active retirement group. My first mistake is accepting an afternoon booking. The second is the fault of a rival attraction.
People would be interested in hearing the author of Phoenix Park: a History and Guidebook speak to them, I am told.
I agree, since I am that author.
The venue is within a complex at a church. I arrive early and see the bride sashay down the aisle to claim her new husband.
Back in my own area I stand on a platform to tell the people about the park. I determine to do well.
As gently as you could imagine, the first row falls asleep like nodding daffodils on a soft spring day. I push on with the second row.
The organiser whispers that I need to finish up soon because Michelle is due in to lead a gentle aerobics session.
Before that, they need to have tea. During the 19th century, the tea committee abandon the second row and leave the room to switch on the water boiler.
I have to shout to the back row when the bridal bells ring out at the conclusion of the wedding ceremony.
They stare at the door in case the groom wanders in seeking advice from the senior citizens on what he is to do next.
When he fails to appear, they rush out to see the bride as she poses for pictures.
I fall into conversation with the sole remaining listener.
When I look up the room is empty, tea is being had elsewhere, so I leave before Michelle arrives and includes me in her aerobics programme.
I am just in time to miss the departure of the active wedding party.
I wish them well and hope they never tire.
storytelling here

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