Sometimes in life one gets drawn into situation out of which it becomes very difficult to extricate oneself.
Now there’s a sentence in perfect grammatical English which took me half-an-hour to compose. I’m so proud of it I feel like re-writing it again; but I’ll let you re-read it instead and applaud.
Anyway … let’s get on with this story before I forget it.
A few friends and I went to the theatre the other day. It was one of those variety shows where you have dancing girls in skimpy costumes, a comedian or two, a juggler perhaps, a magician or hypnotist, and of course a big name singer to round off the evening.
The singer was the world famous tenor Ivor Loudvoice singing Nessun Dorma from Turandot. At one point he sang a duet with a lesser known female opera singer called Lucy Biglungs.
But I digress once again as is my want.
So let me tell you straightaway that I don’t agree with hypnotism. It’s something I’ve always been suspicious of, and although I accept it has been used medically to some effect; I don’t consider it a matter for entertainment.
I have never been hypnotized myself because I doubt there’s a microscope powerful enough to detect any brain waves of mine; and in any case, if the hypnotist were to dangle a watch on a chain in front of my eyes, the chances are I’d put on my reading glasses and tell him the time every ten seconds. Now that would irritate him no end!
OK … back to the story once again and this time with no interruptions. Concentrate and don’t fall asleep on me.
The hypnotist got on the stage and called for three volunteers. Unsurprisingly there was no shortage of hands that went up. He chose three people supposedly at random. Why do they always choose more women than men? He picked two women and a man; all in their late twenties or early thirties.
He sat them down on three chairs side by side and asked a few questions to introduce them to the audience and to make them feel comfortable and at ease.
Then he started his hypnotic instructions. Without swinging a watch on a chain or anything like that, he just said;
“When I clap my hands you will all turn into a block of cheese! You’ll be an English piece of Stilton,” he said to the man, “and you’ll be a French Camembert, and you an Italian Gorgonzola,” he informed the two women.
“You will wake up when I say ‘Smile please and say cheese!’ and you’ll remember nothing!” he ended his instructions
He tapped his hands and the three of them went to sleep sitting on the chairs. For some reason the audience applauded. I couldn’t see why since they looked like three sleeping people side by side and not like lumps of cheese I buy from the supermarket.
He then moved off stage and came back holding a small mouse in his hands. The audience laughed. He moved close to the three sleeping beauties and told them that he had a mouse loose on the stage.
All three suddenly jumped on the chairs. The man started shouting in a posh English accent “Begone you bounder! This is an indomitable disgrace … what?”
The two women held their skirts up and one shouted in unintelligible Italian whilst the other one kept repeating “Oh zut alors … sapristi!” Possibly the only words she’d ever memorized in French.
The audience thought it was all very funny and laughed themselves silly. I felt rather sorry for the three poor people and to be honest, I wondered whether this was all for real or whether they were accomplices and were acting with the so-called hypnotist.
But the next thing that happened tickled my sense of humor, and perhaps convinced me of the reality of what I was seeing.
Somehow, as the hypnotist was walking backwards and forwards in front of the three chairs the mouse fell from his hand and ran towards the edge of the stage and down where the audience is sitting.
The hypnotist ran after it and slipped falling on his back and banging his head so hard that he was out like a light.
The audience up front got up from their seats and started screaming. Most stood on their chairs and started imitating the three sleeping beauties; but they did it in English. Then those in the second row also started screaming on top of their seats; followed by others in the third row. It was as if people suddenly noticed or imagined seeing the mouse, and as one person stood on her seat others followed suit.
The sight of all those women standing on seats and lifting their long flowing evening dresses was quite amusing as they instructed their men partners not to be wimps and to do something about it.
The comedian host of the show came on stage and tried to calm everyone down; which he eventually did by announcing that the mouse had been captured.
He then tried to wake up the three hypnotized people by saying “It’s OK … it’s over now … stop talking and get off your chairs … wake up!” But it was to no avail as the three of them had been brain-washed to only follow the hypnotist’s instructions.
He of course was still lying flat on the ground being revived with cold water, smelling salts and what have you!
The whole audience remained silent as they watched this whole scenario unfold, although, for some reason, I was the only one laughing silently under my breath at the sudden turn of events.
Eventually the ventriloquist and voice impersonator who had just performed about half-an-hour previously came on stage and in his best accent imitated the hypnotist’s voice by saying “Smile please and say cheese!”
This was enough to fool the three volunteers into believing this was the hypnotist talking. They woke up from their trance, stepped down from their chairs and re-joined the audience, having no recollection of what had just happened.
The hypnotist was carried away on a stretcher. He showed signs of waking up as he left the stage. I bet he too will not remember a thing of what happened!