Saturday, 21 December 2013

The Twenty First Day of Advent - Come Dance Hen (Strictly!)

Now, some of you may be wondering if Mrs Pumphrey will, now she is newly married, take her new husband's name. Will she become Mrs Tango-Pumphrey, or Mrs Pumphrey-Tango. Or will she drop her Pumphrey and be Mrs Tango? Or will she be a modern lady hen and retain her original name because she does not want to advertise a well-known orange-flavoured carbonated drink? 

Well, I can tell you that it is none of these options! 

'Why is that?' says Daisy.

'Why is that?' I hear some of you cry. I shall tell you why. Because although we all know Tango Pete as Tango Pete, his name is not really Tango Pete! Well, his name is Pete, but the Tango bit is pure fiction-in-the-name-of-art. Or more strictly speaking - dance!

You see, as soon as Tango Pete hatched from his egg, he showed a talent for dancing. He chipped his way from his shell and and soon as his little chick feet hit the straw he was tapping and waltzing and jazzing and jiving. And his mother, seeing such obvious talent, enrolled him immediately in the Len Goodhen Academy of Dancing and Fancy Pants Footwork. She had to sell her collection of Royal Doulton in order to afford the fees, but her dedication to her son's talent was rewarded thousands of times over when Pete became the Southern Counties Hen Dance Champion with his partner Olay Jordhen who also modelled skin care products in her spare time. 

And it soon became apparent that Pete's best dance was...

...the paso doble!

I bet you were thinking I was going to say 'the tango', weren't you? Ha! Lots of people make that mistake. For in truth, his nickname grew from his love of spray tan and not the fact he was particularly talented with a cape and bull. He spent much of his professional career on the brighter side of tangerine orange and even after he retired from the ballroom floor to become a professional dance teacher instead, the nickname stuck. 

And now, I suppose, you are itching to know the truth of Tango Pete's real surname. And I can exclusively reveal that his name is, in fact, Pete Spangleboots.

'And there is no way,' chips in Mrs Pumphrey, 'that I am changing my name to Gloria In Excelsis Deo Spangleboots. So I shall remain as I always have, and that is Mrs Pumphrey.'

I hope that clears up any misunderstandings.

And so Santa's sleigh took off from the grounds of Buckingham Palace, slightly cramped now because of the addition of seven enormous swans all now thoroughly stuffed with plums. 

'To the castle of King Wenceslas!' shouted Mr Spangleboots, I mean Tango Pete.

'Not just yet, my love!' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'We are making a small diversion.'

'But I thought you were in an hurry to find the last L of Christmas,' said Tango Pete, lest the good readers had forgotten amidst all the recent excitement exactly why we were on this crazy journey in the first place (because the writer nearly had in a mush-for-brains moment). 

'I am,' said Mrs Pumphrey, 'but we can spare a few hours. There is something important you need to do.'

This got Tango Pete slightly worried, what with this being his official wedding night and all, and him no longer being a spring chicken. 

'I'm not sure I can handle any today...' he began, as tactfully as he could in a sleigh full of listening ears.

'It's all right,' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'There will be lots of other people there. You won't be alone. 

'WHAT???' said Tango Pete. 'Other people? There with us?'

'Of course,' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'We can't perform without an audience, can we? Where's the fun in that?'

'Good grief!' said Tango Pete, wondering if he had just made the biggest mistake in his life.

'I've chosen some music, too,' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'And costumes, for us to dress up in. They're a bit raunchy, but I thought, 'What the heck! This is a one-night only performance. Let's go for it and to hell with the consequences.'

Tango Pete was aware there was much giggling going on. He could feel a blush a-rising in his cheeks and he was glad he had taken his blood pressure pills because his heart was pounding abnormally fast.

'My dear lady wife,' he said, mustering as much dignity and calm as he could. 'Would you explain, please, exactly where we are going and what we shall be doing when we arrive?'

'Why,' said Mrs Pumphrey, 'to the finals of Strictly Come Dance Hen' of course! We're performing a group dance during the voting interval with all the other professional dancers! What did you think I was talking about?'

Tango Pete, being a gentleman, did not like to say but he, and the sporran on his kilt, breathed a sigh of relief. 

'Will Anton du Beak be there?' he said. 

'Indeed,' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'And Pasha Koblehen, and Karhen Hardy, and Artem Chickvinchev, and Christina Rihenov, and Brendhen Cole. All the greats!' 

'What about Olay Jordhen?' said Tango Pete, thinking it might be a bit awkward if his old partner and new wife were to meet up in the dressing room. There could be sequins at dawn, chiffon at 10 paces.

'It was she who suggested it,' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'They needed another couple to make up the numbers in the group dance and she immediately thought of you. You were the best of your time, my love.'

'But what about you?' said Tango Pete. 'I mean, I know you can do a mean 'Shake Your Tail Feathers' but ballroom isn't exactly your thing, is it?'

Mrs Pumphrey laughed. 'Good grief,' she said, 'I shan't be doing proper dancing! Your ballroom partner this evening will be Olay. I shall be dressed as a magnificent Christmas Fairy and will stand on a podium in the centre of you all. I,' she finished, 'shall be Vogueing!' 

Well, can you imagine the excitement that roared from the sleigh at THAT announcement? It was all posh frocks and dickie bows, feather boas and tuxedos. And soon they arrived at the BBC studios for the final of Strictly Come Dance Hen, and Denise was in the audience waving her 'Go, Susannna and Kevin From Grimsby, Go!' banner.

They'll be on the telly later, Mrs Pumphrey and Tango Pete, if you feel inclined to tune in and watch them. You might have to look closely to see them, because some of the frocks are VERY big, but they will be there. If you truly believe. 


Countryside Tales said...

I shall be looking out for them. Although my own personal banner shall read: 'Go Abby and Sophie' because I can't choose between the two of them :-)

Denise said...

I don't mind who wins really as long as it isn't Natalie. I have been having very un-Christmassy thoughts about Natalie in a 'she has been a professional dancer and shouldn't be in an amateur competition' kind of way. I like Susanna because she always gives it her all and looks like she is having a bloomin' good time!

Countryside Tales said...

I hadn't realised that- very naughty indeed :-( especially when everyone else was starting from scratch. NOT what the competition is about in my eyes.