|Solemn. Sombre. Soaking wet.|
"Call Tresco Island one last time!" I pleaded. The bass player wiped the rain drops off his iphone and dialed again but the message was just as urgent, 'please take the boat, the chances are your flight will be canceled!'. It was no use, we rolled our eyes and sank our soggy shoulders. Hunching them had clearly made no difference, we were as damp as a church. We sat in silence, the three of us, like schoolboys in the headmasters office. Solemn. Sombre. Soaking wet. "I'm calling Land's End one last time" I said and grabbed the phone.
"Hello, is the 11.50 flight still going ahead?"
"It is scheduled to, but it's touch and go." came the reply.
"We are playing a gig you see and we need to guarantee it!?"
"We can't guarantee at this stage. May I suggest taking the boat?"
"We get terribly sea sick, Sir, and there's white horses in the bay!"
"Yes, it'll be a rough crossing" came the reply. And then a very long pause.
"If you come now, we'll hopefully fly you out."
"Hopefully?" I said.
"Come now!" was the reply and the line went dead
What do we do? Stick or twist? This was a huge decision. If we drive to Land's End and it doesn't fly, we loose a sack of money and let down an entire wedding. We'd ruin the good rep we've built up with Tresco Island and it's a dirty black mark on our name. We'd lose friendships. We'd make a lot of people very angry. All for the sake of a tummy ache! The boat was about to sail, it was our only guaranteed passage over. Our instruments were on the boat, why weren't we!? I was bent double with indecision. I knew if we took the boat we'd see the plane fly over our heads mocking us as we wretched into our little sick bags. The plane that left 2 hours after the boat and still got there 3 hours before it! I sighed and sucked my teeth. The bass player looked like a rabbit in the headlights. The piano player laughed hysterically, and then: "He who dares, boys!". And that was that, we were running up through town towards my car, running away from the boat, recklessly, like naughty school boys from the headmaster!
|'we ran recklessly!'|
The plane took off, it wasn't full, it was quite conceivable that they were flying it just for us. The fog was so thick that we flew just above the water the whole way, getting lower and lower as it descended upon us. We landed with a bump, skidding across the airstrip, hearts in mouths. "We were lucky" said the bass player as we gave the pilot a round of applause. "I'm not flying back!" he shouted from the cockpit. We really were lucky. The remainder of the weekend was full of peeks and troughs. Two gigs; one to an empty room. A chauffeur driven golf-cart. Island hopping in a speedboat. A glimpse at how the 'other side' live. A party. A hangover. A skinnydip. Flight delays and I missed my dental appointment.
Yes, myself and the bass player had loaded the gear into our separate cars. The piano player was nowhere to be seen. We decided to leave his keyboard and numerous plastic bags containing all his velvet jackets, food for the week and his leads neatly on the roadside. He lived nearby. We explained what we'd done and slipped off home. The next day I bumped into the piano player on his way to work. "You'll never guess what!?" he said with a glint in his eye. "I only went and left my piano on the street last night!" My face screwed up in bewilderment. "He who dares, boys!" he said and skipped off down the road.
|"He who dares, boys!"|