It's pantomime season and I'm proud to say I landed the starring role in our annual production. I call it Babes Not Out Of The Woods, but shareholders prefer to call it the annual general meeting. This year it was recorded for posterity and can be seen on the official website. I was hoping I would win an Oscar for best performance, but apparently that's already been bagged by Tony Thorpe for continued excellence in the art of diving up at QPR.
As is traditional, there was much hissing and booing when the villain turned up on stage, but Danny's used to it by now and to be honest I thing we may have turned the corner. Of course, there was plenty of hilarity and audience participation. At one point I stepped back to let Danny speak and the shareholders shouted out: “He's behind you!”, only to be met with wild shrieks of “Oh no, he isn't.” How we laughed. Well, everyone except Danny, obviously.
Things went downhill a bit when I actually had to mention a few figures, but I think I managed to slip the £1.9m loss in without too many people noticing. The question and answer session was nice and short because we brought in the stewards, so every time someone stood up to ask a question they were hauled out and banned until next year.
Towards the end we tried the old pantomime trick of dividing the audience into two so they could compete against each other in a singing contest, but to be honest it didn't quite work. All the loudest ones had congregated together in the part of the hall with a worst view, and most of the old codgers in the other seats had left five minutes earlier. And despite our best efforts to lead a rendition of something suitably upbeat, it descended into a chant of “You're shit and you know you are.”
If the truth be known, it was tough to decide which pantomime to base the AGM on, and choose who should play what part. Originally, Lee Matthews' ears perked up when he heard the word “cast”, but when we explained we meant selecting actors for a play rather than something made from plaster of Paris he lost interest again. There then followed a mad scramble to steal the top roles.
Aaron Brown wanted to play Cinderella because he can't get to the ball. Lee Peacock got excited when he misheard one suggestion and thought we were doing Puss In Booze. Then Lee Matthews tried to snatch the lead by suggesting it was retitled Wuss In Boots. I put a stop to that by pointing out he'd need an understudy who could step in every night, and that such additional expense was beyond the club's budget. We nearly settled on Ali Baba and His 40 Thieves, but it turns out Sam Hammam has been putting that show on in Cardiff every week for the past two years. Unfortunately, Geoff Dunceford and Grey Graydon turned down our invitations to play Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. And our plans to cast Paul Tait as a poor man's Widow Twanky fell apart when someone pointed out we needed to keep the “T” as we were trying to create a family atmosphere.
Still, on the night itself everything went rather well. My masterstroke was to finish the performance by showing a slide of Concorde and pointing out that the only winged wonder Bristol 's had to be proud of since then with a nose cone that big has been Alan Walsh.
Right, I'm off for a quick Christmas holiday in the sun, but I'll be back in time to watch us pick up no points at all in January – another festive tradition. Ho ho bloody ho.