“No,” I insist.
“It’s just that I’m really a bit stuck,” pleads the Village Publican.
“And Short Tony says you’re really good,” he wheedles.
I silently wish Short Tony festering pustules, of the cock. He shall pay for this. “No,” I repeat.
“But I can’t find anybody else. And I’ve already rented a piano – it’s here in the bar.”
I sigh, take a deep breath, and explain. There is no way that I can accompany carols in the Village Pub on Christmas Eve, as I don’t know any carols and can’t read piano music. If I could read piano music then there would be no problem. Or if I could remember more than the first line of ‘Away in a Manger’ then I could probably improvise. Although that would most likely be fairly bad – the only tune that I can really play is the theme from ‘Minder’.
I do not mention my banjo skills, as I do not think that this is relevant to the conversation.
“Oh well – fair enough,” he concedes.
“I’m sorry I can’t help,” I say. “But I really do only know the theme from ‘Minder.'” I offer to join him for a quick pint later, as I feel a bit bad about not being able to help.
Later on, I am clutching one of my quick pints, wondering what is going on.
“Ummm – this one’s in C,” I mumble.
I plonk a hesitant introduction. The choir joins in tunefully.
“If you want to I’ll change the situation…” they trill.
The programme of events doesn’t last too long. I stay for a few more pints with Short Tony, John Twonil and the Drumming Barman. A festive Christmas atmosphere pervades. Short Tony purchases the piano.