“But we’d promised we’d go to shee them,” slurs Mrs. Short Tony, in the Village Pub.

I consider this through my beer. It is, indeed, true.

The Miniature Barman shrugs his shoulders good-naturedly. “You’d be very welcome,” he says. “If you can get tickets.”

“And it is the LTLP’s birthday,” insists Mrs. Short Tony. “It would be a great birthday surprise. She must know all the Johnny Cash songs, like ‘Ring of Fire,’ and… um…”

“‘Folsom Prison Blues?'” I add, warming to the idea of going to a Johnny Cash tribute evening. “And ‘The Mercy Seat.’ That is my favourite. It is a bloody brilliant song.”

“We don’t do that one,” says the Miniature Barman.

“And all the others are basically the same,” I continue, finishing my pint and waving the glass in the general direction of the pumps. “The ones that go:”

(4/4; allegro; adopt low mumbling voice)

[I] “WellImummmdemummmdeeedamummdemum

[IV] andImummdemummandImummdemumm

[I] andImummdemummandmummdemummm

[V] dumm dooo.”

Mrs Short Tony looks blank. “I don’t know that one,” she says.

“And ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky,'” I add, helpfully.

“It should be a good night,” prompts the Miniature Barman. “It was a sell-out last year.”

I take a deep swig of my refilled pint. “The thing is, that the LTLP is not that keen on Johnny Cash,” I reflect. “But then she is a bit down about her birthday, and me not really getting round to getting her a present and stuff, and in fact not getting any presents except from the Toddler, who chose some lipstick for her that is in the shade of red worn by prostitutes. So I reckon it might cheer her up.”

“Am I the only one that doesn’t think this a great idea?” interjects Short Tony. “And I am normally the one who…”

“The problem is going to be getting her there,” I continue, ignoring him. “It would have to be a surprise.”

“She would love it,” says Mrs Short Tony.

I have a brainwave. “She has always wanted to go to the Michelin-starred restaurant Morston Hall,” I say. “And I have always said I would take her there. So what we could do would be to book the tickets for the Johnny Cash tribute evening, but tell her that we are all going to the Michelin-starred restaurant Morston Hall for a special birthday dinner. And then, when we are in the cab, we would pretend that we have to pick somebody up at the theatre, or fetch something, or something like that, so she wouldn’t suspect. And then when we actually arrived at the theatre, we could all jump out of the cab and say ‘surprise!’ and it would be a special surprise Johnny Cash birthday treat instead.”

“That sounds like a really good plan,” says Short Tony.

“We’d be quite happy to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ at a break in the set,” offers the Miniature Barman. “That’s always good, as the rest of the theatre will join in.”

I am excited. “She would really like that,” I exclaim.

42 thoughts on “I am urged to see a Johnny Cash tribute band.

  1. Mand says:

    Am I first??

    Please don’t do this – the LTLP will KILL you – (I know I would if it was me)

  2. Diana says:

    I think this could actually be quite good grounds for divorce!!

  3. JonnyB says:

    Ladies, ladies. You say that, but…

  4. Megan says:

    A brilliant plan with no drawbacks at all. I’m sure it will all go swimmingly. In fact, why not take the banjo so you can strum along in the audience and hum the meaningful bits to her so when you hear:

    Their faces gaunt, their eyes were blurred, their shirts all soaked with sweat
    He’s riding hard to catch that herd, but he ain’t caught ’em yet
    ‘Cause they’ve got to ride forever on that range up in the sky
    On horses snorting fire
    As they ride on hear their cry

    She’ll know it makes you think of her.

  5. Lola says:

    I should take along a secret costume for her to wear as a special birthday treat at the gig – like a big cowboy hat, or some shiny plastic jewellery that will make it more like a real birthday. You should probably take a sandwich for her too, because she’ll be hungry when you don’t go for that Michelin starred meal. An egg sandwich or peanut butter should be fine, if she likes egg or peanut butter.

  6. Eunoia says:


  7. NickyB says:

    Make sure she dresses all nice and sparkly too, wouldn’t want her getting wind of the fact she’s not going to Moreston Hall by getting her to wear jeans and a flannel shirt

  8. Provincial Lady says:

    Oh no, you didn’t… Is the mattress so dire you’re angling for a permanent place on the sofa?

  9. Mr Angry says:

    It is a brilliant idea, brilliant.

    Of course you could take her to a fancy restaurant to feed her, but she will only be hungry again in a few hours.

    But an evening with a Norfolk-based Johnny Cash tribute band will feed her soul for…well, days and days I imagine.

  10. JonnyB says:

    Thank you Mr Angry. Why is it that the females are so negative in this thread?!? It is typical.

  11. Billie says:

    LTLP is going to be as speechless as I am… (Not necessarily a good thing).

  12. “I am urged to see a Johnny Cash tribute band” – and you decide to do so forthwith. Is that really all it takes? Well, then – I urge you to go buy a ring and make an honest women of the LTLP, already.

    After all, pace Diana above, she can’t divorce you if you never married her in the first place. And if she can’t divorce you, she’ll have to find a more immediate form of retaliation for this suicidal deception. There are few things more painful than a trip to the divorce courts, but an aggressively misplaced Texas-shaped belt buckle effortlessly makes the list…

  13. Ah! “Ghost Riders In The Sky” – the first song that ever made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!

  14. JHJ says:

    I think you are bluffing. And you really are going to take her to the posh restaurant after all. However if not, can I suggest a fake trip to Mac D’s or something just as bad instead? Then Johnny Cash (tribute) and you will be top dog. Instead of dog house. It could work…

  15. Z says:

    Again, you’ve played a blinder, JonnyB. I am amazed.

  16. Jayne says:

    Oh deary deary me. Once you’ve put this plan into action please post pic of bloodstained shirt and your man bits cut off and arranged artistically on a plate. Possibly garnished with parsley.

  17. Jonny’s man bits on a plate, Jayne? Portion-wise, that would definitely come under the heading of nouveau cuisine. Always disappointing when the garnish is bigger than the meal…

  18. As always, you are a man with a plan.

  19. Larry says:

    O. M. G.!!!!!!!!!

    So, if we never ever hear from JonnyB again, at least we’ll know why.

    Talk about playing with a ring of fire!

  20. FJ says:

    “I shot a man in Norfolk just to watch him die”

  21. JonnyB says:

    Alarmed that FJ’s comment may be a veiled threat.

    LTLP??? Is that you???

  22. tillylil says:

    Me thinks there may be trouble ahead.

  23. Richard says:

    Personally, Jonny I think it’s a great idea and an even better one that you are prepared to write about it. There are many of us, I am sure, who will benefit from the pain you will undoubtedly experience.

  24. ajb1605 says:

    I’m thinking of enlargening my portfolio; can you recommend any Undertakers near you? Just a whim….

  25. Do the tribute band have anyone for the June Carter role?

    Signing the LTLP up for a duet of ‘Jackson’ could finish the night off with a bang.

  26. guyana gyal says:

    Do you know what they do with red lipstick on mirrors in movies? Eh? Eh? Yes, people scrawl warning messages with them. Look out for yours from the LTLP.

  27. Linda says:

    I don’t even like Johnny Cash songs when he is singing them himself and I’m a Texan. He’s an acquired taste and I see trouble ahead. Rather like the time I went to hear hit French songs from the 60’s and 70’s with my husband. I’ve never spent a more boring evening. Listen to Short Tony-don’t do it.

  28. FJ says:

    Not a threat Jonny just a prediction …..

  29. Margo says:

    Oh dear, oh dear. May I suggest that you *actually* take her forthe meal, and then finish off the evening with the band? That way she will be in a good mood.

    With your plan, you will have a LTLP who is not only furious with you, but furious with you AND hungry. That will never end well.

  30. JonnyB says:

    So, on analysis, there is about a 50/50 split with people who think it is a really good idea. Excellent.

  31. guyana gyal says:

    Oh man, this ‘there is about a 50/50 split with people who think it is a really good idea’ is some warped kind of optimism. Or male-blundering on.

    The writing’s on the wall. Go ahead, ignore the warnings of the other 50.

  32. Diana says:

    Just do it! (Mmmh famous slogan, that) then we can all say “told you so” and you won’t have to look up what to buy her next year for your 12th anniversary.

  33. Indigo says:

    When I read this post I thought I spotted a flaw in this plan – oh, from the comments I see it has occurred to a few others/ everyone else. What’s this change comin down the line? I may be right and I may be wrong but you’re – we, that is – gonna miss me, I mean JonnyB, when I’m ^H^H^^H’s he’s gone.

    If you ride it you gotta ride it like you find it, JonnyB, and all that jazz. I mean blues.

    Gotta go, got chickens to exercise.

  34. Sewmouse says:

    Well, if the LTLP does do something unthinkable to Jonny’s man bits – then he can join the band to sing “A Boy Named Sue”

  35. It’s all right everyone – he’s buggered off on holiday (again), so we don’t need to keep him housebound and distracted with faked comments while his primary carer is at work ’til they’re back. Take the next two weeks off, and we can clock on again in November.

    Who’d’ve thought this “care in the community” lark would be so tiresome, eh?

  36. Mac says:

    Build ’em up then knock ’em dowm. It’s the British way.

    My wife has ‘Ring of Fire’ as her ring tone, put there by a daughter who’s just old enough to think that the phrase ‘Ring of Fire’ is never not funny, having just discovered curries. My wife hasn’t got a clue how to take it off (over 40) so just apologises to whoever is in the room as soon as she hears ‘love is a burnin’ flame’ Makes her answer the phone quickly though!

    BTW. What part does The Miniature Barman have in the band? I’m no expert but wasn’t Johnny Cash a very tall man?? Could be that ST doesn’t want any part in humiliation of the vertically challenged?

  37. kim says:

    I take it that this plan is why we’ve never heard from you again?

  38. Pat says:

    ‘oh dear I have given the game away.’
    Not to me you haven’t. I’m guessing a trip round the world.
    BTW you may like to differentiate between ‘No comments’ meaning nobody loves me and ‘No comments’ meaning I don’t want any.

  39. I am hiding in a secret location. But I have been sad enough to find a PC and check this.

    I guess it is sort of Johnny Cash related, partly.

  40. Rufie says:

    OK after several lurking years, I’ve finally worked it out. ‘Jonny’ is actually ‘Joanna’ writing about her idiotic ‘LTLP’ but, cleverly, in the first person so that ‘Jonny’ actually seems to be a funny, insightful chap who can poke fun at his own insensitive behaviour….no wonder it is always so funny!

  41. Ruth says:

    While Jonny is swanning off on holiday, I have come all the way from another country to check out his home stamping ground.

    It has been very lovely weather in B-l-r-ay and its environs and apart from an awful lot of follically-challenged males, it seems a lovely area.

    If I fancied a longer stay, would you entertain the thought of a lodger, Jonny?

  42. JonnyB says:

    Hullo Ruth and welcome to the UK…. but I have not lived around where you have been for years and years and years, I am afraid. But I visit sometimes.

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