It is my own fault.
“I am so sorry, it is such a shame, I was really looking forwards to it as well,” I say, amongst other platitudes to that effect. “I will bring the Santa suit back next week, as I didn’t get to use it.”
“I am gutted,” I add, looking gutted.
The Playgroup Lady stands, hands-on-hips. It crosses my mind that I perhaps do not look gutted enough. I stretch my face, so that I imagine it looks ‘extremely gutted.’ I resolve to practise gutted faces in the mirror when I get home, so that if this situation should arise again, I will have a natural and plausible gutted face to adopt. It will be second nature, which is how all the best actors work.
“Well…” says the Playgroup Lady.
I am ordered to bring my banjo to the school the following week, to entertain the children.
My face immediately adopts the expression of one who is naturally and plausibly gutted.
“I do not know what to play to them,” I complain to the LTLP, when she has finished laughing, again. “Children now want to play video games and watch television, sniff glue etc. rather than listen to banjo playing.”
I work out ‘Ring a Ring o Roses’ and ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ and ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ before launching into a smoking version of ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown’ (my own version, which is less difficult than the original, and contains gaps where you can work out what notes to play next).
I do not know how I get into these situations. But I wish I would stop it.