Tuesday, 9 February 2010
And the winner is Trubes!
The answer is ‘Candles’!
The ‘first past the post’ system of defining a winner in this diverse and intriguing competition, indicated that the winner would be the first contender to mention the word ‘candle’, and from thereon, a complicated, but mentally rewarding application of data dissemination, statistical analysis, and cheating (a term borrowed from the H.O.C), showed that Trubes is first, closely breathed on by Lils, and followed by Pips, who provided a special post on the ‘Pesakh’ clue.
1) Elton John sang revised words to ‘Candle in the wind’, at Princess Diana’s funeral in Westminster Abbey. He had to sellotape a teleprompter to the keyboard of his Mellotron, to remind him not to sing about Marilyn, and concentrate on the job in hand.
2) There’s a page at the beginning of a chapter in Spike Milligan’s book, “Puckoon”, where he describes a gangling spotty youth who is about to sing in a pub somewhere near this immortal place.
It is possibly the funniest – and longest, description of a single ordinary action that I’ve ever read, and Spike takes up the whole page just describing how the unfortunate youth winds up his frail body, opens his awful and distressing mouth, and commences to make a singing noise in a weedy, thin voice!
The youth displays huge threads of spittle, while his gaping mouth is extending to achieve a vocal climax of some sort of sound. All this made me laugh uncontrollably, when I first read it, especially when I have to refer back to Mrs S’s descriptions of ‘Candles’ (see later).
3) My Dad once told me that his cousin, Jackie, used to sing ‘Old John Braddelum’ at Christmas as his party piece and this ‘star’ act in front of the assembled aunts and uncles, and bored everyone to death. It has taken me ages to find the song, and only recently have I discovered the words! But the unfortunate lad always had ‘candles’ and sniffed all the time as well! (My cousin was the same too, and I complained bitterly that he was getting on my nerves once, sniffing uncontrollably while reading a Giles book and eating cake. I was subsequently bashed senseless by everyone, including my cousin...)
Candles are when your nose starts to drip.
There are children’s candles, when the standard issue square-mouthed crying occurs, and great streams seem to appear in all orifices, soon to be mopped up and discarded while the sherry decanter circulates with frightening speed. And then there are the Oldie’s candles, which appear suddenly on the faces of the old dears – blokes as well, when you see them outside the chemist in January, and sometimes February and March.
These are the inevitable product of ‘Nosism’, a predilection for carrying a handkerchief up your sleeve at all times. You also get candles when you have a cold, but just don’t go there for now...
4) I was a bouncing one year old on 19th July 1948. (That was easy, because everyone knows that)!
5) And finally, there’s the Forest Candle!
We’ve recently logged five stages of candles, and they range from ‘Birthday Cake’, on to ‘Nightlight’, then ‘Mantelpiece Power cut’, up to ‘Church Altar’, and finally, ‘Easter Sunday’, with the Paschal Candle (Pesakh) stands in the corner of the Nave, looking just like a very, very cold day in the frost and the wind and the ice and the snow...