A parable from behind the washboard
by Father Green



And it came to pass that in the town called Mossley, there was a celebration and there was much rejoicing. And the elders of the town decided as one that there would be music and they did sought out Biggles.

And they spake unto the band, for in those days there was no email, and said, 'You must make music and be merry and we shall rejoice.'

And the band said with one voice, 'Will we be using our own P.A.? For verily, if we use our own P.A. we will want more money.'

And the elders said, 'Fear not, for there is P.A., indeed there is a surfeit of P.A. and we wish to make merry and rejoice.'

And the band said to one another, for in those days there was no telephone system, 'We must meet together and bring our diaries, and see if we are all free to make merry and make music as only we can.' And the band did duly go their different ways and tried their hand at begatting people.

And so it came to pass that Graham spake unto the band, for in those days there was no letter post, and said, 'Beware. I have to speak to these people. In the eyes of the band, this is not a gig of great import. However, it is beholden on me, as a man of my word, to speak to these elders with a yea or a nay.'

So the band met in a tavern, and there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, and Phil spake and said, 'I am going to a wedding on this day and it troubles me sorely.'

And Jake spake and said, 'I have a gog (for in those days there was no gigs) at the Bridgewater Hall but I can be there by a quarter hour past ten of the clock (for in those days there were no minutes).'

And Jock spaketh and said, 'I have a meeting of the dog club and anyway it is a Tuesday and I have to fit a saddle on a horse, which troubles me greatly.'

And Steve spake and said, 'Hi Men. Wow. There is a party, so verily I must leave at ten of the clock.'

And Father Green (that’s me!) spake and sayeth, 'I am free on that day, but the day before I will have been in America and could be a bit tired (for in those days there was no jet lag).'

And Graham spake and said, 'Behold. I have one hundred pieces of gold for each of you, if you will do this thing for the people of Mossley.'

And the band said, with one voice, each understanding that 'gold' was more a euphemism for the currency of the day rather than the literal sense of a gold piece, and of course, knowing that, in those days, there was no VAT, spaketh thus:

'We WILL play in Mossley. And we will make merry and have the people rejoice amongst us.'

And so it came to pass that Biggles DID play in Mossley and there was much rejoicing. And there was peace amongst the band.

But the elders of Mossley were not rejoicing and sayeth to one another.

'Who was the man on the fiddle? for verily it was not Steve.'

And they sayeth, 'Who was the man on the guitar? for, verily, I know this man and it was not Phil, but another.'

And another elder spake and sayeth, 'Who was that bastard on Sousaphone? For he did not look the least bit Teutonic.'

And another spake and said, 'Who was the man singing?'

And they said with one voice, 'That was Jok.'

And many of them said, 'Well, he was all right, but we should hold back the cheque.'

And Lo, there came a messenger from the good men of Preston who sought to rejoice and make merry and many of them begged the services of the Biggles band, for their fame had travelled many miles, for there were no kilometres in those days.

And Graham said unto himself, 'Oh Bollocks.'

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