‘Raise your glass!’ New Years Eve 2020.
Rufie is pacing his kennel.
‘… it’s bloody stupid! WHY can’t we go to the pub?! It’s New Years Eve!! We ALWAYS go….’
He wiggles his hips and throws some ‘shapes’ …. Everyone ignores him.
He jumps about some more, sending his water bowl flying….
‘Dipshit!’ Yells Dare, his kennel companion…. ‘you are such a clumsy tit!!!’
Nettle giggles in the next kennel.
‘To be sure, Uncle Rufie is a proper idjit!!!’ …. and goes back to trying to dismantle her heat lamp to make the hot bulb fall on Uncle Rock’s head, who is dozing after an exciting afternoon, with a sexy sabre toothed tiger, whom he was meant to mate, but who he couldn’t get near, even using all his best lines and a few of Rufie’s dance moves …..
His father stepped in. Sealed the deal in minutes. Rocks dozes and mutters praying his father will keep his trap shut…. He has his status to uphold!
Clay lifts his head and in his posh Hampshire clipped tones says ‘Rufus, you KNOW they put us in Tier 4 last week… no pubs… no shooting…. no Pets at Home…. NO NOTHING!!!!’
Rufie sulkily kicks his very slightly chewed, incrediably expensive tree root thing, against the kennel wall….
‘…. that’s stupid! This Whole thing is bloody silly! I want my red bulls and vodkas!! I’m HILARIOUS on red bull and vodka!! …. who cares about bloody Corvid 19 anyway!!!! Corvids are nothing but trouble anyway!! ….’
….. Clay sighs. How could he even be the same COLOUR as this simpleton!!!
‘Rufus…. it’s Covid. Covid 19. It’s nothing to do with crows, Rooks… or any other BLOODY birds!!! ……..For the 200th time, ….It’s BLOODY COVID!!!!’
Rufie blinks. ‘Whatever! Rat boy! Who was 2nd at Crufts this year??… you? Errr no!
Rocks??? I think not!!!
ME?! Fuck yes!!!! TWICE actually in the same day!!! How about that ? HOW about THAT …. stick that up your skinny arse and…….’
…. and they are off. Bicker bicker bitch whinge…. the chocolates are OFF!!
Rocks stands up…. ‘Jesus Christ!! Shuuuuuuut upppppppp!!!!!! We weren’t going to say but Uncle Ray has a plan tonight to celebrate a bit…. It was going to be a suprise on the late orchard run before bed, but you utter queens clearly need something in your lives … and so…… ‘
Everyone leans towards him…. ears forward…..
‘….. we are going to do karaoke!’
Nettle jumps up and down and claps her paws…. ‘yay!yay!yay! Karaoke!! Karaoke!!!’
Dare looks at her…. ‘Irish pikey child…. do you even KNOW what Karaoke is???…..’
She screws her face up and snaps at his toes through the bars…. ‘ duh! To be sure!!! It comes with salad and curry sauce, in like a wrap thing…..’
Dare sighs… ‘I think you may be thinking of a Kebab!…. Just be quiet and don’t say another word, yeah? Till we ask you to speak again….’
‘Feck you…’ Nettle flicks him a single finger ….. but curls up again in a basket
The boys are very excited by this prospect…. let’s face it, currently the entertainment in a day tended to peak at Mum packing them all in the truck, and sitting them on double yellows outside Poundland in Hayward’s Heath, whilst she dived in to ‘supermarket sweep’ shampoos and antibacterial spray. It was Russian Roulette on traffic wardens coming past….
Clay would do his best, snarling and salivating at anyone in an official looking hat, coming within 5 yards of the truck…. but, you know Mum, she won some, she lost some!
‘What are you going to sing, Dare whispered to Rocks….’
Rocks Raised an eyebrow. ‘Kid, you’ve not been here for a New Year yet have you?….. There’s no choice. Uncle Ray will take the mic, and stay with the mic all night, and sing Pink’s song ‘Raise your Glass…..’ over, and over, again. He likes it. He likes it a LOT.
At that point the kennel front door burst open and Callum and Ray marched in, fresh from a nap by the fire after duck flighting. Callum was waiting for an opportunity to tell them all that Ray had run in on an unexpected duck coming down on the water…. IN his drying coat….. … to howls and screams of anger from mum…. then slightly muffled panic from Raymond as he realised he was swimming back with two stone of soaking coat wrapped round him….. Callum enjoyed ‘these’ moments. He saved them for optimum times. He could wait.
‘OK knobbers!’ Bellowed Ray, over the sounds of Radio 2 as it prepared everyone for 2021…..
‘ Let’s get rehearsing! We’ve some newcomers this year…..’ he stared affectionately at Dare, his son, who captain saluted him back (everyone else groaned)…. and Nettle who stuck her tounge out at him….
He glanced at the radio…. it bellowed…. ‘whats the matter you? Gotta no respect! Whatdaya think you do?…. why you lookin’ so sad…’ He walked to the fuse box, and flicked the power point one…. the radio died. ……As did all the heat lamps…..
He grinned and raised his head and wailed…’ Rooooooooxanne! You don’t haaaaaave to puuuut on the red light!!!!….’
Only Dare laughed.
‘He would’ muttered Clay.
‘Ok girls! Let’s talk about karaoke tonight. Let’s face it…. I’m the star. The looks. The Singer. And you lot….. you are backing vocals.
Well… except the Hampshire brown geek… who is lighting, sound and levels….
And the Irish child, who no one can understand anyway, so she’s on, holding up lyric cards….’
…. Callum twitched a bit…. ”Ray, Ray…. you said earlier I could be the production Manager….??’ Callum takes a deep breath…. ‘You said that this afternoon, just before you ran in, on that duck, with your ……’
Ray jumps in…. ‘yes!yes! ok Princess!! FFS, You can book the band and shuffle the paperwork!! Ok! Calm down sweetheart…!’
Everyone looks fairly chuffed. Rufie does a few twirls…. and ends in what he thinks is a ‘sorted’ pose.
‘You alright there Rufe??….. you in pain or something….?’ Chuckles Ray, knowing it will wind him up no end.
And so rehearsal starts…..
Dare…..: ‘Right right, turn off the lights,
We gonna lose our minds tonight’
Choir (So Rufie and Rocks basically)…… ‘What’s the dealio?’
Ray twirls the Mic and warbles…’ I love when it’s all too much,
Five a.m. turn the radio up
Where’s the rock and roll?’
Nettle throws herself around randomly whooping and punching….
Ray: ‘Party crasher,
Call me up if you want gangsta
Don’t be fancy, just get dancy
Why so serious?
So raise your glass if you are wrong,
In all the right ways,
All my underdogs’ (he stares at everyone else theatrically…)
We will never be never be, anything but loud
And nitty gritty, dirty little freaks….’
Choir…. swaying violently (partly as Rufie HAS got a very large Vodka and Redbull from * somewhere….* Callum suspects Ray)…….. :’Won’t you come on and come on and raise your glass, Just come on and come on and raise your glass’
Ray…. positively strutting….. like his hero Freddie Mercury…. ‘Slam slam, oh hot damn
What part of party don’t you understand,
Wish you’d just freak out’
Choir: …. freaking out already
Ray, stretching and shaking his mic stand…. ‘Can’t stop, comin’ in hot,
I should be locked up right on the spot
It’s so on right now
Choir: …..so fuckin’ on right now
Nettle giggles and shrieks, ‘they said Feckin! They said feckin! I’m telling Mum!!!’
The song dies out…. Callum and Clay clap slowly. Obediently….
Ray does a circular motion with his arm…. again!! Again!!!
‘…. I told you so’ Rocks sighs…..
Ray hears, and turns and says scathingly…. ‘Hey clever boy, fancy telling everyone about the bitch today you couldn’t………’
Rocks jumps up…’ ok! Let’s go again everyone!!! Again!!!!…….’
…. ‘Right right turn off the lights…..’ etc.