10 Forysthia Grove
CORSETTSHIRE ZY6 4GT
My Dear Ralph
I thought I'd try to cheer you up, dear, with a description of my evening down at the Ultra Arts Venue. Thank you for your telephone message by the way. You must try not to get too anxious about the cell mate with the unbending stare. Surely, after all, they would not pair you up with someone who repeatedly extinguishes their 'room' partner? My advice is to desist from shaving, in case his proclivities tend more towards the amorous!
Now, where was I? Ah yes. As you know, I sometimes volunteer down at the above-named arts venue and they usually ask me to operate the door-opening buttons and hand out event programmes. However, yesterday they asked me to be the Fire Warden! Well I immediately busied myself about the building counting fire hoses, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers because, as you know dear, in life one must be prepared for every eventuality! My seat in the auditorium was by the rear fire exit and also most opportunely positioned near a large red fire hose.
The musical ensemble gathered before us on the stage hailed, I believe, from some region in the Balkans and comprised seven musicians all playing a different musical instrument. I myself am not terribly familiar with the identity of such apparati but I think I may have recognized a mandolin, a violin, an accordion, drums, a double bass, clarinet and an electrical guitar. Does that add up to seven pet? I must say that the girl playing the clarinet had quite exceptional abilities and there were moments when I could almost feel my brow knit with the compassion and joy which her playing invoked. This may sound rather silly to you dear, but it is not everyone whose playing can touch the human heart - and I made a point of thanking her, in the interval, for the ravishing beauty of her performance. I did also manage to quaff one or two units of wine at the bar during the hiatus, which I hope nobody noticed!
It was during the second half that I happened to notice one or two curls of smoke wafting out of the amplifier used by the electrical guitar player. And then flames! Well, of course pet, I immediately became alert to my duties as Fire Warden and bounded out of my seat in the direction of the fire hose. This implement was quite delightfully easy to unreel I must say, and I dashed down the steps of the auditorium with almost all of it engorging like a proverbial python behind me. Of course, one does have to turn the distal spigot on and this I did the moment I was in striking distance of the conflagration. A powerful jet of water emerged from the metal nozzle and, as it zapped into the casing of the amplifier, there was a most blinding flash and the entire thing exploded!! Oh dear me pet! It later transpired that I should have been using the appropriate form of fire extinguisher as voltage from an electrical device is apparently most hugely conducted in a solid jet of water! I myself was most fortunate only to have my French pleat slightly frizzed and this turned out to be due to the wearing of rubber-soled shoes. (Usually, as you know dear, I like to deport myself in stilettos but the dress code at the Ultra Arts Venue is really quite severe.) However, I have learned a thing or two this evening - knowledge kindly dispensed by the Outer Hamlet fire crew - and one of them is to use a hose on a 'sprinkle' setting if one absolutely has to use water when fighting an electrical fire. (You are probably aware of this pet, but an interrupted stream of water is less electrically conductive than a full-on jet!) Anyway, I may have been on the receiving end of one or two black looks from Anton and Giles, who are the joint front-of-house managers at Ultra. Well, I do feel that their briefing should have been more explicit and I myself have been more than a little inconvenienced! I spent the remainder of this evening peeling scorched - wet - clothing off of my own person at home and will have to visit French Pleats at their earliest convenience in the morning!
P.S. Chin up pet. You will be out soon!