Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Youth String Ensemble

It occurred to me yesterday that a youth string ensemble could be described as kiddie fiddlers. It's not much of a thought for the day, but it was the best I could do.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

1 and a 2 and a 3

The ever-delightful Da Nator has tagged me with a meme about books.

The rules are:

1. Grab the nearest book of 123 pages or more.
2. Open it to page 123.
3. Find the first 5 sentences and write them down.
4. Then invite 5 friends to do the same.

Until yesterday, that would have been easy, but I put in a bit of time doing some home improvement yesterday, and as a result, my office space is as tidy as my downstairs area after a quick trim with the Wahl. As chance would have it, the closest book is one that I bought last weekend at the Blackpool Magic Convention. It's a joke book by Michael Close. In addition to being an excellent magician, Michael is also a hugely talented musician, and a great collector and teller of jokes.

The book in question is called That Reminds Me, and is subtitled Finding the Funny in a Serious World. However, it's not all jokes, and page 123 happens to be one of the pages where he introduces a section of the book by talking abut the friend or acquaintance that inspired, reminds him of or told him the jokes therein. This particular section is dedicated to Billy McComb, a very talented and very funny magician, who died just over two years ago. His loss is still felt very strongly within the magic world.

Here's what Michael writes:
Billy McComb was of the same generation as Jay Marshall, and he too achieved great success as a performer. He appeared on big stages, variety halls, and workingmen's clubs, and he starred on television in the United Kingdom. Unlike Jay, who retired from active performing to run his magic shop, Billy kept plugging away until just a few months before his death. He was regularly featured at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, and he was often the opening act for The Amazing Jonathan in Las Vegas. I could not imagine how an audience that had paid money to see Jonathan would react to seeing a frail-looking old man walking out on stage.
So there you have it. I'd love to urge you to go out and buy the book, because it's very funny, and has a highly amusing foreword by Penn Jillette. I don't think it's on sale to the general public, although you can buy it online.

And now I have to tag five people. That's going to be a challenge, because I spend much less time doing this bloggy thing these days, and consequently have far fewer prospective tagees to draw from. And one of them has already been tagged by someone else.

Tell you what, if you want to do this meme, consider yourself tagged - only do let me know so's I can go and have a varda when you're done.