Tuesday, December 23, 2008


When I was a young girl I was entranced by music boxes.

I have a vague memory of a little pink music box that played “One Enchanted Evening” when the lid was raised and the tiny ballet dancer twirled about in front of the mirror.

No doubt it belonged to a first-born daughter in our extended family.

I never gave my daughter a music box.

In retrospect, I am most surprised and guilt ridden about this oversight.

So it was most difficult for me to deny my daughter’s request for a music box when she was asked what she would like for her 21st birthday celebrations.

We had considered whatever was essential for the party.

We booked the lovely old country hall and we arranged for the food and drinks.

When it came to the music for the evening, I had foolishly thought that one of our four stereos could be carted to the hall along with the family’s very comprehensive library of CDs and tapes of music ranging from the early 1900s to the current releases.

But no, my daughter wanted a music box and she promptly gave me the name and telephone number of a reliable jukebox hire company.

We met with the owner of the company and we filled in the request form and we passed over the deposit and he handed over the list of available music for my daughter to peruse and the deal was sealed.

I quickly warmed to our jukebox provider because he was sincere and friendly.

However I did worry about his abrupt and inexplicable bursts of laughter during our interview. They did seem a tad manic.

On the day of the party my daughter, my sister and my nieces were helping to decorate the hall whilst my husband, brother-in-law and son were busy erecting the hired marquee in the grounds of the hall car park.

Suddenly word filtered into the hall that the music box had arrived.

Fortunately I had warned my extended family about our jukebox provider’s merry bursts of laughter.

I was the sole witness to his entry to the hall which was from the front stairs. As he backed up the stairs, tugging the music box on the wheeled trolley, I saw more of his nether regions than I needed to see due to his work shorts slipping well below his waist.

I have always been far too quick witted for my own good so, before I could stop myself, I heard myself saying to him, “Oh, I am getting a peepshow here.”

Manic laughter echoed about the empty hall.

My extended family, safe in the supper room, could titter without causing insult to him.

My daughter’s music box was the highlight of the party.

No one enjoyed it more than her Uncle Darryl.

He had studied the song list and he found his favourite song and memorised the number.

Whenever my daughter approached the music box, Uncle Darryl would call out, “Put on 5105 lovey.”

The song in question was Harper Valley P.T.A.

Only one person enjoyed the 21st party more than my daughter. Uncle Darryl.

I am certain it was because he was born and bred in the country and he had spent many Saturday nights in a country hall, just like this one, attempting to get some girl up to dance with him.

I am so very pleased to report that Uncle Darryl was not without a partner all night and, more often than not, it was with the birthday girl.

The music box remained in the hall until mid Sunday so that everyone got great value from its presence until our lovely merry jukebox provider came to pick it up.

It seems I did eventually give a music box to my darling daughter.

Michelle ©



No comments: