His Majesty’s Pie

Posted: November 23, 2013 in Community, Family, Humour
Tags: , , , , , , ,


It’s no secret that I occasionally like to sing. It’s fun to do. It’s also no secret that all kinds of strange things happen to me. I don’t know why, but they just do. I have learnt to roll with it, mind you, and it does tend to make life more interesting at times.

So…singing and strange happenings. Two things seemingly unrelated, but as fate would have it with me, they actually are.

I haven’t always been one to sing, at least not in public. But whenever I would be alone, when the coast was clear, I would release the beast. It was something I hid from my friends and family. It was something I liked to do, dreamt of doing before large crowds, and always hoped to be able to do well. That last part remains to be seen, but I like it all the same.

The funny thing about singing is….you have to start somewhere. You can sing in private all you want, but eventually someone else has to hear it for it to mean anything. My ‘first time’ ended up in Grade 8, in the little town of Hanover, Ontario. It wasn’t when I had intended to do it, nor was it really the way I had intended it, but there you go. Life doesn’t always follow you plan, does it?

It was the spring of 1978, and we had a choir teacher named Mr. Kim. He decided that, what with all the collective singing we were doing, it was time to put it on stage in the form of an operetta called ‘His Majesty’s Pie’. I really wanted the lead role. It looked like something I could do….be a kind and sing about pie. Instead I was given the role of ‘Captain of the Guards’ which had a pretty good solo. I got the role for several reasons, not the least of which I had access to a real sword as a prop from my father. Whatever it takes, as they say.

We practiced for over a month, preparing, honing our skills, putting together a pretty good show. People from far and wide were buying tickets. My dad even got my grandmother to come down from Sturgeon Falls to see it….a 5 hour drive! I was getting nervous as opening night approached. There was one teensy weensy problem, however….in the month we took to prepare, all the guards’ voices chose this time to change, deepening very much. Well, almost all the guards. The Captain had no such luck. My voice was still Mezzo Soprano.  It was very embarrassing. I did everything I could think of to try to force the change, but no dice.

And so, opening night arrived. The place was packed, and my grandmother sat in the very front. My part was fast approaching….I was so nervous!!  Finally, the moment of truth….I marched my troupe across the stage, they singing in these deeper manly voices, me singing like Mickey Mouse. The place erupted in laughter. But wait…I’m not done yet!! Finally having sung my solo, we came to a halt in front of his majesty, and in a move I had practiced for a month, I snapped a quick salute to the king, then stood at attention and put my sword enthusiastically right through my shoe and got it stuck in the stage. I missed my toes by millimeters….and couldn’t get the damned thing unstuck.

When the play was finally over, and Mr. Kim finally got the sword out of the floor, he took me aside and said to me ‘well, you wanted the lead role….certainly nobody will forget your performance!’ And he was right. People remembered that for a LONG time.


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