After the round of double-scoops, everyone was full (Spa Bruno had a double-double-scoop) and they all left the ice cream parlor. They went downstairs and were ushered into an auditorium where an excitable crowd were sitting, amicably jostling and generally larking about. No sooner had Ron and everyone from the hotel sat down, than the lights went off and the curtain was raised, revealing a stage lit with fairy-lights.
“Ladies and Gentlemen!” came a loud voice through the speakers. “Please welcome the one and only Ivan Crab and the Sand Band!” There was a loud cheer as a group of musicians scuttled onto the stage and took up their instruments.
"Are you ready to rock?!" shouted Ivan Crab in his echoey falsetto.
"Yeah!" responded the audience.
"Are you ready to roll?!" cried Ivan.
"Yeah!" called the crowd.
"Are you ready to scuttle sideways?!"
"O.K. Let's go!!"
For a large crustacean, Ivan was very nimble, dancing and spinning around as he sang, and strumming his guitar with his big right claw. In a minute, the crowd were up out of their seats and ebbing and flowing like the sea.
The first song ended and the crowd went wild. Everyone cheered, hooted or squawked and clapped their wings, flippers or paws as appropriate. Ron thought they were nearly as good as his favourite bands, Pin Cushion and Vineyard Snails.
Skates, himself quite a handy musician, was impressed when Ivan Crab played a xylophone and a harmonica at the same time, before performing a syncopated, high-speed solo on the handbells.
The Sand Band finished their last song with a flourish, and Ivan Crab waved his large right claw, saying “Thank you! Thank you!” into the microphone and doing a final wiggly-diggly on the guitar, before leaving the stage.
Everyone clapped and stamped their feet, at first randomly and then gradually synchronizing into a steady, communal Chrrrchhk! Chrrrchhk! Chrrrchhk!.
“Encore!” shouted Miss Wu.
“More!” shouted Capt. Cookie, still forgetting that he had a schedule to catch up with.
No-one noticed the admiral slipping through a door at the side of the stage and re-appearing a minute later.
Ivan Crab came back on stage after a quick slug of salty water.
“Thank you! Thank you!” he said. “I’d like to dedicate this song to Temples and Singsong! And I’d like to invite their friends Ron and Skates up on to the stage. Ron! Skates! Come on up!”
The audience-sea parted down the middle and Ron and Skates went forward and climbed up on to the stage. Ivan Crab gave Skates a banjo and Ron a microphone and a pair of marracas and they played and sang along to the ancient classic “Rock Around The Sundial”.
© David Severn 2013