Ho, Ho, and ummm… oh yes, that’s it – Ho

Well, dear reader, Christmas is almost with us once again.  Throw a Yuletide log on the fire, get yourself a glass of hot totty and snuggle up as we look back on another year of BacStageyness.

In the Spring we revived Virtue Triumphant so that we could murder several of the cast on stage each night.  I still maintain that the Squire was a much maligned and misunderstood character, but it seems I’m in the minority on that one.  Miserable peasants!  In the Autumn we embarked on something altogether different with 7 Ages of Man and completed a hugely successful World tour on the back of it.  At the time of writing we are currently all hard at work preparing our next show, Beauty and the Beast… I say “we all” but in truth they are all hard at work while I’m at home wittering, and I raise my glass to them (hic!)

It has become something of a tradition to share a joke with you, dear reader, at this time of year.  I’m a stickler for tradition when the mood takes me, so hop up on the sofa and sit comfortably for this year’s shaggy dog story:

There was once a husband and wife who decided to leave behind their hectic life in the city and move to the country to run a pub.  They soon decided that their pub needed a pub dog.  Rover was a very friendly dog, hugely popular with all the regulars, apart from one thing – whenever he wagged his long tail he tended to scatter people’s drinks and, being such a happy dog, he wagged his tail rather a lot.  Reluctantly the landlord decided to have Rover’s tail docked; fortunately Rover was still just as happy, as were the regulars now that their drinks were no longer being spilled, and to make sure Rover’s waggy tail was not forgotten it was mounted in a glass case above the bar.

Rover lived a long and happy life at the pub but eventually time and old age caught up with him and he went to live in the great pub in the sky.  He was much missed by all his family and friends at the pub.

Just before midnight about a week later, just as the landlord was locking up for the night, out of nowhere a storm suddenly started raging outside.  Rain lashed the windows and the wind howled.  Above the howling wind there was another, ghostly howl, followed by a ghostly scratching on the pub door.  With some trepidation the landlord opened the door to see the ghost of Rover sat outside.  “Rover, what are you doing?” the landlord said.  “Didn’t you have a happy life here with us at the pub?  Why have you come back to haunt us?”

Rover’s ghost looked suitably shifty, as only a dog can.  “I did have a happy life here” he said, “and I’m sorry to come back like this.  The thing is, I went to St Peter and asked ‘can dogs enter the kingdom of heaven?’  He said yes, I could enter, but not without my tail, so I’ve come back to fetch it”.

“I see” said the landlord.  “I’m afraid I can’t help you tonight though, you’ll have to come back tomorrow morning for it”.

“Can’t I just take my tail away with me now?” asked Rover’s ghost.

“Now Rover” the landlord replied, “you were a pub dog all your life – you know the rules.  You know I’m not allowed to retail spirits after 11pm”.

Compliments of the season to you all.

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