Warning: The following post contains Sally Army references which may confuse.
I did add up the number of Christmas Carols played in December but I am not sure if it is accurate. I think it is around 400 to 500. I know most of the carols now so my mind tends to wander whilst I am playing them. Here are some of the games I play.
1. Looking out for celebrity shoppers. This is very difficult in Liverpool, especially as I don't or have never watched any of the local soaps (Hollyoaks - Chester, The one in South Liverpool that has finished now, can't remember what it was called). So even if one of the actors came over and started to conduct the band, I wouldn't have a clue who it was. And some of the more well known Liverpool celebrities wouldn't now be seen dead in Liverpool in December (certainly not in Asda or Tescos), Cilla Black, Jimmy Tarbuck etc. Now I have seen Ken Dodd but not whilst Carolling, he was buying a SCART cable from Richer Sounds and I also saw him buying a book in Waterstones. I have although seen Alexei Sayle in Sainsburys Woolton with his mum. And various Everton and Liverpool footballers.
2. When carolling in a supermarket, I watch people leaving the store and try and guess what car they have. I always get this wrong.
3. When carolling in Liverpool City Centre there is amusement to be had watching illegal traders evading the police.
4. Picking carols at the bottom of the page to make our bass players grumpy.
5. Dodging shopping trolleys driven by older people. I got hit twice in 10 minutes on one Saturday morning.
6. Looking out for bargains in Sainsburys on the last Saturday before Christmas. Last year Simon and I bought sprouts for 10p. In fact I think I owe Simon 10p because I didn't have any money in my coat pocket.
A couple of Christmasses ago we where asked to call into the local radio station to play on the Billy Butler show on Saturday morning. We all trooped into the studio and played Away in a Manger and Silent Night. Billy was so taken by this, he decided to include the band in his quiz for the day. So Billy said to the band on air, "I know let's give these fellas an 'orse".
I looked at Ray (who was at the time PR officer at DHQ) quizically. What's a norse. Then the penny dropped he wanted us to select a horse in a race for him to back. He was showing us a list. Ray started to splutter "Ah, well you see we can't ....", but I chipped in with "Let's have that one" and Billy said "OK". So our band backed a horse on "live" local radio.
I think Ray was thinking of the questions from the DC on Monday morning on the way to carolling. The rest of the band where laughing too much, of course non of us where employed by the Army.
The horse came in second, but we didn't see any winnings.
Of course gambling is a bad thing and I regret .......