NO TIPPING ALLOWED
I wanted this job badly. Appleby had gotten the last celebrity. I’d
have given anything to be there upon the stage with them. Yes, it
was true the celebrities get to wear the fancy gowns, are the centre
of attention and get to speak the last words of the event. I merely
would be there in humble clothing while attending them, and of
course there was no tipping allowed. Still, I wanted to do this
performance with all my soul. Finally Appleby, the senior man of
that stage, acquiesced and the job was mine.
The fans were many on the day. Mostly cheering though as always a
few hecklers were in the crowd. The grounds attendants cleared a
path to the stage. A couple of young girls rushed the star of the
show, but were easily held back by staff.
I hated my hat. It was black and covered too much of my face.
Really, it obstructed my view from the ceremony and the fact that I
had to go shirtless made the whole thing a little too much of
spectacle for my taste. I always preferred to adorn leaning toward
dignity. Still, the audience loved it that way and we were here to
give them something special.
The celebrity was elegant, they usually are, I myself would be much
more nervous but composure seems to come with the station for the
famous lot. This was my chance to attach myself to their coattails –
my fifteen minutes of fame near the limelight. I could tell the
crowd wanted me to do a little ditty so I turned to the side showing
my muscles and grinning.
Then it was her turn to speak. She was poetic and evoked majestic
resonances that left the audience speechless. The silence was my
cue. She performed the ending in the French style – on her knees
centre stage, body upright to the skies and then she added a new
twist, she held her arms out extended, as far as they might go,
fingertips reaching wide to stage left and stage right. The audience
gasped, holding their breath as the final act climaxed and signalled
to go mad wild.
I did my job. Too bad there was no tipping. She could have afforded
to give me a pretty penny. Yet, contrary to popular myth we only use
a single blade and giving money to me would get no particular
favour. My swing was true and the Queen’s head rolled bloodily to
the feet of the fans in the first row. The throng erupted. The
cheers were not for me, but the people could not help looking at me
as I did my job, though I reckon many just focus on the axe itself.
The beheading was executed, no pun intended, precisely. This was the
grand finale so I let the screams of the audience soaked into my
very being and took it all as compliments. Granted the part I played
was small, yet key. In the excitement some of her highnesses’ blood
dripped on my new shoes and ruined them. I had purchased them
especially for the occasion. Noticing that I lost concentration for
a moment from all the praise of my work. Everyone then was charging
the stage to get a look at her severed body. It was not me they were
really interested in, just the results of my swing.
I had done my first royal. Overall it was the second in the last
three years. Who knew there maybe a third soon? Maybe Appleby would
be ill that day and I could go at it again?
I really wish we could swing the double bladed axe. I could add a
little theatre by whirling it between the dull and sharp ends.
Wouldn’t hurt my paycheck either, but then again it would probably
still be no tipping allowed.