Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Slash! Aah-Aaaah! 

You may have thought that we'd shot our bolt with last week's sexually charged tale of Antipodean antics, but this week we're turning the thermostat up a notch with this little number that we're calling When Harry Met Shaggy...

It was a cold evening in London town, and all right-thinking folk were inside huddled up next to their radiators, savouring the warmth that artificial heat brings. Harry, from out of McFly, however, was not a right thinking guy. His mind was troubled and so his wandering feet hadn't taken him to the sanctuary of home, but to a small seedy cafe in a dark side street where he sat toying with a cup of coffee as he tussled mentally with the problem that was disturbing him.

As his mind struggled to find a solution to the stickler that stressed him so, he lost awareness of his surroundings. He was suddenly jerked back to reality with a start when he realised there was a tall back stranger now sitting opposite, nodding and smiling at him with an odd look on his face. "Who are you stranger?", asked Harry.

"They call me Mr Boombastic, say me fantastic, touch me in me back they say I'm Ro... Ro... mantic" said the stranger, in a Jamaican accent.

"That's a bit of a mouthful", said Harry, with scant regard for the innuendo laden possibilities of what he'd just said. Our stranger, on the other hand, was more than aware of it and smirked before replying "Or Shaggy for short.". In a Jamaican accent.

"Not the Shaggy, real name Orville Burrell who was born on the 22nd October 1968 and has had more UK and US number ones than any other West Indian born artist?" asked Harry, incredulously.

"Jah, Dat be me", replied Shaggy in a quite frankly offensive Jamaican accent, even more so than the Australian accent which Gina G and Kylie were labouring under last week", "You look vexed brother", he continued, still in a Jamaican accent, "What be the problem?".

Harry sighed, wondering if he could confide in this tall, dark, manly, well-muscled and undeniably handsome stranger, but figured what the hell, if you can't spill out your secrets to a stranger you've met in a seedy cafe, who can you spill them out to? He took a deep breath and began to explain his perplexing predicament.

"It's this, I'm in a band called McFly and we play our own instruments and everything, because we're not manufactured at all, or riding on Busted's coat tails, or anything like that, oh no. Anyway, we're so for real that we never want to mime, preferring instead to sing live in quite annoying whiny voices, but we're appearing on Top of the Pops next week and they've insisted that we mime to make the recording - and the watching - of the show easier. I don't know what to do." he said, whinily, making the point quite clear.

"Babylon, dat not be a big problem", replied Shaggy, in a Jamaican accent, prompting a million angry e-mails to the Commission for Racial Equality, "You just be doing the miming. We all do it and no-one ever knows, to be sure."

"Really? But you've never done it, have you? You've never... faked it?", said Harry, feeling slightly suspicious, not only because he could never believe that Shaggy of all people would mime, but also because his accent seemed to be turning more and more Irish as the conversation went on.

"Of course I do, begorrah", said Shaggy in an accent that was no longer Jamaican, but was simply vaguely foreign sounding.

"I'd never be fooled", said Harry.

"I'll prove it", and with that he bounced over to the jukebox in the corner, which had escaped being mentioned until now, but then, as the entire interior of the cafe has failed to be described, this cannot specifically be considered to be an oversight. He put 20p into it and made a selection.

The other patrons in the cafe looked up with astonishment as Shaggy suddenly burst into a rendition of his number 5 hit, In the Summertime, a cover of the Mungo Jerry classic. To Harry's amazement they all thought they were being treated to a live performance of the song. Some customers even began looking around to try and discover where the live band might be hidden, one even trusting more to optimism than good sense by looking inside the salt cellar. "Raggamuffin!" yelled the Levi's advert soundtracking hitmaker as the song came to a close and the impromptu audience burst into a spontaneous round of applause. At the table next to them a young black haired girl who some would recognise as Ashlee Simpson was heard to mutter "I'll have what he's having", which is vaguely satirical, albeit hugely out of date.

Leading the applause was our protagonist, Harry, "Wow! That was amazing, I'd never have known you weren't actually singing".

"Jah man, I be bonza, you mongerel", said Shaggy, in an accent that could now only be described as confused.

Harry still didn't look satisfied though, "But what happens if someone comes up to you afterwards and accuses you of miming?" he asked in a way that, if this were fictional, rather than a true account of events that the writer witnessed,, could only be described as a contrived set-up.

"Easy!", said Shaggy with a smile on his face, "You just say 'It wasn't me'. It's up to you if you do it in a Jamaican accent or not, though.". He paused. "Babylon", he added, half-heartedly.

"But what if they cornered me at the counter?"

"It wasn't me."

"Or if rather than playing the drums, I'd been banging on a sofa instead?"

"It wasn't me."

"Or if I was singing in the shower, where electrical microphones would clearly be a health hazard?"

"It wasn't me.". Shaggy was clearly beginning to get a bit irritated by the young drummer's failure to grasp what is ultimately a quite simple concept. In a Jamaican accent.

"Even if I was caught on camera missing a cue?"

"Godammit yes! Just say 'it wasn't me', right? How many times do I have to say this? Jesus, or Jah, or whatever it is I'm supposed to say", exploded Shaggy.

"OK, OK, calm down", said Harry, quite perturbed by his new friend's anger, "I'll give it a shot, but I'm not sure I'd ever hire you as a defence lawyer.".

"Good", said Shaggy, "Now, now that we've got all that out of the way, would you like to go to the toilets and have some bum sex?"

Harry looked at his watch. He had time. "Sure, why not."

They went to the toilets to have some bum sex.

"Ooh!", went Harry.

"Aah!", weny Shaggy.

"Oh, Carolina!" went Harry, in a Jamaican accent.

The End