Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

You A[euro][approximately]guest' It, It's a Tough Gig

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

You A[euro][approximately]guest' It, It's a Tough Gig

Article excerpt

ONE major risk associated with life as a human being is that you find yourself at a fundraising dinner. It has happened to me on umpteen occasions.

Sometimes it is because, in yet another unguarded moment, Ia[approximately]ve agreed to say something in those awkward minutes between the end of the main course and the arrival of the dessert. I have to spend weeks trying to think of something slightly funny to say that hasn't already been said on another occasion, to most of those who will be present.

This preparation is usually done without any advice from the organisers.

Who, why and how many are likely to be present? What will have been their likely grog consumption before I get to my feet?

Organisers must not necessarily be blamed for these advice oversights. They probably have no idea themselves. Anyway, "we only want you to speak for not more than 12 minutes and you can make it up as you go along".

Yeah, right. Eaaasy-peeesy. A doddle, no worries, can't see what all the fuss is about, anybody can get the attention and interest of two hundred-odd half-p****d blokes and their lovely partners......

"No worries, Pete, she'll be right. They're only there for the grog and because there's probably not much worth watching on the tellie that night....."

"Last time I heard you speak I thought you were pretty c***p anyway, so nobody's going to be listening. The committee only agreed to ask you back because they can't think of anybody better or cheaper."

"Anyhow, the caterer tells us we have to be prepared to fill in the time after he's collected the dirty plates and while he gets the ice-cream out of the fridge."

This last bit is good news. It's far preferable to the alternative in which students and ham-fisted washers-up click, clank and clunk the crockery just as you are struggling towards your well-prepared conclusion. …

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