Never let it be said that the Northumbrian people don't know how to enjoy themselves - despite these dire, dark and despondent days of Deprivation and Doings. We've all been mightily entertained of late by the great Travelling Circus called 'Northumbria's Got Talent' - like the Đ Factor, another lucrative enterprise established by the ubiquitous (and fabulously wealthy) monk, Father Simeon the Cowl.
Over the weeks, the bovine Northumbrian herds have been entertained by the sight of sundry acts attempting to sing or dance their way into the Venerable Father's treasure chest and the public's affections. Some of the attempts at selection have been - as with the aforementioned talent competition - more entertaining because of the appalling timbre of the singers' voices and the incoherence of their strains, or the uncoordinated gaucheness of the dancers. These acts have inspired the mandatory expressions of bitter hostility and inverted affection from the audience, as well as outright sarcasm and tender bile from the kindly but viciously sneering and condescending judges.
The other day was the Great Occasion of the Northumbria's Got Talent Final, where the very best of the best acts were pitched against each other in mortal combat for the coveted First Prize of a dinner at Father Simeon the Cowl's lavish manor house - and fifteen nanoseconds' worth of public fame. I gather from my friend Feaxede the Fox that they also have the onerous responsibility of performing before His Majesty King Alhfrith and his potty-mouthed consort Queen Hillida. Wonderful!
The act which succeeded in tugging at the Kingdom's sclerotic heartstrings this year was a less orthodox choice from the doughty denizens of the Northumbrian Kingdom: it was a performing duo consisting of King Jose Borracho (the Emperor of the Evil Intergalactic Enterprise affectionally known as the Holy Roman Empire (which, in actual fact, is neither holy, Roman nor an empire), and his cute dog called Caedmeron. It was - even to a hard-bitten cat's eyes - pathetically cute. The story of how Joe Boy was presented with a little bundle of puppy for a Christmas present - and the smile of delight on her face as she saw her gift - endeared them to the hearts of the nation. The act was captivating, as Caedmeron leaped, bounded, walked on his hind legs, wove deftly through Joe's legs and swiftly responded to every verbal signal from his mistress.
A great future lies behind them as a result of the public's choice. I suspect that the audiences throughout the Realm were more entranced by the dog than the owner. A shining career in politics awaits him; he'll go places. Mark my words - you've read them here...
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