Mark Twain is often quoted lazily; “Truth is Stranger than Fiction”, well is it? A truth is after all another form of fiction, time tends to reveal and render known truths as poppycock: The world was flat, and that was a true.
Why am I talking this jibber jabber? Well this weekend I went to an Andalusian Carnaval. I had imbibed enough booze to ensure my total enjoyment of the endless incomprehensible monotonous songs. After twenty minutes I started to eye the exit, then something quite startling happened. On the large raised stage appeared a man dressed exacly like me, then on walked another, and another, and another. These bearded replicants then summoned from the wings a series of men dressed as my wife. They then burst into a song mixing truths with absurd fiction into a surrealist tapestry based on the scant knowledge they have garnered about our lives, like the Daily Mail does.
The audience of around two hundred people laughed all the way through, which might have been humiliating had I understood more than two of the words … our names. The lyrics to Carnival songs are sung at breakneck speed and are dense in layers of comedic reference to past Carnival songs and the “Goings On” in the town. I have the libretto, and am now studying it with a strong sense of trepidation.
None of these people are actually me or Catherine.
To be parodied by so many tremendously well oiled lunatics was a huge honour, I thought I was the only parody of myself. They were far better at me than me. As the Carnival stretched on over three days I decided to join them, the audience seldom noticed which one of us was truely me and which one was fiction, and by Sunday evening I was also having serious doubts.