[It's that time of the year again. I've tidied up the Pundy House, set out the seats, swept the basement where the Comments hang out (where did all these tissues come from?) and now I'm standing here at the podium in front of an expectant and excited invited audience waiting for the ceremony to begin. Out of the corner of my eye I can see the director of the BBC camera crew counting down the seconds before the I launch into my speech. ]
I am nervous, standing here surveying the various tables of blogging glitterati, no question about it. My mouth is dry. All those bloody camera phones flashing in my eyes. The deafening clink of champagne glasses. The rustle of prepared speeches being nervously fondled. Need a drink of water. Think back to last night. They took it well about the absence of prizes. Well, some of them did. I didn't realise they were such a competitive bunch. Hope they don't turn ugly when the awards are announced. Well, some of them are ugly already...Oh, oh, here we go...
Director: Ready everybody. Action!!! Roll!!!
Pundy: Ladies and gentlemen, and daddy, it gives me great pleaure to welcome you to the Pundy House Literary Blog of the Year Awards.
Minx (loudly): Yippeee!!!!
Pundy: I've always been intrigued by the power of ideas. Great ideas grow and take on a life of their own. Ideas grow into ideals which in turn grow into idealisms. Marxism, Thatcherism, Christianity, Nazism, and now, Pundyism. They all started as simple ideas. Wars have been fought over ideas, countless millions persecuted and killed as a result. Let's hope my idea for a blog award doesn't have the same consequences Ha. Ha..
(The now-silent crowd look puzzled).
Skint: (throwing a bread roll): Get on with it! Who won, you wordy Scottish git?
Pundy: Er, who won? Good question. Well, in a sense you all did. I mean, you know it was just a joke, don't you? Just a bit of fun?
Debi (between gritted teeth): Better not have been. I spent a fortune on this dress. As anyone can see.
Pundy: What I mean is, the awards idea was really just my way of saying thank you for all the pleasure, and indeed enlightenment, I have experienced from visiting my fellow bloggers on a daily basis over the past year. Watching this community of like-minded writers grow together, so selfless and kind-hearted..oh...
(There is a small commotion as Daddy slumps forward in his seat, his face ending up in his lobster bisque, an empty bottle of Bollinger clasped in his right fist).
Pundy: ...a place where virtue truly is its own reward...
JTA (loud whisper): What the fuck is he on about now?
Pundy: My fervent hope that the Awards will promote harmony and understanding amongst my fellow bloggers...
Maxine: Good God! I do believe the fellow's a hippy.
Pundy (struggling to make himself heard against the rising rumble of discontent): Okay, okay, without more ado, here they are. First off, Commenters of the Year.
JTA (standing and surveying the room with his clenched fist held aloft in triumph): That's me! That's me, plebs!
Pundy: Er, not quite, JTA. This year there's three of you. I decided I couldn't separate you. So the Commenters of the Year are, firstly, Daddy.
(Daddy is snoring loudly into his soup, bubbles of lobster bisque foaming round the end of his nose),
Pundy: And JTA
(Polite but muted applause)
Pundy: And finally the indefatigable Minx, without whom I would have given up long ago...
Sand Storm: I wish you bloody had. This is interminable. When do they serve the main course?
(The Minx leaps to her feet and runs around the room hooting and hollering like a mad thing accompanied by thunderous applause).
Pundy (when the tumult finally dies down several minutes later): As I said earlier, everyone is a winner, so if you've been nominated that's because I really do believe your blog is something special. However, in the end there can only be one OVERALL WINNER...
(A fight has broken out. The cameras pan round to capture the action. John Baker and the Publishing Contrarian are on their feet, their noses almost touching as they argue furiously over who has the keenest sense of humour. Maxine yawns. This sort of behaviour really is beyond the pale).
Debra (standing up): Where's the bloody lavatory in this place? I need to see the lavatory!
(Another commotion as Shameless faints from lack of oxygen, having had his nose stuck down Amy's cleavage for the last twenty minutes. Carla grabs a waiter by the testicles and demands another glass of champagne. Madame Arcati sits in a corner scribbling furiously into her notebook gathering material for tomorrow's blog. Susan sits alone at her table reading poetry and reflecting on the beauty of the evening.).
Pundy: And the Literary Blogger of the Year is...ouch!
(Pundy falls in a heap, rendered unconscious by a stale bread role thrown by Skint Writer.)
Beau Blue: I'm outa here, this place is a fucking nuthouse.
(A shower of bread rolls descends on the stage, pummelling Pundy's almost lifeless body. A siren is heard in the distance. The camera crew swivel round furiously in a vain attempt to film the Minx who is swinging from chandelier to chandelier as she continues to celebrate her earlier award.)
The lights dim as the ambulance crew charge into the banqueting hall, weaving expertly through the mass of brawling bloggers.
The Pundy House Literary Blog of the Year Awards are over for another year.