When my parents rather cryptically started making plans for an evening out during my Christmas visit I was more then a little puzzled. No matter how many times I asked they refused to reveal their scheme. Even my sneaky attempts at tricking clues out of them met with little success. Should I be dressing up? Would we be getting there by car? Would we be eating when we get there?After a while my questions were met with a look that said they knew what I was trying to do and it was not going to work. My child like detective work had failed and I was back to guessing with what little information I had. One phrase they kept on using was, “Keep an open mind,” which is usually a scary request when you don’t know what you are about to let yourself in for. I narrowed it down to a few possibilities one of which was that my parents had enough of me being single and had set up an arranged marriage.
As the evening got closer the mystery grew. I was half expecting my parents to lead me blind folded to some theatre or festival, maybe for some kind of experimental audience participation performance. Luckily there was no blind fold but I was still just as confused when they led me into the local curry house. As I sat there I could not work out why a meal at an Indian restaurant had merited so much mystery and deception. However, all my questions were finally answered when music started to play and there was suddenly a rather strange announcement that I thought I would never hear.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis is in the curry house.”
And suddenly there he was; The King. He was standing between the tables with his quiff, dark sunglasses, leather jacket and microphone in hand. It’s not the kind of sight you usually expect to see in an Indian Restaurant or many other places for that matter. Sightings of Elvis in England are usually limited to Fish & Chip shops and Tesco. However, he started to walk around the room and shake everyone’s hand as he sang. There was no denying he was real (some people said he was an impersonator). Maybe the King had decided to swap cheese burgers for Chicken Korma.
He continued to perform a large selection of his greatest hits and occasionally got members of the audience to sing a few lines by suddenly thrusting the microphone towards them. Every time he started to walk in my direction I desperately tried to recall the lyrics of what ever he was singing in case I suddenly found the microphone (and everyone’s attention) pointed towards me. Eventually I ended up singing a few lines of Tutti Frutti and The King commented on the Elvis G.I appearance of my spiky hair. That’s not a claim many people can make, The King knows my name and likes my hair.
By the second half of the performance he had changed into his familiar white jump suit with a leopard printed on the back. Waiters had to move the tables to let the steadily growing collection of drunken people dance as Elvis himself stood on one of the chairs and did his familiar hip movements. Passers by who peered inside might have thought they were witnessing a rather bizarre restaurant riot led by Elvis due to a lack of spiciness in the Red Hot Curry.
It was the last thing I would have guessed my parents had planned but it was a very entertaining night none the less. So the next time you are having a quite meal in a restaurant don’t forget to look out for Elvis. You never know, he might be there too. Long live The King.