Time was a fickle devil. The teapot wonders at this. She has not been solicited yet but the scones were almost out. The ladies of the Rex Club were now too busy munching on their tea sandwiches to realize the pink tutu-clad dino waltzing through just as La Traviatta began playing.
Someone at some point turned the hourglass to its side, for which he was glad. Its surly sands noticed it was a rough hand, who had handled its ancient silver headstone.
“My, my, madame T-Rex! Where is your daughter? Still running around in the wild, I see.”
Madame Dino said nothing but caressed the table cloth and began serving tea. The ladies discovered what they had importantly missed. Madame Dino smiled. Egotism and silence went well until met with a plateful of sausage rolls and cucumber sandwiches. The hourglass agreed with her. These ladies knew nothing of time.
If the hourglass could talk, it would be laughing right now.
“Mmmmm, this tea is exotic. Madame Dino, bravo! Grazie.” As if the tea room had always heard such grotesque words. But they all decided to pour some normal tea, munch on cucumber sandwiches, and make toasts to their health under the high ceilings of the threadbare blue tearoom.
Enter Mademoiselle Dino with her friends, bearing chocolates and origami flowers watered down by the thunderous clouds. All of a sudden, silence. One of the ladies pulled up the scratch from the Vinyl. The lights on the domed timbers beckoned the young group forward. And suddenly –
Jazz. Jazzy. Jazzy all around. The eldest ladies wanted to cover their ears. One of them glanced back at the teapot, nonchalant as always.
“Marine! What are you doing?” Madame Dino cried out to her daughter. Now, it wasn’t just jazz, you understand. It was an art. Musicians, brainpower. Thunder cracking in the air. Not those loud beautiful mountain stomping in the Highlands but another type of stomping. Trumpet playing, drums rolling, even a lone fiddle. As they all kept up a symphony around the saxophone, the trombone shared a look with the swinging cello and stepped forward.
“But Maman, you mentioned you were going to the Rex club.”
“Here, we come bearing gifts, said the cello brightly. She gently stepped forward and extended the chocolates.
Oh, the ladies of the Rex club were baffled! Chocolates? Yes, that was one food missing from the table but that was hardly the point. One elderly lady, Madame Longneck began to whisper to what looked like her daughter, Madame Little Foot. We can only guess the impatience dripping in her voice.
“What youngsters run around these days.” It went unheard.
Madame Dino looked at the chocolates, then at the cello, and finally at Marine. She sighed, producing a handkerchief to wipe her brow. Then she tentatively turned to the tea party companions.
“Ladies, I don’t think these young people will take no for an answer……..”
“Well, Madame Dino! I much prefer my opera!”
“Madame Dino! Honestly!! My biscuits are not for these people!”
“I have no money and that is final.”
“Absolutely not. Look – the tea is getting cold.”
The hall had erupted in wails, yells, loud voices, and language so unbecoming for these ladies, troused up their so-called Chanel suits. The teapot became very much riled up and cross at those last of those complaints It was frankly too much. Madame Dino became very much distressed himself.
But she did not know what to do. These ladies never really accepted her as one of them; she was after all Madame Dino with a daughter “up to no good”. Yet, suddenly –
BAM!!! went the drum. Wait, there were drums? Why yes!!
The hourglass suddenly was pleased with himself. He was sad though; the drums were him. If only. No, it was a late arrival: the second drummer of the jazz band, who had missed the last bus. Entering the hall, he accidently stumbled over himself and out charged his drumming equipment.
It was enough. Silence finally came over the hall.
The ladies stared at the intruder. The band stared at him too. Madame Dino was saved from screaming herself sore. Hallelujah! the T-Rex tea club was silent.
They didn’t know what to say.
They were shocked. They were mute.
Marine stared at the spare drummer. She stared at her mother. Then she stared at the ladies.
“Well, I can safely say I finally have your attention.”
The ladies nodded. You can say they were still in shock. What else could they do otherwise? Marine smiled at this thought.
“I wanted to surprise you all because, as you know, this is for you. So I asked a few friends. We thought it’d be great to play some of our best music for you.”
She breathed in and then out. No one said a word.
“It’s a gift,” she continued.
Still no word.
Silence. Until –
“Well, it is certainly not opera.”
“Oh please! ‘And yet’? Well, I’ve got one thing to say. This tea has been a disaster. And to say that you want this to be a gift??? This loud raukus is no gift!”
Mrs Longneck had said that last one. The ladies is all turned to her, aghast.
“Madame! How could you! The tea was right. The scones were just delicious and the hourglass is well positioned. How is this delicious?” Young mademoiselle Skellwings admonished her. She was the youngest of the ladies but in this instance, she had had enough. Turning to Madame Dino, still a little distressed with the situation, she smiled. “Go on. It’s our day. The opera will be here tomorrow. But your daughter’s jazz group will not. At least for us,” she looked around at the entire club. “Go on. Play. Let’s all dance and enjoy our tea. Or we can swing. There’s always a first for everything.”
“Slowly Mademoiselle. I can’t take anymore of that fast-paced music any longer.”
“All right,” Marine declared. “We’ll play some folk and slow tunes. It’s quite possible with Cello and the Drums here.”
Everyone looked at Madame Longneck. She stared back hard, eyebrows raised. After what seemed an eternity of a staring match, she huffed, puffed, and sighed. “OH go ahead..”
And the cello picked up his bass, strung it up and began the music. Trumpets hummed, the drums clanged softly, and the trombone whistled. The ladies found surprisingly that cucumber sandwiches and tea were glorious with it all.