1946-50, The wonderful University years Part 4

The following year, before I realised what was happening, I became embroiled through offering an opinion, something which always heralds trouble. Some of the men were wondering what sort of show to put on, I had said that every year there was the same procession and we should be putting on a static show of some sort, slap stick, something to gather the crowds and collect more money, provide ourselves with a captive audience. To cut a long argument short I was inveigled to join another ex-serviceman in An Olde Time Boxing Match. We were to wear combinations, I was to black my face and wear a Fez, I was the Great Mustapha. He was the British challenger – five foot nothing of cheeky chappy.
As part of the procession we set off with our seconds and marched from the University to the centre of High Street, there was an open space left by the demolition of buildings which had been bombed during the Belfast Blitz.. In the meantime some of the gang went ahead and set up a ring.
The performance predictably followed the usual circus ring craft, although we were probably not as crafty. A lot of water was thrown about, punches were thrown and of course, Mustapha must-ave-a beating – which he duly received. To finish it all off, absolutely cold sober, but with adrenaline running high, I obtained a crate and, standing on it in the middle of the main thoroughfare, brought Belfast to a halt with community singing.
When I arrived home, soberly dressed, sat down for the evening meal and when everyone else was gathered, Liza, my Mother-in-law, started to tell how she had been in Town, how the students were gathered in High Street and there was this idiot, standing on a box in his underwear and black face, holding up the traffic and conducting the crowd in a singsong. It was some time before I enlightened her who the idiot was. In the cold light of day and without the stimulus of adrenaline, I agreed with her, he was an idiot.

Categorized as General

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