Fans of the band will be familiar with the many sad turns in the romantic life of our big hearted guitarist, Dee Sharpe, the latest, and perhaps most dramatic up to this point being his unrequited infatuation with a bar maid at the Ship Inn in Broughty Ferry. Nobody was more happy than me to learn last Tuesday that he had finally put that episode behind him and found love in the arms of Margaret, a comely lass who works in the post office just up the road in Barnhill. And nobody was more unhappy to learn on Friday that she had broken up with him. I found him sitting with his guitar in his Granny’s living room, occasionally strumming it morosely and sighing in that all too familiar way.
“Want to talk about it?” I asked.
“I’m baffled,” he said
The story he told left me as baffled as he was. After a whirlwind romance that lasted three blissful days, Margaret had suddenly turned to him as they sat down by the pier eating chips and said, “Oh Dee, I’m so sorry. You’re such a great guy, but I’m going to have to end our relationship.”
To say Dee was upset would be a huge understatement. He feels everything deeply. He was also, as mentioned above, baffled. “But if you think I’m such a great guy, why are you breaking up with me?”
“That’s just it. It’s because you’re such a great guy that I have to break up with you.”
“But I’m crazy about you, Margaret!”
“There are things you don’t know, Dee. About me.”
“I don’t care. There’s nothing you could tell me that would make me stop loving you. Nothing. You could be a serial killer and I’d love the cute way you held the knife.”
In response, Margaret gave him a strange look in which fondness was mixed with surprise. Then she turned and walked away.
Dee had barely finished recounting his sad tale when we heard a commotion from the street outside. We rushed out into the garden and through the gate to where our van was parked. The commotion seemed to be coming from inside the van. I opened the door and was astonished to see Margaret standing over the bound and gagged form of the band’s keyboardist, Gene Poole-Skimmings, brandishing a knife. Gene had managed to free one of his legs and was kicking against the side of the van and moaning from behind his gag. He was clearly unhappy. I am a little ashamed to admit that for a second both Dee and I hesitated. Gene is generally acknowledged to be a cad and a bounder and would not be missed by the other band members beyond his professional capacity. But then I came to my senses. Gene might be a despicable human being and probably deserved what was coming to him for trying to move in on Dee’s girlfriend, but he is quite good at the piano and we needed him. I lunged at Margaret and managed to subdue her and knock the knife from her hand.
Of course, the revelation that Margaret was, in fact, a serial killer came as a shock to me and especially to Dee. As we watched the police take her away, I said to Dee, “If you weren’t such a nice guy that she couldn’t bring herself to kill you, that could have been you in the van.”
We stood in silence for a moment. “I suppose we should untie Gene,” said Dee.
“Let’s have a beer first,” I said.
So we went inside and opened a couple of cans, and as we drank them, a song started to take shape in my brain…