It was Amy who spotted him, he was climbing down the lighting gantry on stage left. The band switched abruptly from Paul Simon's America to the dwarfs' song which the nine girls sing as they marched off the stage.
Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho It's home from work we go Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho
The lighting gantry crashed onto the stage – it was loud – a huge mess. A hundred policemen ran over the stage – there were sounds of a man being clubbed to death. The audience were getting restless. The sounds of “It's off to work we go” could be heard faintly and then louder.
9gals! marched singing back onto the stage, they were wearing white target T‑shirts and short, white shorts and carrying bottles of ketchup. To the backdrop of the fallen gantry they sang:
You always hurt (bang) the ones you love (bang) The one (bang) you shouldn't hurt at all (bang) You always take (bang) the sweetest rose (bang) And crush it (bang) until the petals fall (bang)
The singing was punctuated by gunshots; the girls used the bangs to squirt tomato ketchup on each others T‑shirts. They stood in a row, as they often did, they sang Gershwin's “Summertime” and a medley of “I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside” and “The Sun Has Got His Hat On And He's Coming Out Today”.
They sang John Denver's “Leaving on a Jet Plane” quietly and slowly...
“Hello, I'm Mary, I wish you goodnight and goodbye, for ever.”
Each of the girls announced themselves from left to right and said goodbye.
“Hello, I'm Enda, I'm called that because I'm on the end of the row and don't normally get to say much, but tonight is different. I have a story to tell. I want to tell you what we wanted to do and where we are now. Lend me your ears!”
“Nine days ago we flew to this country to perform nine concerts in nine different cities in nine different states – nine concerts, out-of-doors and free. We came here to give you our best.”
“What happened? There was a bomb found under the stage before the first concert. So concert cancelled. The bomb under the stage exploded before the second concert. So concert cancelled. Somebody shot up the third concert stage. So concert cancelled.”
“We visited the Grand Canyon, that was great. The fourth concert was actually our first. It was also great. There was sporadic gun fire, but apparently nobody was hurt. We did our heavy metal finale, that went down well.”
“We got a lot of flak in the internet, apparently 9gals! is a band of heterosexual females. The police raided our hotel suite to look for hidden, illegal firearms.”
“We walked along the Beale and nobody shot at us, not once. The concert started an hour late – security problems. We sang Marc Cohn's ‘Silver Thunderbird’ – it was a good night.”
“The sixth show did not happen – the state governor said security problems. The seventh went the same way. Somebody started an internet poll to have us deported. The eighth was a riot. Yes, there was a riot just before the finale, lots of gunfire, the band played the dwarfs' song, we marched off the stage straight into a bus and got the hell out of it. The internet said that we had cheated our audience – not a word that the concert was free and that a riot had occurred.”
“That was yesterday. Today, the last concert, the last day of our tour, we had it planned, all our American numbers and our ‘Men of Harlech’ finish. But we had a plan B: if everything went bad we would sing lullabies to quieten everybody down.”
“We also wrote F.U.U.S.A. this morning – you can guess what that means. We are pissed off – you guys have tried to blow us up, shoot us dead, and just a few minutes ago you tried to crush us to pulp.”
“The lyrics of F.U.U.S.A. are a list of all that's wrong here, the gun control laws that aren't, misogynists, the militarised police, the politicians who won't vote for gun control laws, the bigots, the corrupt politicians, and you (all of you) who vote those politicians. A long, long list, each line starting with the two words fuck you.”
“A few minutes ago we marched off the stage and just missed being converted to strawberry jam. The dwarfs' song is our cue to get off the stage quickly, but without panic. We had a quick backstage discussion – plan B, but no F.U.U.S.A. We asked Trace to simulate the finale.”
“Thank you Trace.” A twenty-metre-high Margaret Thatcher appeared at the back of the stage and stood on the fallen gantry and waved to the audience. “Trace does all the music and the special effects.” Much surprise, but also much applause.
“What can you see? There are no humans on the stage. It's Trace doing a simulation. Where are we? I'll tell you. Up there.” Enda points her arm at the heavens. “Do you see that blinking light? No, we are not stardust, we are in that jet plane getting the hell out of here. Mary and I are already asleep.”
“So one last time.”
So kiss me and smile for me Tell me that you'll wait for me Hold me like you'll never let me go 'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane Don't know when I'll be back again Oh babe, I hate to go
“Stop!” The music and the singing stopped, all the lights turned on, an army of roadies invaded the stage. One roadie threw the nine cardboard cutouts into a cart and wheeled them off the stage.