So there’s Bob again, day before the Feis, manly tool grasped firmly in his hand, hanging out with the boys and building stages for the big event.
His heart suddenly begins to quiver and he clutches his chest in terror. “This is it!” he stutters, a visible panic setting in. “This is how it all ends boys, this is…this is…is…uh, my cell phone vibrating?”
“Yes dear? Yes, unh hunh, yes, aw so sorry to hear that! Of course I will! Ok, Monday, maybe Tuesday? Fine! I’ll take care of everything here.”
“Who was that?” his friend Brian asks as Bob puts the phone away.
“Oh, that was Marcie. She’s been called out of town on a family emergency, nothing serious, she’ll be back Tuesday.”
“Who’s taking Bridget to the Feis?”
“Your daughter, are you taking her to the Feis?”
Bob’s heart suddenly begins to quiver and he clutches his chest in terror, a visible panic setting in…
Meanwhile, back at the homestead:
“Hey Fiona, it’s Marcie, listen I need a big favor. I’m going up to my folk’s house like we talked about to watch over things for a few days while mom is in the hospital.”
“No, nothing serious, but I was wondering if you can keep an eye on Bridget at the Feis. I mean, God I love that man, but you know how Bob is…”
“Thanks Fiona, I knew I could count on you.”
We join Bob again, now surrounded by stage wranglers:
“Looks like this Feis suddenly got a little more entertaining folks,” Brian announced to the gathering stage crew, “Bob’s gonna be a Feis Mom!”
“Just like Driscoll!” another chimed in.
“Druh… Driscoll?” Bob asked.
“Couple three years back,” Brian rejoined, “Before your time, same situation though. Wife got called out of town the weekend of the Feis, Driscoll had to pitch in. Don’t worry, you’ll do fine! Just lace her ghillies tight, remind her to do a bloomer check, and bring plenty of duct tape!”
“Duct tape? What’s the duct tape for?”
“Duct tape is the chicken soup of an Irish dancer’s soul Bob!”
“You don’t know either.”
“No, but I’m not the Feis mom then.”
On the same stage eighteen hours later, an even larger crowd gathers:
“Ok, folks! Come on! Move back a bit and give the girl some air!” the Emergency Medical Technician gestured with his arms as he forced the swarm of onlookers away.
“My feet! I can’t feel my feet!” Bridget whimpered somewhere from the middle of the throng.
“Well there’s the problem, her shoes are laced too tight!”
“Ghillies,” Bob meekly responded.
“I think they’re called ghillies.”
“Ghillies, dance shoes, whatever, we’re gonna have to cut them off at the ankle. Frank! Get the Jaws of Life!
“NOOOOOOO!” Bridget moaned in terror.
“Just kidding sweetheart. Frank! Hand me the bandage scissors there.”
“Haven’t we seen that knot before? Couple of years back?” Frank mused as he passed the scissors.
“We have indeed! It’s called a Double-Driscoll.”
Bob slowly tried to edge back into the anonymity of the crowd only to be confronted by Fiona threading her way through the flock of onlookers.
“Laced her ghillies a little tight hmmm, Bob?”
“Well I uh, Brian, uh I mean Marcie always said,” Bob began to sputter.
“No harm done. Now then, how’d you do in the slip jig, Bridget?” Marcie asked in a comforting manner, a new pair of laces in her hand.
“Great! I had good arch and point!”
“No doubt with that lacing technique! How’s the wig feel?
“It feels tight, but I don’t know, different kind of.”
“Like it’s upside down? Come here child let’s get it twisted back around straight, maybe the judge didn’t notice.”
“Now that I think of it, Marcie did say the tag went on the back,” Bob recollected in a brief moment of lucidity as Fiona put the finishing touches on Bridget’s poof.
“There you go then, now off both of you, she still has four more dances. And Bob…”
“Hand over the duct tape.”
“No buts Bob. Duct tape in the wrong hands is, well… you’ll just have to let your imagination roam on that one…”
A short while later, a duct-tape-free Bob had gradually recovered from his initial embarrassment and was watching with no small amount of pride as Bridget “pointed her toe” to begin her next competition.
“Maybe this Feis mom stuff wasn’t so bad after all,” he contemplated.
Two days after, Bob sat quietly at the kitchen table as Marcie plopped down her suitcase in the living room.
“So how did everything go at the Feis?”
Without looking up from his paper Bob replied, “Fine, just fine! Why, what have you heard?”
“Are these her results?” Marcie said picking up Bridget’s marks sheet from the counter.
“Wow! Second place in slip jig! That’s quite an improvement!”
“And a second in treble jig and hornpipe too!” Bob added with obvious pleasure.
“Hmmm… What’s this one slip jig comment, ‘Wig LOL’?”
“I uh, well…BRIDGET! Come on up here, Mom’s home!”