Now I must admit I am not a fan of Elvis Presley (aka The King) but I do love a good Elvis impersonator. I say good; but I don’t actually mean good. I really mean bad; in fact the worse the better. So what makes a good (bad) Elvis? A number of things really, firstly they must think that they are the worlds best, they must be over-weight (even for the Vegas Elvis), they must be the sort of person who finds it necessary to lie about their age in their publicity material, they must always wear a white rhinestone encrusted jump-suite that has a collar with the wingspan of a small commercial jet, they must under no circumstances sound too like Elvis. It is a positive advantage however to be Chinese, Afro-Caribbean, Welsh, or suffer with achondroplasia.

I would now like to recount an almost perfect performance by one gentleman at my works social club who billed himself as ‘Elvis Previously’, although what he is now god alone knows. We sat at our allotted table, my friends and I, anticipation mounting as the band played the first few bars of his opening number. No sign of Mr Previously. The band repeated the intro; still no sign. The crowd shuffled nervously in their seats glancing quizzically at their neighbours. A few muffled coughs rose from the front as the fog from two smoke machines at the back of the stage drifted alarmingly into the hall almost completely obscuring the tables nearest to the stage. As the band struck up the sixth repeat of the intro he burst onto the stage; a bloated apparition in rhinestones and skin tight white satin and promptly fell flat on his face in the dense yellowish smog. Gasps from the audience were quickly replaced by cheers as some wag from the table behind ours shouted “Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.” It was as if he had bounced as he hit the floor he was up so quick and without so much as a pause for breath slammed straight into ‘Viva Las Vegas’ one of the mandatory numbers for any Elvis impersonator worth his salt. How he got up I will never know. His suite was so tight every movement must have been agony, at one point I actually thought he might explode. This was going to be special.

As he clumped around the stage in a pair of white stack healed shoes that looked like he had owned them since the mid-seventies the crowd cheered. Mr Previously warmed to the challenge, threw caution to the wind and began to try to swivel his aging hips. Either that or he was being electrocuted or having some form of fit. The crowd couldn’t have cared less, one group even rushed to the dance floor – not a wise move considering the amount of artificial smoke that was being pumped into the hall. Visibility was rapidly dropping to below 15 feet, something had to be done. To the strains of ‘Love me Tender’ someone cut power to the smoke machines (and briefly the microphone) and flung open the large double doors at the side of the hall. The huge mushroom cloud must have been visible for miles as the air in the hall slowly cleared. We could now see each others tear streaked faces. Tear streaked in my case not from the smoke but from laughter at the antics of the incomparable ‘Elvis Previously’.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis has definitely left the building……..

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