Spare me, she said. Not yet another festival! Not yet another musical rape on the Bevegem Ponds!
She herself lived in Koekelaringstraatje, a stone’s throw from the event, but outside the protective ring that ear specialists had installed so as not to have to plan a patient stop.
Watch out, she immediately tried to adjust something because she suddenly saw in me a possible employee of Kurt De Loor of Rock Zottegem or Nico Nobels of Dance D-Vision. But I’ve been tinkering the whole time.
Be careful, she said again, I like music, but music, and she literally frayed the word. How she did it, Joost may know, probably one of the techniques of the time to teach children to read, before and during and shortly after and much after the umpteenth educational reform.
Why not take the classic tour, she thought. Certainly Bach, it suddenly sounded: the neighbor from the Pottingsteeg had come to assist and made that clear immediately. A lively yet fun conversation ensued.
I thought the time was ripe, overripe, even stock market to intervene. I myself have heard from a good source, so I began. If you want to impress, you can never go wrong with talking about your sources. Your listeners will not be able to verify that well-informed source. If they still have the guts to ask for clarification, you can’t play safe enough with people from education, then you knock them to the ground, in our case the Koekelaring ground with “the vow of secrecy”.
At that crucial moment you are inspired by the familiar gesture of Nancy from Thuis: lock on your mouth and key over your shoulder, towards Pottingsteeg. Now is the time to talk about your source again. In times of great drought like now, you certainly score with everything that points to water. Or be. You don’t want to throw the Pezerul well, somewhere close by, just like the Devil’s Footstep.
I myself did not divulge my sources. Both ladies had apparently already read something about the proposal to hold a Zottegemse Feestdag, they immediately spoke about an annual, inspired by the festivities around the Death March in Bornem.
However, they both preferred to hear as little as possible about deaths and a march. It had to be an ode to life and the joy of life and to all that good life produced, in that case on Zottegem soil. And as for that 100 km march… Zottegem is a big flying fart, said the eldest. They don’t get me 5 times there and back to St.-Goriks with each time Café De Zavelput in and out and from there 3 more times to Elene, at the dumbass, and a beeweg around ‘t Hof van Oranje until I do my 100 km in the have calves. What would my varicose veins think of that?
Their laughter echoed in the Koekelaringstraatje.
I laughed along but quickly told about the blueprint about which I heard rumors. The Zottegemse Feestdag would start with a large, but also very large breakfast, offered by the city, at an infinitely long table, set up on the central strip between the trees of the Kastanjelaan. A brass band would provide the musical accompaniment. And no, that doesn’t have to be an existing company with flag and honorary members and first prizes, that may be an occasional fanfare composed by members of Okra. By the time the coffee cakes are digesting, the chocolate cakes make their appearance along with a musical digestif of step songs offered by the walking clubs. When the thermoses release their last trickle of coffee, the Zottegem petanque club performs an adaptation of Walter de Buck’s Mijne Vlieger in a polyphonic choir with the padel club. Scouts Zottegem has its local area nearby: they can safely take care of installation and cleaning.
An identical extra long table, the largest in the Flemish Ardennes, from Flanders, from the Guinness book, allows Zottegem to taste a festive taste on the Heldenlaan, this time paying but at a social rate, in that case even cheaper than with the energy bill, from national but especially exotic delicacies, and this under the old plane trees, Provencal scenes under the all-seeing eye of Lamoraal Count van Egmont on the Markt or in the park of his castle: Italian, Spanish, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Turkish… Chiro with her hand-and-span services are very welcome.
On the Markt, the old kiosk that used to hibernate in the Rhetorica on the Sablon, where young and old talent from the local academy will make music. Inspired by 123-Piano in Ghent, where they have had pianos played by passers-by, unauthorized persons but also virtuosos for ten years now, and at the same time invite viewers and listeners, unprepared. Maybe a Jef Neve, a Hans Liberg or a Zottegemse Aude Van de Keere will pass by on Zavel, Stationsplein, in Vestenstraat… That’s what my source told me.
I even heard about the return of the former fashion shows of clothing stores and lingerie boutiques, which are once again rolling out the red carpet in Hoogstraat and Stationsstraat and moving their creations for one day from shop window to catwalk on the street. Everyone welcome!
The Nieuwstraat becomes a playground for the little ones and a little further on, the Kazernestraat is waiting for performances from the moms and dads at darts, skittles, ring stabbing, pig bladder fight, curling balls, in short, children’s fun on an adult level.
Montmartre now has a solid tradition of annual celebrations and a folk ball would take place there because after the mayor’s ball the residents of Zottegem begged, begged and begged to lubricate their elastic legs more often.
By the time I wanted to tell them about the Idea Box at the entrance of the Bevegemse Vijvers in which they could deposit their proposals, signed or nameless, from 2 October, hopefully everyone had already made it home from the Mayor’s Ball, the ladies had image. I didn’t spend time looking for them. There is still time enough.