Monday, 1 June 2015

Call in the Stunt-Druid

There's been a certain amount of complaint from the Beaker Folk after yesterday's "Beakers' Got Talent", when it was announced that I've been using a stunt double or, as we call it in the trade, "body druid".

Well it's true. I mean, I like to do the preaching and the going to visit sick people (tell them they're a bit nesh and they should pull themselves together). But that ceremonial tea-lighting we do during the Night of a Thousand Tea Lights needs somebody with a stiller hand than I have. Likewise, I'm rubbish at Wild Goose-handling. Terrified of the things. And the liturgical skateboarding? My ankles ain't as robust as they once was. So I need someone lither and less breakable.

So I have a series of doubles who do the hard, dangerous, or highly skilled work. With the use of massive billows of dry ice or incense smoke, we are able to work cunning switches, and maintain the illusion.

Really, I've had no choice but to do this. Let's face it: driving motor-bikes round the Moot House like a wall of death, ventriloquist acts with glove puppets representing the Minor Prophets, playing the lead guitar on "Albatross" and cutting mistletoe from tree tops while standing in a cherry picker are all tasks that the Beaker Folk expect their druids to do. If I can't manage all that, or at least look like I can - who is going to do it? After all, Snodgrazz is a trained Wild Bird handler. If he sees me failing to do it, or Evel, our resident stuntman, sees I can't do the jump over six shopping trolleys on a Brompton (as required by our "Cycling Sunday" liturgy) they're gonna be disillusioned aren't they? I'd hate to let them down.


  1. A cherry-picker? ArchDruid, you have left me seriously dsillusioned. Before I encountered your estimable blog, the only druid with whom I was remotely familiar was Panoramix, le druide vénérable du village, and Goscinny and Uderzo clearly show him cueillant le gui having climbed up the tree himself. Next you'll be telling me you don't even have a serpe d'or but only some B&Q secateurs of base metal....

    1. Getafix could never have cut mistletoe with a golden sickle. Gold is very soft, and mistletoe rather tough. He's had you all on as well.

    2. Depends on the gold. Pure gold is very soft, but the various alloys of gold by which Gerald Ratner and others made (and lost) their fortunes can be hard enough. You don't think a druide vénérable would be that impractical, do you?

  2. Very sensible. I used Brünnhilde as my stunt double for the famous scene where I drove the hansom cab in The Magician's Nephew - and she can also be seen at a distance during the chase scenes over thin ice in The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe. As we were wearing full length dresses, you don't notice that she has much thicker calves.

  3. I've never had a body double, because there can only possibly be ONE OF ME. And since I'm not a Druid, I have no need for outlandish stunts for self-promotion, apart perhaps for the time I slipped on the Chancel steps and fell backside over breastbone to the great and uncompassionate laughter of the general congregation. However, my forward roll and star jump to rise to my feet convinced them that it was a stunt and I've been in demand as a Stunt teacher ever since. It's quite easy to teach stunts, as long as you don't demonstrate yourself. The maxim "Do as I say, not as I do" comes into play.


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