Tonight was the night! Clarence had been looking forward to it since the notification had pinged up on his Facebook feed.
Those school days were never far from his mind. In fact, they were largely responsible for where he was today. If it hadn’t been for wanting to show Danny Walker that he, Clarence Thomas, could be cool too, would he ever have even gotten into performance magic? Clarence didn’t think so.
In fact, Clarence reflected, in a way he had a lot to thank Danny Walker for. Those toilet flushings had, after all, been character building.
And this was his chance to show them all, nearly thirty years on, what he had made of his life: School Reunion of St Swithun’s Academy, class of 1991.
He looked in the mirror and, oh my, he was looking fine. He had found a hat with a ponytail very cleverly engineered to hang quite naturally from the back, just like real hair. He checked all of the secret pockets dotted around his outfit and they were prepped and ready to go.
He couldn’t wait to show Angela Dickenson what he’d learned to do with a feather duster and a string of hankies. And then there was his very popular hat trick, but maybe he should save that for later, when they were alone...
With a swirl of his cape and a tap of his cane, Clarence Thomas, children’s entertainer extraordinaire, switched off the light and trundled down the five storeys of his apartment block to the bus stop. He was positively buzzing with excitement.
After all, who among his former classmates could boast such an interesting and varied career as Clarence? He had seen it all - he had stories to tell and tricks to enthrall. He might even have a glass of wine or two. The night, he thought, happily, was young.
When the bus arrived Clarence swirled on board, impressing the driver by producing the fare from behind the surly man’s hairy ear. The poor man had been too overawed even to smile! Still got it, thought Clarence, still got it.
The bus wound its way to the school, past the Crusty Dragon Arms where the older boys had used to drink after school, round along the rugby pitch, pulling up outside the Spar where Clarence had used to spend his pocket money on sweets.
He strode in through the school car park, dotted here and there with Range Rovers and a few sleek Audis. It hasn’t changed a bit, thought Clarence, how marvellous to return as something of a success …
He followed the thump of the bassline to the school gymnasium. Clarence was sure he recognised the song as some hit or other from the 80s. The party, it seemed, was in full swing!
Clarence peered in through the windows in the double doors. He saw a line of tables boasting cocktail sausages and crisps. Groups of middle aged men and women stood about holding plastic cups of wine, hobnobbing quietly. Clarence straightened his bow tie, seized the ends of his cloak and presented himself to the room with a flourish...