Good morning, Rachel. Lovely to see you. It’s always lovely to see you, in fact.
Thank you. I do my best. Not always as bright as I’d like to be, but it’s not all down to me. If the sun and rain don’t get with it, there’s not a lot I can do.
Everyone loves you, though, bright or pale. The Dolly Parton of the skies.
Well, slightly less surgically enhanced, if I may say so.
Quite. But remind us again of the beginning. If you can still recall, that is – you’ve been performing all over the world for such a long time.
Oh, yes, one never forgets a moment like that. It was after that dreadful flood that was sent by Jehovah. You know, everyone kept misbehaving all the time, so He thought He’d teach them a lesson once and for all. But He overstepped the mark a bit – practically wiped out the whole world. There was no one left apart from Noah and this enormous zoo on a boat. So Jehovah felt a bit contrite after that, and He asked me to put on a show to cheer them up. It was His way of reassuring them He’d never do it again. I was really nervous – He hardly gave me any time to rehearse. But it went down well. Noah and his family were weeping by the end, and the animals were ecstatic. There were so fed up with the rain – except for the fish, of course, who didn’t even notice it. But the scorpions gave me a standing ovation and the cats kept calling for an encore.
And you’ve kept the same routine ever since. Have you never thought of varying?
Why change a winning formula? The fans love it. If ever they started booing, I’ll reconsider, but I’ve been on countless world tours and in every country I’ve been to, the response has been magnificent. Part of the secret is surprise, I think. I never announce my appearances beforehand, so people are always delighted when I turn up. And I don’t overdo it – sometimes the gig only lasts a few minutes. If I was up there for hours, they’d get bored. I don’t want to criticise, but these days the girls are so over the top. Rihanna, Lady Gaga – they should let their talent speak for itself, not prance around in those outrageous costumes. I mean, did you see Rihanna’s last video? Gross! Imagine if I started torturing a strato-nimbus like that! There’d be an uproar.
Yes, I dare say. But universally admired as you are, there’s one rather sensitive topic I must bring up. Where’s that pot of gold?
You don’t think I’m going to tell you, do you? People seem to think I must be rolling in it, but I don’t charge for most of my shows and I’ve spent a long time saving up for my old age. I haven’t got a pension scheme. Jehovah gives me a stipend to keep me going but it barely covers the cost of the tours. And one of these days, He’s bound to replace me. He just needs to catch me on an off-colour day, and that’s it.
But there’s not much competition, is there? As you say, I don’t think people would be that delighted to see Lady Gaga in the sky.
Oh, He’ll find someone, don’t worry. I know he’s been talking with Aurora.
Aurora Borealis. She’s got this brilliant show called the Northern Lights. I went along once and frankly, it knocked me sideways. Luckily for me, she hates going on tour – always uses the same venue, which isn’t even very easy to get to. But I’m sure He could talk her into it if He wanted – Jehovah can be incredibly persuasive, you know.
Well, I hope He keeps you for a little while yet. Thank you for talking to me, Rachel.