Ladies & Gentlemen,
People tell me in hushed tones of AWE, how somebody once crossed the Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Now no doubt the more credulous among you would be impressed by such specious SHOWMANSHIP. But I say: even the lowly spider could do as much. I spurn such artificial aids as the tightrope, highwire or flying trapeze.
Moreover, not content to merely emulate the audacious actions of past masters, tonight I shall do such a deed of derring-do as has never been done before, nay not even conceived of in the wildest imaginings of the most foolhardy daredevil.
What, you may ask, could I do within these four walls that could possibly match the supposed courage & skill of the aforementioned Niagara Falls tight-rope walker? Well, my friends, prepare to be astonished.
For, sparing no expense, I have commissioned a hand-picked team of expert irrigation engineers who, with the faith that moves mountains & all the modern technological means at their disposal, have managed to divert the course of the mighty ZAMBEZI RIVER into this very room. I have it here...
What starts off as a tiny trickle will soon become a raging torrent as the floodgates are opened.
To prevent rising damp I recommend removing any non-waterproof footwear & gentlemen may wish to roll up their trouser legs.
Those of you unable to swim should keep well back from the banks as the current is treacherous. But should you accidently fall in, fear not, because, among my many amazing accomplishments, I am also a fully-trained lifeguard & crocodile wrestler.
Any ladies in need of the kiss of life or mouth-to-mouth resusitation should form an orderly queue outside my dressing room after the performance.
Doubting Thomases & cynics in the audience will probably be wondering how this great feat I am leading up to could live up to the expectations I have been arousing.
Ladies & Gentlemen, I shall keep you you in suspense no longer. It is not for mere decorative spectacle that I have channelled one of the world's mightiest rivers into this room tonight. No, I intend to make full use of it. How, you are about to find out. Some of you may believe that bravery & heroism belonged only to a past age. What I am about to do will, I hope, conclusively give the lie to any such feeble notion.
Do not think your ears are deceiving you when I reveal to you that:
from a standing start on one leg & balancing on my finger an imaginary PINK ELEPHANT specially flown in from the horrid, torrid savanahs of darkest Africa for tonight's performance, I WILL, without the aid of a safety net, make a death-defying leap across the billowing surge which you see before you.
To further compound the difficulty of the proposed exploit, I shall, in a few moments, request a member of the audience to BLINDFOLD me.
Before doing so, I should perhaps mention that those of you of a particularly NERVOUS disposition or those suffering from heart conditions or high blood pressure may prefer to close their eyes or look the other way.
Also, I must warn any children or minors present that under no circumstances should they attempt to imitate what I am about to do. For, as easy as I will make it look, I should point out that such a stunt requires considerable athletic & acrobatic prowess. It is only after years of the most rigorous training, exercise & stringent self-denial that I have attained this peak of physical perfection & bodily co-ordination whereby I can attempt this Herculean act.
And now for the blindfold. Sir/Madam would you care to ensure that this blindfold is securely attached. Thank-you.
After the blindfold, the imaginary pink ELEPHANT. But first a BUN.
If I may be permitted a brief zoological aside, I should perhaps explain to any members of the audience who do not understand the necessity or significance of the BUN that elephants are notoriously voracious in their appetite for BUNS & it is by means of just such a round sticky currant BUN that I shall entice my imaginary pink elephant this way.
And here it comes....
Holding in one hand the BUN above my head so, jumbo will jump up onto the FINGER of my other hand in order to reach it.
So now we have the elephant on the finger. All that remains is for me to balance on one leg, which is easier said than done.
And now finally the moment you have all been waiting for: the leap across the yawning abyss of the ZAMBEZI RIVER in full spate.
Could I call on your assistance in the countdown please:
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... (It's the thought that counts!)
And so, ladies & gentlemen, I become the first person ever to jump the diverted ZAMBEZI RIVER from a standing start on one leg while simultaneously balancing an imaginary pink elephant on the finger.
What you have just seen has been History in the making.
If ever you have any grandchildren, perhaps you will tell them of the remarkable event that has taken place here this day, for truly it is of such stuff that Legends are made.
Thank-you, ladies & gentlemen, thank-you.
Sorry I cannot give the customary encore because my member is an elephant... I mean my elephant is a member of Equity & would I am sure demand the overtime rate.