Wadde Hadde Dudde Da
It was Alison's idea. Why is it that so many of our stories start off like that? Anyway, Her Ladyship wanted to watch the Eurovision Song Contest, so we downloaded the rules to the Eurovision drinking game from the web, stuck a litre of sake in the microwave, and switched on.
Perchance you have not previously encountered the Eurovision Song Contest, bastion of European harmony? Each country gets to perform a song, all countries vote (with mass telephone voting for those places the phone has reached), and the winner bursts into tears.
Decent songs have been known to win. Once, in 1974. Decent groups have been known to enter. Once, in 1974. Otherwise, the best you can hope for is the sort of band that wouldn't be out of place on one of Bruce Pelz's cruise liners.
Worse, the country that wins has to host next year's contest at vast expense. This year, Sweden drew the short straw, and so entered a weird band of Lapp/Amerind shamans to ensure it wouldn't happen again.
Anyway, it was the usual mixture of poor singers, boring songs and really, really weird dancing from people in ridiculous costumes. Plus a few interesting bits. A manic Latvian who appeared to be stoned out of his mind on speed. Macedonian Spice Girls. Three pneumatic mixed-race ladies peforming that authentic Austrian Motown sound. And the Germans. What can I say about the Germans? Bouncy, exuberant, wearing gold lamé Stetsons (the men) or miniskirts (the women). Their song, "Wadde Hadde Dudde Da?" translates out as something like "What are you wearing under that?" or "Have you got any knickers on?" They were really fun. Usually, the Germans enter boring, worthy songs about World Peace or something. This year the Russians and the Irish beat them to it.
By this point in the evening, the increasing consumption of sake had rendered things increasingly blurred. However, I seem to recall that there were some votes. After all the countries have done their thing, they vote, giving 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 or 12 votes. Originally, there used to be a jury for each country which would present the votes. Then the Brits introduced telephone voting and now most of them do it.
Unfortunately, this has had almost no effect on the notorious nationalist alignment in the voting. Basically, the French never vote for the British, the Greeks and Turks never vote for each other, the Danes always give Iceland 12 points and vice versa, all the Scandanavians always vote for each other... you get the idea.
We phoned up the number and voted for the Germans. Everyone else voted as expected. The plethora of new little countries around the Baltic resulted in a massive vote for the crap Latvian on speed, but victory went to an anodyne lovesong from Denmark. All the identikit luvvies in 24 different countries congratulated each other on their presentation and boring jokes. Another year over and it's the Danes' budget that gets trashed next year.