Like most people, Dave Peterson liked to keep his work and personal lives as separate as possible.
The only time in the year where that was virtually impossible was the Lower Strangling Village Fete; where he promoted Banana and their electronic devices, occasionally alongside his work colleague Liam.
But this year, Dave decided do to something that would bring his two worlds closer together than they ever have before; attend both his work Eurovision party and his village Eurovision party at the same time.
Usually, Dave forwent the Lower Strangling Eurovision party in favour of the Banana Eurovision Party, hosted by Banana CEO Noah Campbell, a man who’s love for Eurovision ran so deep it changed his mind on Brexit.*
But this year, as both parties were happening over Zoom as there were too many people to have in one household, Dave decided to join both simultaneously.
“This is going to be interesting,” Sarah said to Dave as she saw the two laptops laid out in front of him.
“Yes. But at least we can simply leave one if it gets too much,” Dave said.
“I suppose,” Sarah said.
After a while, both Zooms had begun, and for the first time in his life, Dave’s friends in Lower Strangling were side by side with most of Dave’s work colleagues. It was a weird experience.
Dave’s work colleagues said hello to him, and so did the other residents of Lower Strangling.
After a while, Eurovision had begun, and Graham Norton had started his commentary.
“I’ve missed this,” Noah said, looking at his TV screen lovingly.
“I suppose I have as well,” Dave said.
“It’s only been gone for a year,” Liam said.
“Yes, but still,” Noah said.
“Hmm.” Liam replied.
One by one the acts came on, an eclectic mix of different genres as it usually was.
“It’s alright, but we’re not going to win with this.” Robert said as the UK act sung.
“To be honest you probably wouldn’t win anyway,” Bruce said.
“Yeah, I guess so,” Robert replied. “But hey, at least we’re in the final.”
“Only because your country puts a lot of money into it,” Bruce replied.
“Yeah, but still,” Robert said.
“Hmm.” Bruce replied.
More acts came and went, and wine flowed during both parties.
“Hmm. I’m not so sure about this one,” Simon said as Italy performed.
“Well… it’s different.” John said.
“Yeah,” Simon said.
Soon, all the acts had performed, and it was time to vote. So Dave, Sarah, the villagers of Lower Strangling, and Dave’s work colleagues got their phones out and began to vote.
“If any of you vote for Cyprus, I will be having strong words with you,” Simon said.
“Why? A woman can hang out with Satan if they want?” John said.
“I’m voting for Germany, I think.” Noah said. “Classic Eurovision.”
Soon, the votes from the Jury came in, and it was not looking good for the UK.
“What? Why’s Germany got points and not us?” Liam said indignantly.
“Honestly, I have no idea,” Noah said before sipping a glass of wine.
“The song was pretty average,” Giles said.
“Yeah. But still,” Liam said.
Things were looking good for Switzerland, but then the public votes came in.
“Europe is being pretty savage tonight,” Dave said.
“Yeah,” Sarah said.
In the end, Italy won the contest.
“Oh, well that’s odd,” Simon said.
“Clearly the public were in the mood for heavy metal,” John said.
“Yeah,” Simon said.
Eventually, the 65th Eurovision Song Contest ended. There was silence.
“Well that was fun,” Noah said. “I’m glad Eurovision is back.”
“I still can’t believe we got zero points,” Liam said, clearly ignoring the fact that Amanda Holden said she couldn’t tell French and Dutch apart. “Engelbert Humperdinck was worse.”
“Again, I have no idea.” Noah said.
“Ok. I’m going to sign off now,” Simon said. “I’ll see you tomorrow for the church service.” Simon then left the meeting.
The villagers of Lower Strangling bade each other goodbye, and with that, the Lower Strangling Eurovision Party was over.
“Right. I’ll see you on Monday for an eight O’Clock start.” Noah told his employees.
Dave’s work colleagues bade each other goodbye, and soon Dave and Sarah Peterson were alone in their living room.
“Well, I think that well,” Dave said.
“Yeah. I wouldn’t do it every year, though.” Sarah said.
“Yeah,” Dave said.
“Right, let’s go to bed.” Sarah said.
“Sure,” Dave said.
And with that, Dave put away the two laptops, and went up to bed with his wife after an evening that was as successful as it could ever have been.
*Originally Noah was as pro Brexit as they came. He felt the UK would prosper outside Europe and that Banana would be more competitive with Apple.
But as he was about to put a cross next to the “Leave the European Union” option, a memory of Eurovision suddenly sparked in his mind. He remembered fond memories of watching it with friends, and how he felt.
He shed a single tear, and voted Remain. It was the only time he felt a tad emotional at the voting booth.