Dispatch Fantail was, back in the 1960s, one of the leading figures of the British Eating Pies Boom. Coming quickly after the British Blues Boom, the mania for eating pies was taken up by those who found it difficult to play the guitar and/or moan convincingly about what it was like to grow up black in 1950s America.
The other advantage of the Eating Pies Boom was that it was entirely home grown due to the fact that most English towns, and even small villages, usually had a shop that sold pies of some form or another, even if only the simple staple steak and kidney pie or, for intermediate pie eaters, the apple pie.
Of course, there were those purists who regarded any other pies other than the steak and kidney, or the apple pie, as ‘inauthentic’ and a betrayal of the purity of eating pies. There were others though who, beginning with the more complex chicken and mushroom pies, began to explore the possibilities of other forms of pie, some even going as far as quiches, pizzas (then still regarded as quite exotic, foreign and ‘other’), with the more adventurous going down the dangerous path of the strudel, others losing themselves in the Eastern mysticism of the pancake roll or kebab.
Dispatch Fantail herself, began publicly eating the traditional steak and kidney pie in the backrooms of her local pubs, this was – of course – back in the days when the idea of food in pubs was still very much a novelty, so someone eating a pie live on stage soon began to attract large audiences, especially those keen to witness Fantail’s legendary virtuosic dexterity with the knife and fork and her – for the time – daring use of the solo ketchup sachet.
However, soon with the pressure of eating several pies a week in several different pubs and clubs, the constant touring, began to have an effect on Fantail, her increasing use of condiments began to have deleterious consequences for her pie eating, with Fantail once seriously overdosing on freshly ground black pepper which resulted in a lengthy hospital stay where she was not even allowed to be in the same room as even a solitary mince pie until her recovery was complete.
Unfortunately, spending so long away from performance pie eating meant that Fantail lost her edge, and even her most loyal fans began drifting away. Eventually Dispatch Fantail gave up pie eating altogether, became a vegetarian and moved to an isolated cottage in Scotland, where she is rumoured to still live to this day.
Occasionally, a lone walker, out on the Scottish moors at night, tells of smelling a steak and kidney pie cooking somewhere off in the distance, but these reports have never been confirmed.