Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hot Thing

Its a bit bloody hot isn't it? That's what everyone keeps feeling the need to tell me as though I haven't quite noticed. I suppose it gives them something to talk about when otherwise they would be stumbling for a starting point to conversations. I have spent the last day giving the response to that question as 'no, not really,' which foxes them and often causes the conversation to stop. I quite like this weather. Sunshine as far as I'm concerned is lovely and is a huge step upwards from last year's rain maelstrom summer of glum. You'd think everyone would look back on that and say thank god for this current summer sunshine. No, instead everyone is getting miserable. 'Its too hot to do anything,' they all keep saying. Yet when it was winter I remember people saying it was too cold to do anything. Us Brits live in a country of erractic weather climates, which may explain why there are so many unemployed. One day the weather will be exactly temperate and people will have to think up something new in order to skive off work instead. There is also the constant notice that we must check on the elderly during this hot weather to check they are ok. We are also asked to do that in the very cold weather too. I wonder if the elderly are sending out these warnings so they get some attention for once. Its a very clever publicity scheme, I'll grant them that. I always knew my Nan was a sneaky PR. My hope is that all this hot weather doesn't enforce a stupid hose ban again. Surely all the rainfall from last year must've been enough to cover this year fully? If not god forbid anyone has a fire, cos the fire fighters will have a tough job putting it out without a hose. Perhaps they'll just try and blow it out for a bit before using a watering can on the remainder.

Despite this weather being 'too hot to do anything', I have been doing a lot this week. Yesterday was a day full of filming for Dan Antopolski's Sandwich Rap, which should be out next week. It's such a great comedy rap and I think the video is going to look excellent. Once again myself, Carl Donnelly, Barry Ferns and Albion Gray were dressed as chefs for the duration of the day, mixing up taking on Nathan Caton and Tom Deacon's skater gang, to protesting outside the Houses of Parliament to prove that Tessa Jowell is NOT a sandwich. It was a lot of fun, but as is the magic of TV, it meant a lot of standing around and being hot in a full culinary garb. It is a wonder why chefs choose to wear such clothes as kitchens are always very hot and I can't imagine all that get up does anything to help them cool down. I know its hot in kitchens because there is that phrase that says if you can't stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Thing is in all that chefs gear I'm surprised chefs dont get out of kitchens more often. Although I suppose the food would burn. God cheffing must be hard. No wonder Ramsey's so angry all the time. The shoot started very early and we were at Southbank for 8.30am to film under the heavily graffitted skater park section underneath the Festival Hall. Some of the graffitti was very good and there was there one or two rubbish bits. One saying 'Balrog' which I'm sure was someone's cool idea for a tag name, but is also the name for the creature Gandalf fights in LOTR. I'm not sure I'd want fellow graffers to think of me as a big hairy flaming beast that gets beaten by an old bearded hippy dude. There was also a tag that just said 'The Police Stink!' which I thought was the most lacklustre attack at the police ever. Perhaps it wasn't intended as hate and instead just commenting on their state of hygiene. I needed a coffee to begin my day, so before donning my chefness I headed off to EAT around the corner. I asked for an iced latte and one of the film crew who came with me asked for a normal latte. The barista who was exceptionally grumpy, even beyond the usual levels of grumpiness that exude from coffee shop staff, made our drinks with a grumble. Then when she handed them over she asked us 'Any coffees?' with a hint of sarcasm. Never have I felt less manly about my coffee choice. I wanted to but 12 espressos and down them in one go. Then I realised I wouldn't handle that and the barista had a point.

After a gruelling day I had to do two gigs that evening. On the way to the first one I walked through a very busy Leicester Square. There were lots of screaming women and I had put this down to the fact I was wearing my sexy summer trilby, but apparantely it was because Johnny Depp was there for the premiere of 'Public Enemies'. Don't know why they were screaming. I have heard its very disappointing. No Flava Flav or Terminator X, or any mention of any of the tracks from 'It Takes a Nation of Millions.' Helen Arney's 'London Air Accordian Society' gig in Central London was lovely and full despite the heat. The crowd were very nice and included two identical twins and two men who weren't twins or remotely identical but said they were. I rambled along with a melted brain and some jokes I had written on the way there. I thought it went ok, but audience were visibly wilting. Nearly all the crowd, as they left for the interval, told me they loved it, except for one goth man called Laurence who I have met at gigs before. He is a gig frequenter and nice but a little scary. He told me, with all well meaning, that he saw where all my jokes were going and that maybe I should try and break free a bit. I said thanks, not really knowing what to think of that and walked away feeling like perhaps I had been a bit rubbish. Its amazing how one man, who wears all black and spends the summer months undoubtably being hot, should say his opinion and that bothers me more than the entire rest of the crowd who said they enjoyed it. I thought about 'breaking free' all the way to my next gig and could only picture me in Prison Break with a tattoo of a map on my back. I'm not that was what he meant.

Getting to the next gig was an arse, as the 'heat' had meant the Northern Line had broken. Every year the Northern Line uses as many excuses as possible to run as shitly as it can. 'Its too hot, its too cold, there's someone in front of the train, there's someone on the back of the train, there's someone in the train and we are panicking as it all seems to be running so smoothly that we might have to stop everything just to check we aren't dreaming.' You would think that operating a system that every summer becomes a small metal tank of sweaty hot, the least they could do is make it work on time. I remember when the tube strike was on and they said the Northern Line was running a 'normal service'. They were striking too, but it runs just as badly when they are not so they could pretend there was no difference. Luckily the preview was worth the mission and the 30 people that returned after the interval at the Camden Head in Islington were lovely. Still need an ending to the show as I'm really not happy with my current mess. Grainne McGuire told me to 'take my show for a walk', which is an idea I like. Problem is I crippled myself by wearing my Birkenstocks yesterday. They are meant to be comfortable for your feet in the summer but instead they have chaiffed all the skin off the sides and given me blisters. No wonder the Romans were so tough. They didn't even get arch supports. So show walking will have to wait a couple of days as I don't think show hobbling will be very beneficial.

Two final things.

1) Its Fat Tuesday tonight. Phil Nichol and Susan Calman, which will be lovely. The room is air conditioned too, which is lovlier. Its all so lovely in fact the Metro have recommended. Think of all the loveliness. Here's the Metro article:


And here's where you can buy tickets:

Phil Nichol and Susan Calman at (air conditioned) Fat Tuesday tonight! Tickets at http://www.wegottickets.com/event/49197

2) Here is the video of my Perfect Movie at Richard Sandling's awesome film based gig. It includes the re-enactment of me and Rich doing Transformers the Animated Movie, which allowed me to live out my dream of being Optimus Prime for all of ten minutes. It also has very funny stuff from Rich, Nick Helm, James Acaster, the Real Brian Blessed and Kiosk of Champions, so worth watching.


Monday, June 29, 2009


This is a pre-written blog as I'll be far too busy tomorrow to hack one out. Instead I am writing this in the leisure of my flat after a rather stupid afternoon, whilst watching the Glastonbury highlights. I saw some of Crosby, Stills and Nash last night and tonight's glimpses of the Prodigy and Blur in particular have made me all a bit jealous of the Glasto goers. It looked like such an awesome line-up this year and there were so many bands I would have loved to have seen live. Then I remember I hate camping, mud and other people. Then I also remember I am going to see Blur in Hyde Park on Friday and I will be able to get the tube home afterwards. I think I have become old. So it actually feels quite nice watching it on the tellybox without being crushed by people that smell of non-showering and being able to go to the loo and back without missing a song or having to wee on a 4 day stinking mountain of strangers' turds. Yes it does mean I have to put up with Jo Whiley's stupid stupid comments and Zane Lowe's vacant stare, but I can also have an ovaltine so I think it works out. I would also like to point out before you keep reading that I am very pleased with the title of today's blog. You shouldn't snigger at your own blog titles but I did, thanks to its multi-layered word play. I will now stop gloating and let you continue.

It has been a stupid day today. If I wasn't in the company of fellow comic and friend Mr Thomas Craine, I think I would have had various patches on my head due to hair pulling frustration. We were both due to be in Cardiff to do Edinburgh previews. I picked up Tom at 4pm, and by 6.40pm we were still stick only just outside Windsor. For those of you with no concept of cars or driving or roads imagine not getting very far anytime soon. I assumed, being a Sunday, that the roads would be clear. Who drives on a Sunday I thought, when they are probably all in Church or gardening or whatever it is people do on Sundays? It turns out what people do on Sundays is close large sections of motorways off just to make everyone else spend their Sunday stuck inside a hot car in the sweltering sun slowly dying. Apparently some selfish fuck had had a crash, as well as part of the road being closed and the result was the both of us slowly baking like comedy shaped potatoes in giant car like tin foil. Unfortunately about 20 minutes in, we both realised we had no liquids and were this to continue we probably could die of dehydration. This is forgetting that we were surrounded by people in other cars who probably, had we been in dire need, would have given us water. But you don't think of that when the situation is so bleak. After an hour of moving at a whole 7 miles per hour we started panicking. There was no way we would make the gig and we were getting pretty sweaty. A brief moment of enjoyment was had watching a kitten play around on the parcel shelf on the car next to us. This was until we realised that having a small pet in a hot car is probably not that nice. I hoped it had just been a mirage and kept concerns to myself.

Two hours in and the situation descended to us shouting insults at the M4. 'Call yourself a road' and 'there's better tar in a smoker's lungs' were our weak efforts. Tom began to construct a whole song insulting the motorway. It had a tune and some rather nice lyrics including naming some of the other better motorways in the UK. Just to really hammer the nail in the M4's roadbased coffin, there was also a lyric about how the Autobahn's in Germany were more roadworthy. I hope that hurt it. and to keep himself amused Tom was trying to use my idaft app on my phone to completely recreate Daft Punk's 'Harder, Better, Stronger, Faster'. We had given up on getting to the gig at that point as we were due there at 8 and even if we had continued, we wouldn't have made it till at least 10pm. Unfortunately we were still 6 miles away from the turn off to turn around and get home. It took ages. Imagine ages. Longer than that. Eventually we turned around and over another hour and half made it back to North London, picked up Layla and met Nat Luurtsema to have a drink at the pub at the end of Tom and Nat's road. It was essentially a four drive to get to 5 mins away from where we started. Never has an afternoon felt so pointless.

It was nice for Layla to meet Crainsema as I will be living with them both in Edinburgh where we will not be spending time sitting in hot cars. We had a much deserved pint in their local, which oddly used to be mine and Layla's local only two and a half years ago. We never went in it much as it seemed to be full of Islingtonians who liked to speak about their media jobs and wear clothes that were very out of fashion and therefore somehow back in fashion. Its actually quite a nice place though and we sat, as Lily Allen and many other cockney mouthed popstars would say in a way that entirely ruins the word, alfresco. Much enjoyable banter was had and there was a fun distraction of watching two men fail to steal a bike across the road from us. They tried to wrench it off the rails but as they did another man from the pub started shouting 'what the fuck are you doing?' at them. This seemed to shock them and they gave wonderful excuses such as 'its my bike, I've left it here for 6 months'. Not a very good excuse at all, and one that became even less impressive when they were asked why they didn't just unlock it. One of them was wearing Adidas tracksuit bottoms which I think only added to his suspiciousness. Eventually the shouty man kept shouting at them and they rather pathetically left. Who needs the police with their truncheons when just being loud works at deterring crime? I never knew thieves could be thwarted in much the same ways as bears. I rather enjoy seeing crap crime like that. Not that I've really ever seen it before but I can only imagine that when it fails to work it stops being horrible and just a bit funny. I suppose that does depend on the crime. Someone being stopped halfway through killing someone is probably only so humorous. Unless they were killing them with a spoon or banana or something. Although if that were the case, it would probably be funny if they went entirely ahead with the killing.

Today (or tomorrow really as I it is still Sunday as I type) is filled with more Sandwich Rap filming and two gigs in London. One normal set and one preview. Luckily none of those things involve being in a car or going on the M4. But they do involve my entire day so hence the pre-written blog. On Tuesday we shall return to normal service. Oh and re-read the title before you go . See? Huh? Huh? Thanks. I will slap myself on the back before I log out.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

Moments if human kindness are a rarity in London on a weekend. They can often be shocking and should sometimes come with a warning of sorts, just incase it evokes emotions that people aren't ready to deal with. On a Saturday in Leicester Square the general scummy punters that peruse the area are usually only ready for being munted, being really munted, being super munted and having a fight, or being so munted they can't stop falling over. Anything past those few possibilities and it can often stump them, their minds unable to discern what might actually be reality outside of their horrid insular eurobeat, expensive drink buying minds. I don't mean to insult everyone in the vicinity of Central London on a Saturday night, but due to the late starting time of Just The Tonic last night, I witnessed a special breed of chump as I strolled to the venue at 9.30pm. There were men wearing shirts unbuttoned to their stomachs trying to give flyers to girls for clubs they could get into free. The naive girls were swooning over the men, and falling for the clubbing trap, being too naive to know that when they step inside that club they will be the only females in there surrounded by sweaty, pervy, old men. There were groups of chavvy lads and girls all shouting at each other, clearly excited that they have left the home counties for the evening and being so bewildered by the lights and other civilisation that they act even more moronic than usual. Then there was the Party Bus. I will let the name sink in for a minute and then leave it to your own imagination to conjure up the exact horror of such a creation. All I will say is took everything in my soul to not decide that humanity had failed there and then. I spent the rest of the walk thinking of the Red Cross and other life saving establishments just to convince myself there is a point to us existing.

After the show I raced at light speed back to the tube to try and get the last train. I left so quickly that I forgot my cheque which was a major schoolboy error. I don't want to appear shallow, but I am, and I wouldn't be out on a Saturday night if it wasn't for the money aspect of doing my job. As I have stated, I don't like Saturday people. Just The Tonic was actually a lovely gig with a nicer crowd than most, with the exception of some lads from Birmingham who did what I like to call 'Heckle and Run'. They would shout things then when confronted with them, they would shut up. I don't like this. Either stick with your convictions or shut up. I insulted Birmingham about four times and then ignored them. The rest of the crowd were a bit sleepy but intelligent and nice, and the sets from Reginald D Hunter, Pippa Evans and Pete Firman were all grand. Richard Herring popped in from his show next door, and had a drink and said hello. It was a nice night. But this did not stop me feeling like a massive cock for leaving my pay at the gig. This little bubble of realisation only hit me as I jumped onto the Piccadilly Line tube and the doors started to close. I almost started to re-enact the scene from the Graduate but in a far less dramatic way, and bang on the tube doors, but then I noticed the man opposite me who was being violently sick into a plastic bag. He was an odd looking man in that he looked like he wanted to like metal but couldn't quite bring himself to it. He had big black boots, black jeans, a big belt with a skull buckle and a metal t-shirt. But this was all counteracted by his rather nice watch and short hair. To be fair I don't think anyone else was judging his vanilla music loyalties as he was being violently sick into a plastic bag. After noticing it wasn't a bag for life and thinking how lucky it was no one needs to use it again, I realised the bag was being held by a small oriental woman who was sitting opposite him. She then fished around in her bag for some tissues and offered them over to him. I assumed these two were not together. For several logical reasons including the fact that he was a big wannabe goth and she was a tiny oriental lady, that he was horribly drunk, and she was sober and carrying her shopping home and that even though she was helping him I don't think he had any idea who she was or where he was.

This meant that what the little woman was doing was an act of human kindness. It took a minute for me to comprehend that something like that could happen on the London Underground, a usual hive of selfishness and ignorance. There is almost an unwritten rule that states if something bad, unusual or interesting is happening, close yourself off from it completely, put your headphones on and it will go away eventually. What this woman was doing was confusing a lot of people on the carriage. Several of them looked on not sure whether to be disgusted at the puke or happy at the lady's helpfulness. A group of lads, totally baffled by the notion of anyone helping anyone, just pointed at half-metal and told him how shit faced he was. I think that was the closest they could get to being useful, but it was evidently clear that everyone knew he was pretty shitfaced. I was wondering if they would spend the rest of the journey just pointing out obvious things like that irritating kid from the 90's adverts about Milton Keynes, as this was all their intellect might allow. I wasn't sure what to do. I was very happily listening to the new Graham Coxon album, whilst playing the Sims on my phone. I had just irritated three virtual people by making Randolph knock on their doors at 3am and then wet himself. I didn't want to leave the game at such a crucial moment but I felt sad that this woman was being the only helpful person on the carriage. So I paused my game, took my headphones out and offered half-metal the fresh bottle of water I had in my bag. The lads suddenly became silent and the rest of the passengers went really quiet. Two people who didn't know each other, were helping a man they also didn't know who was being embarrassingly sick in a public place. It was almost fiction. Some of them had to check we weren't filming a Richard Curtis film, then they realised that we weren't saying anything disgustingly cliched and there was no sign of Hugh Grant falling over his own curtains and so had to assume it was real again. Half-metal took my water with thanks and wolfed half of it down. He also looked confused at having been helped by anyone, and said thanks to me and the lady quite a lot. The tube pulled into Holborn and he got up to go, accidentally putting his hand into the bag of sick. His suddenly now sober expression spelt out exactly how stupid and disgusted he felt at that moment. Rather than take his hand out covered in sick, he made the decision just to leave it in there as he probably couldn't make himself feel any worse than he already did. He said goodbye and stumbled off, leaving me and the oriental woman to exchange a smile and a knowing glance. The glance expressed that we both knew we had been a bit nice and I then put my headphones back on, and returned to the Sims, making Randolph kick over some people's bins.

I think that now means I have some bonus karma points. I'm not sure how the system works and I definitely only gave the man my water out of kindness, but if there is some sort of Nectar type system I'll be quite pleased. Perhaps I can now have £10 off my shopping or get some airmiles or something. At the very least I'd better get paid for my gig. Otherwise I can only assume it means I can be a proper arsehole for some of the week and expect no backlash. I might go around kicking people's bins over for real and then when I'm out driving, I could cut other cars up quite badly then beep my horn like its their fault. The oriental woman must have a lot of karma points for providing the bag. I almost wondered if she did it to justify something really bad she's done. Technically after something like that she could go out and kill a tramp and it'd be allowed. Or maybe, she's just a nice person.

I'm going to Cardiff today. Some of you might say that that is proof karma doesn't work.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I haven't had much sleep which should mean I'm feeling deliriously tired and generally grumpy, but oddly I am wide awake and rather chirpy. I assume this is to do with sunshine and being so deliriously tired I haven't yet realised I am deliriously tired. I am expecting that around 4 o clock I may have to nap. I did this the other day and wasn't expecting it. I like not expecting naps, as it often means they are needed. I need to try and forget that I may have a nap and so later it might sneak up on me and I'll just fall asleep. I have a gig, but its not until 10pm tonight and its in London, which means I don't need to leave till about 9.15ish. That gives me a lot of leeway for nap time. It could sneak up on me anytime between now and about 6ish without causing too much damage. If however it attacks from 7 onwards it could jeapordise my night. Them naps can be sneaky. If I haven't been napped by 7 I think I will concoct some sort of caffeine brew made of coffee, coca-cola and some caffeine pills which should keep me going till next Saturday which is when I get to properly have a snooze. Can't wait for that. Till then I may make some precautions like tying a a pillow around my head just incase I go at anytime. Its thinking like that that has ensured my safety throughout my life. Safety and very odd looks in public. And people shouting 'oi you pillow headed prick' at me.

The reason for lack of sleep was partly due to a very late return from my gig in the Isle of Wight last night. It is very far away the Isle of Wight. For a start its in the sea and we all know how far that is. You have to get a boat and everything. You can't just get the train. You could swim, but that would take ages and you'd get cold. So boat it was. Myself and Rob Deering had a nice drive to Southampton where he consumed more fruit than a man should. How much is that you may ask? Well I would vouch that 3 satsumas within 5 minutes of setting off is a hefty starting point, followed by another 3 during the journey and an apple. Let it be said that Deering is most certainly a fruity man. If he ever gets scurvy there is no hope for us all. We were joined by Simon Jenkins at the port where a man shouted at me for knocking his car. I had no memory of this, and was fairly sure I did not knock his car so I just did the very British thing and apologised for something I clearly hadn't done. He was shouty and Northern and I got a bit scared. Then when I told him I was sorry he said not to worry as it hadn't caused any damage. This then confused me further as I wondered in what way I could knock his car and not cause damage. I can only conclude he was bonkers which made him even more scary. The ferry itself was nice. We were a little shocked at first as Red Funnel ferries are now sponsored by Ikea which is nearly as scary as a bonkers man shouting at you for things you haven't done. I don't want to board a ferry made from flatpack furniture that will clearly have one vital piece missing. In the end it was all ok and actually rather lovely. We sat on the deck in the sunshine for the duration of the journey while Simon dealt with his sea sickness, which he did very well. That is until lots of people with dogs boarded and then his fear of dogs kicked in. There really is a no win situation when you don't like boats or dogs and happen to be on a boat with dogs on it. Simon said he is also scared of feet. I find this a bit difficult as everyone has them. The only way to cope with that fear would be to hang around amputees a lot.

After a relaxing boat trip in the sunshine, we got the the gig early and went for a nice pub dinner round the corner. It felt a bit like a nice day trip and by the time the gig rolled round I felt all a bit tired and relaxed and would happily have just gone home instead and had a nap. Luckily the crowd were lovely and very up for it which made the whole night a breeze. I suppose when you live on an island you don't laugh much and mainlanders only get sent over once a month to amuse them so they get very excited. I joked about whether or not they knew about Michael Jackson due to their news boat not arriving till Monday. They liked that, and then they also liked Michael Jackson jokes. It might just have been the way I told them and perhaps they still didn't know who he was. Either way I will keep doing them for a few more days. There was a couple who were on there 20th date at the gig. Their first date was at a ploughing contest. I didn't know these events even existed. Its amazing what people do when they don't have the internets or electricity isn't it?

Seriously though it was a bit lovely and everytime I go there I do think that the Isle of Wight is a pretty nice place. I couldn't live there as its only about 4 square foot big and I'd get cabin fever, but it is lovely. Simon had a great set and Rob had a truly mad hour that included an encore where he took his shirt off and played Marvin Gaye songs to old ladies. Then it took about 7 years to get home and we made it back for just before 3am. I managed to get four and half hours sleep until the mean grey and white cat from next door ran into our house and attacked our cats. The chorus of noises that followed sounded not dissimilar to someone chainsawing a violin with the violinist still attached. It was not pleasant and from then on I was up. Rather than doze again I travelled to Brixton where I took part in further chef related scenes for Dan Antopolski's Sandwich Rap. While I may not be the biggest fan of not sleeping, its hard not to enjoy a Saturday morning where you dress up in cooking wear and watch Dan slap some cheese on toast repeatedly onto the floor of a greasy spoon cafe. I love my job/s.

I am really very tired. Typing words has allowed the nap to approach. I will fend it off for a bit to get some sort of lunch, then I shall lay down and be a victim to the sandman. I've never understood why it is the sandman that sends you to sleep and not the sleep man. I would have thought the sandman provides sand to places. I feel that he is shirking responsibility and no one is looking after the sand properly right now. Not only that but he has made the sleep man redundant. I will be sure to have words when I see him in about 25 minutes.


1) I am doing this gig tonight. It will be fun. FACT. Come along if you are London based:


2) Here is the story of my beard. Its not allowed on Facebook for copywright reasons because of the Vision On music. I like to think that rather than infringement, it is a tribute that I wanted to set my beard growth to the sounds that represent Tony Hart's beautiful legacy. Facebook say no, I am a pirate. Thanks to Misha (@HowlieT for the twitterers) for putting the vid together. Now, witness 4 minutes of beard:


Friday, June 26, 2009

Death of the Jacko

So Michael Jackson's dead then. People are saying its a bit like when Diana died, everyone remembering where they were when it happened, and a nation in mourning and all that. When Diana died I was on holiday with my family in the States. We had been traveling around and were currently staying in New Mexico. New Mexico is not like a newer version of Mexico. They tried in several places to put Mexican restaurants and pretend 'villa' type building, but it is essentially just a nice US State. Its very similar in the way that New York is little to nothing like a new version of York. I think it should have been part of the pre-requisite that every area named as a new version of another area should look just like the old one but with better TV's and flashier lifts. I remember seeing on the news that she had had a car crash, then we all made a massive error of judgement and went to see Air Force One. Really that film did not deserve a cinema outing. There was a very attractive girl at the cinema and she sat about three seats away from me, where we spent the duration of the film giving each other awkward flirty glances like two 15 year olds that have no idea how to communicate. After the film I went over to talk to her, and we started getting on fairly well until my parents yelled that they were going and to hurry up. Being 15 I had no access to a car or any clue how to get back to the hotel, so I had to go, each of us giving a longing look of an opportunity that never happened. Or rather two horny 15 year olds who had very little social skills. Once we were in the car we heard on the news Di had died and couldn't care less so changed the station to something that was playing 70s rock, which pleased my dad to no end. The next two weeks of the holiday were plagued with Americans asking us if we were sad our 'Princess had died'. My parents got very tired with saying ' its sad that anyone dies but we weren't big fans of the royalty' and instead after a while just said 'no, go away'.

Its not like that, cos I was at home in my PJs watching it on the news. I spent most of last night Twittering gags about him as did a lot of the comedy community. Some of them, especially Richard Herring, seemed to suffer complaints of too soon. Now I'm all for respecting the dead but Jacko was a truly loony man in his later days and surrounded by child abuse allegations and his really odd face, he's going to be a high source of material for comedians. Thats our job and its what we do. Don't get me wrong, if he had died when I was 7 years old I would have been devastated. Its probably slightly ironic that he touched me more as a child, but at that time as far as I was concerned, he was a legend. I would gather all my family into the living room to watch me 'Michael Jackson' dance for hours at a time, my parents and Nan showing incredible levels of tolerance. I would listen to Thriller and Bad on repeat, and showing a complete lack of filmic taste, I watched Moonwalker upwards of 200 times. But then I got older, his music got worse and that was that. Me and my friend Omar had tickets to see him when we were 16, but sold them to someone at school (who never to this day has paid us for them) so we could go out clubbing instead. Girls vs weird plastic man. Girls won, much as later in life they seemed to do at every possible occasion. Then years later people said he was a paedophile and as far as I was concerned I could no longer be a fan of a child abuser. Its an odd one. He was clearly a brilliant man in terms of music and dance but an oddball in all other aspects. Either way I didn't have a ticket to see him at the O2, which makes me slightly less fussed. RIP MJ. Well done for being a bit awesome in the 80s, and ta for the Thriller album. However I mostly feel sorry for Farrah Fawcett whose death has been completely overshadowed. Its not dissimilar to what happened to Mother Theresa when Diana selfishly died in the same week.

I have to go to the Isle of Wight tonight. Last time I went there, myself and Mitch Benn had a rather awkward evening as three ladies spent the whole show talking all the way through. When we criticised them for it, they burst into tears and said their friend had just died. This made everything pretty awkward from then on and neither of us had a very nice gig. Why you would go to a comedy show just after your friend had died I don't know. Even if you thought it was a good idea, talking all the way through the show is bound to make you a target for the acts. I hope that doesn't happen again. Go forbid the Jacksons are in the crowd. It could get all a bit weird. Will have to debate whether or not to tell all my new MJ jokes or if its a bit too soon. Saying that, they probably don't know yet at the Isle of Wight. They only get the news via the once a week news boat and I have a feeling that doesn't arrive till Monday.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Now Hat's What I Call, er, Hats

I've just had a small stroll to the Post Office to collect a package. The postman tried to deliver it at 9.30am two days ago, knowing full well I am not up at such a time. Then instead of giving me enough time to don suitable door opening atire, he rang the bell once then scarpered. My postman has a long history of hating me and this is just further evidence of this. ( See http://tiernandouieb.blogspot.com/2009/01/lost-post.html for previous evils). I was very worried that during my trip to the post office near Holloway, the postman would use that time to pretend to try and deliver further goods to my house leaving me more cards which would require going to Hollway again only for him to deliver more cards. It would be a terrible cycle of delivering failures. I took the bait though and headed to the base of operations. People often remark about how the sunshine makes everything seem brighter and happier. It is the opposite in the case of Holloway Road. The bright sunshine only exaggerates the dirt and makes the rude boys in the hoodies look even more idiotic. Its always an experience walking there in a weekday daytime, watching the sort of people that have nothing else to do except kick cans around outside Argos and shout at each other because they've run out of Tennants. Today however the most interesting person was a woman, on her way to work, and running for the bus. She was wearing levels of jewelry that would weigh down Mr T. If she was to exchange her gold for cash she could probably escape the credit crunch. This is of course assuming its real gold. I'm guessing by her vicinity to Argos, it probably wasn't. Every single step she took to get to the bus shook all the jewelry so loudly it sounded like someone was kicking seven shades of shit out of Mr Tambourine Man. Or perhaps it was the sound of a group of people lynching some morris dancers. She made her bus and I can only assume the driver stopped at every stop thinking the bell was always ringing every the woman moved slightly.

My package was a hat sent by Andrew Shanahan aka @dr_whom on Twitter. Its a rather lovely dark brown trilby with a maroon band, and obviously very well made. He sent it because it was too small for his head and he didn't want it to go to waste which was a bit bloody lovely of him. Luckily I have a pea sized head and it fits rather well, which now means a day spent prancing around my house pretending to be Phillip Marlowe. I will keep saying internal monologues out loud about how my case is going and fill my day with unnecessary similes. 'It was a hot day. Hot like a desert in a frying pan on a high heat with some chillies in it.' Things like that. I've been sent a hat once before, by my friend Louise. It was a classic bowler hat, sadly slightly too big for my head, but brilliant nonetheless. There really is something brilliant about being sent hats in the post. For a start they often come in a big box, which is always fun. They say all good things come in small packages, which is a lie. That phrase was made up by cheapskates who only buy people tiny things. There is an awful lot of stuff you can't fit in a tiny box. Like a car, a TV or an elephant. Unless you are from Lilliput. In which case size is a matter of perspective and you would still have big boxes and little boxes. Although you could get a real sized person a Lilliputian elephant or car and that would be awesome.

I'm not very good at wearing hats. I think you need a certain level of confidence to wear one. I have three triblys now, a stetson and a overly large bowler hat. For winter I also have two beanies. Beanies are easy to wear, triblys require a higher level of confidence, an overly large bowler hat you only wear if you are happy to walk around without seeing where you're going. And a stetson, well the stetson really can't be worn in public unless you live in Colarado or somewhere else people often wear stetsons. I live in Finsbury Park, I don't believe its a stetson safe place. Apart from my beanie hats, the hat I can wear most confidently is my summer trilby. It appeared in Edinburgh last year and may appear there again this year too. Oddly though I often feel a bit embarrased wearing it even though it has often received compliments. My favourite was about 7 years ago when I went to nightclub wearing said hat. The bouncer told me I looked pretty slick in the hat and called me boss. I was tempted to fire him just to mess with his mind, but he was pretty big, so I left it. I'll get the assistant manager to do it one day. Then when inside the club a rather hot lady walked quite closely up to me with a sexy smile on her face. She whispered in my ear, all sultry like, that she thought I looked like Bugsy Malone in my hat. I smiled at this, feeling all a bit pleased with myself. Then, like a fool, I replied 'What? 12 years old?' She gave me a rather disappointed look and didnt speak to me the rest of the night. I think hats require a certain level of coolness that I clearly did not display that eve.

Fat Tuesday on a Wednesday last night was a bit brilliant. Not a massive turn out but that may be because its called Fat Tuesday and we were there on a Wednesday. I know people can work out dates etc but I have a feeling the trick is in the name and that may have caused some confusion. Tiffany's preview was brilliant again and as I said before when we were in Bristol together, its sure to do well this year. The Maxwell spent an hour and fifteen not having the faintest idea what he was talking about and leaving everyone laughing until they hurt. I'm really not sure how he did that but it was brilliant. There is something, from a performer's point of view, that is so respectable about watching another performer be that entertaining for that long without really trying. If I walked on stage and attempted to do an hour and 15 off the top of my head, people would complain and throw things. To be fair I doubt many of them would turn up in the first place. It'd probably just be me and Layla and she often hears me waffle on for that long without planning. Her response is to put the telly on or go and do something else like cleaning. Maybe I should advertise that I will be doing an hour and fifteen at my flat then everyone could turn up and clean stuff out of boredom. Good plan Douieb, good plan.

No gig tonight. Lots of Edinburgh writing bits to do like answering stupid stupid questions such as 'If your show was a super hero, what would his or her superhero power be?' Its very tempting to answer things like 'its not a superhero though is it. Its a show. You're a dick.' Or 'it would have the power to avoid answering questions written by morons.' Or maybe I'll put something in jest that they can't print as the sarcasm wouldn't come across 'It'd have the power to kill children and anyone who wasn't white'. That'd show 'em. It also wouldn't help my ticket sales. Swings and roundabouts as they say.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Simulated Living

About 25 minutes ago, a delivery man from Virgin Wines appeared at my door with a package that he said was for me. I gave him a very surprised look, which may have given it away that I was not expecting such a delivery, but was rather pleased with it. I was wondering if some lovely soul had sent me a box of wine as a thank you for general brilliance, or that I had won a prize for something I didn't know I did. Maybe it was something like stepping on the 2000th paving stone in Haringay or writing my name on a bit of paper in doodle writing had put me into a draw for free wine. The man handed over the electronic signature pad. It was then I noticed the wine was not for me at all but for M.Atkinson, a man who has not lived at this flat for over two years. Ever since buying the flat off of the Atkinsons, we have received letter after letter, package after package, because those lazy bastards haven't amended their address on everything they've subscribed to. My mind was racing. Well more walking, I had just woken up and was not the usual level of sharpness that I display on a daily basis. That sharpness is usually around the level of a blunt 2B pencil. When I have just woken up it is reduced to the level of something very very round and very unsharp. Like an orange. I should have said 'Yes I am M.Atkinson, bestow me with winely goodness!' It would have been easy to sign as his name, the man would not have cared. I could have done his signature probably better than he does which is maybe why he hasnt changed his address. Perhaps he's so embarassed of his terrible signature that he hopes that other people will just take his packages and save him the terrible torment that he writes each S in his name like a tiny penis. I could have saved him that torment and gained myself some boozy grape juice with just a simple movement of an electronic pen. But I didn't. I told the man M.Atkinson hadn't lived here for two years. The delivery man looked at me like I was an idiot, and took all the wine away. I walked back into my house with no extra wineage whatsoever. Essentially as I had gained nothing I had lost nothing, but I felt like a loser. Honesty is in no way the best policy. I prefer the 'return within 14 days' policy. The latter has never left me feeling like such a chump. I hope that M.Atkinson gets that wine and is forced to drink it all within one hour making himself hugely sick. Thats the least I expect in return.

Fat Tuesday was a bit bloody brilliant last night. Both Richard Herring's and Pete Firman's preview were nothing less than excellent. It was a sell out crowd too with a number of the crowd being members of the Twittering community. It still feels odd meeting these people in real life. This could be because they often speak in longer than 140 character sentences. I did not think they were capable of such things, which may be why I often stifle conversation with them. Also if I say something that makes them laugh they don't immediately say it again with RT in front of it. This is not right at all. They were a lovely bunch though and added to a great crowd. One I hadn't met before was Steve, who's username is @finsbury. I started following Steve because I was fiddling with my iPhone and used the nearby search to look up Twitterers near me. As Steve used the name 'Finsbury' in his name, I knew he was local so followed him on a whim. I told him this yesterday and he expressed some dismay that I was not following him because of his hilarious wit. He is quite funny, but even if he wasn't, I am a member of the old school who believe you should support the local area massive. Both Steve and his girlfriend were very nice and I ended up giving them a lift home as they live right near me. I was thinking of offering a lift, but then thought that that might be weird seeing as I have only just met them. Then they, devoid of all etiquette, just asked me for one, which made it all ok. I now know people in my local area which is nice. It has taken my belief that the internet is ruining social activity and thrown it oops upside its own head. I stand corrected, like someone with an artificial spine. Twitter is a hub of social loveliness. A man called Andrew (@dr_whom) is sending me a hat in the post and someone has already offered to buy me wine if I can get Andrew Maxwell on Twitter. Its like if the Matrix met Camberwick Green. I hope we can all meet up, all several million of us and have a village fete at some point. With cakes, and a jumble sale.

Speaking of 2D communities, I downloaded the Sims 3 for my iPhone two nights ago. I'm not quite sure what I was thinking. It was as thought, for a second, I completely forgot about everything else I had to do in the world and decided that I had more than enough time to control the life of another tiny person. My sim is called Randolph, after the one reader of this blog. Randolph's character traits are to be friendly and funny, but I am spending a rather large amount of time trying to steal a sim called Jack's wife, Jill and piss Jack off so much that he punches me. I'm sure this isn't the point of the game, but I keep finding it immensly satisfying watching tiny pixelated Randolph kiss tiny pixelated Jill infront of tiny angry pixelated Jack until a message pops up saying 'you are now Jack's enemy', followed by 'Jack has made you leave his house.' Thats right, I steal Jack's wife from him in his house. I am a fucking legend. Randolph is like the computerized version of Richard Gere in American Gigalo. And Jack is like a stupid dick. At some points I have to make Randolph shower, eat, go to work and go to the loo, but at every opportunity I will head back to do Jill right in front of Jack. I'm hoping their is a secret part of the game where Jack goes mad and shoots me and Jill before shooting himself.

I remember when I used to play the Sims at my friend Ali's house in the 1st year of uni. We created a character based on Mat (whom I have mentioned in this blog many a time before). Only entering a few character traits, Mat developed very much like the real Mat. He was lazy, didn't go to work and would never cook but often ate. Then we attempted to get him to cook and on his first attempt his set fire to himself and the kitchen and died. Such is the brilliant nature of computer games, that Death then appeared and the rest of the sims pleaded for Mat's life. Death said no as his life wasn't worth saving. Both Ali and myself found this very funny. Mat (the real one) did not, but oddly has since taken up a penchant for cooking. I am scared how much time it takes to play games that control other people's lives. One day they will invent a Sims game, where all the Sims can just sit and play Sims, occasionally checking Facebook and Twitter and never leaving their house till they wither away. Their Sims game character can be doing the same, as can theirs, creating an endless spiral of lazy, RSI suffering, gaming nerds who all die through malnutrition.

Its our Fat Tuesday special tonight. Its a special because its on a Wednesday. Also because its Andrew Maxwell, who hasn't been at Fat Tuesday before. It'll be the first one we've ever held on a Wednesday and I am a little worried it will feel like I live in The Compass. I might take a sleeping bag and freak them out. At least they have wine there, so its possibly a good idea.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Some things

Some different things to address today. Its almost like a bulletin list for a monthly general meeting. I am doing this because yesterday was fairly uneventful. Well the day was, the night involved meeting my friend Manisha and hitting up both Wagamama and then a load of coffee and cake to the point where we felt a bit sick. I don't like feeling sick, but I do like eating food until I feel a bit sick. As does Manisha. Every time we meet up, we talk about action films and good new terms for things - last night was the term 'Yahtzee' for when you 'zing' someone. God I'm so down with the kids and shit. Then inbetween all that we eat things we shouldnt and feel a bit sick. Its usually milkshakes of some sort but yesterday we branched out. I had a very large cappuccino. I deemed it the megacino for its size dwarfed many a coffee. It was the goliath of caffeine, a champion of java beans. A monster in its own hot beverage based right. It wouldn't be able to kill Godzilla, but it would certainly keep him awake until next Tuesday. Alongside this I had a cappucino cake. 'No, you idiot' I hear you cry! 'Two coffee based substances in one go late at night, you sir are a fool.' Maybe I was a fool. Maybe I still am. (Really had to resist putting 'Maybe its Maybelline' in here for that would be too cheap. But by telling you it was cheap I have now put it in. Haha!) But I eat and drank all the coffeeness and then felt like I needed to run around in circles for 4 days and fall asleep all at once. Manisha opted for a pot of tea which she somehow managed to screw up. Failing in making tea is never a good sign. But she backed up that mess with a raspberry cheesecake. Solid effort. Had you witnessed the table at Tinderbox in Angel at around 8.45ish last night, you would have seen two people destroyed by caffeine and sugar.

But apart from that exciting adventure, I did little all else. So, here begins some various odds and sods for you. It'll be like my tiny version of Alec Guiness's ' A Commonplace Book' only with less interesting or intelligent things, and its not a book. Or written by Alec Guiness. The last part would have been especially hard to do as he has now been dead for some time. That can really ruin a writing career.

Anyway, firstly an apology. The other day I criticised people for being from Rotherham. I did not mean Rotherham. I meant Rochester. I started to type the 'Ro..' and then for some reason filled in the rest as a place far further North than I meant to. I don't love Rotherham but I really dislike Rochester. Rochester, despite being the homeplace of Dickins, is a bad place. I am basing this entirely on one gig I did there years ago where I had to do stand-up in front of a pool table while people ignored me or shouted at me. At one point people actually started playing pool behind me. There was really very little point in me being there at all. I know I shouldn't base an entire town on one incident but I am so there. Have that Rochester. On the other hand, I have also gigged in Rotherham. Bon Jovi were playing nearby so the entire town was eeriely quiet. The gig only had about 8 people in it, which after 3 and half hours of driving, is not what you want. But those people did not start playing pool behind me. True, there wasn't a pool table at the venue but thats not the point. So ultimately, sorry Rotherham even though you are dull and a bit rubbish, you are not as rubbish as Rochester.

Secondly, I wrote this sketch for a radio show a week ago. They didn't use it and now its out of date. So here it is instead. Its all about Andy Murray winning the Queen's Title. I was proud of it. BBC Radio 7 obviously thought it was rubbish:



I’m still a long way from winning Wimbledon, but yes it does feel good to be the first British player to win the Queen’s title. I have definitely played the best tennis I’ve played in a long time. But I had too as it was a lot tougher than I thought. I was not expecting someone of Blake’s calibre to have to contend with. I mean I thought she’d be there to defend it. I ‘ve spent months and months watching her moves at D-Day and of course at Christmas. I thought the only way to beat that is with consistent smashes and a strong backhand. She only ever uses her right arm when she waves, so aim for the left side. That’ll be her weakest. But no, she didn’t show up. Chicken. I didn’t even have to take on Harry or William in the semis. I thought at least they’d have the gusto to try and keep the throne. Well, I showed them didn’t I? They didn’t think it was worth stepping up to. Now I’ve got 12 months to rule the UK and live off taxpayers money. I’m really looking forward to living in the palace, although I will have to make sure I put a clause in the contract that means I don’t have to sleep with Phillip….





Oh. Really?


(VERY IRATE) Really? You’re kidding me. All that work. Why the heck did I bother? For God’s sake!
Right, well I’m sorry. (EMBARRASSED TONE) If you could just er, ignore all that. (BACK TO NORMAL TONE) So I guess I was just playing well all week and took my chances when I had them. Now I have to focus on winning Wimbledon. It would be so great to win the entire South London borough and just have all its citizens as peons at my disposal.


So thats that. Thirdly, we have sold out at Fat Tuesday tonight so there. If however you want to come along to some superb comedy this week and live in North London, South London but like getting public transport, or somewhere further away but like a challenge, then tomorrow we have Andrew Maxwell and Tiffany Stevenson in a special Fat Tuesday on a Wednesday. I should probably just call it Ash Wednesday. If you don't want to come or live too far away and don't own a jet plane like the rest of us, then pretend I have just written something else. Something that applies to you. Like maybe blurb about how crazy it is being dull and staying somewhere far away from my excellent gig.

Fourthly, my attempts at affording Edinburgh have been thwarted by the credit crunch. If you are enjoying the credit crunch, perhaps repossesing houses or doing something evil that gains you money, then why not make yourself feel better and give me some. Or if you can't do that then if anyone knows ways to survive a whole month whilst not eating or drinking anything, then please let me know:


Lastly, I realised yesterday that corn is all ok by itself. Cob however is useless without corn. Its the vegetable equivalent of a comedy double act when the stronger member leaves to go solo. I feel a bit sorry for cob and so will spend some time trying to do things with cobs to make them more relevant. I so far can only think of cutting cheese into tiny corn shaped sizes and sticking it back to the cob. My only other idea would be to put a hole through the middle of it and play it like an instrument. I would call it Horn on the Cob. Any further suggestions to help cobs out, please put below.

Postscript. My beard is now pretty awesome.

That is all. We reconvene tomorrow at whatever time I can be bothered.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tiernan Battles The Robots (Well Satnav)

I have woken up with full hayfever symptoms today. I'm not sure how as my bedroom does not appear to have any flowers or pollen in it at all. I mean that is, as far as I know. There is a possibility the cats spent last night carefully piling up bits of petals, pollen and dead bees all under the bed, but I don't think they would. The bees maybe, but the flowers don't move enough and wouldn't make Layla scream enough if they brought one in. In fact she'd actually like it if they bought her flowers, especially as I never do which is something that is referenced on a regular basis. I only buy Layla flowers on an occasion. This is because a friend of mine always used to buy his girlfriend flowers whenever he cheated on her, which was a mighty sign of guilt. I now don't buy flowers often enough so that if I did, Layla would become suspicious of exactly why I had bought flowers and even though she says she would like that, I think it would make her paranoid. It wouldn't but by saying to myself that it would, I don't have to buy any. Flowers, I think, are a crap sign of affection anyway. They die in a week or so by wilting away till all the bits come off. What kind of message is that? 'I love you so much, but only for two weeks then I hope you stoop over and all your bits come off.' It would be much better to get someone a stone. Or something else that lasts forever. A spoon maybe.

I drove all the way to York and back yesterday. This might not impress you whatsoever. You may spend your life driving from York to London on a regular basis. I can't think why you would. Maybe you're employed just to check the road between the two is still in place. Or you deliver that York cheddar. Either way, to someone like you cheddar road checker, it probably seems like I just did a very standard thing. Well, and here's the crux of it all, I did it without a satnav! Yeah, see that? Its like I've punched technology in the face. After the two days or my satnav going missing, I found it again but it's screen had stopped working. Annoyingly, the screen is the bit I really needed. The funny woman still tells me to turn left and right, but I have no idea where she's telling me to turn to. I have every mind to just follow it at some point and see if I go anywhere fun. I think that this is a result of putting too many directions in it. Finally the satnav saw somewhere it liked and thought, ' I know how to get there now' and went off for a few days, got pissed and is now broken as a type of rebellion against my over use. Well, either way, I made it all the way to York without it. I'll admit I used my iPhone some of the way, and I was tempted to call people to find out the last bit of route as I got nearer, but then my iPhone ran out of batteries. Yes, no satnav, no iPhone. I was in the dark ages. Except I was in a car. So the dark ages, if they had cars. Which would have changed the dynamic of the time period quite a lot. In the end, I looked at road signs, like they did in the olden days. That worked all the way to York town centre at which point, I asked a man for directions. I know! Madness! I thought that like cassettes or videos, directions had long since been put out of use. I assumed the man I had asked would have had to check his phone, or even more old school, a map. But no, he knew the way, told it to me and I got there. Incredible. If all the world's computers break and collapse, at least I know I can still get to The Hyena Lounge in York. Well as long as that man is there. He was old though, so he probably won't be,

The preview was brilliant, and probably the best one I've had so far. I had at least three quarters of the show in my head which was handy, and it all seemed to go down well with the exceptionally lovely crowd. Its a stupidly lovely gig and I would drive all the way to York and back just to do that again. Andrew O'Neill was also on and did his preview, which also rocked, much as it did at our gig last Tuesday. Then on the way back we swapped notes on each others shows and took the A1 all the way home, which neither of us have done before. It was exciting to say the least. There were, er, roads, and trees and I nearly killed a rabbit which I feel pretty terrible about. I mean, I might have actually killed it, or I might not. It appeared in front of the car, but instead of doing the 'rabbit in the headlights' thing, it just ran, like the wind. Then as I didn't even attempt to brake, as it would have been futile, we felt the car wheels go over something. It didn't feel like rabbit, more a dip in the road. Then again, having never run over a rabbit before, they could well feel like dips in the road. Here's hoping it was a dip which was all part of a ruse so that the rabbit would make us think he was dead and therefore live his life safe in the knowledge no one knew he was still alive. He'll tell his girlfriend rabbit to say he was in a road accident and they will claim all the rabbit life insurance and scam the rabbit council.

The earlier part of yesterday was a bit good too. General comedy shenanigans at Dan Antopolski's rather lovely gaff, as he filmed his music video for his excellent sandwich rap. As with all filming things, there was a lot of sitting around. Luckily the people to sit around with were Carl Donnelly, Lucy Porter, Albion Gray, Barry Ferns and various assorted other comedy types. We all talked about iPhones for far too long and generally had a nice time sitting in the sun. I had a very small go on the trampoline until I realised I am so unhealthy that even jumping around with the aid of a big bouncy platform makes me tired. For a very small period of time we all dressed up as chefs and did some comedy type things, before finishing filming and eating pizza. All those people that think being in the movies/TV is hard, you are clearly disillusioned.

Not a lot to do today, although my Summer Fun Junkie email arrived, so I now know who to send my CD's of summer tunes too. I say summer tunes, they are both going to get 20 tracks all of Bob Nudd's 'Maggots in Your Catapult' a rap song by a fisherman. Hopefully that will arrive on their doorstep and they'll get all excited. Then they'll pop into into their CD recepticle of choice and feel massively disappointed as they skip each track and realise its all the same horrid horrid song. I might even add one of those bonus tracks at track 75 or something so they have to skip through all the 1 second tracks to get there, only to find that that is still, once again, the same track. Or I could spend today making two awesome CD's for them instead. I'll go with the latter.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In The Name Of The Father

Again today's blog will be tiny. In a moment I shall be rushing off to help film Dan Antopolski's music video for his Sandwich Rap. If you haven't heard it, you're an idiot. Or just have possibly never seen him live. Or you're an idiot who hasn't seen him live. Either way, its brilliant and you should. More raps about everyday food items please. There have never been enough. I often peruse my old Wu-Tang and NWA albums and think, 'What's missing from these golden LP's is a tune about Petit Filous'. Today I am playing a chef of sorts. This suits me well as I like food. And hats that billow out at the top. Not that there are many hats that billow out at the top, or that I wear many of them, but the opportunity to wear a chef's hat is always a good one. I've always wondered how the design came to be. Perhaps a chef said that he felt there wasn't enough billowy empty air space above his head and demanded more. Or maybe the first ever chef has a stupid billowy head and that was the only way to cover it up. Who knows? Well wikipedia probably, but even then it might have been written by a liar. You just don't know anymore. Then after filming I have to drive to York to do a preview. It will be hard to do a preview in York, because I might not be able to resist talking about the Jorvic viking centre for at least 20 minutes. Its one of my favourite viking centre's ever. Not that I've been to any others, but I bet they're shite. Where else can you take a perfectly valid 1p of currency and crush it into a really useless viking coin by paying £1? No where. Why? Because its probably illegal, and if not illegal, definitely stupid. You just lose £1.01 for no reason. Vikings were idiots.

That phrase, 'you can never judge a book by its cover', very much came into play at last night's gig. Walking in, I immediately decided it was a rancid football club gig in a part of Kent I hate. I looked at the crowd, sitting at their dinner tables, eating food that looked as though school dinner ladies of the past would scoff at its wrongness, and I assumed the gig would be completely unplayable. The manager, who had the sort of Mohican that looked as though a giant hairy slug was sitting on his fat head and insisted on calling me 'Tinnyin', or 'Tearernan', told me we had to do a raffle and a game of 'heads and tails' during the show, which just made me hate the evening even more. Then we started and suddenly the crowd became attentive and eager and ready for comedy. It was akin to seeing a beast tamed. Don't get me wrong I didn't woo the group of Kentians with clever Guardian reader comments. No, instead I indulged in calling a bald tattooed man special needs and cussing someone for being from Rotherham. To be fair people from Rotherham deserve to be cussed.

After the 1st section a man came and gave me the worst insult I've ever had. It wasn't meant as an insult but Ive never felt more upset with an audience comment ever before. This chav shirt wearing geezer said ' you were brilliant mate. I went to see Jim Davidson last week and you were definitely on a par with him. Great stuff.' What an arsehole. How dare he compare me to that racist, bigoted, drunken cock? I felt like I should probably reasses my comedy career and go and wash myself clean till I scrub all my skin off. Then I went back on stage and did terrible Jamaican impersonations. Not true.

Speaking to other members of the crowd made me feel better, mostly because they helped to confirm that they were not my type of people. One man told me he was the safety officer but that his idea of safety is 'wearing a condom once in a while.' There is no hope. You wonder why the French hate us, but when their first port of call is a bunch of Daily Mail readers you can't blame them. Let's hope Global Warming causes the tides to rise. In the end it was all ok. We did the job and escaped without being lynched. It is shows like that that prove that stand-up is sometimes just a job. Still it's a better job than working in at A provincial football club booking entertainment. At least I've always got my Jim Davidson act to fallback on.

It is of course Father's Day today. Even though it's an event created by card companies for evil corperate reasons, I hope you are cheering on all dads everywhere. Father Christmas, Father Ted, Farthing Wood, Fatherma Whitbread and er, my dad. I gave him a card today. It said you are the 'best dad I have'. It's meant to be nice, but is probably a tad cheeky. Still at least I didn't say he was on a par with Jim Davidson.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Another stupid busy day today. I seem to have willingly booked these in for the next few days all the way until Thursday. I have decided that this means Thursday will be reserved for staying in bed as long as possible until someone makes me get out of bed. Chances are noone will make me get out of bed, unless, which is likely to happen, I forget I have decided this and book something in. Sometimes I think my brain is some sort of sweat shop manager, as it seems to forget things conveniently, let me book things up and then remind me that I haven't stopped doing stuff for two weeks straight only after I've booked it in. This tends to mean I get tired just thinking about doing what I'm doing, which then creates a further bout of tiredness when I'm actually doing it. What I am saying, is I'm a bit tired. I fear this blog has already become a tad moany. Its not as moany as tomorrow's will be though. Today I'm doing Comedy 4 Kids, which will be fun, and then it will all go wrong as I have to go to Dover. I've been to Dover once before, when at Uni, to (ahem, will type this bit quietly) pick up drugs. It was a horrible hive of squaddies, and dock workers. Like Season 2 of the Wire meets, er, well some program on squaddies being arseholes. We very nearly got beaten up just by being students. If thats the criteria for being attacked, I wonder what will happen to me when I call them all wankers?

Last night's gig was all a bit great. It was in a hotel in Wokingham, a lovely venue, run by lovely people and with a full and lovely audience. Anymore lovelies and it would have been a horrendous ending to a Richard Curtis film. Thoroughly good fun and made better by these few things (cue cheating bullet point sentences):

- On Juliet commenting, before the gig, that the managers trainers were nice, he got very defensive and assumed she was taking the piss. It became quickly clear he wasn't all that fond of them and was bought them for a birthday. They were purple and blue and personalised with his initials on the back. This meant that we took the bait and insulted him about them for at least ten minutes. I really enjoyed asking him if it was nice to know that a small boy spent hours sewing his initials into those shoes, almost as though he was personally responsible for slave labour. I later told everyone on stage about his shoes, and said it looked like the Dulux dog had vomited on them. He took this well.

- There was a woman in the front row who was a teaching assistant by day, a youth worker in the afternoon and a burlesque dancer called Dita Delicious by night. I can only assume that Dads whose kids go to that school, love the parents evenings.

- In response to a question I asked, a woman in a couple replied 'Too Long'. This was a shock to me as it was not the response women normally give. I will let you figure out if the question was about how long they had been together, cock size, or the Return of The King.

- The same couple lived in Hook. I did not know it was possible to live in a Disney film.

- A man in the audience lived in London and genuinely didn't know what he was doing in Wokingham, at the gig. He looked like he had just woken up. I hope he manages to work out who he is and what he is doing. Its a bit like a dull version of Memento.

I also appear to have lost my satnav. Using my iPhone and intuition I very successfully managed to drive me and Juliet the wrong way down a one-way street on the way home. My satnav has made me road stupid. I am obviously completely reliant on it. The annoying thing is, I use it to find stuff, so what can I use to find the satnav? I need a satnav finder to find my satnav to find everything else.

Sorry once again to Randolph for the brevity of today's blogging. Need to go re-read the 4 jokes I have for kids before I go do the gig. Such a shame you can't do material about road rage and the BNP to 7 year old's or I'd have at least a whole other 5 minutes.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I'm writing this blog on my iPhone on the tube. This it people I'm blogging on the go. I don't think I will ever use that term again. It sounds a bit grim. 'Didn't have time to blog at home so had to do it on the train.' I think it must be that no matter how far the word blog enters the English vernacular, it still sounds like taking a shit. Just a wordy, opinionated, web based shit. I feel bad 'blogging in motion' as all blogs of late have either been written in a rush or in a sleepy brain dead state. This means you, the reader, does not experience full blog potential. I say 'reader' rather than 'readers' as I like to picture my sole reader being an adventurous type, who perhaps relies on this blog to keep him going during his trek through the Himalayas or deepest, darkest Peru. Just when he has been bitten by a snake or missed out on grabbing the lost Idol of Makka Chakka, he can still chuckle that my cats have made me a bit annoyed. His preferred adventure name would be Randolph. Sadly though I once worked with a man called Randolph and he was the most opposite if adventurous you can be. For Randolph an adventure would be getting a new calculator or drawing a face on a post it note. If you have an exciting name you should bloody well live up to it. My name comes from a hero in the Mabinogion who killed a monster and to live up to that I have trapped at least 5 spiders in a glass in my lifetime and put them in the garden. Hero.

I'm just on my way back from some CBBC Voice Over work at Television Centre. I had to sit in a windowless room, put headphones on, and talk in a microphone to the beeb lot in Glasgow. It felt a tad strange to say the least. I was worried they were going to give me instructions to kill the PM, like in The Manchurian Candidate. On the way in security let me make my own way to the studio, assuming I knew my way. I had a BBC pass and no chaperon. It took a lot to dissuade myself from trying to get on the news. I could have pretended to be an expert on something and caused mayhem by telling everyone elephant flu was coming or that Brown is planning to sell all UK water supplies to a man called Gilbert in Madagascar. I didn't do any of these things. Instead I sat like a lemon waiting for someone to get me. Pippa Evans walked past and we laughed about how it's still exciting to be at the beeb as it makes you feel important. Then I sat for even longer and realised I really was not remotely important.

I should have found the bit where people worked on Psychoville and congratulate them on some seriously good comedy bleakness. I loved it. And then I got to red button the extras and watch the second episode which I loved even more. Well done Shearsmith and Pemberton for putting some actually good comedy on telly.

That's all for today. I'm off to see my tiny Nan and cousin for the afternoon, before heading to Wokingham, which is my least favourite type of ham. I hope, Randolph that you are out there in the Himalayas thinking about your tiny Nan and cousin and wishing you were in Wokingham instead of about to be eaten by a Yeti.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Students and Smaller Students

No gig tonight and so to celebrate I am wondering around the flat in my superman pants. I'm sure this isn't the loveliest of images for many of you, but as you can only imagine it, pretend I look better than I do. I feel oddly heroic in my Superman pants. I'm not sure why, as Superman did not wear pants with his logo on it. I imagine that would be rather narcissistic. Saying that, if I was Superman I'd do whatever I liked, as I'd be Superman. If anyone ever dared say something along the lines of 'Hey Superman, how dare you wear pants with your name on them you narcissistic wanker' I'd just burn them with my laser eyes. Ultimately its things like that that make me realise its pretty lucky I'm not Superman. If I was, I'd be a wanker. 'Save us from this fire Superman' the people would cry. I would respond with 'No.' They would say 'you bastard' and I would say 'what will you do about it? I'm Superman. If you even think about cussing me, I will kill you quicker than that fire could.' I'm horrible when I have super powers. It's pretty lucky I don't have any.

I've had a very long two days what with yesterday's car adventures and all the gigs and things. After hopefully getting those women sent to prison, Wednesday got a lot better. I was meant to be doing two gigs in the evening, the first of which was a preview at Sion James' lovely gig at the Brixton Bar and Grill. It's a lovely venue and he has some great line-ups coming up, but sadly last night we only got an audience of one, so it had to be pulled. She was a very nice audience of one, so instead we sat around for an hour, eat lollypops, and were later joined by John Gordillo and Donald Mack where we complained about people not turning up to previews. If you live near Brixton, go along next week, its a great room.

After that I drove myself, Al Barrie and Pete Johansson to the Magdalene Ball at Cambridge University. Sometimes in comedy you get to perform at shows in places you would otherwise never be allowed in. I'm fairly sure that if I hadn't done a set at the ball, were I ever to set foot in Magdelene College, the police would be called because a 'ruffian is loose on the grounds' or something akin to such a reaction. Perhaps trumpets would be sounded and hounds would be released. Especially as I have my beardyness at the moment. I was also asked to dress smart, but being worried about dressing too smart for Brixton I mixed it up with jeans, trainers, a waistcoat, shirt and tie. The unique combination made me look like a sort Justin Tramperlake. The gig was actually lovely. A tent full of people with names such as Maximillian and Olympia, who all had double barrelled surnames and between them probably own everyone and everything I know. They were a really up for it crowd though and Al Barrie excellently compered the night, having a lot of fun making very posh people recite the words to 'Back Once Again With The Renegade Master'. There is something about very posh voices that means making them do hip-hop/dance lyrics never stops being funny. Some of their accents were at the level of posh where it was hard to understand what they were actually saying. 'R's were replaced with 'w's and sometimes the pitch would go so high if they agreed with you, you just had to nod and humour them. If you didn't a tiny man servant came along and hit you with a cane. He didn't. But it felt like the only reason that didn't happen is because he probably had the night off. We were treated very nicely with free booze, food and cakes. Despite this Matt Reed stole some Jelly Beans, because he is a massive skank and will one day go to hell, from where he will probably steal bits of fire and sin to make people annoyed.

By the time Pete got off stage though it was nearly 3am and we didn't get home until was past 4. There is something disconcerting about being up at that time and being sober. I used to regularly be up at sunrise back in them golden days where I did club and stuff, but I was generally a mess of sorts. I remember that nice feeling of getting on the tubes at 6am looking at all the people heading to work and thinking 'wow, this is awesome. I'm going home to bed.' Last night however, as I was walking into my flat, the chirpiness of the birds just made me want to individually flick each one in its stupid beak. Or set my cats on them, which would probably have been more effective.

So I'm pretty knackered today and it didn't help spending the afternoon teaching 7-8 year olds how to do stand-up. A crazy plan of Wendy Wason's, we both attended her daughter's class at her school in Tufnell Park and gave them a series of activities to try and get them to learn how to do a very short set. It was mental. My tired brain was shouted at several times as each and everyone of the class of 27 wanted to tell us how they fell over, or had a fizzy drink explode in their face. Some of them grabbed the concept really quickly. One boy walked on stage and said ' I went to the park to play football with my dog. He beat me 5 nil', bowed and walked off. Sheer genius. I might tip off some agents now. I bet it won't be long before he's hosting some E4 show about how crazy haircuts are and being snapped in magazines drinking fizzy pop outside Toys 'R' Us. Other kids sadly were completely baffled. Stories that would go on forever without one iota of humour, or tales that would suddenly become 'and now I will lie, I eat a biscuit' followed by their own laughter and staring from the rest of the class. Still thoroughly rewarding. We'll be returning in two weeks to help them do stand-up at their assembly so we'll see if they've worked out what a joke is by then.

I feel this blog probably dragged a bit today. This week has been full of brain damaging moments, which is probably why I am walking around in Superman pants. I fear that further madness will create more and more bizarre clothes changes and states of mind, until in 3 years time someone enquires about my whereabouts. 'Remember that stand-up? The hobbity one, the one with a name like Timan Doobie, or Tevan Dweeb or something? What ever happened to him?' To which the response will be something like 'oh him. Well he couldn't handle it anymore and so he ran off. They say he now roams the black forest dressed as a bear with a batman cap on. They call him the bearbatman.' 'That's a shit name.' 'Yes I know.' I just read that out aloud to myself in a Peter Laurie voice and my cat Bella stared at me as though I'm clearly mentally ill. Luckily no gig tonight. Will watch Psychoville and do some further sitting around in my pants occasionally humming the Superman theme.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Driving Me Car-razy

Just as I was pulling up outside my flat, clearly reversing, some idiots in a mini decided they would try and get through the tiny gap left on my road by driving through it at top speed. They clearly had no idea of space, or the dimensions of their car, as they raced through and scraped the whole driver's side of mine. Now I did see them coming up in my mirror, but I assumed, as there was no space they wouldn't go for it. I assumed wrong. Hearing the sound that is 4th on the list of worst sounds you could ever hear (3rd - the sound of someone else's bones breaking, 2nd - the sound of your bones breaking, 1st - the sound of a zombie in a dark house that you're in), I stopped the car and got out. They then stopped and got out. The criminals (which is what the police have since told me they are, I wasn't as quick to call names) were three teenage girls. I expected large thugs or at least pirates with eye-patches which would explain the inability to judge the distance and gap. Three giggly teenage girls, who realising I wasn't happy, checked their own flash black mini and saw they had only scraped the bumper. One of them laughed and said, 'not to worry, I needed to replace it anyway', before looking at the scrape on my car and saying 'it'll wash off'. I said 'wait one second so I can pull my car into the space', because I am an idiot and believe in trust between human beings. As I did, they all leaped back in the car and fucked off. Now the more astute of you would have wondered why I didn't get the details first, but we were already holding up other traffic and there was adequate road space. And I am naive and a stupid stupid fool. Still got their licence plate number, called the police and now they are criminals. Lets so how they survive in Holloway prison. Not very well I can assure you.

Its been a morning of car issues. When the 'incident' happened, I was returning from the garage where I was having my car's headlights fixed. I'm rather bad at car stuff. In theory I can change a tyre, but I've never had to, so when the day arrives I'm sure I'll just cry a bit then call the RAC. Changing the lightbulbs in the headlights was one of the few easy things I was capable of doing, but in VW Polos they have some special way of being taken out or they just break and stab you in the hand with glass. I don't like being stabbed in the hand with glass. So instead I have to meekishly go to the garage where they fix the bulbs and give me stares that say 'you are not a man.' Luckily they then realised it wasn't just the bulbs but all sorts of other problems and they respected me again. Either that or it was all part of a ruse to make me spend more money because I didn't understand what they said. I wonder if Knight Rider ever had such issues. I bet KITT would've just pointed out what was wrong so he could've strolled in there with all the right info. Still all fixed now, and I have working headlights and a big fucking scrape on the side of the car. Grand.

Two shows tonight. A preview in Brixton which should be fun, then at 1.30am, the Cambridge University Ball, which probably will not be fun. Its a black tie event so I've been told to dress smart. This to me, means wear my blue trainers, not the white ones. And don't wear the jeans with the hole in the knee. I have a feeling they may not let me in. Last night's Fat Tuesday was bloody good. I was terrified we would have no audience but ended up with a great sized crowd who were all lovely. Both Andrew O'Neill's and Paul Foot's shows were ace, and once again I'd recommend seeing them both in Edinburgh when they are even acer.

I must end the blog here as I have to go and make sure I get some girls sent to prison.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Only a handful of types of people venture out drinking on a Monday. If you find yourself in a bar at 2am at the very start of the week you will note that you are surrounded by people who do not give a shit about the next seven days. That usually means the clientele will include comedians who don't need to be up anytime soon on a Tuesday, students who don't have to be up anytime soon until they graduate, and the suspicious other people who are probably alcoholics or unemployed and either way just don't care about their well being. Last night my willpower went home and left me to follow Andrew O'Neill, Lisa Keddie and their assorted band of cohorts from the Five Pound Fringe party to wander the streets of Camden in search of booze. After passing a few pubs that looked like they would have actually been agreeable to sit in and drink but were obviously closing, we took a last resort and went to the sort of place that I would equate as being on a par with my personal idea of hell. They were working with that wonderful notion that due to the immense lack of people there, that the music must be played to an unagreeably loud level. I'm not an oldie who complains about loud music by any means. Loud can be great. But when the bass is causing the vibrations of the building to shake because there are not enough punters to absorb the sound, then you should probably turn it down. Actually I take that back. I am an oldie who gets annoyed with loud music. Unless its music I like and I'm playing it loud. Then its ok. Essentially if I could have control over the sound systems of everywhere I went, I'd be a much happier person. I'd be some sort of musical dictator, but I'd love it. At times I would love it for the convenience of playing music I enjoyed a lot, and at other times I would enjoy it because I could walk into a goth bar and make them play hip-hop, and walk into a hip-hop bar and make them play terrible 90s pop. It would upset a lot of people. Especially at live gigs. I could do it when I see Blur at Hyde park. 40,000 people paying money to see Blur but then old Lional Richie songs come out of the speakers.

Sorry brain is clearly not working today. This blog may be a tad laborious at times. Sorry. Its mostly because I didn't feel drunk last night but this morning feel terrible. I hate this unequal balance of hangover vs soberness. It always happens to me now too. I get none of the fun associated with being so drunk I can't see and injure myself, yet I do get all of the pain from having drunk as much as if I'd been unable to see and injured myself. I also hurt like I've injured myself. I think its some sort of karma for all the years I would drink and then wake up feeling great. On my 21st birthday after getting so drunk I left my own party without telling anyone and fell asleep on my friend's doorstep, causing mass panic among friends, I then woke up the next day, bright as anything at 9am and put 'Singin' in the Rain' on the telly very loud waking up everyone. My friends were less than pleased. Although they should have been very pleased as there is little greater way to start your day than a burst of 'Good Morning'. It was all fun last night, meeting some very nice people and some nice people I already know. The Five Pound Fringe is a great idea and hope it will do really well in Edinburgh. They had a mini show featuring some of the acts with Stephen Grant galliantly MCing to a group of industry peoples which is never fun or easy although he made it look like both of those things. It was a mix of music and comedy and as a comic I really enjoyed the musical bits. Martin White and Gavin Osbourn are two people whose shows I will have to see up in Edinburgh. Martin White's song about how he took up the accordian in particular made me laugh a lot. I love accordians. I like to believe they are an accident formed by someone running with a pair of bellows into a dwarf with a tiny piano.

Fat Tuesday tonight. Andrew O'Neill who was on last night and was brilliant and Paul Foot who wasn't on last night but is also brilliant. Do come along. It will be good.


I'm off to go lie down and pretend to do useful things such as invent a tiny zip to go on the top of pitta breads. Better blog tomorrow when I will not be in pain. Unless of course my pitta bread idea takes off.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Three Dead Ones In Your Flat

I'll tell you some ways I like being woken up. Of my own accord, with breakfast and by a call to remind you you have to catch a flight to go on holiday. All of those ways are great. You might have noticed that among those listed, there is not one saying 'by finding a dead baby bird outside my bedroom door while my cat, Bella, sits proudly beside it, occasionally swatting it with her paw.' Its not there, because I wouldn't ever ask for that as the first thing I see in the morning. In fact I wouldn't ever ask for it full stop. Seeing baby birds with heads nearly completely severed is not a picturesque moment, unless you a are child in practice to become a serial killer according to films. Apparently loads of serial killers start with killing animals, if you are to believe fiction. I killed a few ants as a kid, and so far that has never escalated into anything bigger. This may be due to the fact though that I am perfectly capable of killing ants but anything larger would probably provide me with a bit of a challenge. I reckon I could take anything up to and including the size of an otter, with ease. After that it depends on what weapons I have in my near vicinity, what the creature had done to me and if I was ready for it. If, say, a red panda had cussed my mum, I happened to have a frying pan on me, and I was in my 'gonna smack a red panda in the face stance', then the little fucker wouldn't stand a chance. I realise its this sort of thinking that may well be the starting grounds for 14 dead bodies and a life on the run.

Not really sure what to do about my cats. You can't punish them for this continues bird massacre. Its nature. However its nature that I don't want in my flat. If, when flat hunting, me and Layla had said 'what we really want is a home that can be filled with the natural prey of felines', we would have chosen to live in the woods. Or a zoo. Zoo's would be ace to live in, although I would have to stay in an enclosure fairly far away from the red pandas. Just incase you understand. I've had enough of disposing of dead birds for one day. Annoyingly my only reason for leaving the house today has been cancelled, even though I spent till the wee hours writing for it and even subjecting some unsuspecting Twitterers to testing it. So now all I am destined for is to sit and wait for further cat presents. It'll have to end soon. I mean there can only be so many baby birds left to kill. I have this horrible fear that it will soon dawn on me that behind our flat is an aviary of some sort.

Further work on my Edinburgh show today. The poster is now done and looks awesome:


I'm still a bit worried that people will be expecting more zombie material than I have. I might try and write more, or I might just put a disclaimer at the top of the show. I keep having decisions like this. There is a part of my show I probably should try and link carefully into another part of it. But I also keep thinking that I could just leave it as it is and have a sound clip of me singing the word 'tenuous' over the top of it. On the surface it seems like the lazy option but actually having to record the clip and sort out the sound cues would be much more effort. Essentially I will be spending ages making it look like I haven't spent ages on it. Its a bit like those people who spend ages getting ready but still look a bit trampy. They all hang round Shoreditch with hair that looks like they've slept funny. In fact they've spent days moulding each strand of hair in particular ways to make it look 'messed up'. I often wonder if they wake up in the mornings with immaculately perfect hair and groan at themselves in the mirror. So tenuous links, an ending to the show and further ways to find about £2k for my show is what I have to work on for today. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

Heading to the Five Pound Fringe launch party tonight which should be fun. Its in a place near me, with people I like and free booze. There is little that can go wrong. Unless of course I drink all the free booze and offend the people I like, which is a possibility.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pet Cemetery

Our cats have insisted on bringing several presents into the house this morning. It started with a large dragonfly. I use the word 'large' rather loosely. Had it been alive and challenged me to a fight, I would have lost. Less of the fly, more of the dragon bit. I saw it delivered gracefully as an offering onto our hallway carpet and wondered exactly how far our cats has travelled to get it. I was assuming the Lost World or perhaps that island King Kong is from. This dragondragon was then followed by a tiny baby bird. I'm ok with our cats killing dragonflies as I've never been a major fan. I wouldn't protest to save the dragonfly. Much in the same way my mum told me yesterday that daddy longlegs were dying out. Couldn't care less. Horrible gangly legged flying idiots. What have they contributed to the world? Nothing, except disproportionately limbed insect mayhem. But a dead baby bird is a bit sad. I was in the shower and Layla ran in screaming because of this second, rather more cute and sad, offering. I had soap in my eyes and so could do little help, and while I showered as quickly as possible, Layla managed to wrench it from Rosie's jaws and put it in a tupperware box. Not so it could be reheated you understand, just so it was away from cat evil. We debated what to do with it, and between putting it in the bin and the garden, we opted for the more organic process of garden. Realising that the cats would just get it again if it was so nearby, I decided we should lob it into our neighbour's unkempt jungle instead. I lobbed the bird out of the tupperware box as hard as I could.

Unfortunately, I throw like a girl. A girl with a broken arm and crossed eyes. The bird's carcass lifted into the air and landed straight into the rose bush, impaling itself onto a thorn and its head wrapping around the branch like a morbid Stretch Armstrong toy designed by H.R.Geiger on his happy day. Suddenly I had gone from being the preserver of dead birds, the avian Anubis, to a horrible horrible bird mauler. I failed to mention that I was in my dressing gown so it was down to Layla, in her wellies, to unwrap the birds head from the branch and rethrow it next door. Rosie and Bella are still mieowing and searching everywhere for the bird. It must feel like how your Nan feels when you unwrap that jumper at Christmas and straight away, without trying it on, say 'sorry doesn't fit me'. I have no sympathy though. I am scared that the presents will keep getting bigger and bigger, ranging from a rat to a rabbit, until one day I come home and find a dead bear in my lounge. Why can't they understand I am not a fan of these things. There are bloody loads of Xbox games I want, or even on a day like today, a cold beer. They really aren't very thoughtful at all.

The cat I had from age 1 to age 19 was called Claws, and she was a legend of gruesome dead pet gifts. We would often come home from a holiday to find 20-30 decapitated rats lying in the garden in neat rows. The heads all places to the left of the bodies and big, black, furry Claws sitting proudly infront of them mieowing in pride. It was often greeted by a 'for fuck's sake' from my Dad and Mum, followed by two hours of burying them all in the back of the garden. It became so regular that the area in which they were buried became like a tiny hill. I like to think that one day Time Team will travel to the area of Finsbury Park and discover these 400 rat skeletons and believe they were either a rat emperor's army, buried with him for the war. Or that there was some sort of cat Fred West living in the area.

Me and Layla watched The Reader last night. I thought it would be all subtitles, but it wasn't. Poor jokes aside, it was a pretty damn good film and made think that Kate Winslet is less of a dick for her crying speech. She was very good in it. So good infact that even though she plays an evil Nazi Auschwitz guard, you have some sympathy for her. Now this worried me a bit. Nazi sympathizers are usually very frowned upon. There was a lot of boobs in it too. Kate Winslet has become quite well known for just getting nekkid at every opportunity. I sat wondering if all the Nazi boobage would make this film a favourite of Max Moasley. A man for whom race issues mean two different things. Still overall a good watch, ruined only by turning over afterwards in time to see Big Brother. Its like the entertainment equivalent of someone reading a book then putting their face into a pile of horse shit.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Shear Madness

You know you are feeling knackered when you spend a good 5 minutes accidentally calling your home phone from your mobile and then picking up the ringing house phone and wondering why no one is on the end of it. I managed to do this three times before it clicked that I wasn't calling my parents number I was infact calling myself. This combined with me leaving a teabag in my cup of tea for over 5 minutes and creating a brew that could kill a horse, has already listed today as a write off. I'm wondering if I should just get back into bed and cancel today. I know that if I continue to attempt things I will no doubt hurt myself if not others through dozy stupidity. Unfortunately one of the many things I have to do today is cut back the ivy at the front of house. A job that is bad for two reasons. One - it is excessively dull. Two - I have to use a pair of shears, and on a day like today, I'm sure that means I might lose a finger/arm/face. It has to be done today because our 'probably a paedophile' upstairs neighbour (see http://tiernandouieb.blogspot.com/2009/01/lost-post.html) has asked if we can cut it back before it takes over the entire front entrance of his house. He rang our doorbell at 10pm on Thursday night stinking of booze just to tell us this. He did not seem to think that 10pm was an unacceptable time for doorbell ringing, nor that his boozy breath would be deemed uncouth. So in such circumstances we should have said 'actually we want the ivy to grow all over your front door so you'll be trapped indoors and never able to harm kids again paedo Terry!'. Instead Layla just said I would do it on the weekend. So if I cut off my face, its all her fault.

My preview in Cambridge was good fun last night. I was told earlier in the week that 17 people had booked tickets. I thought that was a nice amount for a preview and so had completely prepared, or rather unprepared, for 17 people, thinking it would be a fun chatty, work through my show type evening. When I arrived, just in time to see Jim Smallman's show, the room was packed. Completely sold out packed, standing room only. I did not expect that at all and it threw me somewhat. I'd managed to leave the only props I had at home and really hadn't gone through my show enough. Jim's show was brilliant. Really really good and if you are at the Fringe this year then I highly recommend going to see it. It has a great arc to it, lots of funny stories and some very nice gags. He had also learnt it all of by heart and performed it all in his usual charming way. In short, Jim is a bastard, as my show was nowhere near as prepared. The crowd left his show feeling happy and content. As a result about 15 of them never made it back upstairs for my gig. I wasn't displeased about this as I thought, well thats 15 less people to disappoint. The room was lovely, if a little hot, but the crowd were a little knackered from watching both Jim's show and the show before it. I started wobbly but it soon picked up and they were actually brilliant. Apart from one group of drunken twats at the back. Jim didn't get drunken twats. The bastard. Everytime I asked if anyone was or had done anything, they would point at their friend and say that he did it because it was his birthday. This meant that he had both shat on the floor (not part of my show, but the sort of comment these arseholes brought up themselves) and was also diabetic. He wasn't diabetic but apparently that was the birthday treat his friends had bought him an illness. What a lovely bunch of people. How will they top that present next year? 'Happy Birthday you've now got AIDS!' They were horrible. I dealt with them several times by being horrible back and eventually they left, making the audience relieved and also highly distracted. There was some very fun banter with a member of the audience who wanted to achieve sleeping with Liz Hurley more than anything else in life. I asked him by what age he wanted to do that and his response was 'before she's dead', which is considerate of him. Another member of the audience wanted a Blue Peter badge as his girlfriend had two and he was jealous. We concocted a plan to make something really good and say he was 8 so he could win loads of badges, pin them to his body like a 'punk that I'd made earlier' and declare himself Blue Peter. I'd be lying if I didn't say it wasn't fun, but the ending was still ropey and I need to pull my finger out and take my show to the next level. So far its on the ground floor, somewhere in the mezzanine looking a bit lost. Damn Jim.

The hair on my chin is not growing as fast as the hair on the rest of my face. I think this is because it hasn't had to grow for some time. What it means is that it looks like I have giant farmer-like sideburns and no beard. I hope this ratio evens out before I get too tufty. I hope my whole beard growing plan hasn't gone horrible wrong and I end up having to pretend I actually want the facial stylings of Gaz Top. No one wants the facial stylings of Gaz Top. Not even Gaz Top. He wanted a beard but had the same predicament as me. Poor poor no more career stupid hair Gaz Top. I like to think he wonders around his house (if he's not now homeless) just explaining how things like the kettle work and weeping quietly, before someone walks past his window, points at his stupid facial hair and shouts and points.

Must go deal with ivy. The plant, not some lady who won't get out of our front garden. Although I'm sure shears would get rid of her too. Must remember not to itch beard face with shears.