Friday, July 31, 2009

Some facts about sand

I've learnt two new things about sand since being in Spain. One is that it gets bloody hot. Like really silly burn your feet hot. The second is that sometimes there are ruddy great rocks in it. Especially at the bit where the sand meets the sea and you can't really see any of those rocks so you stub your now burnt feet on them and hurt it even more. I knew these facts about sand before, but had clearly forgotten them from my last sand experience and as a consequence have to spend the next few days hobbling like a horse on marbles. This is combined with the sides of my eyes being all scratched by a combination of sea salt and sun cream, an evil duo that work together to make your face feel as though its made of gravel. Apart from these and finally getting sunburn on the little bits where my arms join my torso, I love being on the beach. I love fighting for sunbeds that aren't as far away from the sea as possible and paying five euros just so some bloke can give us sunbed matresses that after 2 minutes in the sun become burny cushions of hotness. I love the way that sand manages to get absolutely everywhere, even in places that haven't been anywhere near the sand. Like my notepad that's still in the bag I packed it in. Now complete with a few grains of sand. Bloody stupid sand. Think I'll stay by the pool today.

It was actually another lovely day yesterday, just blisteringly hot. Not that I got blisters. Just cuts and burns. After our morning on the beach, me and Layla went to Marbella town for a bit of a walk and dinner. Its a nice place but once again the Old Town trumps the New Town. I find this is often the case and makes me wonder why anyone would bother building the new bit. They spend ages with design and construction only for everyone to confirm its not as good as the original. Unless they only build the new one in order for people to appreciate the old one. Before the new one arrives everyone probably complains about how the Ancient Town was the best even though it just consisted of three huts and a dead donkey. The Marbella Old Town had some cool places in it including a whole shop for somebreros. I mean a shop that sold sombreros not one that catered for the needs of somebreros. However I feel this is missing. It would be nice if there was a safe haven for sombreros to visit when they feel they have been mispurchased by some English twat who only ever wears it on stag dos. There were also some lovely little churches and an art museum that was being renovated so they let us see the still open bits for free. At least we think thats what they said and may well have just been rude and walked in without paying.

I always feel its necessary to see some culture on holiday even if its only about 20 paintings in a building thats only half built. I didn't understand what any of them were about but I liked one with hats on it and one with shoes on it and one thats was bits of white and bits of black all jaggedy. I didn't like one with skulls and eyes on it that was probably done with paint or maybe not. It is this incredible knowledge and constructive criticism that makes me think I should definitely host art shows. After the culture we had dinner in a place called De Bruno that is probably owned by Frank Bruno or Sasha Baron Cohen, probably. They sold some bloody amazing food and had a nice meal just the two of us, while observing some weird old ladies who had too much botox and consequently looked like supervillians, a man that we called Pee Wee German (he looked like Pee Wee Herman but spoke in Deutsch), and some girls from Liverpool who collectively were wearing all the make up.

Its my last full day here today, as I'm flying back tomorrow night. This means today must be spent indulging in all the things I've got very good at these last few days. Sitting, eating, sunbathing, eating and eating. When I head to the airport tomorrow night I'm slightly scared I'll be too heavy for the cabin and have to go in with the luggage.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nothing Doin'

Don't have a lot to type about today. This is because I really haven't done anything that could be seen in anyway as contribuiting to society. Unless it was discovered that the sun's rays were too strong to be absorbed by the Earth and that people were needed to directly soak them up. In which case me, and especially a small band around my stomach have done very well in planet saving. I'm starting to get tanned, which means for a walking ghost like me, I'm actually starting to get the skin tone of a normal healthy person. I say skin tone, what I mean is vast amounts of freckles that give me the appearance of having tropical measles until the rash spreads too much, they all link freckly hands and suddenly conjoin into a tan. This is the case all over except for a) my white bits obviously and b) the small band around my stomach which is very red. Its not for lack of sun cream as I know that every year the same bit gets burnt and so I lather on sun cream like I'm trying to give myself a whole new layer of creamy skin. Yet still it burns. I think this is because of its geographical location on the underside of my well established gut, it rarely sees the sunshine. Then of course when it does, it gets all a bit shocked and burns rapidly, completely underprepared for the heat. I also don't think it helps that my gut is made up primarily of beer. As we all know alcohol burns easier than most substances. To be fair, the amount of beer that is in my tum should mean the whole lot just evoporates, which would be preferable.

The only other way I could be contributing to society is if the world was overrun with paella and a vast quantity needed to be eaten to stop sufficient paella flooding. In that instance I feel I would be handed a medal for my valient efforts, eating two large bowls last night before admitting defeat. Paella was the only veggie item on the menu last night and so without moaning about lack of choice, took up the mantle, only to be brought a wokful of ricey goodness. I love paella. I like it because of how it tastes and that its probably good for you. But I like it more because the first bit of its name sounds like 'pie' and everyone loves pie. Next step is to one day make a paella pie. I think that may be the day I die of rapid stomach expansion.

60 pages from the end of World War Z and I'm now truly paranoid that its a possible occurance. Last night we walked back from the restaurant via the beach and without telling anyone I was imagining what might happen if hundreds of them all rose from the sea. I looked around for suitable weapons and hiding places. Sadly I found none and realised I'd just be fodder for the undead. Damn our unideal location for a zombie attack. I feel like Layla's family really havent chosen their holiday destination well. Sun, sand, sea and relaxation is all good, but when zombies attack, a small base in Antartica would be better. I will tell them for next time.

Today we brave the sea. Fingers crossed for no sea bound undead, sharks, whales, giant squid or other people's floaters. The last one is the only one I'm really not sure how to deal with.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Mist

Its a bit misty here this morning. Everyone is saying its fairly common and what always happens but I am getting the British panic that perhaps its the end of the sunshine and now the summer is over in Spain. I'm not used to it sticking around for quite so long. Its been really hot. Like really really hot. People from around the world would probably not think much of this, but again my British sensibilities mean that while I really enjoy the sunshine and heat, I feel I have to make the odd complaint about exactly how hot it is. All the other Brits like this and we all nod and agree a bit, then go back to actually enjoying it. Its the only way we can really relax. Now there is mist this morning I'm having a real field day (day = 5 minutes) complaining about how the holiday is ruined. If it hasn't cleared in an hour I'm going to go for a stroll in it and search for gorillas. Or big scary insect creatures.

Yesterday was another day of pool and eating. I felt a bit braindead and was told that this is because I am actually slowing down and relaxing for once. Whilst it's nice to relax I'm afraid that my slow brain will make me sloppy for Edinburgh and when I get back I'll have to get mega tense again just to be on form. I've also finished my Zombie Survival Guide and I'm now on Max Brookes second book 'World War Z', which, only 80 pages in, is already one of my favourite books ever. It is completely terrifying though and doing nothing for my paranoia about an impending zombie attack. What if I'm all relaxed and sleepy when 400 zombies wade out of the Mediterranean Sea? (This is something that is possible due to their lack of need for oxygen and slow discomposure rate according to the Zombie Survival Guide) I won't be able to build my fortress on the 3rd floor of the block or prepare my supplies or weapons. I'm getting worried how much this possibility concerns me and I'm looking forward to finishing my zombie books asap and starting on something a tad light hearted. Next one is Shappi Khorsandi's book. Hopefully that won't get my worried about the Iranian government.

Kirsty and Angus continue to be a constant source of entertainment, spending upwards of 30 minutes taking it in turns to sit on the bottom of the water slide while the other one slides down and kicks them in the back and into the pool. It looks pretty painful but they assure me its not. I worry that in several months time it will be discovered they have warped their spines. I will claim no responsibility. They are both fascinated by a man who only has one leg and walks on crutches. Kirsty doesn't ask questions, she just walks up very close to him and stares and occasionally points. Luckily he seems to have not noticed this or isn't too bothered. Angus however keeps asking me questions about why he only has one leg and what may have happened. My favourite has been when he enquired ' do you think he did too much karate? And maybe someone punched his leg off?' If martial arts was that dangerous I wonder if more or less people would partake. I think the one legged man noticed me laughing so hard I snorted as Angus pointed in his direction and he hobbled to another sunbed. Children have no disability tact awareness whatsoever. Later followed Angus commenting on Layla's mum's black and white swimsuit saying that 'your swimsuit is lovely. You look just like a cow.' The boy is a tiny Larry David.

Not much planned for today except more pool and possibly even the sea. Its always hard to convince myself to swim in the sea when its freezing and full of stones and crabs and probably sharks and giant squid. Whereas the pool is temperate and only has a picture of a shark in it. Which is only scary if you are a picture of a person. Then later, following the usual plan, there will be more food of the restaurant variety where everyone will eat lots of meat and fish and as the only veggie I will resort to just chips and salad. Everyone keeps feeling guilty about that, but I do infact really like chips and salad. I am trying to work out if the Spanish are ignorant about how to cater for veggies, don't care how to cater for veggies, or infact know that many of us like eating chips and salad and favour us so much they have worked out how to let us eat that for a week solid. I think its the second option.

Still no news on the plains. The mist has started to clear now and there are obviously no gorillas, or giant insects. Or if there were they've hidden again, so will head back poolside.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Death by Calzone

Its a bit bloody lovely in Spain. By writing any sort of blog I have to sit in a dark (albeit air conditioned) room completely devoid of sunlight, pool or all the other lovely things that are here. On the plus side this room is lacking in children shouting at me which is rather odd as I have grown so used to it, it almost seems too quiet. Angus and Kirsty (Layla´s nephew and niece) are brilliant but haven´t really left us alone since we arrived. So far we have had to indulge in treasure hunts (to find a soft toy dog), go on the elephant slides, do roly poly´s in the swimming pool and discuss at length the same bit in the crap Star Wars prequel films over and over again. I have got my own back by getting 10 minutes of quiet asking Angus to check the temperature in all corners of the pool and report back to me, which took him some time and very much confused him. I also tried to explain to Kirsty using the squishy head method, that if I can put a palm tree between my thumb and finger within my field of vision, its only that big. Which meant that as she was next to me, she was bigger than a palm tree. It goes without saying that all her logic and knowlegde of judging heights and shapes has been trampled on, of which I am very proud.

Not much else to say really. The journey here was pretty good. Despite its name, Monarch airlines are not fit for any kind of royalty, but they are decent. What wasn´t decent was the excessively fat man that sat next to me and smelt of wee and the baby that cried throughout the entire journey. The latter probably could have been solved by the parents if they hadn´t spent the whole time telling said baby to shut up and stop it. Well done giving those instructions to someone who can´t yet talk. Idiots. Neither of those are Monarchs fault of course, but I can´t help but wonder if they should smell check people before they board.

The resort and apartment are amazing. Me and Layla have to sleep in the living room which means we will be woken up by a silly hour every day. Today, surprisingly, was not by the kids who were very considerate, but by Layla´s mum telling the kids, in a very loud voice, to be quiet incase they wake us up. She managed not to notice the hypocrisy in doing this but being the polite outsider I kept quiet. I´ve managed to get a teensy bit sunburnt already, but not enough for it to endanger my outside activities. This will no doubt happen at some point today. I am wearing factor 30 but it seems I am so pale nothing will save me bar some sort of radiation suit.

Other things to note:

Have nearly finished the Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brookes. It is excellent but I am now more paranoid about a zombie attack then ever before. I have seriously checked what could be used as weapons and supplies with the apartment and all possible escape routes. There are only two. Back down the stairs or off the third floor balcony. I hope the stairs are clear as I´m not good at falling off buildings. Although saying this, I have never tried so I could be an expert.

I ate a calzone last night that was massive and looked like a giant cornish pasty. I couldn´t finish it and Layla´s dad told me to use the Kenyan phrase for ´I am defeated.´I did and I was.

I have not yet checked the plains as there are none here. However there is only sun on the beaches and mountains so perhaps the plains are indeed rainy. More news when I get it.

Right back to the sunshine to burn my face off.....

Monday, July 27, 2009


This is a pre-written blog 'cos I by the time I would normally be posting this blog I will either be in a) the air or b) my swimshorts and by a pool. It all depends on what time I would have bothered posting my blog on a normal day. It will most likely be b) as our flight is stupid o'clock. It leaves at 7am, so we have to be there at 5am which means leaving our flat at 3.30am. I'm debating right now whether to be all cool and stay up all night or to grab 4 hours sleep now and get angry about waking up when I have to. Either way it will result in some sort of sleep deprived grump. Whatever I choose them Spanish peoples had better be prepared for an angry T. I bet they aren't prepared for that at all. And they'd be right not to bother as no matter how tired I am, I will get to the sunshine and suddenly be much happier than I should. This always happens to me and I don't like it. Even if someone had shat on my shoes, if its sunny I will find it hard to get as angry about it as I should. Saying that, I have never experienced misfortune of that level in any kind of climate so I think were someone to actually shit on my shoes there would definitely be surprise, then shock, then anger then later joy that it had given me material to talk about. Although it also depends on which shoes they had shat on. If it was my new trainers, then there would be violence. Then surprise, then shock then later joy at the material it had given me to talk about. I suppose its best just to hope that it won't happen in Spain or I reckon it will probably hamper the holiday somewhat.

Everything is packed and ready. No thanks to me. I attempted but Layla kept saying phrases like 'you've done it all wrong', 'that's not folding' and 'just get out and do something else'. You'd think she didn't want my help or something. After much deliberating I gave in and went to do a kids gig in Woking, which isn't, as I had thought, where they invented woks. Instead its an odd place where many of the local inhabitants seem to follow the template of 'pond scum'. If there was a clip art of 'chav' or perhaps a picture in the dictionary then these people would fit the profile perfectly. I wonder if its a purposeful thing and perhaps to ward off strangers. When no one else is around they bust out the tweed and get down to polo. I only assume this as the crowd was of a very different nature. A boy at the front, aged 11, was called Lorenzo. I asked if he owned oil, referring to the film that clearly no one under the age of 35 has seen. I still haven't seen it. I'm waiting till I'm 35. He obviously did not get it but told me instead that his uncle owned oil. Then later further info was gleaned that he once owned a pet monkey and went to military school. At this point I stopped talking to him, for fear that in 10 years time he will probably run and own many things.

I haven't been to Spain in years. I'm looking forward to checking up on rainfall in both the high and plain areas just to prove the saying wrong as I have on previous visits. It doesn't mostly fall there, we were lied to. I will be doing further investigations like this whilst away so if you have any queries on Spain or any requests please leave a comment and I will try my best to find out for you. Until then, all blogs will probably be very tiny as I'm on holiday. That means I don't want to type or think or eat or sleep. Except the last two, of which I will do loads.

Some quick notes for whilst I'm away.

1) Fat Tuesday happens three times this week. Monday is Marcus Brigstoke and Pete Johansson. Tuesday is Glenn Wool and Matt Kirshen and then Wednesday is Marcus Brigstoke again and Mark Walker. It will be good. Have a look at for details and ticket booking. I won't be there obviously so Georgie will be running it all. Go and poke him in the eye then laugh.

2) Me and Tom Craine have decided to do a last minute preview next Sunday at the lovely Bookshop Theatre, at Calder's bookshop in Waterloo. I have no idea how much tickets are but they'll probably be cheap. It starts at 7.30pm and all details are here:

Right I'm off for sun, sea, sand, sangria's and whatever else was in the Capri Sun advert years ago. Probably Capri Sun. I'm pleased I don't drink juice from a space tin anymore. Just seems wrong. Astronauts are rubbish. No way as good as astroones or astrotwos. And on that bombshell, off to Espana!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Inflatable Cocks

In just 20 hours I get to go on the first holiday I've had in nearly two years. Generally holidays are a sticky subject between myself and Layla as she only has school holidays in which she can go away, and unfortunately school holidays are prime gig season all year round. Ideally I should go on holiday beginning of September or early January, both of which are the exact times Layla's teaching term starts again. So we squeezed in a week at her parents time share in Marbella, starting at 7am tomorrow when we fly to Spain. I seriously can't wait, but I'm scared that going away this soon before Edinburgh means I will be pacing around worrying about my show when I should be sunbathing, drinking sangria's, pronouncing 'jalapeno' wrong and pointing and shouting at things I don't know words in Spanish for i.e. everything. I bloody love holidays and have really missed the sunshine and beaches. I know its been sunny in the UK but its never the same is it? English sunshine comes attached with many unwanted extras where I live. Lots of humidity, London pollution, the tubes become horrible, traffic unbearable and of course you are still surrounded by irritating Brits, who are generally the people I want to go away to avoid. Whereas in the part of Spain we're going to there will be blue skies, beautiful sea and sand, great food and loads of Brits. Shit. Something's gone wrong there. Actually Layla has told me that not many Brits go to the part we are heading to, but there are lots of Germans. While I understand that this may be a mildly racist stereotype of the Germans, I do also feel relieved that there is absolutely no chance of having to do any comedy whatsoever. Genuinely quite excited at the prospect of getting enough sunshine so that there is absolutely no chance of getting rickets in Edinburgh or being affected by the damp. To be honest I'm not sure if its possible to get enough sunshine to counteract either of those and I'm worried that I may end up burnt to a crisp in my attempt to do that. I will probably end up burnt to a crisp anyway. I forget every year just how nice sunburn feels while its happening and am constantly lured into a false sense of enjoyment as the sun gently warms me. Only, then, four hours later, for everything to change and its true burning intentions appear as suddenly I become the embodiment of pain and unable to go outside for the rest of the trip.

Before any of this happens though, I have a kids comedy gig this afternoon. I haven't done one in ages and need the practice before the large amount of kids shows I'm doing in Edinburgh. I'm hoping that after Friday's stinker, that the comedy karma god is looking on me and making the rest of the weekend ace, so that today can go well. Last night went stupidly well, which I can only assume is some sort of balance for PJ Harvey ruining Friday. My worry now though is that I have redressed the balance and today may well be rubbish as a consequence. I mean, it really was stupidly nice. The Komedia is officially my favourite venue I think. Its constantly a great crowd in a great room and it takes a lot of effort to get it wrong there. Believe me, I've tried. Not intentionally you understand, but last night at the late show, some new material popped out and I mumbled a few words and they carried on listening and enjoying it. Other gigs would have turned then and there, but not those Brightonians. If they only had three or four more car parking opportunities that didn't cost the price of a small flat, then I think it would be a contender for top city. The later gig was good fun, but the early gig was so nice I got anti-heckled. I really wasn't sure what to do with this. During the second interval I had heard loads of lads cheering and so when I walked on I asked the stag do that were in what they were cheering for, wanting to know what had happened. One of them then said, in all sincerity, 'We're cheering 'cos you're brilliant.' It was so lovely and yet I went all speechless, before telling him I had no idea how to deal with an ti-heckle and told him to fuck off. I worry that this is not the best way to gain fans, although it does adhere to the 'treat em mean, keep em keen philosophy'. Perhaps I need to step this up and if it ever happens again, just head over and glass them or something. I bet that's how the pros do it. Overall a truly good night with all the other acts being truly ace. Some grand stuff from Steve Williams and Eddy Brimson, while Steve Harris stormed it to the extent that an elderly lady with dyed red hair wanted to sleep with him. Really. In fact she wouldn't let it go to the point where she asked the bouncer to go and get him and he had to hide back stage till she left at the end. Scary.

One of the true highlights of the evening was spotting this as we went for a walk around Brighton between the shows:

There are times when a drunken man's efforts should be rewarded. And lets face it this was clearly done by a drunken man. Its the sort of puerile, moronic thing that a drunken man would spend far too much time on. And so he should as its bloody brilliant and very funny and provided me, Eddy and Steve with at least two minutes of genius laughter. This laughter was then bludgeoned by the shock of a very attractive girl in a short skirt asking everyone around 'does anyone want a kebab?' before lifting her skirt and pants up. While there are many hot blooded males out there that would have gladly enjoyed such a display, I have to say I felt a tad disgusted at just how eager she was to get her vag out. I take back what I typed earlier, Brighton on a Saturday is a not a great place to be. Walking past a karaoke bar where there were three women dressed as a policewoman, a banana and a slut (think that's what she was) singing badly while sitting on giant inflatable cocks, Eddy shouted 'welcome to England, this is the only place in the world where people do that kind of stupid shit.' And he's completely right. How anyone can be proud of a country where a city can't have a weekend without inflatable cocks, I just don't know. Other countries are known for their edible delicacies, incredible landmarks etc. I'm sure that it is just a matter of years before the UK becomes known entirely for hen and stag dos with their stupid costumes and ability to vomit on themselves without really caring. That's why I'm looking forward to Spain. No inflatable cocks there. Apart from my cock shaped lilo that is.

Now that's a gag I won't be doing at the kids comedy show......

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Prominent Jaw and Stinkleman

I hate PJ Harvey. Up until yesterday I was a fan of her music. She is playing Camp Bestival today and I was really weighing up the odds of staying at Camp Bestival to see her or not. I almost didn't have a choice as I had to cancel my gig in Leeds because they needed me at the festival for Saturday then they didn't and now tonight I'm going to be in Brighton instead. Which I'm pleased about. As PJ Harvey isn't in Brighton. I don't hate her music. Far from it. I would have quite liked to have seen her tonight. I don't hate her in person either. I mean I might do, but having never met her this would be rather mean. Unless of course she is a twat in real life which is possible. Its possible because she told the Bestival people she did not want to play the main stage, and therefore they had to build a Big Top tent at the other side of the field for her. This meant they did not build the usual cosy comedy tent in its place. This consequently meant that comedy was to use the Big Top tent when it was on and due to PJ Harvey it could not be on all weekend. Ultimately this meant that I had to play a tent for about 2000 people with only about 80 in it and have a 20 minute set that felt like it went on for a torturous eternity. Of those 80 people half were kids and half were adults. The adults did not like my kids material. The kids did not like my adult material. This meant some of them left. This meant the set got even worse. And what all of this means is that I HATE PJ HARVEY. For it is all her fault. Carl Donnelly also pointed out she has a much larger lower half of her face than the top half. I haven't even looked at pictures to verify this but I believe him and perhaps wonder if her stupid half big face means she was too scared to be seen on the main stage. I hope so and I laugh at her giant chin. I bet PJ stands for something stupid like Prominent Jaw.

It doesn't. It stands for Polly Jean. And I still like her music. And her. But not much. It didn't help that there were lots of other elements wrong with yesterday. The five hour car journey was no joy. Well it was but only because of Layla constantly berating Matt Reed for his Casanova ways, some serious funk dancing, questions about 'would you rather' often involving seriously ugly people that we passed on the way, and the saddest pirate I've ever seen. He was standing in a service station off the M27. Dressed in full pirate regalia he tried to offer balloon animals to all the customers but most of them gave him looks like he'd just asked to kick their pets. We didn't give him that look. We laughed and pointed a bit. Which probably didn't help. He had such a miserable face on, and I wondered what was going on in his head. Possibly the constant question of 'Why? Why oh why?' I said he was called Long Faced Silver. This didn't help. When we finally arrived it took another 40 minutes just to get our wristbands and work out that the artists car park was as far away from the field as it could be before it became a different area of the UK.

Camp Bestival is a great festival for families. In fact, possibly the best family based festival event there is. However, for everyone else, its a bit lame. By 6pm most of the tent's had closed. There wasn't much left going on the music stage. Florence and the Machine were no way as good as when we saw them at Blur. Florence's voice was not on form. I assume her machine was a bit broken. I honestly don't know why she ever joined the machine and didn't just form a band with the rest of the Magic Roundabout. Dillon was ace on guitar. The night was by Kid Creole and the Coconuts who only sing one song I've heard of which is basically about telling a child you're not remotely related to them - 'Annie, I'm Not Your Daddy'. After they sung this I saw a crying child. I wonder if the song had sparked off a rather awkward conversation about family truths. Layla and I stuck around for a few hours, watching all the other comics walk offstage just as annoyed with PJ Harvey as I was. Scouting out the grounds we saw a giant Spongebob Squarepants tent. Inside kids were running amok. None of us had any idea what was going on in there, but the children were properly going crazy. I can only assume sponges are like catnip for kids. This may be why they hate having baths as they know how nuts it will make them. I like Spongebob Squarepants, but I also pity him. If he ever pissed himself it would stick around in those pants for ages until he was able to wring them out. No one wants that.

After queueing up for 30 minutes for some churros (which are totally worth it) we escaped. Never have I felt happier about not camping somewhere or using festival loos. It had been a fun trip but not really that fun. In fact it wasn't fun at all. It was the opposite of fun. It was nuf. That's not true. It was a bit fun, like fu. On the journey home we heard Sarah Millican and Tom Craine on Claudia Winkleman's Radio 2 show. They were both great on it, but, and I've said it before, Winkleman is such a vacuous twat. After Tom's appearance she said she had had a text through. I thought it might've been a nice comment on the comedy, but instead it was someone asking Claudia where she gets her hair done. Its a radio show. I can't see her hair. I don't think her hair is part of the topic of this week's cultural events. What I do think is that Stinkleman (which is what I call her) is an idiot. Her laughter during Tom's 2 min set was so off putting. Not because it didn't deserve laughter, but more because no one deserves her laughter. Its a horrible insincere sound like someone punching a cat. One day, someone at Radio 2 will actually listen to the show, realise what horror's they've unleashed and ban her and her stupid face. Even if she has nice hair.

That's now Stinkleman and Harvey newly added on my hate list. It grows ever longer by the day. I fear this is old age. On the other hand it could also be that more idiots are getting better profiles. Tonight I am back to normal gigs at the lovely Komedia. Very pleased my gig mess all worked out and actually look forward to normal audiences, even if it contains hens and stags. As long as they haven't moved the venue to a giant tent because a music star said so, I think it should be fine.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Camp Bestival

There is a Matt Reed in my house. He was staying in London and made to leave the flat very early, so instead of letting him wander the streets of Finsbury Park by himself we have taken him in, given him tea, and hidden the valuables. The morning is to be spent watching Jeremy Kyle and relating the people on it to audience members we have dealt with. So far everyone has come from a Jongleurs or the Hyena. Matt's here because in a few short hours we are heading to Camp Bestival. Despite how it sounds, its not like Bestival but with jazz hands. In fact its the more family orientated version of Bestival, with a whole kids field and music going on no later than 11pm. Its all quite lovely. Or at least it should be. The plan was that Layla was going to come along and we were going to have a lovely afternoon watching music and things then head back late tonight after my gig. But it looks like the weather is going to be full of rain. Which changes everything.

I hate rain at festivals. I'm not the world's biggest festival fan as it is, but when the entire time spent at a festival is used wading through three miles of mud and other people's shit, I can't see where the fun is. It's usually buried under three feet of dirt. Last year's Bestival was such a hideous experience. The comedy tent was so flooded that if they had turned the generator on for the microphone, everyone in the near area would have been electrocuted. While there are certain gigs I would love to see that happen to the crowd, it felt unecessary to do that to Bestivalers and the tent was cancelled. I ended up sitting around for three days doing nothing, hoping the tent would re-open so I could gig. It didn't and I didn't. Well except for my spot on the X-Box Live stage. It wasn't really a spot, considering I was introduced by the DJ saying 'I'm going away for 30 mins while some comedian comes on. Don't worry I'll be back in a bit.' I then walked on stage while a man dressed as a boat rowed himself across the room and a lot of people got annoyed they had to stop dancing. Still several weeks later, a free Xbox 360 arrived at my house and suddenly that man rowing himself seemed like an almost fond memory as I spent sufficient hours blowing pixels up.

So deciding whether to sit at home and leave at the last minute in time to do my gig then leave, or get my wellies on and head down for the afternoon, strolling past face painted children who are so soaked with rain that it looks like their head is melting. To be fair the latter does sound fun. If you are going along this weekend, come along to the comedy tent. I'm on at 19.40 but it's a pretty great bill all night long.

Must go, Reed's rummaging through my DVD's and I want to make sure he only pinches the shit ones. Longer blog tomorrow peoples, unless I have drowned in mud and despair.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Death of the Mullet

I've got to go and get my haircut in a minute. I've been needing a chop and a snip for sometime now, but have been trying to leave it as close to going away as possible as I know I won't be able to get it cut in Spain or Scotland. They don't have barbers there. They just grow hair until it gets so long it just falls off. Maybe. What's more likely is that I still trust my local scary lady from Kiev who cuts my hair with a razor and I don't want to trust someone else to touch these locks. They are locks at the moment. I look like I've been thrown forward in time from the 80s, which oddly enough means I'm probably currently in fashion with much of the yoof. Perhaps I should leave it like this and don some jeans that look like they are trying to strangle my legs and some sunglasses that appear to be a joke but aren't. I prefer the idea of just getting my hair cut. But which one to cut? Arf. Sorry. That was a clear dad joke. Its up there with when you trip over and my Dad says 'have a nice trip? I didn't get a postcard.' That used to annoy me so much, as rare as it was that sturdy Douieb Jnr had a fall. When I was 9 and I fell over in our own house on nothing and the comment was made, I resorted to writing on the back of an old postcard that my fall was rubbish and glad you aren't here. This did not stop the comment from happening again.

I did my last ever preview last night. It was the lastest time I will get to do my show before I head to Edinburgh for the slog of the fest. I had felt fairly confident about the show after the previous night and had hoped I might get a few crowds in from Twittering about it constantly. Sadly as I walked out onto the stage I could see the faces of every single person there, and I knew everyone. All 12 of them. Layla was doing my teching and accidentally left the house lights up, which I couldnt figure out for a while until it was far too late to turn them off. So I stared her parents, my cousin, and various friend and industry peoples in the face and went for it. I have to say I didn't enjoy it as much as Tuesday. Its hard going from 70 people you don't know to 12 you do. In fact I find it much harder to gig when people I know are in the room. It gives me horrible flashbacks to a Jongleurs try out I had where 5 minutes before I walked on stage I bumped into Layla's sister-in-law's sister (get your head around that), said hello then promptly walked on stage to die horribly for 10 whole minutes. However everyone seemed to enjoy it. There were some people there I hadn't seen in ages like my cousin and my friend Casey, and there was also Layla's parents which was worried me the most. Luckily they both were very complimentary and seemed to ignore the comments and jokes on not yet having married their daughter. I am scared this will be used against me at a later date. My favourite compliment was from the eldest Byrne brother, Stevie who just walked up to me afterwards, patted me on the arm and just said 'you've got nothing to worry about'. Since then I have stopped worrying. Well mostly. There is still a bit of worry and I have a few things to tweak, but I've also got two whole weeks. Unfortunately in those two weeks I won't be performing the show to anyone so I expect some random Spanish people will have to deal with an impromptu show next week.

More squash today with Craine. My knee is still sore from my sliding tactics last week so none of that. I do however have my Bjorn Borg headband which will come out in force, no matter how twattish I may look. Tom won't see it coming and that headband will hopefully cause him to laugh so hard he'll miss all shots making me the ultimate victor. Even more so than Victor Hugo. More victor than him.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Preview Finale

This blog is late. Much later than I intended. I went out for what was meant to be 30 minutes to pick up some giant pictures of cheese and men wearing monocles on expensive bits of card so I can use them for one 30 second joke in my Edinburgh show, and I ended up going round to my parents house to move boxes for three hours. I did not expect the latter bit and now my arms hurt. My parents are getting a new kitchen put in. Instead of putting it in the room where the old kitchen is, they are putting it in a different room and taking the old kitchen away and putting something else there. I don't know why people do these sort of things. I'm sure it'll all look lovely but when something is one place I don't get why you would take it out that place and put it in another place. Layla does this a lot. I often come home to find furniture in different places and arrangements, only for her to decide it looked better the first time round and move it all back a day later. Its really lucky I'm not blind or I would constantly be walking into things. To be fair, despite my full 20/20 vision I still end up walking into things. I think I may just be an idiot. So what my parents kitchen shuffle means is that lots of things in the soon-to-be-kitchen need to no longer be there. This includes about 20 odd boxes of books and various other heavy things, which this loving son carried up three flights of stairs for three hours. My arms now hate me, my legs are fairly angry, while my stomach doesn't know what all the fuss is about as it got to eat a homemade lunch. Homemade lunches are, as far as I'm concerned, a very good payment for most things. When I say most things, I mean helping family or friends. If I did gigs and only got paid lunch I think I'd be very poor and massively fat, neither of which are good things. Though I do wonder if certain career payment options like that do exist as I've definitely seen a lot of people who demonstrate both those qualities.

Its my final Edinburgh preview tonight. I wish I had a few more in, but me and Layla are having a mini-holiday next week before I then head up to Edinburgh so there is no time to fit further gigs in. It definitely still needs work and I'm cutting this blog fairly short today in order to do some of it. I have had a certain level of confidence instilled in me after last night's show at Fat Tuesday. An unfortunate set of circumstances meant that Stephen K Amos had to go on first, swapping around the usual comedy hierarchical order of the night. It is generally the act on the tellybox who goes on last while the act who just owns a telly who goes on first. We had a sell out crowd and about half were not regulars, so I thought that after Stephen had been on, they would probably all leave. Amos's show was great and he completely stormed it, making me squirm with nerves more than a worm having ten heart attacks. It still bothers me that worms have ten hearts. It should make them the most lovable creatures on the planet yet they just look disgusting. No one will ever really love a worm. Maybe that's why it has ten hearts, to deal with heartbreak easier as their mates reject them again and again for not having a face. It could also be evolutions way of helping the worm adapt to kids cutting them up.

After the interval I was completely shocked by the return of all but about 7 of the crowd. They had stayed. I felt so happy by this that I made a cheap joke about Amos being a 'great support act' and from then on they were on my side. It was brilliant. As you may have noticed before, when gigs go well it makes for tedious writing so I will leave it there. Lots of people were very lovely about it all and a mention must be made to Jon (@MasieyJon) and Adelie (@Aroldite) who had brought me a gift of a Bjorn Borg headband and some fortune cookies. The headband is for squash playing and is its Bjorn Borg it means hopefully now I will be able to play squash like a tennis pro. I have since realise this is nowhere near as good as playing squash like a squash champion, but it has also made me realise that I should get Tom Craine a headband from a famous fisherman or bowels champion and that way I'll still have the upper hand. After the show Layla, Mat, my agent Brett and myself all indulged in a fortune cookie. Mine said 'The higher they rise, the harder they fall'. I hope the use of 'they' means someone else and in which case I will keep a look out for the street performers in Edinburgh when they balance on stuff just incase. Either that or Michael McIntyre's about to cuss someone's granddaughter on their answerphone.

As I typed, last show tonight. Would love you to be there. Yes you. Its at the Hen and Chickens in Islington at 7.30. Be there or, er, don't be there. Its only those two options. You can't partially be there. Or be there a bit. It just isn't possible. Sorry.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Zombie Hunter

I watched 28 Weeks Later last night. Having seen 28 Days Later several times and then calling my show 28 Years Later, I felt it was only right to familiarise myself with the second installment of the infected 'zombie' horror movie franchise. It goes without saying that it terrified me for some time afterwards. During the course of the film there were several jumps, one or two tight grips of Layla's arm, one milkshake made from ice-cream and Ferro Roche, and one turn 'urgh' moment when Robert Carlisyle pokes his wife's eyes out using his thumbs. I don't care how angry I get I will never do that. Its not so much that I wouldn't like inflicting that level of pain or disfigurement on someone, which I wouldn't, but also, eye goo on the thumbs? Excuse me while I vom into my own mouth. Which to be fair, is also a disgusting thing to do and would probably start me on some sort of disgusting vomiting cycle. Not dissimilar to when I saw the first Jackass film with the vomlette or when my friend Louis put a porn film called Clusterfuck on the television. There was a moment with a teaspoon that I never ever want to see again ever. To say I am squeamish would be only partly correct as its only stuff to do with certain body parts that gets me retching. Eyes are the biggy. Any eye damage can not be tolerated. Even the moment in Terminator when he forks his own robotic eye out gets me wincing like an incey spider. However any heads exploding, guts ripped out, legs pulled off, I can handle. So not completely squeamish. Just Squea. Or mish. Overall though, while not as chilling as 28 Days Later, the sequel is still very good with a high level of violence, running around and Stringer Bell which is what you want. The ending annoyed me a bit in that 'why o why would they do that' sort of way. I would put a big capital leters bit here saying SPOILERS but you've probably all seen it ages ago so sod you. If the world is full of scary scary fast running zombie people, WHY HEAD INTO A DARK TUBE STATION???? IDIOTS! When will they ever learn? One day they will make a film about zombies with only intelligent people in it. It will involve them just holing up in one room for years and years. It'll be dull and more like Anne Frank than Evil Dead, but I will be happy.

It was a combination of this thinking and a message on Twitter from @nwoolhouseuk that led me to find the website for the Zombie Hunters - Here is a group of people that are prepared for the possibility of a zompocalypse by giving seminars and having barbecues and things like that. Admittedly I can't see how having barbecues could help. Zombies, unlike moths, don't mind a bit of smoke, and they definitely like meat. I can't help but feel they've got that bit wrong. Apart from that though they have got most things right, and to a degree of seriousness that worries me a bit. Have a read of the forums, and see just how serious these people are about protecting themselves against zombies. There are serious discussions about what provisions you would need and how to barricade up your house. The irony being of course that this level of geekery about the subject means they are probably mostly fat beardy blokes who couldn't run from a zombie if they tried their best. That and when they are captured they would be providing the undead with a tasty feast of large portions. I mock but should we be overrun by the undead or infected then I will happily use their advice, once I've plucked it out of the severed hand of a dead fat man. They have a truly awesome slogan which is 'We make dead things deader'. I like this although its only good in relation to zombies. As far as anything else is concerned it just becomes creepy. Funerals would be ruined and no one ever trusts someone who spends ages stamping on a bit of roadkill. So I took all that into consideration and joined up to be a Zombie Hunter and got a t-shirt too. It felt only right to do so and it gives me 4 more minutes of material about zombies for the show which is handy. I then stayed up writing and had to go round the house double checking what protection we had if hordes of evil started banging on window. Turns out we have a reasonable amount. Living in Finsbury Park the previous owners had put removable bars over the windows and a gate infront of the door. I can't help but wonder if they were a little paranoid or had moved over from Compton, but should the world end via facebiting braindeads then they've done us a big favour.

Fat Tuesday tonight and rather oddly as well as Stephen K Amos, its my preview too. Even more oddly than that, Amos has to open so I'm closing my own gig. I can't help but feel that its all a little odd and I feel a bit nervous about it. I mean, if I die here, then it will hurt more than most gigs. I'm also a bit scared that most of the punters will leave after Amos. I'm hoping that my constant MCing and running of Fat Tuesday will provide enough loyalty that they stick around. And if they don't I will call Zombie Squad and say they were all staring at me vacantly before aimlessly wandering off. Hopefully that will be enough for a Code Red and they'll all get eliminated. I like my new Zombie Hunter powers.

Some quick links:

My last two previews before Edinburgh are tonight and tomorrow. Tonight, as said above, is Fat Tuesday. Tickets can be bought at:

Tomorrow is at the Hen and Chickens at 7.30 and its somewhere on this long webpage here to buy tickets:

If you don't come to either of those, come to the show in Edinburgh where you can get tickets at and if you don't do that you are a big bumhole and there's no getting out of it.

Finally, everyone and their dog has now seen it but I haven't yet posted it up here, so presenting Dan Antopolski's Sandwich Rap (featuring me as a little chef and loads of other comedians):

Monday, July 20, 2009

Picture This

Why is it so difficult to find a hi-res image of a piece of cheese? Ok realistically I can't imagine why many people would ever take pictures of cheese, then make them hi-res and put them online for the joy of everyone to see. But at the same time the internet has entire websites dedicated to pets with stuff on them, giant versions of sweets, even Gary Wilmot has a webpage which is as hugely pointless as it gets considering no one really gives a toss what he's doing with his wasted life anymore. So the web should be filled with hi-res pictures of cheese. There should be pages and pages of cheesiness ready for me to download with utter simplicity. And yet instead, the cheese eludes me. I have searched google images for nigh on days now and all I can find are low res images of tacky looking cheese boards. The kind you might get in a hotel that doesn't really care or perhaps a party where the hosts have bought all the food from Iceland. Kerry Katona's cheeseboard for example. One brie, one value cheddar, one upturned pot of Philadelphia, four fag butts and twelve ounces of disappointment. To find a decent cheese picture I have looked at various online galleries where you pay for a licence to use the cheese. It asks for what purpose the use is before a price is decided and to use a picture of a slice of cheese for a small theatre show for one month is a very reasonable.....£145?!?!? £145 for a picture of a slice of cheese? Has the world gone completely insane? If I had been even remotely clever I'd could have bought some cheese for a couple of quid, taken a picture myself, used that for me, then uploaded it and charged the world £145 for it. In fact maybe that's what I should do. I also need a picture of a wrinkly old man and someone dressed very smart and wearing a monocle. Its all for one joke. One joke I am seriously considering not dong anymore if it means paying £145 for a stupid picture of cheese. Maybe its aimed at mice who think its real art?

Had a bit of a lovely day yesterday. Which is thoroughly boring for you. Sorry about that. I have learnt that while disappointments are not appreciated at the time, they create a better blog. As it is apart from cheese rage, I got to eat a very nice Sunday lunch at our friends house, consisting of veggie Toad in the Hole and then blackberry crumble and custard. Both of those dishes were awesome although I am always confused as to why Toad in the Hole is called such a thing. Sausages do not look like toads. Not even those weird ugly brown toads. If anything they look more like turds. Maybe it should be called Turd in the Hole? Although I suppose it wouldn't be as popular a dish. And instead sound like a fetish website. Crumble is as it says, so that's all fine. It also causes you to physically crumble for hours afterwards. Its a double edged sword of dessert danger. I'm not sure how anyone ever gets anything done after a crumble. Whole nations could stop if they were to be fed crumble for breakfast. It would be like a very mild version of chemical warfare. Without chemicals, or war. In fact I think we may have sold all further wars. Lets get loads of Northern ladies to make batches of good crumble and send it over, thus crippling all other armies and we can just stroll in and win while they hold their stomachs, sit in comfy chairs and occasionally exhale breath while flicking through the telly channels.

I had to gig last night, which was not ideal. Luckily there was some processing time between crumble and gig, but it would never be enough. Annoyingly for you - the reader, the gig was so delightful all crumble pain was ignored, so instead I could focus all attention on speaking to a man called Gabriel who worked for Google and sat in the front row. That's the sort of golden opportunity for a gig. Inventive name combined with job that can be joked about for the duration of the show. He was accompanied (in terms of audience) by several Irish actresses, a man who makes music for stage shows, a Spanish neuro-linguist who couldn't pronounce 'neuro-linguist' and a political scientist from San Francisco. To top it off the gig was the brilliant Downstairs at the Kings Head which is 10 mins from my house. Sickening isn't it? Its all a bit nice and everything. Well do not fear as today is to be spent doing work on my Edinburgh show which will no doubt cause some anger and distress at trying to find further pictures of cheese and generally not doing the work I'm meant to be doing. Fingers crossed something does go horribly wrong just for your sake. I will hate it if it does but I'm caring like that. I'm all for the people. Like a blogging whore. Except you don't pay me. Maybe that's something I should look into. Getting paid, not whoring. Although I am still short of Edinburgh funding with only two weeks to go, so that might be a viable option too. I could have a card saying 'Short, beardy man will do only certain things for pictures of cheese.' I reckon the work will come flooding in. I don't like the idea of being flooded. Think I may try and get an extra £145.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Brevity is the Key To Wit

This blog shall be brief as I have timed my day very badly and slept a bit more than was necessary. I say that but its a Sunday, so there is no amount of sleep that is unnecessary. Unless of course you are due to be at someone's house for lunch. Which me and Layla are. So I'm afraid this blog takes the hit. Either I write for you lovely people/one person or our actual friends get a bit upset. As it is, I don't like letting Randolph down (new readers please see previous blogs. Not that there are any new readers, as its just Randolph that reads this) but he has survived worse situations. Like the time where just as he was about to grab the ancient idol of Pika Chu, a big snake ate it and then the snake was eaten by a tiger. Then just as Randolph was about to kill the tiger he sneezed and it went everywhere but he didn't have any tissues and as he was searching for some he discovered there was a squashed banana in the bottom of his bag. I mean if that isn't nightmarish, I don't know what is. So a small blog shouldn't upset him too much.

Begin cheaty bullet point blog:

- Got my new trainers. After hours of searching around I eventually bought them in JD Sports which made me feel a little bit scummy but they are nice trainers. I'm fairly sure though that the JD stands for Juvenile Delinquent as that is what most of the staff are. 'Oi, you want help or suffink?' No I believe it is you who needs help with manners and probably how to read, write and not stab people.

- Most new trainers seem to have had the design brief that they are to have colours that would make epileptics have a fit thrown on in a fashion that looks as though they've been stuck on by a malcoordinated child. I have never wanted to draw that much attention to my feet. Generally they are not people's favourite body part. I wonder if the next step for the idiots that wear golden and flourescent green trainers is to have jeans with arrows on pointing downwards and a big sign saying 'look at my over elaborate feet because my cock is tiny'.

- I got Adidas again. This means I can still sing 'My Adidas' on a day to day basis. Nike doesn't have a song. Take that Nike.

- The West End on a Saturday is a stupid place filled with too many people. Still think there should be a pavement fast lane so I don't stuck behind dawdling idiots. They could all dawdle in the slow lane where hopefully they would all trample each other to death and piss off.

- I also bought a case for my ipod that means a bear could stand on it and a train could hit it and it'd be fine. Well I think it would survive me dropping it a bit anyway. This is necessary after the way in which my last phone became victim to the urinal at Old Rope. I would like a case for most things I own. After hurting my knee sliding on the floor while playing squash on Friday, I'm wondering if they sell knee cases? Not pads, cases.

- Komedia Late Show was lovely. They were a bit tired, but very nice. Not a single stag do in sight. Brighton vs Newcastle. Brighton wins. They were a bit slow though. I asked a nurse what area she specialised in and she said 'gastroenterology'. I said I bet that's a gas. No one got it. Idiots. Although on second thoughts, it could be because it was a shit gag. Shit gag, geddit?

- One of the acts (who shall remain nameless) made a non-ironic joke about how if he wanted a 'woman's opinion, I'd go into the kitchen and ask her for one'. I spent some time wandering around backstage looking for the time machine that had sent me back to 1974. Can't believe those jokes still happen. I also can't believe no one in a liberal Brighton crowd hit him for it. I really really can't believe that all of them laughed. Somewhere Emiline Pankhurst is wondering why she bothered.

- I like jelly beans. But I really shouldn't like jelly beans. Three of them and I drove faster than I should do. Bad jelly beans.

Right. That was brief. Shakespeare said that 'brevity is the key to wit'. Somehow after re-reading this, I think that is not true. Shakespeare was a dick. No one liked him because he spoke like a twat.

'You want to play footie Shakespeare?'

'Forsooth, the game of ball and foot! A merry game shall we have upon the moors.'

'Well if you're going to be like that you can't play.'

Then they all pushed him over.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Trainer Day

Trainers, sneakers, runners, fancy man shoes, bits of plastic and leather made by kids in sweat shops, shoe champions, not-gloves, foot warmers, trouser stoppers - whatever you want to call them, I'm going to buy some today. Once a year I have trainer day where I spend far too long trying to find one pair of trainers that will endure endless wear and tear for an entire year. I would not survive without trainers, they are the only shoes my feet get on with. I have others, oh yes, but they only appear on rare occasion. My smart shoes are there for suit days, my Timberlands arrive when its stupidly cold, or I need to kick someone very hard or cut trees. Then there are the Birkenstocks which appear a few times every summer to cut the crap out of my feet. But above all of those are the trainers. They are used for stage, life and general feet action. Currently my pair of Adidas and me have been through a lot. They've travelled to many a location with me and occasionally I've rewarded them by singing 'My Adidas', which I think they like. However, carrying the weight of the Douieb has taken its toll and there are visable tears meaning its time for them to visit the big trainer scrap heap in the sky. I like to think of trainers chatting like in the Shoe People, discussing who's feet they used to enclose. Each one trying to trump the others. Somewhere Michael Jordan's trainers sit on a throne, knowing they were made especially. Meanwhile a pair of matchbox trainers sits enjoying the fact that it ruined the life of a child who was constantly mocked in the playground and occasionally beaten up for the shitness of their trainers.

At my school trainers were a big deal. We had no uniform, which was seen as liberal and clever. It was nice in a way that students had their individuality and - as long as it didn't have swear words or rude images on - could wear what they liked. IN theory great. In practice dangerous. Mostly because kids are materialistic bastards. Day in, day out, those that wore clothes with no labels or kept that pair of Hi-Tec slightly longer than the 'fashionable until' date were picked on. Several faux pas were made, personal ones including some large black Kangeroo trainers that looked like I was wearing a small bear on either foot, and a Wolverine t-shirt, that now would be cool but back then, irony was lost and perhaps not even intended and I was deemed a geek. Various insults were given, hard times were had. It was curious how the kids from the estate who never had enough money for lunch, always had the best trainers and therefore would dish out the viciousness if no one else did. If the malnourished and uneducated wear the best clothes it seems to be a fast track to the top of school hierachy. This also happens in the real world. Look at Jordan for example. Although I suppose her career has been based on a lack of clothes. And sucking cock.

So it has been ingrained in me to buy trainers that others won't mock. I wouldn't assume people spend time doing that anymore, but I often sit on the tube and laugh at other people's poor dress sense. Therefore if I am that materialistic and heartless, then its highly likely others will be too. Last night while out, Layla noticed a man who was wearing the same girly ring as she was. That pretty much ruined my night, as I could not look in his general direction without saying something snidey and giggling a lot. So today will be an arduous task. I hate shopping like a woman but for trainers the constant in and out of shops must be done until I find the perfect pair. My favourite shop is a place called 'Size?' I like it not only because of its good range of good trainers, but more because I have to pronounce the question mark whenever I refer to it. A rugby playing drama student at my university used to say he would call his first born child 'Steve?' with that question mark firmly in place. That way when he called him it would always sound like a question and when he said 'I love you Steve?' it would place doubt on whether or not it was meant. Barry was a very odd man, which I suppose should've been evident from the love of both scrums and performance spaces. Whenever he was teching a show in any of the Drama spaces he would often turn all the lights out briefly and then say out aloud that he was going to skull fuck you. I am still a little bit scared that this day will come.

Later tonight I'm at the Komedia in Brighton, just for the late show, due to a drop out. I was pencilled in for Latitude this weekend but then I got pencilled out again. This is the problem with pencils - the ability to erase all evidence. I should have gone to the bookers offices and rubbed a crayon over their diary so it appeared I was still on the line-up. Saying that, the rain has made me feel a lot better about not being there. Instead I will grace the Komedia stage with my swanky new trainers.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wait Till You Play The Drums.....

I feel damaged by Guitar Hero. Until last night I'd never played it before and had no idea it was so brain damaging. I think it may have something to do with my lack of coordination. Hitting all the different coloured buttons at the right time, to music, just doesn't work with my brain. They said that creative people have issues with this and while I'd love to pretend that's my excuse, its more likely just because I am a malcoordinated fool. I've always had problems with things like that. I am still the only person I know who has forgotten how to ride a bike. Despite what they say, it is possible. And it took me far too long to pass my driving test because of working out doing the clutch and pedals and looking and steering all at once. Michael Knight just spoke to KITT and that worked so I had no clue cars would require more thought than that. Sadly it did. Not the computer test. I did that easily. After years of growing up playing the most basic of driving games I was almost sure I would get to the final level, collect an Uzi and kill the end of level boss. After avoiding the kid with the ball in the street obviously. Then finally when I had nailed the driving bit, I was failed for one test because an old man crossed the zebra crossing infront of me while an ambulance threw its lights on behind me. Was I to block the ambulance and save the man? Or kill the man and save the person in the ambulance. The test instructor said I took too long to think about it and failed me. I only realise years later that I should have hit the man as he could've got straight into the ambulance. It was like the fox, chicken, grain, boat riddle. Although really that's a shit riddle as why anyone would be transporting a fox anywhere along with a chicken and grain, I really don't know. I mean where are you going to with that apart from maybe an Aardman Animation venture? Chicken and grain, perhaps, but foxes are rarely carted around. They are either hunted by the aristocracy who are pretending not to hunt them, or they are presenting kids TV shows and saying 'Boom Boom'.

It was all hella fun though yesterday. It was an evening of manness. There were beers, barbequeing, talk about banal things, laughing at farts and xbox playing. You could have smelt the testosterone a mile away. I say testosterone, but probably more the smell of BBQ and farts. After the eating, where they all had meat and I quietly eat my quorn burger in the corner, we moved to Guitar Hero and this is when my brain died. Sam had brought the actual guitar controllers and I watched as him, and Stef jammed to Bon Jovi in a way that said 'gaming champions' or 'we don't go out much'. They knew when to lift the guitar up like they were rocking out and would occasionally even bop a bit. Then Mat stepped up and fairly quickly got to grips with it all playing to the Kravitz and other air guitar classics. Finally I gave it a go. Sticking the settings on easy, it only took about four goes before my brain felt dizzy from looking at all the moving colours and I was failing to hit the base notes for the Beastie Boys 'No Sleep Til' Brooklyn'. If you don't know that track, the base notes are pretty simple. In my defence I would like to think that real guitar experts are probably no good at Guitar Hero. I think that the way in which you can only play songs that already exist and not create your own original music destroys the creativity of those aspiring to be true guitar heroes. And what is a Guitar Hero anyway? Someone who saves guitars from the plight of scrap wood? A superhero who can't help civilians but knows the soundtrack to play while they are being attacked? In the game's defence I am also shit at real music and it does have a setting where people can make their own tracks. In conclusion, I am just shit at the game. Mat found you could download Stan Bush's 'The Touch' for free and while awesome that was my last straw. My fingers had some sort of seizure and I was hitting yellow instead of blue, blue instead of red. It left me feeling all a bit woozy. Although that could also have been beer. As we left Sam said that if I thought that was tough 'Wait till you play the drums'. I think I will never play the drums. It might cause some sort of seizure in my retina causing my eyes and brains to explode. When James Brown said 'Give the drummer some' he did not mean some sort of frontal lobe failure.

No gig again tonight, which means more social outings. First some squash with Tom again. We haven't played in over a week and since that time I've drunk a lot to deal with the Hyena and Guitar Hero mishaps. I have a feeling it may hurt, a lot. I'm also scared that my lack of coordination will carry through and I'll just end up hitting myself and others instead of the ball. I have a feeling today maybe the day I get banned from our local sports centre. Still its better its for this than peering at the women's tennis courts all day.....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rush Eternity

How long does rush hour actually last for now? Its not merely an hour, and I think the name now poses some sort of false hope that within 60 minutes you will be freely racing around the city as though you were the only car in the world. In fact, what happens when the initial rush hour period finishes is that another one appears to start almost immediately, blending into the first. This then concurrently happens over the next 12 hours until at about 9 o'clock at night you can finally get out of first gear. Unless you are on the M25 in which case you will be stuck in timeless traffic for eternity. Its just taken me 3 hours to drop my brother at Heathrow airport and come home. I was doing the lovely brotherly gesture so he could get on his way to his holiday in the US, while I selflessly drive home to a slightly cloudy Finsbury Park. I actually don't mind and I'm often pleased to drop people off on holiday. Its picking them up when they come back that I hate. 'I'm so tired' they always say, even though they've been on holiday and have no tiredness rights whatsoever. They should be rested and full of energy. I am the one who is tired, after having been busy and then taking time out to drive to the airport and pick you up, all tanned and happy. Wow this has made me angrier than I thought. No wonder airport cabbies are always angry and/or racist. Think maybe I need a holiday of some sort. Then someone else can pick me up and get miserable.

Last night's Fat Tuesday on a Wednesday was great. Well nearly great. The room was full of lovely people and general excitement due to our guest appearance from Al Murray. Tom Craine went on first and had a great preview. Its a great debut hour and just means there is some other funny bastard I have to compete with in the Edinburgh mayhem. I'll spike his squash ball next time we play out of vengeance. I'm not sure how you spike a squash ball. Maybe just actually put spikes in it. This could be a little much perhaps. Then in the second half Al went on, recreating his 1996 show for his run of classic shows at this year's Fringe. I think Al's ace and so sharp its ridiculous, and most of the crowd thought so too. Except for a couple at the front. Out of 80 people, two right at the front, were miserable. Not only were they miserable, but they were heckly with the miserable, by questioning several things Al said. Things like his comment on how we 'conquered Germany in World War II'. They felt it necessary to point out that we didn't 'conquer' them, completely missing the fact that Al is a character comedian and makes all these comments 'in character', They eventually got rather annoyed at Al's gags and left, at which point the rest of the audience felt relieved and really enjoyed the rest of the show. It made me realise how odd it is when people don't get the idea of a character comic. Or in fact any comedian. I've seen it happen where a crowd has got upset at what an act is saying without really listening to the act, the tone they are saying it in, or waiting for the punchline to follow that actually sets the opinion of the piece. When Richard Herring did FT a few weeks ago and did his new stuff about the BNP (which is hilarious), there was a large part of the crowd laughing with him, knowing he was taking the piss. But then there were a few people who totally didn't get the joke and thought he was being fascistic. It makes me wonder if people should be intelligence checked before they buy their tickets. Or on second thoughts, after they buy their tickets. If they are unable to discern reality from comments made for the purposes of comedy then perhaps they should stay at home and watch video footage of CCTV cameras staring at a wall.

I'm not gigging tonight. Instead I'm going to have some drinks and grub with my three best mates, Mat, Stefan and Sam. The four of us have collectively been mates for about 11 years now, with me knowing Mat for 13 years and Sam and Stefan knowing each other for so long if past lives existed they probably hung out as samurais, or snails. We met after getting cast in a musical at Edmonton theatre that no one likes to mention anymore. As I said, I won't mention it. We've all been best mates ever since but time constraints mean that we rarely get to meet up all at once. Sam does computery things and acting stuff, which is pretty much day and nighttime taken up; Stef does filming and writing stuff which takes away all his sociable hours; I have my unsociable job and Mat pretends to turn up to work every now and then and plays a lot of Xbox. So to rectify this, we have booked a day in the diary (ie today) where we are going to sit in Mat's garden and have some beer and play Guitar Hero until someone makes us stop. Probably our respective girlfriends. I'm seriously looking forward to general chat about lives, what a dick Michael Bay is, and how much we can all insult Mat over an evening. Its been a while but I reckon quite a lot.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


My flat is very grey today. Think its possibly due to the lack of sunlight and the fact I haven't yet put the lights on. I should probably do that. But by not doing it, I can pretend I am helping the planet and at the same time pretend I am in a film noir. Both are bonuses to my usual life and if the rest of the day is spent being an eco-friendly detective then I feel like I might have contributed to the world. Perhaps I can search for the missing canvas bag? On second thoughts even Raymond Chandler probably couldn't make that story interesting. Unless, oooh, and this is an idea, its about a canvas bag with a dead body stuffed inside it? Then the hero could make hilarious and wry quips like 'and here I was thinking that they're meant to be bags for life.' That's all I have right now, but I reckon with time, effort, a storyline, characters and a lot of other words, that could be a killer novel. Or more likely, a novel about a killer.

I've just returned from a meeting of possible importance or possible unimportance. You never really know with these things. What I do know however is that whilst I may attend morning meetings in the physical sense, my mind was still back in bed having a doze. I essentially did just meet people, but the talking element was tad vacant. I suppose that I filled the required criteria. What they should have done was call it a 'talking and idea-ing' and then I would have stepped up my game. Or not. Even after a cappuchino of 'grande' size (which is never as 'grande' as it sounds. I want it massive and on a throne if that's its title), it took a while before my brain could think past the fact that the shop opposite where we were was called 'Villandry'. Whilst using the name for a quick tweet joke about where people might take their wet and grubby evil masterminds, my brain made me spend half an hour thinking about it. While the others were discussing clever telly things, I composed a whole situation where Doctor Doom got gravy on his metal face and couldn't get it off with conventional Persil. The Villandry cleaners told him it had to go on a setting number 4 and he got angry and blew stuff up, until Magneto walked in and got stuck to his face. Which was bad as Magneto had red wine that needed to be removed from his trousers and they couldn't go on the same wash or it'd dye Doom's robes pink. I wonder if this is why I'm not a tellybox star yet. Oh and for all you pedants, I know villain has an extra 'i' in it. So there.

Already though today has gone better than yesterday when I had to cancel Fat Tuesday for the first time in over two years. Bit sad but you have to have limits and only 7 people turned up which just wasn't quite enough. I'm not sure what did it. The line-up was great, and several people had said they would come, but it just didn't happen. I was fairly gutted and spent two hours wondering what might have caused it. Was it that Stewart Lee was playing down the road? Was it that everyone had just decided they hate our gig? Was it that some sort of horrible disaster was about to befall the Islington area and no one had let me know? I worked on the basis of the last one and then got very worried I was about to be attacked by a giant monster or a tidal wave. Not that tidal waves attack you. Or at least not on purpose. That would have made the tsunami even more distressing a few years back if we had found out that wave was getting Thailand back for the time someone had a wee whilst swimming. In the end I waited till the official start time and told the 7 that despite being a lucky number usually, for audience numbers it was shit, and sent them away. I didn't use those words as such, or I don't think they'd come back. I stuck around to meet two further Twitterers - Misha and Abbii aka @HowlieT and @FAbbii - who I knew were heading down and I felt guilty about leaving them to arrive at an empty gig. We went for a drink where I discovered they are not actually old enough to drink which made me feel both like a criminal and down with the kids all at once. I hope this isn't the start of me hanging out near the offy just waiting for teenagers to ask me to buy them 20/20 or whatever gunk it is they now drink. I assume its something better than 20/20 which I'm fairly sure was used as a drink and toilet cleaner. Still, lovely meeting them both and I have learnt some useful things about the state of tea rooms in Coventry.

We have a special Fat Tuesday tonight, with a rather special guest doing a preview of his Edinburgh happenings. We've only got 8 tickets left which is almost an exact reverse of last night's affair. The clever amongst you may say that perhaps tonight's happenings ruined yesterday's but its not all our regulars, so once again I am to assume people thought that a tornado was going to hit. Or maybe that a supervillian who wasn't able to get ribena out of his cape was about to get angry. Either way, lets hope none of those things happen tonight.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Drove All Night

I feel knackered today after my 4 and a half hour drive home last night. No wonder lorry drivers are always such miserable bastards. There is something about monotonous driving for hours that completely wears you out. It doesn't make a lot of sense. Technically you are sitting down, and I don't usually get tired from sitting down. Unless I've eaten vast amounts, then I can get tired doing anything. Except sleeping. Although I have on occasion slept so much that when I wake up I'm still tired. That always leaves me in a conundrum as to what to do, because I want more sleep but if I have more sleep then I'll feel like I need more sleep. I believe that's how Rip Van Winkle started out. And people in comas. A four and half hour drive is bloody long. Thing is, no matter how long it might seem, I'm always reminded of talking to Craig Campbell who once told me about his 24 hour drives to gigs in Canada where after all that driving he would get out, do the gig and then drive back. I think its pretty lucky I don't live in Canada or I might die. If it wasn't the driving then I think it'd only be a matter of time before I got killed by a bear, moose or even a raccoon.

I'm not designed to live in any kind of wilderness as I discovered yesterday afternoon. I say wilderness but actually Eaglescliffe is less wilderness and less everything really. After being kicked out of my hotel at 12 (where I did say 'I'm out' as I left and it was greeted with blank stares of confusion. I had to just skulk off as though I hadn't said a thing), I decided to head straight to Eaglescliffe to scope out the area for later. With a name like Eaglescliffe I naively assumed it would be an exciting place. It has the sort of name that sounds as though it was the location for one of the big battles in Lord of the Rings. I couldn't be further from the truth. It has nothing. There is one street and everything on that street was closed till 6pm on a Monday, including the only pub in the area. I'm not good with being bored so after causing some confusion amongst the locals by walking around a bit - they all stared at me wondering why this stranger had arrived in town on a Monday - I jumped back in the car and headed to Egglescliffe nearby. Egglescliffe has a name which makes it sound like there is nothing to do there and at least this time it lived up to its name. I was going a bit crazy. I had at least six and half hours to kill time and had absolutely nowhere to go of any interest. I started to panic and drove to Stockton on Tees, which after a five minute drive around I decided just looked grim and so I turned back. I'll admit that I am a man of little patience. Like a small time doctor. Arf. That joke really doesn't work as well in print. Hmmm.

Finally I stumbled across Preston Hall and Butterfly World. It was a beautiful sunny day and so I decided what better way to spend my time than wondering around the surrounding park. I ran through my Edinburgh show in my head and had a nice stroll, feeling all a bit tranquil. This lasted about 10 minutes before boredom kicked in again. I looked at Preston Hall Museum, noting that their main exhibit was about the origins of Mecca Bingo and I walked straight out again. I was tempted to go back in pretending I was a strict Muslim and wanted to complain about the use of the term Mecca and its association with gambling but after my earlier failure with my Banatyne gag I decided against it. I do always think that Mecca Bingo is inappropriately titled. To think that those horrible buildings with yellowing wallpaper and people sitting inside slowly dying symbolize everything that some people are looking forward too when they die just makes me sad. It would however, really spur me into trying to live as long as possible. Maybe that's all the government health warning ads should show? 'Looking forward to an eternity of this?' would make a few people eat more veg than they usually would I reckon. Then from Preston Hall to Butterfly World where I learnt very quickly that I find butterflies a bit scary. In this horribly humid greenhouse, there were bloody thousands of them and they were all big and flappy. Some people say butterflies are very pretty, but actually only the wings are. The big body bit in the middle is just as nasty as other insects and you don't want it flapping in your face. They are the insect world's equivalent of when ugly people wear flashy clothes. I did not spend very long in there at all, and felt so annoyed at wasting £3.50 to look at bugs that I spent five minutes irritating the box office lady by telling her I'd seen a butterfly flapping around the park and think one had gone AWOL. I explained that she should probably call someone, but she also gave me a blank stare that bore into my soul and dignity. It appears the people of Durham have no tolerance for stupidity.

Pete Firman and his girlfriend saved my afternoon by meeting me for coffee in the local retail park, where we spoke of magic, eating guinea pigs and jokes and I had too much coffee so that I was all jumpy by the time I had to go on stage. The venue was a very kooky looking vegetarian restaurant and it was filled with a similarly kooky looking crowd. There were some lovely people there including another Twitterer - Linzy aka @angryfeet, who was kind enough to bring me some rock from Whitby. A dangerous present for a diabetic and I do now wonder if she was trying to kill me. The gig was run by Neil Jollie, a lovely man who had gone out of his way to make the latter part of my weekend much better than the earlier part by sorting out the hotel and gigs, and it followed suit of his Darlington gig that I went to watch, by appearing to be really nice. And it was really nice, if a little tough at times. There were some much older members of the crowd and certain references went completely over their toupee covered heads. There was also one man who sat stoney faced throughout the entire thing, which is never nice to see. I was later told he was a regular and always does that, but it is still the face that is etched into my head from last night's show. I hate people like that. If you are perpetually miserable, while I respect your desire to try and cheer yourself up and seek out the one thing that might make you smile for once, please don't ruin other comedy shows until that day. I understand that realistically this means you might never find what you need to smile about, but I honestly don't care. Stay miserable fucker. Overall though I really enjoyed it and a couple of new bits that I'd written after my butterfly attack seemed to work which was good. I left Pete to woo them with his witchcraft and journeyed home. Let it be said there is nothing to make a four and half hour journey less rewarding than finding no parking spaces on your street or any of the adjoining ones due to people that park like dicks. I am seriously considering setting up some sort of prison for people that have to park diagonally against the curb. They will be the first inmates. Miserable fuckers at gigs will be the second. There will be a go karting area in the prison so miserable fuckers can get sad at how badly the parkers put the karts back in the kart park.

Its Fat Tuesday tonight. Its a bloody great line-up and there are tickets left. This makes little sense as it should have sold out due to the quality of Carl Donnelly and JJ Whitehead. If you haven't bought a ticket yet you should. Unless you are a miserable fucker. Tickets are at:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Oh My Darlington

Short blog today for once again I am resorted to blogging by the tPhone. This is not too much of a loss as I really haven't done all that much after escaping the horrors of the flat in Newcastle. After making it to Darlington, a feat which sounds easy but was almost dangerous thanks to a stray stag do and a woman who looked like Grotbags in the service station, I have been chilling at the rather nice Banatynes hotel. It is rather nice too, in that rather nice way where you emphasise 'rather' and really work on giving sarcastic smiles to short, smelly, beardy men who've just arrived from Newcastle. I love being in posh hotels but I always can't help but feel that I probably shouldn't even be here. This was made no more evident than this morning when I asked if I could have the eggs poached as part of my full English breakfast. The waiter man did a little smirk and said 'of course' as though I'd just asked the biggest idiot question ever. I did have to backtrack and check in hadn't just asked if I could 'breathe the air' or if it's ok to eat the food when it arrives. Past that blip though, brekkie was pretty good. I've never had a partially English breakfast. I'm assuming this is where they sneak a croissant in and the BNP and Daily Mail readers start shouting.

I'm starting to get pins and needles from stupidy phone typing so will do a double blog tomorrow to compensate when I am back in the comfort of the T Flat. Till then some quick notes:

The shower here is amazing. I am aware though that after the shower in Newcastle, an elephant pissing on me would seem like great shower, as long as it was at least luke warm.

Saw Pete Firman's preview again last night. It was, once again, amazing even though I am now sure he is a witch.

Also saw Justin Moorhouse's preview which was also brilliant and has a really really good ending. Nice to meet him in the real world too where he doesn't just speak in 140 character bursts.

No matter how hard you try to pull a face at dinner that says 'seriously I'm fine with eating by myself. I'm not lonely, just busy, that's it, busy.' It will always come across as 'help me, I'm so alone.' Or in my case 'I smile unnecessarily due to brain damage.' Still the staff have been very nice as a consequence.

The keyring on my hotel key is like a big brass doorstop. I assume this is to stop people accidentally taking them. I however am considering stealing it to keep as a weapon should zombies attack.

As this is a Banatyne's hotel, owned by Mr Dragon's Den Duncan B himself, as I check out I am going to say 'I'm out', as I bet the staff haven't heard that every bloody single day.

That's all for today. I'm in Eaglescliffe tonight which sounds like a battlescape from Lord of the Rings. Pete Firman is on so I suppose with me and him it is a bit like Gandalf and Bilbo heading there for a quest. I, however, won't be looking for anyone's ring.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Diary of a Survivor (or Tiernan vs The Hyena part 2)

They said we wouldn't make it. There were times when I thought so too. Three men, more hens than a Chicken Cottage warehouse, a broken boiler and the hard streets of Newcastle. Essentially the odds were against us. And they were odds. Some of them in fancy dress - using ridiculous head garb and name badges to make them seem harmless. Silly even. In fact, they were vicious. The kind of people you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Actually that's not true. They'd probably get on with my worst enemy. Instead I'd wish them on my worst enemy then bombs on all of them. Big bombs. Bombs made of bad things. Like gone off biscuits and toenails. Yeah I'm mean, but sitting here in this war (craft) ravaged Internet cafe, I realise that being mean was the only was through. And when I say mean I don't mean mean like Greenwich Meantime or mean like meaning mean. I mean mean. Mean like telling someone they can finish your bag of crisps and when they take the packet there's no crisps inside. That kind of mean.

After Friday's onslaught of stags, yesterday was tough. We had all survived one night, but we knew the war wasn't over. In fact the battle was yet to begin. A battle of wits, and sanity, and Roundtrees Fruit Pastille lollies. Our base had been hit bad. A broken boiler meant the water situation was bad. Temperatures known only to ice man, the ice queen and Johnny Icey Ice Face were firing out of the shower like shards of, er, ice. None of us could take it at first, having not recuperated from previous battle. As the day wore on though, the stench of air was overwhelming. Then we realised it wasn't the air, but more the odour of three men watching Harry Potter, all hungover and not having washed. So Sgt Keith went first. He was brave but myself and Cole heard sounds coming from the bathroom that day that I hope I never hear again. Sounds of a man truly in pain. A man who has felt cold, and then got colder. He reappeared some minutes later, having only managed to wash half of his body before it got too much. He was brave, but not brave enough. Then I stepped up. I'd dealt with these situations before. The beach in Bournemouth on a not very sunny day, I'd had one of those showers there. Once in France, the same. I knew what I was about to undertake.

I'm not saying it wasn't bad. In fact I'm saying it was bad. It was really bad. I got brainfreeze from washing my hair. Bad bad bad and not in the way funky people say bad and actually mean good. But as I emerged, a clean and shivering man, I knew this was another hurdle of the weekend, that would eventually lead to my becoming a true soldier. Or at least, slightly less of a big wuss. Unlike Cole who didn't wash and stayed smelly. The afternoon passed by. A stroll round the surroundings proved futile. There was little in the area of any interest, the whole city appearing much like it had suffered during the war. The war of dullness and nothing to do. Some emos by the old city walls were sitting around waiting to die, hoping that if they stayed in the sunshine they might just melt. They scattered as Keith and I walked past. Afraid of two, seemingly smiley people. Our rations were slim. One half eaten Naan bread in the broken fridge. One melted lolly in the freezer of paradoxes. Its front had completely frozen over, and yet Cole's lolly had melted in it. We wondered if a rift had been opened around the kitchen area. This would also explain the ectoplasm like dirt on the floor and the small face I made out of pizza crusts. So Cole took the initiative and bought more Fruit Pastille lollies while Keith and I gathered tea and milk. It was tough, but combining them we had, er, fruit pastille lollies and cups of tea.

Time passed. We whiled away the hours watching a poor Marilyn Monroe film and further Harry Potter while Cole shouted 'Get Your C*nt Out' at the TV. This was funny at first, but when Harry Potter was on, it just seemed a tad inappropriate. Then after a while, it seemed funny again. Eventually after what seemed like eternity, we had to re-enter the battle field. We'd seen what can happen. The staff had watched many of our comrades fall before, but we'd already stood up to the challenge and not fallen over again on the previous night. I spent 30 minutes seeing how quickly I could say the phrase 'dickbag' knowing it would come in use. Soon I was saying it so quickly anyone hit by the phrase wouldn't have known what they'd been called until it was too late. Well actually they would have just thought I'd said 'drrrbg' which isn't really all that effective, so I slowed it down again.

Then the gig, rather oddly, was really quite nice. There were 7 hen dos in, but they were all lovely. We did the gig, actually enjoyed it a bit and all left feeling like something was missing. Until we realised what was missing was the dickheads and it was bloody lovely they weren't there. That was it. I'd earned my Hyena stripes without too much of a struggle. So to make up for that, we walked into town to get further sustenance. Newcastle on a Saturday night looks as though someone has carpet blitzed slag bombs all over the place. Its a bad place. Keeping our eyes down low in case one of the indigenous peoples questioned 'wha ya lookin' aat?' we zig zagged through hordes of overweight women who had crammed so much body flesh into such small skirts, it looked like it was trying to physically escape the rest of the bodies via the armpits and breastal region. It was one of the worst sites we'd seen, but these things happen in a warzone. Men, driven crazy by the events, were shouting at each other for seemingly no reason. All dressed in combat gear of disgustingly designed shirts, spiky hair and tight jeans, it was reminiscent of 'Nam. If 'Nam had been in a colder, shittier place, and full of arseholes.

One curry later we were back at the flat knowing that our work in this place was done. I wouldn't have got through it without my comrades, both of whom are now sadly no longer with us. That's because the fuckers have gone home. As for me, I have just a few more hours in this hell hole, before I can snake away unnoticed and head to Darlington where they have warm showers and people who wear clothes. With any luck I will be able to write tomorrow a rested and happier soldier. God forbid I am attacked before I can get out of here. I have been practising my Geordie accent should anything kick off. Its all going to be 'alreeet'.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tiernan vs The Hyena Audience part 1

Second attempt at blog writing today. First was from my iPhone. The amazing iPhone that can do everything except save my blog on it. I spent 30 minutes giving the forefinger on my right hand RSI just so the tPhone could tell me to get bent and erase it all. To be fair I don't blame the phone. I think its something to do with the flat we're in. Nothing really seems to work. It has the all the basics. A broken television next to a sort of working television, a shower that refuses to get even remotely warm, and a bedroom view that looks out onto an alley of other people's rubbish. Technically I suppose that is still a view of sorts, although if you went to a hotel and had asked for the requirements of a 'room with a view' and received that, I can't help but feel you'd be a tad disappointed. We were also given lots of clean bedding, but oddly each of us was given four bedsheets but no duvet cover. They were clearly worried about what we would do to the mattress rather than our comfort. To be fair that should have evident from the shower, tv and view of a mini-dump. Then when we returned from the gig, we found that someone had been in the flat and put duvet covers on all of the beds. It was like being burgled by a mum.

So now I'm writing in an internet cafe that I was given directions to from Michael Legge. He told me it was an upstairs scary place. He was not wrong, but its not scary in a threatening way, just that I am probably the only one here who has friends I know in the flesh, rather than via a roleplaying game. I have often read Michael's blogs about being in this part of town, and as I sit here, possibly in the same seat that Michael had sat in, or at least I hope it is, I also feel a level of understanding for all the blogs he has ever written about The Hyena. Ah the Hyena, never has there been a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Well maybe not villainy, but definitely scum. Last night me, Keith Carter aka Nige, and Cole Parker had to contend with five stag dos, one hen do, one leaving party who sadly did not leave at any point and a small handful of actually normal punters. I doubt the normal punters will ever return having witness comedy that was entirely based on telling the crowd to 'shut the fuck up' and insulting dicks in t-shirts that said things like 'Neeeele' and 'Kelroy'. I was MCing and it started ok. I managed 13 minutes at the top, most of which involved using politically incorrect insults that I would never normally do, and being loud. 7 minutes in I dodged a flying straw, insulted the straw thrower's aim, called him a big girl for using a straw, then a bouncer kicked him out. It was like being in the front line of a beverage based warzone.

In the second section I only last 7 minutes overall. I started by insulting a man at the back who was blacked up and dressed as BA Baracus. I thought it would be funny to say how he was less Mr T, and more Mr Y, or Mr O(h). It wasn't funny, mostly because I hadn't used a four letter swear word in the two minutes I was saying it and so they got restless. Eventually over the rabble of noise, I gave in and brought 'Nige' on. Apparently I did very well 'for a Friday' and they said it was the best Friday they've had in a long time. While on the one hand you might think that sounds like a compliment, I think it means that their usual Fridays must be a mega bubble of torrid shite. It must be like some sort of medieval battle with thuggish stag men throwing offal at each other. Last night the men's toilets had an actual river of vomit running through it. Again, I was told 'that's nothing compared to a usual Friday night.' I guess they usually have a veritable tsunami of sick being thrown from drunken twat to drunken twat.

Overall though I felt pleased I dealt with it. While it wasn't my favourite gig, or any fact anywhere near my top 500 favourite gigs, I got laughs and I didn't leave with new scars. Success. To reward ourselves we all had a few post gig pints in the bar downstairs. They were playing Bobby Brown without irony and at a level that meant lip reading was essential for any conversation. Keith, Cole and myself spent a while watching the people we had just been entertaining try to dance like Michael Jackson and then decided it was probably best just to leave. I think even more so now that he's dead, people really do make an effort to dance like Michael Jackson. It can be both the most enjoyable and tragic human movement to witness. One of the stag do party blokes was contorting his body in a way that made it look like he was being attacked by bees. I really hope at some point he does and I get to see that too.

Have to do it all over again today. They say Saturdays are nicer, which is hopeful. Although I think it would be hard not be nicer than the bunch of cockwads that were there yesterday. I feel a bit better prepared for this evening's venture though. Luckily Keith and Cole are ace, which makes being here better. I have also told myself to do a dick gag or insult every second word and every now and then get everyone to cheer for something, anything, just to unite them as a crowd and hope they don't fight each other, or me. Now to go and fix the shower. I spent 20 minutes earlier pressing different buttons on the boiler, only to find none of them changed a thing. There really is nothing like that to completely demean your manhood. I'll go back and see if I can make anything work before just having a cold shower and deciding that this really isn't my idea of a fun weekend.