Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hallow To You

Halloween is a really odd celebration isn't it? I mean, while it started out as a pagan celebration signifying the 'lighter side of the year' becoming the 'darker side of the year', its somehow evolved into lots of people prancing around pretending to be monsters/creatures/sluts. I'm never sure how the last one gets in there alongside the other two. I've never watched a zombie film and suddenly thought, 'you know what, this would be far more terrifying if there were scantily clad women in this.' In fact, they are the opposite of scary in most men would be fairly pleased to meet one in a dark alley. Saying that, I've seen some dressed up scantily clad orange beasts in certain parts of the country who would terrify me at any distance. It also worries me that we enjoy dressing up as evil things. I'm damn scared of a zombapocalpyse and in no way want to make them feel welcome by dressing up as them and giving messages that it'd be ok for them all to drink punch, dance and then eat our brains. I feel its sending mixed messages. The original idea that the souls of the dead merge with out world on All Hallow's Eve is not something we should be having fun with. Have you seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Or Torchwood? They spend forever trying to avoid this kind of thing happening and yet tonight loads of people will be just encouraging it. Tut tut tut.

Its amazing how people spend shedloads of money buying cheap plastic costumes and lots of pumpkins for a single day. You may argue that all celebrations are for only one day but Christmas has several days off after it which makes it more valid, and also the presents you get tend to last for a bit longer than 24 hours. Whereas if you're caught dressed as a werewolf in mid-November its likely people will think you're pretty weird. I think Halloween should at least be a whole week of stupid fancy dress. I'd like to whole office blocks of zombies and vampires, while the tube is filled with witches and goblins. I've often thought of really stepping it up and organising a week of zombie-a-grams for people whereby on a daily basis people dressed as zombies would bang against their windows and doors until they are sure the world has come to an end. Then, just as they are about to kill themselves and their family to save them from being eaten alive, everyone does jazz hands and sings 'Happy Birthday'. I reckon it could be big. Tonight I'm going to be applauding people I see today in costume. Particularly the ones dressed as non-obvious things. I'm hoping there'll be a few Nick Griffin's around, as he really is evil. Also 20 points to any kid dressed up as a hoodie. 10 of those points are for the lack of effort. The other 10 would be because I'll actually be scared if they ring on our door.

Still debating whether to do tonight's gig in costume. Last night the crowd were so lack lustre I almost wished they had all been possesed by demons and burst into flames. Anything to make them more fun than the sack of apathy they were. So not sure if I should give them the benefit of the doubt today and make some effort. I have a feeling tonight will either be lots of people who want to escape trick or treaters and so have come out, or people who really want to have fun on Halloween. If its the former I'll just do a gig. If its the latter I'll wait till the interval then run out of the dressing room and start biting people. I reckon they'd love it.

Last note of today before I go and start the usual Halloween ritual of pretending there's no one in our flat and ignoring any children. I saw a trailer for The Descent Part 2 before Zombieland on Thursday. The first film really scared me and I thought it was one of the best horror films I'd seen in ages. It had that wonderful British bleakness where there was no light hearted element to any part of it. No hope of happiness. I'm very worried about the sequel. This is entirely because of the quote used in the trailer. Bare in mind that popped up on screen and I was quite happy to read it. It was when this was read out by the usual trailer voice man that it made the whole cinema laugh out loud and suddenly the film seems no longer anywhere near as scary. The quote was: 'THE FEEL SHIT SCARED FILM OF THE DECADE' - Metal Hammer Magazine. Yes, it appears to be one to miss.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Thoughts

Here are some thoughts for Friday:

- I am home. I'm home for more than a few hours. This is brilliant. I can start to pretend I live here again instead of spending my life like some sort of service station enthusiast. I don't know if those people exist, but I really hope they don't, as there is very little to be enthused about on such subject matter.

- Since being home, Layla has put some butterfly hooks in our bathroom to hang towels on. They look nice but are factually incorrect. A single butterfly would not be able to hold up an entire towel by itself. It would be crushed under the weight. I suggested something more sturdy, like a small vole hook.

- Last night I nearly killed a fox on the drive back. Instead I waited and did it in the comfort of my of my own home instead. (This is a joke. Just not a very good one)

- Nandos Extra Extra Hot Sauce isn't. There is no need for the first or even second extra. If sauce is to be that hot then I want two to three levels of regret when I eat it: Immediate, 4 hours later in my stomach, 8-12 hours later when it tries to leave my system. I do not want a small moment to just think 'hmmm, tastes the same as the medium sauce'. Crap.

- Speaking of Nandos, is it a restaurant or a fast food chain? Make up your mind Nandos. I have to wait to be seated, but then queue up to pre-pay for food. Then I get served at my table but have to get my own drink. Make a choice. Give in and say you are a fast food chain so I only have to exchange contact with your greasy staff once during the entire dining process, or be a restaurant and make sure all the staff stop looking so bloody suicidal.

- Zombieland is brilliant. Thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. Woody Harrison is great, as is the other main bloke who's name I can't even be bothered to Wikipedia at the moment. Also a great cameo, and I think I'm a bit in love with Emma Stone. However, as great a film as it is, I think Zombieland would be a terrible theme park.

- The gig in Bradford was great. Its a shame the staff at the Alhambra Theatre haven't developed any further sense of worth or care since last Friday. Once again there was no house music and the audience arrived in silence and sat in silence before the show and during the interval. Jim asked the sound man why on earth he didn't have any house music. The overly cocky response was 'its not my job to have music, I'm the sound man.' He completely failed to understand that music is sound, then proceeded to sit in his little box and do nothing as the microphones fucked up all through my act and then through Jim's. I think he presumed his job was for everyone to say he was a 'sound bloke' and then he just sits there touching himself and being miserable. This was combined with none of the staff knowing how many audience were in and complaints that I asked for a drink as 'they were only allowed one comps drinks per show'. I'm starting to wonder if they'd be happier if they just didn't ever have any shows in there and they all just moped about like a bunch of reprobates.

- Luckily, the crowd made up for this by being brilliant. This week's retort that I will never get to use again, but was proud of, is: I asked a man in the front row what he did as a job. He said he was a mum. I then told him that he's definitely no MILF. High fives all round. Thanks thanks I'm here all week.

- I get to gig with Michael Smiley tonight. Lots of people gig with him all the time, but I've never gigged with him before and he played Tyres in Spaced. This means I may get a bit giddy and stupid.

- Suggestions for what I can do for the Halloween show tomorrow please? Debating pirate costume, zombie costume, zombie pirate costume, or just not really caring because I think its all six piles of balls.

That is all. Get on with your lives.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

High Tee-rnan

I'm paying £15 to use this 'hi-speed' internet and write this blog today, so I'm going to take my time with it. £15 is a lot of money for something that is generally free everywhere. I mean, its not free. People do pay for the webs, but £15 just so I can write abuse at people on Facebook, Twitter my mundane life and then do a blog does not really seem worth it. I wonder if, when I check out, I can show them proof of what I've used the internet for and maybe they'll give me a discount due to my underwhelming use of the system. This is however, a very nice hotel, and that means that if I want to stay somewhere that is a stark contrast to the Britannia in Wolverhampton, then I do have to pay stupid prices for things that are otherwise not very much. £2.95 for water. £2.95 for something I could run to a stream and get for free. Admittedly I wouldn't want to run, I'm not sure of where there are streams in Manchester and even if I found one it probably wouldn't be clean enough to drink from. But I feel that while I really don't have a valid point I've justified it enough to myself just by saying '£2.95?' alot, till I get upset. Its the law of the British to be upset about things I should be happy about. I should be really happy that the bed in this hotel is the most comfortable bed I've possibly ever slept in and it felt a bit like sleeping on a cloud, if clouds weren't made of moisture and didn't have the possibility of plummeting 50,000ft to my death. Instead I'm annoyed because I have to leave the bed by 12pm. I should be pleased that the shower is one of those power showers that blasts dirt off you until you would be allowed into Prince's house and could touch things even without special gloves on. Instead I stood there for ages with my face under it comparing the water to small needles being fired at me. It felt nice, but I've persuaded myself it didn't. I should be pleased they have valet parking as that's pretty damn fancy. Instead I'm worried about some oik sitting in my car and probably having moved the seat back as they're aren't a dwarf. It'll then take 15 minutes just to re-adjust it. Its just the law of the British.

I'm feeling particularly British today too, because yesterday myself and Jim indulged in High Teas at Betty's Tea Room in Harrogate. Lots of people had recommended we go and I was pleased we did. It was like being transported back to the early 1900's and I felt I caught a glimpse of what Doctor Who must do when he's not battling Daleks or saving the planet. I'm sure he uses the TARDIS (yes in capitals because I am proper) to get a great cream tea in 1908 or to watch a lion eat a man in Ancient Rome. That's what I'd do. The staff in Betty's were all dressed in old fashioned uniforms, all spoke with posh accents and delivered all the food with china plates in kitsch gold high tea carriers. I felt that by walking in with my leather jacket I was possibly letting the whole side down. Both Jim and I had to use our phones in there too and was worried they would ask us to leave and return in tweed jackets and then only drink the tea with our pinkies up. Luckily they let us stay and I indulged in sandwiches, followed by scones with jam and clotted cream, and finally cakes. I could live like that. I wouldn't live for very long due to the clogging up of all my arteries, but I would enjoy the short fatty life I'd had. I have recently been deciding that the early part of the 1900's was very cool. All the attire, food and general look of the era had a certain charm to it. Then I remember that they also had World War One, the Irish Potato famine and a truck load of disease - well not a truck load, they didn't have trucks then - a horse and cart load of disease and I realise I'm quite happy with 2009.

I have a day to kill now. But who to kill first? Well my plan, until tonight's gig in Bradford, is to go and finally watch Zombieland. I have made 5 attempts to see this film before and I'm slightly scared that if I manage it today, something terrible might happen, like a rift will open or my eyes will fall out. I am prepared to take this risk for the sake of seeing the cameo that I have heard I'm not allowed to hear about. This is somewhat contradictory of people to say, but I'm excited nonethless. Last night's show in Harrogate was tough for the first 10 minutes of my set and then the audience decided they would enjoy it and the last ten was great. I have a feeling they were just being very British and refusing to enjoy it for a while.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cast Offs

I got up at 8am today just do I could trek into town and sit, shoe and sockless, in front of a casting director, pick my feet and look confused. I should be pretty good at that. I often pick my feet. From my favourite feet shop. Sorry. I couldn't resist that one. Seriously though, I sit in front of the telly pick my feet and look confused on a regular basis. In fact, I'm probably the best ever at doing exactly that. I could be that guy in Hollywood who's the 'picks his feet and looks confused' guy. I could be in the next Die Hard or Bond film as the guy, who, while the action's going on, remains completely oblivious to it all, trying to get fluff from under his toe nail, and then looks up, notices everything and does puzzled eyes. Yet, despite all my experience at such things, I don't think I did very well. Sitting there, feet out, staring at a small box that we were pretending was a laptop, my mind froze. I tried to think back to previous times where I have been doing such things but I couldn't recall my objectives, super objectives, or even villian adjectives (don't think that one exists, but it must be the opposite of the super ones so that they can battle). I did my minimal facial expressions and they asked me to do it again, then I put my socks and shoes on and left feeling like I most certainly hadn't nailed it. As I walked out, there were several other 'ordinary blokes' with shoes off, all pulling over the top raised eyebrow and wide eyed expressions as though they'd never been more ready for this.

There is something so souless about the whole regime. Before doing the scene this morning's experience involved having my photo taken, writing how big my collar size is, owning up to having done nothing on telly for ages and ages, having a chat about frozen yoghurt and hearing a man actually ask another man if he'd 'broken anyone's neck' the night before. He then shouted 'chop suey!'. It became clear the recipient of the question did judo, and the asker of the question was a massive dickhead. I'm fairly sure that during the rest of the day people will say more and more vacuous things, 'ordinary blokes' will pick their feet more and more convincingly, and eventually I will get a call saying that I most definitely haven't got it. Or more likely, I just won't get a call. And then, without thinking about it I'll be sitting at home picking my feet and looking confused and suddenly realise I could have nailed it. One small addendum to this morning's tale of toe woe, is that on the casting brief the term 'any colourings' was used. I believe that this was in term of ethnicity and if so, that's really awful. Especially considering who the casting was for (which I shan't mention but trust me its somewhere that is uber PC), surely they should have at least tried to use racial language that wasn't from forty years ago? I was very tempted to bring some food colourings and all my felt tip pens as a protest. I didn't though because I'm a big loser and didn't want to hamper my audition anymore than I already had with my lack of acting ability.

Fat Tuesday last night was stupidly lovely, despite having more audience than we should reasonably fit in our tiny room. Problem is, I can't tell people to fuck off just because they are late, as they've paid for a ticket. Some might think its because I'm a money grabbing stinge, but its more that they've paid to see a show and I feel like I'm denying them that show. And that I'm a money grabbing stinge. Luckily Georgie did tell some to leave otherwise we clearly all would've died, especially if someone had done a fire. It was Georgie's last ever Fat Tuesday yesterday and I'm not sure how I'll deal with such things now he's heading back to North Wales. He's been part of the Fat Tuesday establishment for just over three years doing all the bits my brain can't handle. These things include telling people to fuck off, arranging chairs when my brain can't cope with logistics, writing actually funny emails and generally helping to run the whole thing while having a cigarette break every ten minutes. I was hoping to give him some sort of send off last night, but only about 6 of our regulars were in and it felt wrong asking new punters to buy him drinks etc. So if any of you did know Georgie, please send him a message via the Fat Tuesday facebook page where he's listed as an admin. I haven't blocked him yet. He has at least a week till I do. He won't mind. They don't have the internet in Wales anyway.

Even though last night, and nearly all the Fat Tuesday gigs since Georgie joined, have been lovely, we instead reminisced on the really shit ones. These included: a gig last Christmas with a really angry stupid old cockney man who kept heckling Robin Ince and then shouted at his wife in the interval and ran away; a gig the Christmas before with a party of human rights lawyers who kept standing up, pouring each other booze and talking all through the show; and the night when Jerry Sadowitz was on, 15 people walked out and one man in the audience accused us of holding a white racist rally saying that he wondered why he 'was the only black man there'. That was possibly the worst one, made worse by the fact that the excellent Shappi Khorsandi was headlining, but all the walk outs didn't take that as evidence we weren't the KKK. Wish we'd had a sign on the door saying 'any colourings' so they'd know it was ok.

Back on the Jim tour tonight, in lovely Harrogate. I was informed last night that I should go to Betsy's Tea Rooms when I get there if its open. I shall try my very best to do such things and not look confused or pick my feet as I devour a cream tea.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hell Hotel

Oh God I’m tired. Stupidly stupidly tired. Yes the first part of tired inducing circumstances was my fault. I didn’t need to stay out drinking with Jim and local Wolverhampton peoples in a particularly empty Walkabout bar on a Monday night. I know that as you read back that sentence you will realise just how impossible it must have been turn down an offer as glamorous as that though. We all know that the Walkabout is a hive of high class activity and only the finest clientele. Yes indeed. I am one lucky man. Its at this point I wish there was a smiley for sarcasm. It may well be that the normal smiley is in fact sarcastic. I’ve often stared at his little beady eyes and wide grin, knowing full well that as he closes an email from someone who’s acquaintance will never promote to actual friendship levels on account of their insistent need to add smileys to everything, that once, his little face was on acid tabs and at raves everywhere. He can’t just be smiling in a friendly way. He’s off his tits and he’s taking the piss out of us. Not that he has tits. He’s just a face. And that’s where my theory falls apart.

Part two of Operation: Let’s Make Tiernan Tired Beyond Reason (Or LMTTBR for short) is all the hotel’s fault. I'm not a fussy person and I would definitely say I've slept in worse places. The key word however is sleep which is what my morning has severly lacked in. I didn’t know that my room was conveniently placed right next to the bus terminal and that in the understanding of this the hotel decided not to put in any double glazing or effort at sound blocking at all. Maybe in Wolverhampton hearing the loud roar of a bus engine at 5.30am is some sort of luxury? Perhaps those staying in lesser hotels are hindered by the lack of overly noisey public transport. I’m sure they stand, complaining to the receptionist asking ‘why oh why could we not get a room with a beautiful view of the 76 and all its fucking loud fucking noise? ‘ Except they don’t because its FUCKING LOUD FUCKING NOISE and anyone who would have any kind of establishment where people might hope to sleep ever would at least have thicker windows. Although I’m starting to wonder if they do want people to have a good slumber at the Britannia Hotel, that’s what its called Britannia. It pretends to represent the entire Britannia nation by playing some sort of fire alarm test every 35 minutes directly into my room starting at 6am this morning. Yes I’m glad they test it and I haven’t burnt to death, but I’m sure if it worked at 6am, it would also work at 6.35am, 7.10am etc etc and can only assume the health and safety officer has severe paranoia that requires him to constantly check fire prevention equipment for the customers’ protection, not realising that his own safety is under threat from my and my angry fists.

It must be harder for Jim as I was asking him yesterday about things in the States and the nice places he’s been too and its only a matter of weeks since he was in a lovely hotel in Vegas. Now mere weeks later he’s here, in this place, in Wolverhampton. This career is full of peaks and troughs. Sadly we appear to be staying in a trough. I won’t criticise Wolverhampton itself though. Last night’s gig was bloody lovely. About 350 people on a Monday which is great and they were all ace and spent quite a bit of time buying us both drinks after which, I assume, is a sure sign they had a good night. The only thing that topped the gig itself was the stage manager rather oddly leading a huge bouncer called Corda into our Green Room and announcing that as they were ‘aware of Jim’s work, Corda will be on hand to prevent any trouble.’ I think they assumed that ever since he was punched in the face at the Manchester Comedy Store, that it was some sort of regular occurrence at his gigs. It’s a hilarious thought, but I can’t imagine Jim would enjoy his career much or indeed tour, if that was the case. Anyway we were assured that despite his bulk, Corda could move pretty damn fast and was trained to dislocate every bone in someone’s body. It’s a shame that there was no violence as that’s something I’d like to see. Somebody reduced to wriggling like a worm as they had been reduced to human jelly. Its an odd choice of martial art or self defence I must say, especially as he insisted it was every bone. Surely once you’d got their legs or arms, you wouldn’t then need to go through each and every vertebrae and all the fingers and toes etc? Unless of course he suffers from some sort of OCD completeism which didn’t seem likely. Anyway, if you are in the Wolverhampton area and want to see such a thing occur then I suggest you attend a gig at the Civic Halls and attempt to punch one of the acts. Please report back, although without the use of any of your fingers this may be tough.

Slight change of pace tonight with Fat Tuesday headlined by the excellent Josie Long who I haven’t seen in ages, so I think it’ll be ace. Its sold out so you can’t come. Gutted. Although not as gutted at the health and safety officer will be if I hear that fire alarm one more time….

Monday, October 26, 2009

What's In A Name?

After a pretty awesome first show on the Jim Jeffries tour last night, various members of the audience very kindly came up to me to say they enjoyed my set. We had a chat and then they asked what my name was so they could look out for me. I said my name and it was answered with a 'Sorry? What is it?' So I said it again. And then again. Eventually I started spelling it out, and realised that this looked a bit too desperate in terms of wanting internet hits, so I just told them to spell it as it sounds and google might correct them. I'm fairly sure that as they wandered off, they completely lost all concept of how my name sounded and will probably now not bother. This happened with another few groups of people and eventually I just told them to look up 'Tiernan' and I'm the one that's not 'Tommy'. It was another moment where I wondered if when I started stand-up I should've just changed my name to Tim Doob or something as crap. Yes the plus point of having my name is that no one else will have it and its unlikely I'll ever get mistaken for anyone else. But that one plus point is sometimes overshadowed hugely by people not having a clue how to say or spell it, very rarely getting post addressed to me and the Egg banking automated service treat me like I have speech issues whenever it asks me for my name. I have asked the people at Egg if I can just have a direct number through to the staff but they have said no. Instead each time I call I must go through 4 minutes of rigmarole at answering 'Now say your name' with my name, only to be told that they do not have that, or do not understand so please say my name again. Honestly I'm sure there aren't too many people looking up my name anyway, but I suppose this minute hurdle does allow me to use the excuse as to why there aren't more fans on my internet fan page or more nice comments (or even nasty ones) on my Chortle page. In fact there can't be many people that really want to spell it because if you think about it, Englebert Humperdinck's fans managed to find him. As did Slobadan Milosevic's groupies. When I say groupies, I mean the International War Crimes Tribunal, but its sort of the same.

Last night's gig was a bag of aceness. It was at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, with a lovely full audience of 600 peoples. In fact there was only one difference that marked it out from your average great gig, and that's that it was in the round. Audience sat on three tiers all around the stage. I had partly prepared for this by also being 'in the round', and I think not being only 2D was a massive bonus. Flat Stanley would've had a shit time. As it was, it turned out to be a nice challenge with emphasis on the 'turned' as that's what I mostly did, round and round. After 20 minutes I left the stage slightly dizzy but feeling rather pleased about it all. I then went to watch Jim's show as I hadn't seen it yet and I have to say he was seriously on form and kicked arse. Next venture is tonight in Wolverhampton so I'm hoping its as fun. Supporting is an odd thing as I'm not mentioned on any posters or publicity so either the audience see me as a bonus act or as an unnecessary wait until the main act. What this also means is that there isn't really too much pressure on me at all. If I bomb it doesn't matter too much and if I storm it, its a nice extra for the crowd. Hence why tonight I'm going to experiment with a whole set done as performance dance until they boo me off.

Sorry for lack of blog yesterday. Went on a mission to Leamington Spa with Layla's eldest brother who I've been staying with in Huddersfield. Layla was in Leam with more of her family having a big lunch so we did a surprise visit. I say surprise, but actually I'd told Layla the night before because I'd had too much beer. She then had to pretend it was a surprise when I saw her as everyone else was keeping it a secret. I think we failed miserably but it all seemed to be ok. I worry about my lack of ability to keep secrets when on beer. I don't understand how Bond drinks all those martinis. Surely he's only ever one or two units away from putting a sleazy arm round a lady and saying 'I'm a secret agent you know and I hiding here in disguise in order to kill your boss' before falling asleep on her shoulder and puking down her top. Now that is a Bond movie I'd like to see.

Before I blog off, have a read of this:

Its quite possibly the most terrifying article of recent times. I suggest we all start protesting all the time. Then they will be spending so much time updating their database that they'll never be able to go outside and stop us being peaceful. If we don't, its only a matter of time before they monitor people depending on how many times they think certain thoughts. Turns out George Orwell was only 25 years off target.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just a Link

Don't have much time to blog today, and its far too early to blog but this is the only chance I'll get, so, instead, here is a massive cop out and a link to something else:

There you go. Read that, enjoy and then go and read blogs from previous months if all else fails to stimulate your Sunday. Normal service will resume tomorrow.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Media Witchcraft

The National Media Museum in Bradford is an odd place. All shiny and new, it has some genuinely interesting exhibits about how TV works, with a blue screen area for you to film you and your friends, if you have any, walking with dinosaurs, jumping out of planes and then just reading the news if you have no capacity to expand your imagination by more than a simple stretch. Frankly if someone gave me a blue screen to play with then I would delving into all sorts of incredible situations, fighting bears, walking round ancient Rome, flying in space, not sitting next to Riz Lateef and commenting on MP's expenses. There's also some cameras to hold and operate, really old telly's and radios as well as whole areas on how TV started and what the process behind it is. All this seems well and good and probably what a museum about media might have in it, but then you accidentally stumble across the weird stuff. All museum's have a weird stuff bit. The Natural History museum has that top floor, that I assume is still there, but I have been too terrified to visit it for years. Its just full of stuffed animals and weird curios that you would expect to find in the lobby of a killer from a Hitchcock film. There's never anybody there apart from a few (I suspect they are) lecturers of taxidermy or something as odd, and some people with overly worrying facial hair to like to stare at stuffed animals. Its one of those places that when the Natural History Museum closes at night they leave that bit open for creepy people to wander round and point at dead squirrels. In the media museum they have two of these weird bits. The first is part of the BBC. A whole radio and partly TV studio with working people actually in it, as an exhibit. This isn't creepy odd, but I can't believe that they are cost cutting to the extent that they now need revenue from museum goers to keep radio Bradford going. The thing is the staff aren't even that old. At least make them old staff so they look more museumy. Instead they just get on with their work while kids point and stare at them. I don't know if I could work like it. Although Comedy 4 Kids is almost the same, I'd equate those BBC staff with the monkeys at the zoo. I only hope that when they get really irritated with onlookers that they also throw their own shit at them.

The other bit that doesn't quite fit with the rest of the place is a section that revolves around how your eye sees things. While I suppose media is a lot about seeing things, unless of course its radio, or you're blind, this would have been better suited to a Science Museum or even a Specsavers based in Pleasure Island. It was really spooky, with everything designed like the weird fortune teller booth in Big. I experimented with looking at myself in thermal vision, which is how Predator can see people, and also capturing my shadow which gave my five minutes of worrying if I would ever get it back and what sort of life a shadowless one is. Probably quite good until you really want to make a picture of a rabbit with your hands against a wall. The one bit that petrified me though was a window called 'Which Witch?' where you had to line your face to in line with the red lights then press a button. I did this, there was a flash and then suddenly an illuminated witch's head appears and cackles at you. I leapt about 4 ft in the air. This had nothing to do with how the eyes and brain work in any scientific sense, other than an experiment in shitting yourself. I could only assume that at some point while making the museum the designers said, 'fuck this, let's just petrify some kids and an adult with a mind like a child'. If that was their intention then well done to them. Lets just hope the trend doesn't spread to other museums until mummies at the British Museum come alive or someone gets blown up on top of a bus at the London Transport Museum. Instead I think the National Media Museum should get rid of that section and put info about ancient media up. I wanted to see a 'ye Olde Daily Mail' from the 15th century with a half naked Anne Boleyn on it and a headline saying 'Orf With Her Top' or something similar.

I left after that terrifying experience and went to see Up which is amazing. Even made me man cry twice. Man crying is like normal crying only far more embarrasing. There were only 6 other people in the cinema with me: two people in wheelchairs, two kids and two mums. I spent 10 minutes during the trailers thinking about how, if I had to, I could take all of them. I often delve into these thoughts. I went to about four Ninjitsu classes with a friend when I was 16. I only managed four as the fourth time involved a game where I had to block the instructor from slapping me in the face. I failed on all accounts and had red cheeks and forehead for weeks. However, during this brief time I learnt 3 moves that will never forget and all of them involve violence. I'm fairly sure that if I even intended to use one on someone, I'd be trying to remember the exact mechanics of such moves while I was deftly knocked out or stabbed. Anyway I still like to indulge the thought that I am small and dangerous and knowing I was potentially the toughest person in the cinema pleased me a lot. Then I saw the film which was really good but very sad, and felt all vulnerable. Meanwhile the mums just picked up their kids and left all cheery. I'm so weak. Destroyed by animation and fake witches, I really need to reasses my life.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bin There, Done That

This blog is going to be super quick because I am getting lunch bought for me. Yes, that's right, someone is willingly putting food in me. I like it when this happens. Little do they know what they are doing. As long as they don't spill water on me or feed me after midnight its fine, but its only a matter of time before they slip up and such a thing happens. Then all hell will break loose and I'll be covered in water and full of grub at a late time of night. I'm staying with Layla's brother and his family and they do nice things like feed me and let me stay for free which is all a bit good. I arrived here last night with only twenty minutes of Question Time left and walked in on them all sitting comfortably watching Prick Griffin be a total prat. At first I was a little bit perturbed as Layla's sister in law was wearing a brown face mask and there was a good 30 seconds of my brain getting mixed messages about someone who appeared blacked up while watching the BNP on telly. In an odd way it was either hugely supportive of them or a really confused way of being anti-racist while still being racist. Luckily it was neither and it was just a face mask. Phew. Still glorious to see the BNP get a Christmas Present as it was so called. If that's a present then its the one you open from your Nan that you really don't want and makes you vomit to look at. Well done Prick you've made yourself look even more of an obnoxious bastard than you already were. Turns out it was a great tactic for QT to have him on though. They had 6 million more viewers than they usually do. I suggest they get more racists on and then some war criminals and mass murderers. Hopefully Kim Jong Ill will be on the Llandudno edition with John Sargent next week.

Last night's gig was all lovely as usual, despite some bloke from the program Waterloo Road sitting in the front row and pretending he was a binman. I had never seen the show and still don't know what it is. Later it was explained that it's a show about 'a school with kids in it'. I mentioned that surely all schools have kids in, so its not that remarkable sounding. This man insisted and to give credit to his acting, did not falter under pretending to be a binmin for any minute, till someone grassed him and he gave in after the interval. I told him it was good training for when the acting falls through and he does actually have to work as a binman. He wasn't pleased at this, which served him right for being a smug bastard. I was very pleased with my retort, although I was most pleased with something else I'd said on the night that fell on deaf ears. I know I often do this on the blog, just become horribly self-indulgent and write jokes that I feel should have worked. Its a disgustingly arrogant pat on the back I know, and really I should be saying to myself that it fell on deaf ears because it was shit. Still, here it is for you to judge. A girl in the front row said she studied dance. I questioned her on this for a bit then asked what it is she wants to do with her degree. She said teacher. Then I said (drum roll please) is that 'a dance teacher, or just a normal teacher thats very swift at dodging projectiles from the children?' Eh? Eh? Eh? Well? Eh? Yeah there was a reason it got nothing. Sigh.

I was going to write about the possible consequences of a world without Jongleurs and title this blog 'Gonegleurs?' which I was very pleased with. However if lunch had a phone it'd be calling me. It wouldn't be able to say much due its lack of mouth but I would know it needed me. More thoughts on things tomorrow.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Packing It In

Ha! I bet by the title you thought I was giving up comedy, eh? I bet some of you were crying and screaming about how first its Lily Allen and then the mighty Douieb. You were probably thinking how that this is the end for comedy forever and just about to give up on your own lives. Well don't fear. Its merely about me packing to go away. You lot that were cheering and shouting 'Finally he's fucking off!' please now stop and go away.

Packing bags is so bloody boring. I know I need things for going away but having to put them all together is just dull. Its all the little bits I have to do like iron t-shirts. I would be very content not ironing them but I have been told by Layla that they all need an iron and it's her words of wisdom that often stop me looking like a massive prat. It's that ironing is one of the most tedious things you can do, alongside watching paint dry and talking to someone who I was once introduced to as 'Boring Steve'. Even if, like me, you spend time pressing the little button on the iron so it blows steam out and pretend its a tiny dragon that you have to master control of to do your bidding, it starts to wear after five minutes. Hopefully fashion will work its way round to creased clothes being seriously cool. Knowing my luck by that point I will have an entire wardrobe of crease free things. I have to pack because today begins 13 days of straight gigging. That means gigging in a row as opposed to heterosexual gigging. I'm not even sure what that would mean. Well whatever it is, its just gigging night after night for 13 days. Thats what I mean. Its one of those things where by being busy I am earning money so can't complain about not being busy. However I like staying at home and sitting so its a lose/lose situation. I mean, its not. There is definitely some winning in there, but I tend to forget the phrase can be win/win or even win/lose as either of those two options seem far too cheery and I'm having none of it.

The gigs start tonight at one of my favouritest ones in Leeds at the Original Oak. Generally I really like gigging in Leeds. I would say I like Leeds but I've never really seen it except at night, which adds it to the long list of places I can only judge by its comedy gigs that I have partaken in. On that basis I like most of the UK and dislike Ilkeston. I feel like I really should learn more about Leeds as my only Leeds based gag is about its ring road, which is exactly the same gag that I use for Coventry, Tunbridge Wells and anywhere else where the road designers were a bunch of bastards. I also have a slightly cheap gag about the Merrion Centre, but having never been there it feels half hearted. Maybe I will just spend the next few days telling people I know nothing of their area so local knowledge is defunct as far as I'm concerned. Then maybe I'll tell them all about where I live in London just to make them happy. They love that up North. Then I'll tell them its all grim where they live and how they all speak funny and I reckon I'll tear the roof off.

Shame I'll be missing Question Time tonight. I quite wanted to watch Prick Griffin squirm as he's asked questions and he has to try not to be hugely racist live on TV. I think we should all call him Prick Griffin, just so that whenever anyone searches for him on Google it will say 'Nick Griffin. Did you mean Prick Griffin?' Let's do it people. I'm fairly sure his appearance on Question Time won't help the BNP's popularity at all. Have you heard him talk? He's a fat racist dickhead who on previous occasions has said things like 'The ultimate aim for me and for the BNP still remains an all-white Britain.' I hope someone challenges that statement by asking him that as it snowed across the UK in February, maybe now he can fuck off. I also hope someone questions him on 'mass alien immigration' and asks him whether he believes in little green men. If people wind him up enough its only a matter of time before he shouts that all black people should die, or something as ludicrous and then he'll get properly lynched as he leaves the studios. My only worry is that we do have people who willingly watch mind numbing shit such as Loose Women or Big Brother, its possible some of them may find him charming. Lets keep those anti-racist fingers crossed it doesn't happen.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I'm pretty good at improvising me. Its what I tend to do most days. For example, I didn't plan or script for me to get up at 11.30am today, then it was totally random and unpredictable that I had a toasted cheese sandwich for breakfast. Who would've seen that coming? Exactly. Mind blowing. In fact I think it's best that life is like this otherwise I would suspect I am in a low budget version of the Truman Show and would start to get very scared about any time I got on a flight anywhere incase it just flew into a sky coloured wall. So today I'm going to utilise these mega impro skills and take part in a workshop with the London Comedy Impro peoples, ie Brendan Dempsey, Tara Flynn and Michael Legge. I haven't done comedy impro for ages, not since the first year of my university where me and my friend Mat were part of the am dram impro group. It was a weekly impro session which only lasted for a year after we got there. I suspect we might be to blame although I'm more sure that it was all the people in it who were hugely shit at impro. Its not hard to be shit at coming up with something good and I will forgive some screw ups but these were the sort of people who were handed a fantastic scenario on a plate and would then block it with crap one word answers. ' Will you help me pull this giraffe out of the burger van, Henry the eskimo?' would be asked, or some such bollocks, ad the response would just be 'No', entirely killing the scene. There was one master at this, that did it with an edge of class that will never be known again. His name was Simon and he excelled in strolling into any scene, doing the same droll voice and asking someone 'Could I have a pint of bull semen please?' Effortlessly the audience would be in stitches and the scene would crumble. It was the catchphrase of a comedy champion. Me and Mat would look up to him in awe as we merely acted out a Mission Impossible version of buying some bread in a supermarket, with absolutely no bull semen involved at all. So hopefully today shall be much fun. There are loads of other comics going and it should be ace. What they don't know is that I've already warmed up by entirely improvising today's blog. Yeah it wasn't scripted or anything. I'm a frikkin' master.

Few other notable things:

- Yesterday had a writing meeting with Tom Craine. The meeting involved 2 minutes of writing, having a breakfast for lunch (yeah take that everyday meal conventions) and then packing it all in and watching the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. It was good, but I really can't tell you why. It hurt my brain a lot and I left with a headache. I love directors such as Gilliam who use the medium of film to completely take the audience on a journey to unrealistic worlds, but at the same time, it helps if there is some sort of story line so I can board that train of fantasy rather than feel like I've taken ketamine mixed with glue and passed out on someone's stairs. Damn you Gilliam. Damn you.

- Fat Tuesday was bloody awesome with excellent stuff from Seann Walsh and Stephen K Amos. Lovely crowd too. Its not funny but its fact. So there.

- To all those billions of people who commented how we should get a magnetic cat flap, there are several reasons why this cannot happen. Firstly, trying to put a cat collar on my cats is one of the most impossible feats of scratch endurance ever. If you want to look like you've dived head first into some barbed wire then danced around in its spikey barbs then please feel free to come round and try. If you're lucky Rosie will shit on you as well. Secondly, getting a magnetic implant in them is a no-no as far as Layla is concerned. She doesn't like the idea. I however would be keen to get them the implant, a bionic eye and robotic legs so that they can leap 50ft in the air and such things. Lastly, what if a cat in the neighbourhood has the opposite magnetic collar and as they approach my cats, both repel each other in opposite directions at high speeds? Hang on that actually sounds awesome. I'll get my camera.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Grey Areas

I was woken up by the shitty grey cat being in our flat again this morning. I have decided that our cats need a cat flap with a front door key. That grey cat just wanders in as though he can and then antagonizes Rosie and Bella until they make a loud hissing noise and general cat mayhem sounds and I wake up two hours before I should. I don't like it that he harasses our cats, but I like it less that he wakes me up. I haven't quite worked out a solution yet, but I fear even if I lay traps or clever devices for him that I may be tempting some sort of Warner Bros Acme type fate where they will all backfire. I've seen cartoons. When humans tackle animals bad stuff happens. Either that or the RSPCA will find out that I've set fire to his tail and then I'll get in trouble. Seriously, its political correctness gone mad I tells ya. So that was at 8.30am this morning and to sort my self out I decided to go back to bed, waking up much later than I thought I would. Its the weather. I blame the weather entirely for my laziness. Its because I am so in touch with my ancestors roots, that I empathize with the need to hibernate on grey days like this. Yes, I mean the really ancient ancestors. The ones that said things like 'oog' and 'ug boots' and little else. In fact its all to do with grey things. I blame grey. David Grey, you have a lot to answer for you shaky headed bastard!

I took part in the science quiz last night and while I was pretty crap (scoring a mere 3 points out of 12) I felt I answered something's pretty well. Such as the question 'In the UK the room at a sperm donor in which a man donates his sperm is called a 'donations room'. What is it called in the USA?' The correct answer was 'Masterbatorium' which is pretty funny. My answer was 'Cum and Go Booths'. Someone just about trumped it with 'oval office'. The one I answered correctly, which few else got was that Genghis Khan is responsible for 1% of the world's population, due to the amount of ladies he had sexy time with. That's amazing isn't? 1% of everyone is a bit mongol and barbarian like. I hope I'm 1% Genghis. I'd prefer to be Khan than Khan't. The rest of the evening was really good too. There was a lot of clever science chat where I ended up sitting and grinning a lot, hoping people would take this as a sign that I understood everything. Sadly, before they knew I was a comedian, I think they presumed that someone had brought along their special needs cousin and left him in a corner. My set itself went down really well, which was nice. Lots of the jokes will never work again, but I was fairly proud of them so I might try and throw them into normal gigs. I'm sure most hen and stag dos will get hilarious word play on the SRY gene and ovarian terratomas. I mean, wouldn't everyone? No.

I'm cutting this blog short today as I'm going to meet Craine for a writing lunch. We don't know what we're writing about as we'll be eating lunch, and we are having lunch at a place called the breakfast club. Essentially, we're lunching with breakfast and writing. I'm so very confused and I don't like it. This will be followed by a special Fat Tuesday tonight with Stephen K Amos. Its already sold out, so there. I win.

Monday, October 19, 2009

World Without Men

I'm doing a rather unusual gig tonight. Unusual in the sense that its not a gig, its a science discussion, and also unusual in that its not normally the sort of thing I'd do, mainly because I haven't got a clue about sciencey things. I used to. Back at school I was very into science, mostly because it was the only lesson you got to set fire to things in. My love for it was mostly destroyed by a teacher called Mr Silverwood who insisted on trying to do terrible quips throughout the lessons. 'Sir my pen's run out' would illicit a response of 'don't worry the door's closed. It wont go anywhere'. There were many other awful things and so it was inevitable that I would relate science to such terribleness and give up on it. So I surprised myself by saying yes to tonight's gig. You never really know where saying 'yes' will lead to and I'm an advocate of saying it as much as possible. This, unlike the film or book 'Yes Man' has not normally lead to many great things but more the loss of money and sometimes dignity.

Tonight's gig shouldn't result in either of those hopefully. The event is called Cafe Scientifique and the idea is to hold scientific discussions in places where people can relax and have coffee. You know, all those things scientists don't usually get to do as they spend 24/7 injecting mice in the eyes. The specified area for this evening is a short film called 'A World Without Men' that investigates the ever diminishing Y chromosome and the increasing parthenogenesis in fish and reptiles. I've been asked to make 10 minutes of jokes about it. This is much harder than it sounds as after watching the film I'm just genuinely terrified that men are dying out. The facts are not pretty. According to all these science peoples the Y is getting weaker, more and more decayed and men are becoming more frequently infertile by the minute. I'm tempted to abandon all humour and just rally all the men round in a circle and discuss survival tactics. A big part of it is something called DAZ (sY254) which stops sperm being able to swim. I knew that all those DAZ representatives doing the 'Doorstep Challenge' were up to something. Don't you realise Danny Baker that you have started your own undoing you fool! To be fair, its not entirely the DAZ's fault, but also largely to do with the discovery that a shark recently had a 'virgin birth' with no male shark involved. I'm tempted to suggest it might've been near a sperm whale but I'm not sure how that will go down. Either way, having investigated that two eggs can create a baby without any male DNA handiwork, there is the possibility that we will not be needed. Truly truly scary times.

I'm also finding it terrifying that they may not go for any of my jokes. They'll all be clever science people who probably only laugh when a DNA chain of 22 Angstroms turns out to be 24 or some bollocks. I've experienced this before with a gig to a group of maths professors. I've always known that anyone that involved with numbers won't be interested in humour. I mean, it figures. Arf. This gig was the very first 'proper' gig I did after leaving uni. A group of us that had done the stand-up course in Kent had been invited back to perform at this maths conference as entertainment for the lecturers. Basically the budget was very low and we were very poor so it seemed like a clever pairing. Ultimately we all got stared at rather large amounts and its needless to say my early observations on whales were not received very well. Instead we stole a lot of the wine and got drunk on the grass outside as though we'd never graduated.

So hopefully tonight will be alright. Even if it isn't I feel I've actually learnt something. Mostly that there'll be no men in about 200 years. It shouldn't bother me as I'll be dead by then, but I can't help but feel that maybe if I do something now I could change things later. I think I'm going to spend the day making all the jar lids tighter in the flat just so Layla feels my presence is entirely necessary.

If you want to come along tonight, its in Tooting and the details are here: (scroll down the page my friends, scroll down)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Police Story

About 10 minutes down the A45 last night, Phil Nichol pointed out that whilst sitting in the back of the car, his head was really very cold. There was a small moment of realisation, combining many clues - people in the car park beeping us as we left, the fact I could see very clearly out the exceptionally dirty back window, the small light saying the boot was open - that made us realise the boot was open. I'm not going to point the finger of blame at anyone, but basically Phil had opened it and not closed it again. So I did what any sensible person would do and pulled over so that Nick Doody could jump out and close it. As he did this a police car pulled up behind us and one of the cops got out to talk to us. Nick had decided against telling them that we were experimenting with trying to fly and instead told them we'd just noticed the boot too. The policeman then asked me if there 'was any booze involved', which is an odd way to ask if I'd been drinking. Technically, booze does not have to be consumed for it to 'be involved'. At the Belgrade Theatre there was definitely booze 'involved' but luckily for my criminal record I had not had any of it. I left it to get involved with other people. I explained that we had just done a show and were racing home and unbelievably the cop just said he'd leave us to it and left. He didn't breathalyse me or anything. I could've been drunk off my tits. I can't help but feel it was a missed opportunity.

Previous occasions where I've been stopped by the police have not been that easy. Particular notable occasions include the time where I stupidly, due to tiredness, went to turn down a one-way street off Euston Road at about 2 in the morning. The policemen were very nice but asked what I did and insisted on asking questions about comedy. They proceeded to ask if we were still doing jokes such as 'Lesbians against Bush' (it was while Bush was in power, they weren't that out of date) and then when I told them that I had gigged with Chris Lynam who ended the show by sticking a firework up his arse, they told me it sounded just like a day at the station. Had I encountered such oh so hilarious people in a comedy club there would be some brutal mocking, but standing in the cold on Euston Road and being the one who was getting interrogated I had to do my polite fake laugh. As they didn't know me, they weren't suspicious of this incredibly fake forced chuckle that is far too obvious at any other time. Then again I suspect its the only type of laugh they ever hear.

There was also the time I got stopped for having my back lights out and the officer spent 20 minutes telling me how terrible being in the police is nowadays. Loads of his colleagues had gone to Canada where there was less 'paper work' and he just wouldn't stop sighing and feeling miserable about it all. I ended up being some sort of councillor by telling him he was doing a good job and aren't the government bastards etc. I couldn't help but wonder if he stops people every night just so he can have a chat. Before he finally let me go he told me that he'd stopped Jim Davidson for drink driving at least 6 times and that he should now be locked up but the world isn't fair. I tried to explain that Jim Davidson existing isn't fair, but it became obvious I was insulting the cops favourite style of humour. A cop? Liking racist jokes? Who would have thought?

My least nice experience was outside Bristol where I was stopped in a petrol station by two bored angry cops who checked every detail of my insurance and licence insisting firstly that I had stolen the vehicle, then that my credentials were wrong. My diabetic blood sugars were going low and it was all rather distressing. They wanted me to slip up so they could get angry and said things like 'I bet you think the Bristol accents pretty funny don't you? I bet you take the piss out of that don't you?' I replied by telling them about funny Bristolian comics such as Mark Olver and Russell Howard and they just got increasingly more irritated. All a bit scary when cops are bored. I wanted to suggest they keep themselves entertained by catching criminals but thought it wasn't appropriate.

I have learnt that there are several do's and don'ts when stopped by the cops. Here is my definitive list:

- DO speak in a very posh voice. They respond well to this as think you may be related to someone who could get them sacked. Unless they are very cockney, in which case, adopt your most cockney voice and pretend they are your 'mates' even though you would never have mates like them.

- DONT wear your 'All cops are dicks' t-shirt.

- DONT get out of your car until they tell you to. Otherwise you look too eager and they might think you are a serial breathalist who likes breathing into small tubes for pleasure.

- DO call them 'officer'.

- DONT call them 'unuh unuh stupid head'.

- DO say 'I won't do it again officer.'

- DONT say 'I'll do it again I tell you! Again and again! Until the whole world is mine! Mwahahahahahah!'

The show last night was much fun, despite being in a theatre and in Coventry. Audience were lovely. Staff less so, as they decided not to offer us any drinks, even water, or let us know when we had to go onstage. Its those little things that really make the difference. That's the difference between the audience sitting in the dark for 5 minutes or not. No gig tonight so I'm going to avoid all things humorous till tomorrow. If I or Layla so much as smirk at anything there'll be trouble.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Call of the Crazy Wolf Man

As myself, Layla and James (Hingley of website and Precious Little fame) got to the Victoria Line platform at Warren Street tube last night, we witnessed an extraordinary man. Slightly scruffy looking, with beard and indie style clothing, was a smallish man, swaying and howling and grunting in what appeared to be some sort of wolfish tongue. Presuming he was just drunk, and us being drunk on curry and therefore unable to have any kind of willpower, we laughed a lot. They would range from long prairie type wails to short bursts of feral shouts. Every now and then these would be interspersed with swear words and other small amounts of actual English. There was of course a chance that he had some sort of illness or problem, but instead I preferred to think that he was the ambassador of a new language. This was discussed briefly, along with the possibilities that he only spoke in Wookie, or that in a minute he would be surrounded by dogs and then once they'd arrived he'd speak in perfect English. We finally came upon the decision that he was proper nuts and we moved a good distance down the platform before laughing at him all over again. I can't help but wonder, while it was hilarious, that perhaps he spent time living with wolves or huskies in the wild and had been chosen to bridge the gap between them and us by entering London and speaking wolvish. By merely pointing and mocking we could have been disregarding the most important moment between man and beast that has ever been. Tomorrow, as a mark of anger at turning our nose up at the message of peace they brought, wolves could suddenly storm London with fire in their eyes, aiming to eat all human children till we learn to respect them. And then as they try, they'd all get killed by bendy buses as they wouldn't understand them. Again, like I say, its more likely he just had brain troubles. Shame really.

Not enough people do things like the wolf man. I would like to hear people speaking in gobbledigook more often. My grandad, Edmund Douieb, would always tell me that he could speak 6 languages: English, Italian, German, French, Spanish and Gibberish. He'd then proceed to speak a bit of each language before just going completely nuts for the last one which would make me laugh endlessly. Sadly this would then be followed up by tales of him killing his commander in cold blood whilst with the Foreign Legion in the desert to which I would just look scared. This would then be diffused by taking his false teeth out and singing a song called 'Le Marrionette' with them. Again I would laugh and then he would tell me about jumping out of planes over Dunkirk and getting shot in the leg whilst his friends died. I don't think he ever really sussed out how to talk to children.

No more working on We Need Answers for me now, which is a shame. Last night was much fun and another good show. The audience were all really lovely, except, oddly for the front row, which was full of dicks. This included a man who wore trousers that were on one side, shorts and on the other trousers, so one of his legs was always cold. Idiot. Worse was his friend who heckled Mark as he entered the stage. You don't heckle at a TV recording. What an utter fool. Still everyone was great and one man told us about how his hatred for broccoli led to his friends making him an action figure out of said vegetable. His friends sound amazing. More people should conquer hatred with action figures made of the hated subject matter. Although I hate spiders and I can't help but feel I'd be pretty disgusted with the creation that would come from that. And no, I doubt it would just look like Spiderman.

At the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry tonight with the rather brilliant line-up of Phil Nichol, Nick Doody and Mitch Benn. If it goes well enough I might even do MCing in my wolf speak and see if it can raise as many laughs as yesterday. Although perhaps I shouldn't risk it incase I do it too well and the audience get eaten by wolves.

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Sneakers Kept Squeaking

I'm not too easily embarrassed by such tiny irks that may upset others. If a bit of my hair is sticking up unnecessarily I will still brave the big bad world without sorting it out. Despite having the option to change a t-shirt when it has a stain on it, I have refrained from doing so, uncaring that the public may see me for the slob I am. However, in the last two weeks something has been causing me to wince shamefully with literally every step I take. One of my trainers is really squeaky. Not just a little bit squeaky. Not the tiny noise a timid mouse would make when trying to chat up another mouse without enough cheese booze to fuel them. No, this squeak is mega. More like a thousand of those timid mice, being stamped on by a big boot, or a child's squeaky toy under a train. In fact, what it actually sounds like is a tiny fart. Everytime my right foot hits the floor, it makes a tiny fart noise. I'm really not sure what I can do about it. I put my trainers in the washing machine a few weeks back and now it makes that noise. I like to think its squeaky clean, but apparently according to the wise words of people on various trainer based forums (oh yes they exist), I have got water trapped inside them. I've tried to get rid of this water by using Layla's hairdryer on them, shaking them vigorously and even singing 'Rain, rain go away' at them. None of these has worked. And now I am cursed with a farty shoe forever. I wouldn't mind except for these reasons:

- They are not that old. I am a die hard 'wear trainers till they are falling off my foot' type man. I will buy new ones when they are broken beyond repair and not before then. I will not replace them because they appear flatulent.

- Most stages have a specific flooring that makes them even louder than normal. This means in the place it is most important not to have noisey footwear, my right foot becomes an amplified bringer of tragic sounds. This is at its worst during the filming at We Need Answers when they ask for quiet on set, and all that is heard is the comedy noise of me seemingly having a small trumpet attached to my soles. Everyone has clearly noticed, but as they are polite, it has not been brought up yet, in the same way they wouldn't bring up an embarrassing birth mark or halitosis. I'm sure after tonight, when I have done my last warm-up, that I'll be known as 'stupid squeaky shoed warm up idiot' round the Stephen Street Studios.

I'm honestly not sure what to do about it and I've considered many options. Firstly, giving in and buying new trainers which seems ridiculous. Secondly, sticking masking tape or other things to the bottom of the shoe to hopefully supress the noise. Lastly, getting a job entertaining cats as they think there are rodents in the room. If you have any solution to such things, please let me know.

It is my last warm-up at We Need Answers tonight, which is a shame. I've enjoyed it thoroughly and last night was one of the best ones I've worked on. Not because of me, but more so because Mark, Tim and Alex were on top form and more importantly the guests were great once again. Although Jake Arnott did shout at me as I said he wrote 'in cockney' as a lead up to a rather terrible joke. He did apologise afterwards, so it was fine, but I've never known a writer to get upset by such things. Saying that, I've never known a writer. Actually I know one, my friend Louise, who is a brilliant writer, but I've never assumed she writes in any specific dialect. I will though, and see if she gets mad. Also at last night's show, there was a man with an evil moustache, a woman whose job was to upgrade helicopters and a man call Martian. Top fun. I did also find out, thanks to Alex's computer skills, that I'm the same height that Houdini was. I was also born in the year of the Monkey, as was he. Essentially what I'm saying is I must be Houdini reborn. Except that I can't even escape having one stupid shoe.

After tonight I must return however to the sad world of normal gigs. If you are in the Coventry area, do come to this on Saturday. The line-up is a bit bloody awesome:

What I particularly like about that website blurb is that they've left in the bit of the email saying that I'm the driver. It does however help anyone who may wonder why on earth I'm on such a good bill.

Extra points to anyone who knows where today's blog title is from. I'm going now. Don't pretend you can't hear me walking away.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Death death death. No one likes death do they? Except funeral directors. And those Americans who make the electric chairs. In fact without death both of those people would be completely out of work. That and the world would be really full of old people. Ultimately it would really help with things like history lessons or solving the problem of the missing link, as all these people would be wandering among us. On the down side, the world would be vastly over populated and we would probably have to constantly engage in an eternal battle where people can only be killed by the cutting off of their heads like in Highlander. If that happened, I'd wear a metal scarf. I'd be a brilliant Highlander. Except I'm too small, so I'd have to be a Lowlander, which would oddly be better as it'd be harder to decapitate someone that much lower than you. Anyway, I digress. Last night, I died on stage. Of course this isn't like proper death but it used to feel like it was. Nothing sticks in your mind like a terrible stage death and you think about it for days and days as all confidence is shattered and you look for adverts in local papers for any holes you might be able to crawl in and actually die. I have a list of my worst deaths ever which include the one on the Wibbly Wobbly boat that I wrote about a few days ago, and one at the Comedy Store where I received one of the worst heckles ever ever. I also, perhaps more meanly, have a list of favourite comedy deaths I've ever witnessed other acts have. Its not nice to do this, and often its so awful watching a collegue have the worst gig of their lives but sometimes, just sometimes, its brilliant. My favourite was an act during our first ever season of Fat Tuesday who had ten whole minutes of excruciating silence from the crowd. Nothing he did worked and it was terrible. Then as he was wrapping up and swallowing his pride, he said thanks to the crowd, went to leave the stage, tripped over the mic stand and fell flat on his face to a standing ovation and loud guffaw from everyone. Horrible. Horrible but brilliant.

I remember being told ages ago that the longer you do comedy, the more you are able to prevent dying on stage. If something's not working you know to change to something else, change material for banter or vice versa. While I'm probably jinxing myself, over the last 3 or 4 months I've only died twice. Once at the golf gig here:

And the second time was last night. Yesterday I was the token male at Girls With Guns at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Girls With Guns is a brilliant gig, and a brilliant idea, where the normal comedy night bill is reversed with all female acts and one token male act. Sadly it was let down by a complete lack of crowd last night. There were a handful of people spread as widely as possible over the room, just to ensure they couldn't create any kind of atmosphere at all. Tiffany Stevenson went on first and she MC'd brilliantly, but the crowd were not going for anything, ever. Roison Conaty was second and did a kick arse set but the crowd were giving nothing except a few titters. Then it was time for the Douieb, and I got nothing. Less than nothing. It was as though they were dead or made of stone. Or dead people that had been turned to stone and then got deaded again somehow using stone killer. It didn't help that the stage was very high up, or that the lighting kept going bright and dim at regular intervals during my set but ultimately, it was my fault. No matter how shit a crowd, I've seen comedians turn the frowns upside down and I couldn't do it. Oddly instead of hating myself and wanting to cut small pictures of Barry Scott into my arm out of self loathing, I found it strangely refreshing. I've been feeling quite confident about stand-up lately and really feeling like I can walk on any stage and have a good gig, and last night was the slap in the face that proved me wrong. Not that I like slaps in the face, please don't assume that's what I meant and attack me with slappery. There was something nice to think that that can still happen and I need to be on top of my game to stop it from happening again. Also it was nice to know that it really doesn't bother me too much. I know the good gigs outweigh the bad ones by a massive difference and that keeps me from going insane after one of them isn't amazing. Saying that if the next three nights are all shit I will just fire myself out of a cannon of sadness.

Back to doing warm-up for We Need Answers tonight. Very much looking forward to watching Watson, Key and Horne's antics once again and rambling inbetween. Should be much fun. Before that I am going to buy some new headphones because I slammed mine in my car door like a massive div and now I can only hear in the left ear piece which makes my right ear feel slightly left out. Or right out. I'm not sure.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Face For Radio

I've already done a radio interview today which is pretty bloody productive for me by this time of day. Normally by now I've had two cups of tea, some toast, watched a bit of This Morning then shouted at Loose Women before quickly turning it off. Today however, I've done all of that and a radio interview. All hail Douieb the over-achiever! It was a fun interview with Annie Orthon for BBC Coventry and Warwickshire which means all of about 10 people were listening and that's including the people on Twitter I told about it. Annie seemed very nice and asked several questions I'm very used to answering which was good. Things like 'So I understand you did stand-up at University? That's not a proper course is it?' I hear that question from my parents on a regular basis. To give massive credit to the course though it was proper and included four whole essays and several bits of coursework. Oh how I enjoyed telling law students that as they studied so hard for their final exams and I lay on the campus grass in the sunshine complaining of only 4000 words to write and then no exams whatsoever. Maybe its not a proper course. Hopefully I successfully promoted the show at the Belgrade Theatre this Saturday, and I did my best not to do one swear or mention anything not allowed on the radio. I, like many people, suffer from that terrible inner demon that just wanted me to shout all the worst swears I knew in a row before hanging up. Thats what T-Demon wanted. T-Demon appears every now and then when, for example, wankers in Camden decide its ok to walk in front of me car. I stop the car and maybe shrug with disappointment. While I'm doing this though I have to hold back T-Demon's urge to drive over them and reverse repeatedly while calling them any variety of horrible names. He also appears anytime a small animal is in close enough range to kick, or anything is nearby enough to smash. Basically he's a vicious little twat. I'm fairly sure everything has these thoughts of 'what would happen if...' and I'm very pleased I never act out any of them. The reason I don't is because I'm going to wait till I'm 70+ when I can get away with it and do all of them at once. So I didn't do any of that.

I did however walk around in my pants while on the phone. Thats the beauty of radio. No one knew. I bet Annie was in her pants too. If I was a radio presenter, I'd only ever present in my pants. Or at least in my pajamas because it just wouldn't matter. Maybe sometimes I'd wear a t-shirt saying 'All my listeners are dickheads' or something like that. I feel if your job allows you such rebellious moments, they should be indulged. The same way all news readers shouldn't wear trousers. Except on the BBBC Breakfast News where they sit on a sofa. I'm not that up for seeing Bill Turnbull's nads. As well as walking around in my pants I pulled several 'unuh' faces and did a bit of a dance. I'm brilliant me.

Last night's Fat Tuesday was stupendously awesome with brilliant sets from shouty Michael Legge (who didn't shout as much as he said he would), Tiffany Stevenson, Chris Addison and Milton Jones. All the audience were lovely. In fact they were so lovely that one woman in the crowd had been fired whilst working for Jordan because she had pretty much told Katy Price that she was a twat. That's how lovely the audience were. Tonight I'm off to do Girls With Guns at the Vauxhall Tavern. Being neither a girl, nor owning a gun, I'm the token man without a weapon. I hope this doesn't mean I'll just be a target for all those women with AK47s. If so, I will go down in a blaze of glory and make up the most sexist material I can. Like, er,'women eh? Whats that all about?' And other such gems of wisdom.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Self Imposed Blog Gag

This blog is not allowed to blog about the question it was going to blog about. Sadly I can't report who it was going to be about, what the subject matter was or why I've been told I can't blog about it. So as freedom of speech has been destroyed by to the extent where even the people reporting on the people who impose such conditions are imposed upon, I will use this blog to say whatever I like, with no fear of the thought police raiding my home and making me sit in room 101. Not that I am any sort of an intelligent enough person to comment on such matters but it does seem a very scary state of affairs when such things are occurring. It makes you wonder what else is not being reported on or covered up. Perhaps the rocket fired at the moon last week was specifically aimed at aliens? Or was full of Russian spies. Who knows. I'm sad to say I don't understand it all because I am a big thicko. I think it also doesn't help that I woke up at 11am today, by which point it had already been Twittered about all morning and one hour later Carter Ruck (which sounds like a sequel to Get Carter where there is a big fight between everyone. Although this sequel would be impossible due to Carter's death at the end of Get Carter. If you haven't seen it, sorry for spoiling it for you but you should've seen it by now, so its your fault) had rescinded their legal case against the Guardian anyway so it all seems now to be over. What this does show is that Twitter is pretty bloody impressive. Everything that Trafigura attempted to hold back information-wise was subsequently thrown all over the net anyway in 140 character bursts like an actually useful Chinese Whisper. You can't hide anything nowadays with the advent of such things. I sometimes worry about the X-Men graphic novel I stole from Hanley Road library in 1991 as its bound to surface at some point once someone finds out.

The only time Twitter can be dangerous is when people tweet news that is not at all true. Last night Zach Braff's death was twittered all over the shop only for it to turn out to be a hoax. This is really not on. Mostly because I had started trying to write jokes about it, but also because Zach Braff probably doesn't want people to think he's dead. Unless he has tax fraud issues, you never know. I suppose it would have meant E4 might finally stop repeating Scrubs every two minutes. Then all we'd have to hope for is for the entire cast of Friends to die and the channel might be able to put some original programming on for once. Anyway, he's not dead incase you care, or wanted some decent pub banter. It was highly believable for while as celebs seem to be just dying every two minutes at the mo. I can only hope its some sort of engineered virus. If so, its a shame it wasn't targeted at the really untalented ones first. Anyway, it made me realise that as much as it helps proper news get around, like today, it can also help spread big whopping lies. Eventually we won't have a clue what's what and the only way to find out real news will be to spend all day running around to watch things happen with your own eyes. Either that or ignore everything. As they say, ignorance is bliss. That's why people with lobotomies are never sad. Or happy. Or anything.

Not really sure what today's blog is about I'm afraid. I started wanting to talk about this morning's events before realising once again, that I haven't got a clue. Yesterday night was spent watching Peep Show from last week and playing a lot of Fable 2. The latter sadly does not include any of Aesop's best ones. Tonight will be a slightly more productive event with a lovely sold out Fat Tuesday to look forward to. We did have two special guests and now only have one but I think this is for the best as it allows me to waffle on for ages. I might try and talk about things I shouldn't and see if anyone imposes a gag on me. Or more likely I'll tell my squash joke from last week on Twitter then run out of material, panic and bring on an act.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Three Unwise Men

This blog was going to be about my dismay at yesterday's poor attempt at a veggie roast. I had in my head about 15 complaints about the exact lack of effort that was put into throwing my poor selection of vegetables and two non-crispy roast spuds with an overly spongy Yorkshire pud onto my plate and garnishing them with neither gravy, accompaniments or care. I wanted to tell you all how with any actual attempt at the 'roast' part of a veggie roast, being completely absent from the dish, that it was like a culinary spot the ball competition where the ball was something I really really wanted to eat. I was going to go into in depth detail how the actual veggie option was a stuffed pumpkin which sounded quite nice but due to the pub being hugely incompetent they had run out so offered me the choice of risotto or the bland collection of drabness they gave me, and how risotto is not an option for Sunday lunch. Its not. Its rice. No one needs rice on a Sunday. Unless its accompanied with curry. There was all sorts of wrong and I left lunch with our friends and unhappy man, having to consolidate myself with a krispy kreme donut, which led someway to regaining my cheer. But then, as I was planning such blogographic exploits, something else happened yesterday night that I felt deserved more of the final word count than tales of food neglect.

Richard Sandling's gig in Southend is lovely. Really really lovely. Its in a nice room, within a pub which to all intents and purposes is nice bar a very sticky floor and power rangers painted on the toilets. I know some people may get excited by such prospects, especially if they are 8 years old. If they are 8, then they wouldn't be allowed in the pub in the first place. I however, think the power rangers are dicks. I won't give much reasoning here as that is a blog for another time but you can tell my disregard for them by the fact I refuse to put capital letters on either part of their name. Aside from that, it was all great, and with a lovely crowd too. I wouldn't have driven to Southend if it wasn't, as Rich had already stated it was not great dosh and I had had a roast, even though it was a crap one. Those two factors combined usually mean I have little motivation to leave the house. But Rich is a top man and I was very happy about heading to the beaches of Essex for the eve. The show started really well with a great set from James Acaster, but two minutes before he finished, something happened. When I say something I mean 'three arseholes' and when I say happened I mean 'walked in and started disrupting everything'. You can tell people are going to ruin a show from the second they stroll through the door and shout '3 please' to the ticket man, without paying any attention to the fact that a show is happening next to them or having any discretion about what may be going on around them. Instead James picked up on it and their pathetic response was loudly saying to each other, 'Oh I bet he's not funny'. There were two who looked like pathetic henchmen with spiky hair and shirts, while the ringleader wore a beany hat, with a beige suit jacket, shirt, wasitcoat and tie and baggy skater jeans and trainers. It appeared as though he had taken fashion tips from one of those children's flip books where you could swap people's heads, torsos and legs. These were the sort of people I expected to live in Southend. Its bad to judge a place before you get there but I find by doing that you are often pleasantely surprised when its better than you thought. I for some unknown reason, had odd memories of Southend being the sort of place you go swimming in the sea in order to get a rash and spend days eating over salted chips while watching 12 year olds get addicted to gambling. Its not like that at all, its actually quite nice. I must've been thinking of Clacton-On-Sea. These three chumps weren't even from Southend which made the area rise in my estimation again. Rich had some words with them inbetween the acts but they continued to pipe up throughout Joey Page's set, despite being put down by him several times and Rich gave them an ultimatum at the interval that if they left then, they would get their money back. They decided to stay and be quiet, but they were never really quiet and by then the damage was done, the room was more tense than it had been to begin with. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed my set but as I did it I could see them whispering to each other and play fighting like children while I addressed the rest of the nice crowd and it did throw my off a tad.

I just once again fail to see why people like that would come to a gig. It was a Sunday night. No one should be that shitty on a Sunday should they? What on earth caused these people to decide that they would attend a quiet gig and talk through it, despite knowing the crowd had little to no respect for them at all. Their excuse to Richard at the end of the night was that when they go to clubs in London, the acts want hecklers. Now I don't know if any acts want hecklers, but if they do, please can you stop encouraging it now? I'm happy to deal with a few heckles, but when its ingrained in the minds of dickheads that that is their job for the evening then something is going horribly wrong in the audience world.

I realise as this blog trails off inconclusively that it has been one big rant fest with little to no mirth. Sorry about this but it is my day off and so as with a lot of days off I try to do as little comedy as possible. If I'm really relaxing I won't even laugh. Not once. My plan is to spend the rest of today listening to Leonard Cohen while watching Requiem for a Dream and looking at my bank statements.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Coventry, Squished People and Hardee

In two hours I'm going to have a roast. Thing is, I'm hungry right now. This is that terrible conundrum whereby if I eat now, then I won't be hungry enough to eat all of the roast, and if I don't eat now I'm going to complain about being hungry endlessly for the next two hours. Its a veggie roast by the way, just incase any of you regular readers (ie one of you) was throwing yourselves back and forth in confusion and dismay by earlier possible lies of my eating habits. Don't worry, it will only be a collection of roast tatties, roast other vegetables and then some sort of veggie roast attempt that I will probably leave as it'll no doubt taste like dried pieces of peoples feet. Very few culinary establishments have ever really conquered the veggie roast. I've had a few in my time that use good veggie sausages, which is a decent option, although I feel ruins the idea of a roast by not actually having a roast in it at all. The best one ever ever is in the Thomas a Beckett pub in Canterbury where they have somehow managed to make a not shit nut roast. In fact, its better than that, its actually good. Really good. I haven't been for 6 years so they may now have screwed it up, but back then it was even better as it was always served by a woman who looked like a slightly squished version of Anna Kornikova. From henceforth she was known to us all as Ini Kinikova, which is what happens to people when made smaller or squished. You just exchange letters in their names for 'i's so they sound tiny. Example, take the very tall Greg Davies and squish him = Grig Divis. Simple.

Coventry was as expected. Not terrible at all but not brilliant either. Just kind of, well as opposed to this term as I am, very 'meh'. Last time I was there I was informed of a fight that had happened the week before, but my gig had turned out to be ridiculously tame. Again when I arrived last night I was told that the previous week had been so mad people had been kicked out and it was pretty terrible. Last night however was very very tame. Well nearly. There was one idiot heckler who was part of a fancy dress party, but she was deftly destroyed by Okse during his set and she didn't spark up again after that. Everyone else however was enjoying it, but were never going to set the roof on fire. I mean that as a metaphor. My gig expectations are not so high that I expect them always to finish with some level of arson. It was fun though and the night was more than made up for by the journey there and back where Nick Revell told myself, Chris Mayo and Nathan Caton many tales from ghost stories to stories from the 80s alternative circuit. And he made us all sandwiches as well. Not that I have a passenger classification list but if I did, Nick would be high up there. Along with Tom Deacon who last gig we did together, brought tangerines and eclairs.

What was interesting was hearing Nick tell us about Malcolm Hardee pissing on a member of the audience's face as they slept in the front row, or Keith Allen's mad drug fuelled rants and realising just how different the circuit is today. There is far less of the complete mania then there was back then. Not that this is altogether a bad thing, as I'm not one to advocate the urinating on of paying punters faces. Or in fact anyone's faces really. I suppose that unless we get someone like Thatcher in power again there won't be the same level of rebellion in comedy. Saying that, it looks like the Tories will get back in so hopefully there'll be a sufficient amount of opposition in the world of stand-up if it happens. I doubt there will be though. Not that I'm one to talk, but I can't imagine we'll get too many political comedians again anytime soon. Or mentals like Malcolm Hardee. There are so many brilliant tales about that man, but sadly I only ever met him once and I hated him. It was my 7th ever gig and I was doing an open spot at the Wibbly Wobbly boat in Surrey Quays, which was owned by Malcolm. When I got there he was lovely and told me how the night would run. Then the audience settled in. I say audience, but it was just three tattood skinhead builders sitting at the front, and no one else. Malcolm then walked on stage and said, and I quote ' Its a new act night. They'll either all be good or they'll all be shit. To be honest they'll probably all be shit. Now here's some cunt who's name I can't pronounce.' I walked on to the builders singing 'when the fuck are you going home?' and I lasted one and a half minutes before running off into the Surrey Quays only to get lost and not find the tube for 40 minutes. Maybe its not a bad thing comedians aren't like that anymore.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Passing on Wisdom

There's an odd thing your brain does when it knows you have to help out at a Comedy 4 Kids workshop. It starts by thinking of all the worst jokes you could possibly tell them, followed by which are your favourite highlights of say Jim Jeffries material. Then after you realise that is just too far, you wonder if what you should really be teaching them is that unless they want a lonely existence whereby they end up with favourite service stations and motorways, learn that the most obnoxious creatures on the planet are other people on a Friday or Saturday night and that they will go for months and months without being paid by anyone, then they probably shouldn't start doing stand-up. Instead, the first of my duties being just to answer questions about stand-up that any of the kids had, I decided to be optimistic, helpful and essentially full of lies. As it was the question I was asked were all completely irrelevant and involved 'what is your shoe size?', 'do you smell of poo?' and several questions about how much money I make. These last ones were the ones that mostly upset me, as my shoe size is a reasonable 9 (although 8 in Timberlands. Perhaps I am a tiny lumberjack/rapper) and I do not smell of poo. Well not today anyway. However, children who aspire to do comedy should not be aiming for that career because of money. That's where things are going wrong nowadays. There's less of this care, and want to do something because it's fun and more because they'll get rich and famous. So to diminsh this I told them I wouldn't tell them how much money I got but its not loads, hopefully causing them to rethink their careers and become valuable doctors or teachers. Sadly they still think I smell of poo. The gig that followed was much fun and mayhem with some children who live in a man called Lewis's eyes, a boy called Jack who insisted I was an idiot and another small boy who shouts at Doctors faces. What's not to enjoy?

Back to normal gigs tonight, which is a tad sad. More so because it is the gig in a cinema near Coventry. There are two things wrong with that sentence and I'll let you figure out what they are. I have complained about this gig before as it's not my favourite, nor do I think you should have comedy in somewhere that is designated for films. In the same way you shouldn't have go karting at the opera or a tiger at your nan's. The last one doesn't really work as a comparison, but I have been doing Comedy 4 Kids and that's how my brain is working today. It would, incase you were wondering, be a bad idea to have a tiger at your nan's. Unless of course it comes for tea as then it will be polite. Anyway to save myself complaining about this gig again read this:

Its not so much the gig that makes me sad today, but more that its a normal gig rather than the warm-up for We Need Answers. Despite the advice I was given for how bad warm-up could be, I've really enjoyed this week. Last night was a particularly good show with very good guests. I had to do a little more work than usual due to technical difficulties, but this meant doing more material to a lovely crowd while Alex Horne played appropriate sound affects after certain gags. I never knew my funk music material would be considerably added to when followed by the sound of two men walking down stone steps and then some seagulls. I have only two more to do next week before life returns to the hum drum usual gigs where after my jokes there is just cold depressing silence.

Afterwards I had some drinks with my friends Jude and Rosie which was nice as I hadn't caught up with them for ages, and they had conveniently both been in the audience for WNA. After doing the bog standard usual thing of drinking in a pub, Jude decided that we were all cool enough to go to a late night drinking place in the West End that didn't have loud music or anything an old man like me might hate on a Friday night. It was a tiny unsuspecting corridor on Greek Street known as The Hideout (or as it says on 'aka Trisha's'. I think this is wrong as it does not look like somewhere Trisha would own), that looks as though you are just walking into an unmarked office building, but as you head down the stairs there's a huge bouncer and a bar with booze in it. These, I find, are the best sort of bars. Slightly overcrowded, and when I say slightly I mean hugely, but very cool, there was something brilliantly secret about it. Even though lots of people seemed to know where it was and so I had to drink squished up against a wall. I like the fact that even after living in London for all these years, there are still pockets of fun dotted around that I stumble across. I wish more places like this existed, although I can't help but feel that they probably do and I just haven't been invited to any of them. Well I now know one of them. Not that I'll go again though, unless its really empty and I can get a seat. Or maybe I should turn up smelling of poo and clear the bar?

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Angry Making Thing

Hey you. Do you like getting angry? Or are you a more patient human being than I could ever hope to be? Well lets put that patience to the absolute limits or make you get so angry you punch your own face, with my newly discovered 'most angry making thing ever.' What I'm about to tell you, wasted an hour and 20 minutes of my life yesterday and brought me to levels of frustration where I had shouted so much at nothing that I just gave up and had to sit down for 15 minutes being sad. I've been having problems with the internet all week. Not the sort of problems you might expect with it such as pop ups, getting an error 404 message or that I don't yet have a wikipedia page that states that I am indeed a small deity. No I mean proper, will not connect to anything every 15 minutes or so type problems. So I did what anyone without a clue would do and freaked out a bit as suddenly all my possibilities of both communication and procrastination had died. Eventually after running around and contemplating phoning people or writing letters to them and possibly then reading a book, I called my broadband providers, the ever helpful O2. I'd like to point out at this point in the blog, that none of what follows is their fault. No, sadly, its all my own or my flat's undoing. So I chatted to a man with a very strong Glaswegian accent for some time. Admittedly, for longer than I should have done as his accent was so strong I had to get him to repeat many things as it just sounded like he was shouting a lot. Turns out he was shouting a bit as I was being stupid. Eventually he told me to unscrew the phone socket in the wall to use the 'test socket' or something like that to plug my router in. Yes I know, blah blah techy blah. I made the man wait on the phone for ages as I had no clue where are screwdrivers were to do such things. His repeated sighing down the phone made me think that at this point he had deemed me completely useless. What sort of a man doesn't know where his screwdrivers are? A non-man, that's who. A real one, proper man man, would always know where all his tools are. Just incase, you know for example, the world is attacked by flat pack furniture, or a series of puzzles involving different screws and holes to put those screws in. Maybe thanks to the ozone layer falling over the whole world starts to tilt and only a proper man with a spirit level can sort things out.

Eventually I found our screwdrivers. They were where Layla had put them. I felt weak, I apologised to the man from O2 who wanted nothing more than for me to just give up. He talked me through it, I unscrewed the phone socket and as I did I had completely forgotten I was using the landline that was plugged into the same socket and I got cut off. I am a stupid stupid fool. I spent 20 minutes on hold trying to call back using my mobile and the phone was answered by another Scottish person but luckily one that could speak words and was less angry. We both laughed at my idiocy from the previous call and he assured me I was not the only one who had done that. What he didn't say was that they probably make a list in the office of exactly who does that and what level of mega-div they all are. So we talked through the process again he told me to go to the router and as I carried my mobile over to where it is I felt like it would all be ok and my day could continue. But no, for I was foiled again as the part of our flat where the router is (the left hand corner of our bedroom) is also the exact area where my mobile has absolutely no reception at all. So, like some sort of really horrible sick sick joke I was cut off again. I'm sure that this sort of trick will be played on an unsuspecting victim in the next Saw film. Pulling a key out of your own eye is nothing compared to this sort of hell. This merry game continued another 3 times as I would call up using one phone or another and neither of them would let me stay on the line long enough to fix the internet. Its at times like these I truly believe that somewhere out there, there is a higher power. A higher wise being who is responsible for this sort of shit. A god called Sod, and his law is evident. Unlike other gods, whose miracles and beards are dubious, Sod's abilities happen on regular occasion. Americans call him Murphy's, because they think he looks like an Irish bitter. He doesn't. He looks like an arsehole.

Eventually I gave up. Robert The Bruce may have tried tried and tried again, but it no doubt made him really bloody angry and that's why his descendant was shitty to me on the phone. No more trying for me as I knew self harm would just come next, or I'd drop kick one of the cats. So it was best to accept defeat and leave it be. Oddly today, after almost smashing up my own kitchen yesterday and kicking in my phone system, the internet seems to be working fine today. Ha bloody ha. I wonder if this is O2's special little 'play a trick on T' day where, as they control my mobile reception and internet, they would band about control over both to make me go insane as payment for the amount of times I call them up confused about things. Or more possibly for those annoying emails I sent saying things like 'I really like O2, but I never got to see the prequel O1. Could you tell me how to get hold of it on Blu-Ray?' and so forth.

Last night's We Need Answers was another good one, although a tad stressful at times because Aggie McKenzie is a loon. FACT. The WNA team dealt with her very well though and I gave a man a pumpkin so I enjoyed myself. And no, that's not a euphemism. It was an actual pumpkin. Which is also a type of squash as I learnt yesterday. So there you go.