Monday, December 6, 2010

Monégasques and Yachties

I have somehow managed to time my day to be perfectly ready to go outside and peruse the streets of Nice, with the exact time everything in Nice closes down for two hours to enjoy it's lunch in peace. Essentially the French life doesn't suit that of a UK comedian very well. I'm dreading the inevitable possibility of waking up very hungover at midday over the next few days in need of some coffee and croissant based remedy only to have to wait until 2pm whilst dining Niciens (I'm not sure that's the correct term, but its either that or Niceities and I'm banking on the former) watch me panic with alco-sweats. Sure there are restaurants open but I have just managed to persuade the nice lady downstairs to let me have 'petit déjeuner' an hour after it finishes due to me forgetting to put my English watch an hour forward. She lived in London for 2 years and I combined polite banter about such things and lots of smiling to gain a pan au chocolat and a huge mug of java. Win. She spent a while telling me how great English breakfasts are and I didn't have the heart to tell that a) yes they are, and this petty du-janeer was nothing in comparison and b) its also why the French have a higher life expectancy than the British.

I have as yet, just been speaking English at people very slowly and patronisingly like a horribly stereotypical Englishman. This is because my French knowledge is nothing less than hugely shit and also because most of the people here will just speak English back at me at a far higher level than I. The rest, like the cleaning lady who I've conversed with several times already today, use a combination of mime and loud noises to get by. For example borrowing an iron involved lots of ironing type motions, one adventurous 'ouch' noise and a point by the cleaning lady to signify the heat, and then sufficient pointing to show I should go downstairs. She was surprisingly animate for a small elderly lady in a pinny. I suspect this is why the French are renowned for its mummers. That's a clever word for mime artist by the way, I'm not saying they have speech difficulties. Although if they did, they'd still be able to act their way out of it.

The first gig here in the Riveria was much fun last night. I'd never been to Monte Carlo before and the journey there was enough to make me assume I'd be performing to many a Bond villain sitting in a swivel chair stroking a cat. The combination of windy tunnels under the cliffside, the mansions up high and the plaque commemorating the place where Grace Kelly died (well not exactly where. Its on the bit where the car drove off. I imagine it'd be a tad insensitive to put the plaque on the rocks she smashed into) made me realise I was entering an area hand built for the elite of society. I was, as a result, dreading the gig. I feared having booze incase I berated them all for tax dodging, got violent and would be forcibly removed. I thought they'd sniff out my debt in seconds and there would be all sorts of trouble. Amazingly it wasn't. There were very few Monégasques there - that is the term for locals and yes it sounds like a stomach trouble doesn't it? Or some sort of Morlock type hideous beast - and instead it was mostly Yachties. These peoples that also have an odd moniker assuming they might be some overly colourful kids TV show, are all the people that work on the yachts stuck in the Monte Carlo dock during Winter at their rich owners will. A fun bunch of deckhands (that is going to be my new insult for everyone over the next few days), stewards and stewardesses they provided a lot of fun banter and were very willing to go along with my childish notions that a 'super yacht' can fly and do cool things. They lead an odd life being trapped in their cabins for most of the year as they sail round the world and as one put it, they are very much glorified servants. Apparently this is who we'll be gigging to most of the time and I have to say I'm pleased as they seem pretty ace. I'm not sure I could be a yachtie. Firstly I'd no way handle a hangover on a boat and would give the deckhand a lot more work to do as soon as sickly me stepped on board and yakked on the port. Also, I think that while parts of the incestous nature described sounded fun, I think boredom with the boat's interior walls would give me cabin fever sooner than anyone else and I'd quickly be calling myself 'Short Legged Douieb', making insolent collegues walk the plank and trying to board small fishing boats using a toilet brush for a sword.

Tonight we have what's known as 'the difficult gig' in Cannes. That's the place. Its not difficult because we are incased in tin or forced to wear large radio headphones. Arf. That's not what I'll be starting with or it'll be even tougher. Instead I shall relay them with tales of the evil Monégasques and good natured Yachties that Gulliver met on his travels and they will stare at me like I'm a bellend. I'm not sure what bellend is in French. I'm sure they'll tell me pretty quickly.

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