Tuesday, 31 August 2010

My (Firey) Relationship With Stewart Lee

I've started reading Stewart Lee's recent book and it's bloody good. I did a good two hour stint of pure reading this morning and I've rarely had that kind of session since I read Roald Dahl's Going Solo in 1989. Although I read a fair bit (because I'm smart) I find it difficult to do so for long periods of time - a problem I don't have with television which I can take for 20 hours at a stretch. Like much of what I do I imagine Stewart Lee would frown at that kind of low brow heavy dosage. This is the problem. Sometimes I feel like Stewart Lee is watching what I do and judging me.

Let me go back a bit to explain. In the early nineties I used to regularly go to my room to read Select magazine and listen to Lee and Herring on Radio One. Along with The Day Today and Reeves and Mortimer they were the first comedy programmes I properly loved. Later, on the 23rd of July 2001 (my 21st birthday) I went to see Stewart Lee, Simon Munnery and some others (I think Danny Bhoy was on) at the Camden Head in Islington. They were trying out new material but not having seen much live comedy I was blown away. Munnery was super pissed and spent his entire set shouting 'scum' at the audience. Lee, I remember talking about being adopted and (gently) berating my (then) girlfriend for laughing. Reading his book this morning has taught me that at that exact point (summer 2001) he was at the lowest ebb in his stand up career. I thought he was brilliant.

Now to the present day. For the last few years I have lived in the same neighbourhood as Stewart Lee and until recently we lived on the same road. This means that fairly regularly I see him on the street. We'd met a few times before we started bumping into each other but, really, we hardly know each other. We do however sometimes attempt a brief conversation. Having somewhat idolised him over the years and being awful at small talk I find these conversations tricky. This is not helped by the fact that he has a fairly distant air and in print and on stage seems to have strong negative opinions about a great deal of things. I must stress on the handful of occasions we've had these chats he's been perfectly pleasant. This does not change the fact though that throughout each of those mini events my paranoia leads me to think that he is (unfavourably) judging every single thing about me. Sometimes I read The Sun (something I'll have to defend in another blog) and I live in fear of Lee catching me with it on the street and vomiting in disgust.

Perhaps I'm revealing far too much about a dynamic he is completely unaware of. Should Stewart read this I suspect all our future street encounters will become horrible spectacles. Mr. Lee - let's talk this through. Or maybe not. That could be awful.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Republic of Nauru

Hi everyone. Fergus here. Much has happened since I last wrote my pithy prose. Not sure I can be arsed to bore you with it though. Instead, I will tell you a little bit about the Republic of Nauru. Everything written below is, as far as I know, true;

Nauru is the world's smallest island nation (8.1sq miles) and has a population of about 14,000 and is situated somewhere in Micronesia (abroad). So far, so wikipedia but that is not what is interesting about Nauru... Nauru's entire economy is based on bird shit*. I don't really know the science of it but essentially the Nauru-ians 'mine' phosphate from the significant amount of bird shit that lands on their island and then sell it. But then I imagine those of you with phosphate habits already knew that. Now, this is where in my opinion it gets proper funny...

Surprisingly enough the bird shit money was providing a pretty hefty revenue and considering the size of the island they were loaded. Just from the droppings they were pulling in AU$100-120 million a year and it was costing them only AU$30 million to run the island. The government of Nauru was left with a problem which I picture them wording like this - 'What are we going to do with all this bird shit money?' The answer came in the form of the 'Nauru Phosphate Royalties Trust' which was set up in the 1970s to make 'investments'.

At first the trust did well with sensible investments in properties in Australia and elsewhere. The island was nicknamed 'The Kuwait of The Pacific'. The Nauru government grew cocky. 1500 people out of a population that was at the time less than 10,000 worked for the state and flaunted their wealth with abandon. With their pockets stuffed with bird shit money they travelled the world, many of them developing a particular fondness for golf in the Bahamas.

But then the trust's investments became a little eccentric. Money was loaned to a Aussie Rules Football club that went bankrupt and a number of failed developments in Australia. Craziness peaked in 1993 when the Republic of Nauru decided to invest 2 million pounds in Leonardo the Musical. The rambling plot focused Da Vinci getting a young model named 'Lisa' pregnant. In what I assume was a nod to the pink pound it also hinted that he might have been a bit of a gay. As it turned out Leonardo the Musical was one of the biggest failures in West End history and closed after 5 weeks having lost (bird) shit loads.

With so many failed investments the trust's funds were rapidly dwindling. At least they still had the bird shit. But no! For some reason (my entirely Wikipedia based research can't find out why) there was hardly any phosphate left to mine. I like to think that the birds looked down on the arrogant folk below and aware of the wealth their bowels provided decided to go and shit somewhere else.

Nauru is now a relatively poor nation which relies on financial help from other countries. Unemployment is at 90%. It's a sad story really. A whole country made rich by bird shit and then brought down by a shit musical. I'm sure there are many lessons we can learn from it but I'll leave that up to you. Right now, I have to sort out my visa for my trip to India and as with all bureaucratic bullshit it's a pain in the arse. Can somebody do it for me please? Go on. Do it.

*I want you to know that I chose not to do a joke about ITV2's revenue also being based on shit because I thought that that would be cheap.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

TV I watch.

As someone who spends many of my days at home here is a list of SOME of the things that I often watch on telly. Don't judge me.

1. Sky Sports News. Sometimes for hours at a stretch. When you've seen the same Roy Hodgson interview 4 times it's usually time to stop.
2. Prime Minister's Questions - Absolutely nothing to do with politics. Men pretend to be earnest and angry while their mates jeer from behind. The worst thing is the loud fake laughter. If, as a comic, the audience laughed like these bellends I'd walk off.

3. The Wright Stuff - I really want to be on this programme. It's like Question Time except two thirds of every panel have been on Dancing On Ice.
4. Bargain Hunt - I only watch the end. I genuinely, whether they're on the red team or the blue team, want them to do well.
5. Neighbours - I believe I covered this in an Edinburgh show last year. Yes. I still do. Every day.
6. Fox News - Haven't watched it properly in a while. It's important to be in the right state of mind before doing so. You can either gently chuckle to yourself... 'dickheads' or you can end up shouting at the screen... 'dickheads!!'.
7. Cricket. Great for getting stuff done while it's on. If you don't 'get' cricket then it's worth watching just for David Lloyd's commentary. Once I turned it on to only catch the end of one of his Northern rants - '...New Order! Joy Division! Proper bands!'. You do not get that from Andy Townsend.
8. The World at War. I never really follow it properly though I'm pretty sure I know the basics.
9. Live From Studio Five - Channel Five's answer to Newsnight. It will never beat the chaos of it's first week when it was Ian Wright, Melinda Messenger and Kate Walsh shouting over each other for an hour. They could not have picked three less qualified people. They might as well have got snap, crackle and pop (or Alvin, Simon and Theodore depending on your frame of reference). Here's the opening to the first episode if you can bare it. You'll have to copy I paste it I'm afraid so you need to really want it.


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

On the train.

After doing my only gig of the fringe (BBC night - there is a lot of buzz about my performance) I spent Saturday evening in Brookes bar. Brookes is officially a bar for Pleasance performers and the more naive of you might expect it to be just a little bit glamorous. In actuality it resembles a sixth form common room/youth club and is almost exclusively populated by unrecognisable journeyman comics like myself. Although it's not particularly hip to say so, in small doses I love it because it's also filled with my friends. There was one event though that slightly spoilt my binge...

I spilled half a pint of Guinness over a lady's trousers and a man's jacket and bag. I was immediately enormously embarrassed and went into apology overload. Now when you're on the receiving end of a spillage you get understandably annoyed and then you accept the spiller's apologies by saying 'it's alright, don't worry about it' whilst inwardly despising them. Those are the rules. That is what you do. But this lady was a maverick and I hated her for it. She proceeded to have a serious go at me.

'Sorry, sorry, sorry. I'm so sorry.'

'You've ruined everything!'.

'I'm sorry.'

'You're a prick'

'I know. Sorry'

This went on for a good five minutes. Happy ending - I poured the rest of the pint over her. Real ending - I waddled away mumbling sorry.

I am now on the train returning from Edinburgh. There have been a couple of events worthy of note on this journey but 3 days of booze and steak bakes have rendered me a shadow of my former self and I fear I won't be able to do them justice in the telling. In brief the first half of the journey was dominated by four ADHD suffering teenagers from Doncaster pestering two gay upper class American lawyers to let them have ' a shot' on their laptops. The biggest incident of the second half has been the poshest man in the world. He has a booming voice, a pair of binoculars and bellows things like 'Gentleman! Mumsy is over here!'. He is talking to a different pair of Americans who no doubt think he is completely representative of the average Englishman. I have genuinely never come across anyone who is closer to how the British are portrayed in bad American movies. Perhaps he is hired by the tourist board to roam train carriages giving visitors the cartoonish Englishness they came to see. Just now he bounded down the carriage shouting things like 'Good evening sir!' to strangers. It is 5 o'clock.

Every show I saw at this years fringe was good and I hesitate to single one out for fear of upsetting friends. Fuck it though, Nick Mohammed's show may well be the best I have ever seen in Edinburgh.

Posh twat update - He is ASTONISHING and pissed out of his mind...

'I'm looking for my wife!! We went to Paris - I went for the rugby, she went for the opera!'

Then he shouted at an Asian trolley pusher; 'Good evening good sir, are you going to the Oval tomorrow for the cricket? They are playing a team from the South Asian sub continent and it's not India or Bangladesh. Are you with me matey!?'

If this was a sketch it would be considered unoriginal but it is HAPPENING and it is INCREDIBLE.

'You, good sir, are a fine young man!'

I am lost for words which, I guess signals the end of today's blog.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


Today I overheard a mother call her 3 year old boy 'Dennis'. Dennis. Really. Child naming fashions operate like all other fashions - in cycles. On each new cycle a couple of new names are added and a couple are discarded. I imagine the name's Keith and Bernard, for example won't come back. "I'll be with you in a minute, I just need to change Bernard's nappy". Recently, turn of the century before last (that's what we have to call it now) names have been very popular. Nowhere is this more noticeable than where I live - Stoke Newington, the liberal North London family's cultural epicentre.

Living on it's main street I wake up every Saturday morning to mother's shouting "Archie! Stay away from Olive's croissant!". Dennis was not a name I saw coming back. Actually, the more I write it the more I like it. "We bought Dennis a clarinet but he gave up after grade 2". Maybe not. That sounds a little more like you're speaking about an elderly relative with Alzheimer's rather than an 8 year old boy.

Unusual names are far more popular now than when I was growing up in the 1980s. Back then having the name Fergus was like having bellend written on your forehead. Unfortunately I had both. Now, I like having a fairly unique name. The only serious irritant is that people ALWAYS just assume that my name is in fact 'Craig Fergus'. Every time someone sees a form filled in by me I can picture them saying "Look at this Beryl. Another twat who doesn't know what 'surname' means!". There's another one - Beryl. Could that ever come back? Cast your votes now.

As a child it felt like there were 8 Johns in my class, 4 Christophers, 3 Roberts and me... Fergus. And of course the girls. I didn't go to prep school dickheads! If I did would I be able to do this? *attempts roundhouse kick, unintentionally breaks vase*. Quick question - did I use those *s correctly just then? I mean, I know it was hilarious (that goes without saying) but was it grammatically correct?

The name Fergus spawned the following nicknames; Fungus, Fungus the Bogeyman, Fungi, Fungal, Fergil and most creatively... Fungibell. Though that last one probably had a lot to do with the fact that I would often wear the girls' hairbands. I've thought about that a lot since and have concluded that I just did it for laughs and not because of any gender/sexuality curiosity. I'm as straight as they come mate. Now pass me another bevvy and stick the blaaaaady footy on.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Shit Jobs

It is now 5 years since I have had what I like to term as a 'shit job'. A 'shit job' is a job you cannot bare to go to but have to in order to pay for essentials - food, shelter, legal fees. It is my primary ambition to never have to do another 'shit job' again. My last 'shit job' was in a call centre.

I spent two and a half years at that call centre trying to persuade people to give more money to various charities. The way it worked was this - I worked for a company that was hired by different charities to either persuade people who had already donated to donate on a monthly basis or to persuade those that did give monthly to give more. One part of me felt that I was helping charities to get vital funding. The other felt like I was bullying old ladies into giving me their biscuit money.

Animal charity supporters were the most mental. A friend once asked one if he had any pets. "No" he replied. Then after a pause "...well, I've got a dog?". One elderly lady picked up the phone to one of my calls after less than half a ring frantically shrieking "DID YOU RING THIS MORNING?!!". I pictured her sat on the stairs in a talc smelling house, petrified. She'd missed an earlier call and had spent the last 4 hours waiting for the phone to ring again. In retrospect I have a lot of sympathy for many of the people I called. I don't like being badgered on the phone either but at the time each call was just another step towards reaching my targets. I think any job in sales (and this was essentially sales) ultimately makes you hate people. You find yourself thinking 'why won't these people just do what I ask of them?'. Any empathy for why they might not be able to just aids them in saying 'no'.

Most of the people who worked there didn't see it like this. My competitive nature led me to obsessively chase targets because it got me through the unbearable hours. What is kind of absurd is that as I often worked for third world or cancer charities, I spent a lot of my time talking about horrible things. And yet instead of this making me appreciate the healthy, western, relative splendor that I lived in I felt completely detached from the things I spoke about and felt very sorry for myself.

This is the nature of 'shit jobs'. They can, I believe, seriously damage your personality and turn you into a selfish, miserable, lazy arsehole. It's the hours that do it. They just go on for fucking ever. Clocks on the walls of 'shit jobs' go at least five times slower than clocks in houses do. If you are currently in a 'shit job' you have my sympathies. May something happen tomorrow that adds just a little colour to your day. Perhaps the computers will go down, leaving you unable to do your job. It's brilliant when that happens.

So that it is fully documented, here is a list of all the shit jobs I have had. Everything below is true. Read at your leisure;

1993 - Paperboy delivering Evening Chronicle in Newcastle (6 quid a week).
1993 - Paperboy in Braintree - sacked for being too slow after 2 weeks.
1994 - Paperboy in Braintree - hit by a car while delivering papers.
1997 - 98 Working on the till at the Co-Op.
1999 - Revolution Bar, Manchester - Sacked for being too slow after 4 shifts.
1999 - The factory months; Perfume factory, potato peeling factory, putting stickers on bananas factory, making screws factory, loading boxes factory, frozen chicken packing factory (here I dropped some chickens on my foot and went to hospital with a suspected broken toe. I was fine but I was never paid).
1999 - Bin man for one day.
2000 - 01 - Usher at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester (this was the best 'shit job' I ever had)
2000 - 01 - Horse and Groom pub, Braintree (many stories here)
2001 - Night shift, shelf stacker at Tesco - left after one week when I got an advert for Boots and thought I was rich.
2002 - 05 - Charity call centre with Colin Hoult, Hayley Jayne Standing and Chris O'Dowd amongst others.

Apologies if today's blog (I hate that word) is a little indulgent. I dedicate it to everyone who truly knows the meaning of the phrase 'shit job'.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Hilarious Pun

Hey! Isn't it about time I told you about my weekend? I'll start with Saturday night because, other than some fish donburi nothing of any real consequence happened prior to that. But that night I did one of the more memorable gigs of my fairly short stand up career. Stag and hen nights are often a part of weekend stand up gigs but for some reason I've not really come across them much thus far. Not until Saturday night that was.

I was booked to do 20 minutes at a gig I've done quite a lot now and really enjoy. It does however have a legendary reputation as being quite feisty and although I've only encountered good natured banter in the past the reputation alone is enough to make me nervous. When I walked into the venue those nerves turned to outright terror. What I saw was a sea of bunnies' ears and hair gel. The night was sold out and of the 250-300 people in the room at least 70% appeared to be on stag or hen dos. I say this, well aware of my middle class liberal pomposity - they were members of what I think is now known as the 'underclass'. I looked for someone filming a documentary for Sky One but, no, this was real life.

I'm sure that there were plenty of nice, perhaps even smart people in that room. But operating in the packs that they were they were far closer to animals and not nice ones like pandas. The opening 10 minutes for the compere was pure crowd control. I genuinely think there was a significant proportion of the room who were not aware that they had come to see comedy. As far as they were concerned there just happened to be a man on stage with a microphone and if they got bored with their conversations they could listen to him for a while. He did an excellent job of getting through to the majority of them that they shouldn't talk while the acts were on.

I realised I was about to do a gig to a room full of the people who bullied me at school for being 'gay'. I had flashbacks of performing drama pieces to sniggers in assembly. Aware that each of them appeared to have already drunk more WKDs than they had GCSEs I filtered my set. My new joke that includes a reference to George Orwell's 'Down and out in Paris and London' was the first to go.

As it turned out the gig wasn't too bad. I had feared that once they saw my slightly camp gait and 'cool vicar' looks it was only a matter of time before I was lying on the stage in the fetal position while they took turns to kick lumps out of me. Instead they seemed to enjoy what I said until about 15 mins in when they're bladders were too full of blue liquid to concentrate. Towards the end I think there may have been a couple of disapproving shouts from the back but by that stage the room was such a complex organism it didn't seem to matter. Some people were in fits of laughter while others were vomiting into their handbags. I left almost immediately after finishing but not before taking advantage of a couple of the particularly worse for wear women in the disabled toilet.*

I headed straight to a house party in Crouch End where instead of learning lessons from what I had just witnessed I very quickly drank myself into a stupor. Because I arrived sober I felt that I had to drink more to catch up. Foolish in the extreme. There is something odd about a person who when arriving late to a party takes a look around at the people slurring utter bollocks and thinks - I want to be like that.

On Sunday I lost at tennis to my brother and got properly angry, nearly smashing my raquet like some crazy American. When I was 12 and he was 8 he used to beat me. That's when I should have been collecting victories because now that I am 30 (and I believe that number will continue to rise) he will always be better than me. My only hope is that he develops some kind of disability. Fingers crossed.**

The rest of my weekend can be summed up with struggling to digest food and performing to some tourists in Leicester Square. Leicester Square is the sort of place where only tourists seem to go and when I go to European cities I always worry that I've ended up in their equivalent of Leicester Square. That concludes today's blog. It would have been nice to finish with a bang but it wasn't to be. Or was it? BANG!

*As there is a definite chance that my stalker-ish mother*** reads this blog I feel I need to point out that that was a joke.
** Again. A joke. I wish him many years of able bodied health.
*** Mother, I think it's great that you show an interest in my work and would be upset if you didn't. Feel free to keep googling me.

Friday, 6 August 2010

David Suchet is a prick!

Oh... hello! How have you been? And the Mrs? Glad to hear it. Now, let me tell you about the Wu Tang gig I went to on Wednesday. Despite some great moments it was all in all, of course, a bit of a disappointment. Brixton Academy seems to be the place I go to see my music icons when they're well past their prime. I also saw Bob Dylan and Morrissey there (on separate occasions, they didn't sing White Christmas together or anything) and was largely disappointed. I think I go to see veteran acts just to tick them off the list though really. At least I can say I saw them.

It's like when I was about 22 I saw Damon Alburn at a Streets gig. 22 year old me didn't really care about meeting Damon but I knew that 15 year old me would have given my left ventricle to speak to him. So, knowing he was from Essex I touched him and shouted directly into his face 'Damon! I'm from Braintree!'. Despite always coming across like a bit of a tit in interviews he played his role superbly and graciously gave me the 30 seconds of conversation I was clearly just collecting like a Panini sticker. That's the thing with being famous I think. Every person you ever meet, however briefly, walks away with an anecdote. It must be terrifying to feel that you have to forever have your charm turned up to eleven.

'He wasn't very chatty'.

'But you served him at a road toll booth, there was a queue behind him'.

'Still, he could have stopped for a chat. Spread the word - David Suchet is a prick!'.

I do hope David Suchet isn't a self googler. Though if he can operate the technology, I have no doubt that he is. All performers are. In a really low moment he may google the phrase "David Suchet is a prick" and will be distraught to see that the term was found. David, it was a joke. You are a great actor, a good man and miles cooler than your creepy brother. Now, stop moping and get on with your day.

And this, incredibly, neatly brings me back to the Wu Tang. For all the bravado that comes with being a professional rapper some of them must suffer from huge insecurity. Other than RZA, who also produces much of the music, they all essentially have the same job - write some verses and spit (street term, kids) them out. But some members are far more popular than others because, quite frankly, some are far better at it than others. On the one hand Masta Killa (birth name?) can go to sleep knowing that he is a member of the greatest hip hop group of all time. On the other hand it must wrangle to know that out of nine members you are the least popular. Emile Heskey can at least tell himself that he always 'did a job' for England. Masta Killa knows that he did exactly the same job as the eight other Wu Tangers for 18 years and finished bottom of the league table. Once again, I do hope Masta Killa is not a self-googler. Masta... you are a good man and valuable member of the Wu. Incidentally, I have just learnt from Wikipedia that Masta Killa is a vegetarian. No joke needed there really.

That's all for today I think. You should know that my girlfriend (you shall never know her name) and I booked flights to Mumbai last night. Very excited. That trip can't be a disappointment can it? If it is and I slate it then I do hope Mumbai isn't a self-googler.

One last thing. Thanks for all your advice on the football podcast. Oh hang on... THERE WASN'T ANY! Unbelievable.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Wu Tang Clan Man

Tonight I'm going to see the Wu Tang Clan. Yeah, that's right bellends - you read me correctly. I'm going to see the Wu bloody Tang Clan and I can't wait. I've loved the Clan since I was 14. Growing up in a small village outside of Braintree in Essex I felt that they really spoke to me. Bad textiles lesson? Stick on some Old Dirty Bastard. He understands. Bike chain playing up so you can't get to the village newsagent for a Lion bar? Stick on some Ghostface Killah. He gets it.

This is the problem you see. There is still a stigma attached to being white, (lower) middle class and a fan of hip hopping. I always feel a little embarrassed when my love of rap music comes up, like I have to defend it. Why though? When it's good it's incredible and more fool you to anyone who dismisses it... That's why I'll never quite fit into the hip hop community. Not because I'm white, wear cords and have an A-Level in Theatre Studies but because I use phrases like 'more fool you'.

It is fair to say that hip hop is often shit live. When I do go I always think that I start to hear what someone who hates rap music hears - a series of indistinguishable basslines and people shouting lyrics I can't understand. That's not because the music's shit though. That's because the venues are usually used to hosting rock bands and don't get the sound right. At least that's what someone who sounded like they knew what they were talking about told me. I went to see Jay-Z at Wembley Arena a few years ago. What was not a great gig was made worse by the fact that when leaving I slipped over on some ice (not diamond jewelry, real ice) and fell on my arse. I was surrounded by 'urban youths' shouting "Oooo! You fell man! You fell!".

That said, I'm still massively looking forward to this evening. The Wu Tang in my (sought after) opinion represent hip hop at it's finest. They may still be ruffians but they're super smart ones. I imagine this evening to be a little like all the roughest kids who bullied me at school getting together and putting on a little show. That reminds me of Blazin' Squad. Remember them? I always thought they looked a lot like an ID parade breaking into song.

In conclusion - rap music is ace and the Wu Tang Clan are the pinnacle of that genre. If you don't know the Wu Tang and feel like opening your mind here's a good introduction. It's positively ludicrous but a lot of fun. Oh and if you don't like it then I will assume that you're racist.

One more thing. If you haven't seen me do stand up in a while, this is what my set is like now;

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Fringe Binge

Right now many of my friends (and enemies) are up in Edinburgh shitting themselves about their fringe shows. For most of them, their first show will be tomorrow. I do not envy them. As someone who has done 4 Edinburgh shows (3 with Colin Hoult) I feel I have a fairly good understanding of how they are feeling. Or maybe it was just me who felt like this.

Tonight, the night before your first show, is very weird. Aware that you will be drinking excessively for the next 4 weeks you stay sober. Big mistake. This just leads to a sleepless night pondering your show. One half of you is terrified that you are embarking on a huge failure. Any career that you may or may not have will be over within a week when people realise what dogshit your show is.

The other half of you wonders whether this really might be 'your year'. You remember a producer who told you that it would be and a preview that went incredibly well. That was one of the best gigs you ever did and that was 2 weeks ago and the show is so much more 'slick' now. You wonder if you should wear a suit to the awards ceremony when you're inevitably nominated for the Perrier (I'm still calling it that) or whether that would seem a little fake given that you never wear one normally. Excited, you treat yourself to an expensive meal out, spending the prize money in advance.

Then you remember how much the show is costing you and it spoils your meal. Why do Edinburgh shows cost that much by the way? Last year I sold something like 13,000 pounds worth of tickets and yet I lost 4 and a half grand. That, I think is a fairly average story for someone of similar standing to myself. That's indefensible and the people responsible should be ashamed. Oh, hang on. That's the performers. If we didn't all have our heads up our own arses (and mine sometimes gets all the way up to my pancreas) then we'd all get together and do the free fringe or something. Then the big venues would be forced not to charge such exorbitant rates. That said, if I go next year I imagine I will use the same methods I always have. What a fool I am.

For anyone reading this who is up in Edinburgh I'm sorry if I've sunk you into a depression that you did not yet have. If it's any consolation, deep down, I kind of wish I was up there. Edinburgh is fucking brilliant it's just important not to get to stressed about the whole thing - something I never really succeeded in doing. Two weeks into any Edinburgh August half of the comedians think that they are now famous and half of the comedians think that their careers are over. Both groups are always wrong.

Rant over. Now may I share something with you? This is a band called The Shaggs and they are so awful that they are amazing.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Flat-pack Fergus

Just to solidify the fact that I am now thirty, yesterday I put together a flat-pack chest of drawers. I say 'I put it together', a more realistic representation would be that my girlfriend put it together and I tried to look helpful. Here is an example of our dialogue, mid construction;

HER: Lift it up.

ME: What does 'IT' mean?

HER: The thing!

ME: What is 'THE THING'?!

She picks it up

HER: This fucking 'THING'!

ME: Oh. Sorry.

I lift it up

HER: It's too late now.

The fact is I am so bad at anything practical (and I include sex in that) it is beyond a joke. Once she asked me exactly what it was that I brought to the relationship. I meekly replied - 'entertainment?'. Yes, that it what I bring to the table... entertainment. I may struggle to put food on that table and if it comes in a flat-pack I will almost certainly fail at putting that table together but I can bring entertainment to that table. That is if the 'entertainment' you are looking for comes from a Championship standard comedian/writer/actor/voice over artist/presenter who's probably spread himself a little too thinly in his career thus far.

Speaking of spreading myself thinly, I'm hoping to start a podcast about football (as if there weren't enough already) by next Monday. Any tips on and advice on how to practically make that happen would be most welcome.

Before I finish today's posting, it has come to my attention (thanks to pedants) that I make the odd spelling or gramatical error in this blog. As someone who has often been chided for being an irritating stickler for spelling and grammar this came as quite a shock. I can only offer my sincerest apologies and the following explanation - you can take the boy out of the ghetto but you can't take the ghetto out of the boy. I'm keeping it real, bitches.

I went to school with this guy

There's a strong bleeding chance that you've seen this already but I thought I'd post it anyway. Watch until the end.