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.

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