Friday, 24 June 2011

Slagging people off

Last Saturday night something truly terrifying happened to me. It may count as one of the most horrifying incidents to have happened to anyone, ever. Strap in chaps...

I'm in a play at the moment. A real one, with lights and everything. As is the way with all tortured artistic geniuses we often go for a drink after the show. I find that it's the only way I can shed the character. Being a dedicated actor of some repute I get into character at about 6 in the morning. I then spend the rest of the day doing what I think my character would do. My character eats a lot and watches a fair bit of telly. Once the show is over I am physically and mentally shattered. The only way I can wind down is to have a drink or two.

On Saturday I and much of the 'company' (wanky theatre word) had quite a few drinks. At about 3.30am I was in a taxi with another cast member and some of the crew. I try to treat the crew with the same respect as actors although they are obviously not quite as important or talented. I was drunk. We were all drunk. As I remember it we were talking in a drunken, shouty way but I don't know what we were saying. Then I received a phone call from another cast member...

"Hi it's (insert name). Can you stop slagging me off please?..."


"(insert name)'s just called me on his phone in his pocket and I can hear you slagging me off!"

My pants were gently browned. What was going on? In my drunken state I was entirely unable to handle this situation. Had I been slagging her off? I had no idea. Now, I'm going to level with you guys for a moment. I have, in my time, slagged people off. I don't do it all day, every day but I do do it for a bit of the day, lots of days. I have rightly slagged off appalling people. I have wrongly slagged off lovely people. I have slagged off people because I feel wronged by them. I have slagged off people because I am jealous of them and want to feel better about myself. I have slagged off people to garner respect from other people. I have slagged innocent people off for the sake of a joke or out of boredom. You have all done all of those things. Unless, that is, you haven't, in which case I have just revealed myself to be a cunt.

Surely you have though? I can tell you now that I have probably slagged off at least 3 of the people reading this. There may even be someone reading this who has slagged me off at some time or another. I find that unlikely though as last time I checked I was the only person in human history not to have been slagged off by anyone... comedy forums don't count. In all my slagging off though I cannot remember ever having been caught. That is the greatest fear of the slagger-offer. Being caught and, no matter what the other person may have done to deserve criticism, immediately becoming the villain.

On the phone I went into full blown denial mode. I had no idea what I had been saying but that seemed like the only course of action available to me. I'd like to think that a more sober me would have cunningly got myself out of it but I have no idea how. It appeared that I had been caught red handed. I was OJ Simpson except that the glove seemed to fit quite snuggly.

I woke up the next day remembering only the phone accusation and my pathetic denial. I was terrified that I had hurt someone's feelings. Someone who I actually really like (well, moderately) whom I had to work with for another three weeks. For all the apologising and grovelling I planned to do I clearly faced three weeks of awkwardness and ostracism. Throughout Sunday and Monday I cowardly avoided calling (insert name) to apologise/find out what the fuck had happened.

Come Monday night I prepared myself for the horror that awaited me at work. It did, of course, turn out to be fine. I think. What had happened is that she had been accidentally been called and heard us singing Area Codes by Ludicris. I'm not joking. It's something of a cast song. Somebody then said 'Oh, (insert name) loves that song'. I replied '(insert name) needs to grow some motherfucking balls, (insert name) needs to motherfucking man up'. It was drunken bravado brought on by hip hop and a desire to be funny. (insert name), upon hearing this, thought it would be funny to call me and scare the shit out of me. (insert name) succeeded.

So all is well in theatre land. That is unless I really did say something properly horrible and (insert name) can't bring herself to discuss it. That's the problem with (insert name). She's so cowardly and two faced. If she's got a problem with me why can't she just say it to my face. I can't stand that bitch. Hope she doesn't read this.