Thursday, 5 November 2015

My chicken balti nightmare.

One night, when I was doing regular stand up, I found myself in Bradford for the evening. One of my main problems as a stand up, other than a fundamental lack of talent or a work ethic, was that I couldn't drive. This meant that, when the last train wasn't late enough, I'd find myself staying in the town where the gig was held.

This particular gig paid £150. Once my agent had their cut I think that came to about £127. Then after a high train fare (thanks Obama) and a hotel room, I was left with about £20. Pointless. I told myself I was doing these gigs for the experience, and not just the experience of doing stand up - I wanted to get something out of every place I visited.

Trundling back to the hotel at about 10pm I decided that, being in Bradford, tonight's experience had to be curry. I got a take away menu from the front desk and ordered a chicken balti. Twenty minutes later, I was at a Holiday Inn hotel room desk eating curry and watching Newsnight. The dream.

Quick side note - Bradford has a Holiday Inn. That would imply that people holiday in Bradford. Now, Bradford has much to offer - curry, the National Media Museum... curry, but I'm not sure there's too many families agonising over whether to go back to Tenerife next summer or to splash out on a fortnight at Holiday Inn Express Bradford City Centre. They didn't even have a Kids Club!

So there I was munching on my balti and it was delicious. I mean, it really was. This was worth the trip alone, I thought to myself whilst calculating that the curry now meant that a gig that was to take me 24 hours in total would earn me roughly £8. I was developing a rhythm. I was attacking that curry with far more gusto than I had my set that night. One mouthful went in and, as I chewed it, my fork immediately went down to collect the next mouthful. Up, down, up, down. I was inhaling that fucking thing and it just kept on going. The little tray container seemed to be a tardis. How had they packed quite so much curry in there? It was so goddamn compact!

I noticed that Newsnight seemed to be winding up. Hang on. Isn't Newsnight 45 minutes long? Have I been eating curry, literally non stop, for 45 minutes? I think I fucking have. I seem to be only half way through. I need to stop. It is vitally important that I stop eating curry RIGHT FUCKING NOW.

I went over to the bed to watch a DVD on my laptop and take my mind off the curry. With the sweats and accompanying self hatred rising up that wasn't easy. I got up again and put what was left of my meal outside the hotel door. Out of sight, out of mind. But of course it wasn't out of mind. Nothing could change the fact that for 45 minutes straight I'd done nothing but swallow curry and watch interviews with junior government ministers.

Right. I need to sleep. Let's have a sleep and deal with the consequences in the morning. Sleep wasn't going to be easy though. Not with 5,000 grams of sugar and oil attacking my body like an alien inside John Hurt. Nytol! Have I brought some Nytol? Yes! Yes, I have! Right. I popped one in, started watching an episode of 30 Rock, and waited for the wonder of over the counter medicine to sing me to sleep.

Some time later I woke up from the most frightening nightmare I have ever had. How much time, I don't know. It could have been 10 minutes, it may have been a couple of hours. The menu screen of the DVD was playing a short clip of the 30 Rock theme tune on a loop. My body was drenched in sweat and my mind was trying to comprehend the images it had just thrown at me. I felt like I was in a Vietnam War movie. I was severely distressed.What exactly happened in my nightmare I'm not sure. All I remember is that it ended with me shooting my brother in the face through a vinyl record.

This is what I imagine a bad trip is like. I can state with complete certainty that that chicken balti gave me a more intense experience than any drug I've ever taken. I still get chicken balti flashbacks from time to time. Just say no, kids.

1 comment:

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