My wife was really sick in the night and I feared she’d picked up the norovirus at the party and so had an odd mixture of sympathy for her discomfort, mixed with fear that the awful things that were happening to her would be happening to me in 30 minutes. And then even worse I realised that they might also be happening to our daughter. Whilst part of me was relishing the opportunity to kickstart another diet, the thought of having to care for a baby going through this, whilst we too were going through this was awful (as 100% certain as it is to happen at some point). I very rarely get ill (and when I do my body usually waits until I don’t have anything to do to release all the lurgies that it has been storing up) so I was also thinking how annoying it would be to have to cancel the RHLSTPs that I was doing this afternoon.
You know, I was mainly thinking about my wife, but these concerns were there as I waited like the condemned man that I surely was for the gallows to be emptied so that I might take my turn.
But it seemed that I had dodged another bullet, though I was nauseous partly through psychological fear of what seemed inevitable, partly through a mild hangover and partly because I hadn’t managed to get any sleep. Would the podcast go ahead, or would I spew on my guests and infect my entire audience with whatever malady m’lady had gone down with?
It turned out that I was pretty much fine, though slightly giddy and discombobulated by sleep deprivation. The jury is still out on whether the 4pm Sunday slots are right for the podcast (and we’ll be back to Monday next year). The theatre was only a little over half full, which is fine, but I had expected more for Lee Mack (though it often depends on the Venn diagram of whether my guest has similar fans to me). Lee was also struck down with some lurgy he’d picked up from his kids, but in good spirits. We tried to work out when we’d seen each other last. I think it was when I’d unsuccessfully auditioned for his sitcom. It was definitely the correct decision not to have me in it, so there were no hard feelings. The character was not a sarcastic post man.
The crowd were in good spirits and I largely forgot about my weariness and it was a lively chat and Lee, who is one of the quickest witted comedians in the country was a great guest. I was a bit more tired for the second recording, but knew that Janey Godley would be good for talking and indeed she regaled the crowd with stories of her abusive childhood, the gangster family she married into and said she’d never stabbed anyone before remembering that she had. There were some similarities between Lee and Janey, but what I like about these podcasts (and indeed about the world of comedy itself) is the variety of backgrounds and approaches to the art form. Given that I suspect the majority of the crowd were there to see Lee and had probably not heard of Janey, she won them round quickly, because she a formidable and funny woman with stories to tell who is as slightly frightening as she is fascinating (but a total pussycat in real life, not that I’d ever want to cross her and I never will - you’ll notice my “Scotch” accent didn’t come out to play today).
I was relieved to get through it all awake and not covered in my own vomit, but that’s the case every week.
I then walked across town to do a benefit at the Phoenix and briefly hung out with some of the young comics, before doing 10 minutes on childbirth and Marmite and then going home.
Catie was a bit better and the baby was fine, aside from some unconnected sniffles. Luckily my mother-in-law had been on hand today. My mother-in-law, I wouldn’t say she was unhelpful, as that would be factually inaccurate.
I can’t think of many gigs I have missed due to illness and even did a Comic Relief gig in the 90s with full on food poisoning and amazingly Doctor Theatre worked his or her magic and for the five minutes I was on stage I was fine, even though I had to lie down in the wings before and after the gig. The show must go on. But it wouldn’t have done today if I’d been as ill as my wife was.