Metro 190

My Happy Now? Tour is underway (most of the gigs are in the Spring next year – come along and say Hi, it’s always nice to meet Metro readers at the shows).  In answer to the question in the title I am feeling quite happy now. My daughter Phoebe is now 9 months old and she’s a little laughter generator.

I am pretty good at making her laugh too, , with my winning combination of funny faces, silly songs and raspberries. If I can make a baby laugh then surely that I am definitely funny, despite what all those people on Twitter tell me…

But this week we were out in a café for lunch and every time Phoebe got near the brick wall beside us, she would pat it and laugh her head off. She was totally hysterical. Every time. No matter how many times she saw it.  Much more than she’s ever laughed at me. So if I am less funny than a brick wall then maybe the Twitter people are right.

The brick wall was funny without even trying. And I am so needy and eager to please. Less is more. That's what the brick wall taught me about comedy. Also, be yourself. Especially if you are a brick wall.

Now I am starting to worry that every good stand up gig that I’ve done, I've unknowingly been standing in front of a brick wall. And it was the brick wall that was getting all the laughs. It did always feel like there was a delay between the punchline and the laugh. Like the audience heard the joke, then looked at the wall, which was just standing there, doing nothing, as if to say, “This guy, hey? What’s he like?” And it was the deadpan brick wall that was making the crowd guffaw.

And thinking about it, whenever I have done a gig when I thought everyone was engaged and listening to what I thought were fascinating observations about life and politics, I was standing in front of a freshly painted wall. And the paint was still wet…..

** * *

I’ve been singing lots of songs involving numbers to my daughter and it’s struck me how stupid and unnecessarily complicated our system of counting is. Once you’ve mastered the first nine numbers all others should follow, but they don’t, presumably in an attempt to keep children from counting too high too quickly and blow their tiny minds.

All logic dictates that the number ten should be called onety and then having learned the first ten numbers we would automatically be able to count to ninety-nine. None of this weird eleven, twelve, thirteen bullshit: onety-one, onety-two, onety-three. Twenty should be twoty and thirty should be threety. The inventor of numbers clued up at forty, but was then too lazy to go back and change the previous threety numbers. And perversely still called 50, fifty instead of fivety.

If numbers were named correctly then the minute you could count up to onety-one, you’d be able to count to ninety-nine. And even further as long as we kept the system going. The number that for no good reason we call “one hundred” should obviously be one onety-onety. Which means one hundred and one is one onety-onety and one and one hundred and eleven is one onety-onety and onety-one. Who could argue that that’s not a much simpler system? Only an idiot.

One thousand is one onety-onety-onety. Making 1,111, one onety-onety-onety, one onety-onety and onety-one.

Plus millionaires would have to describe themselves as onety-onety-onety-onety-onety-onety-onety-aires. They might be less up themselves.

Songs would be much improved: “Onety Green Bottles” “The Onety-two days of Christmas” “Only Onety-Six”.

And the Proclaimers would have to sing, “And I would walk five onety-onety miles and I would walk five onety-onety more, to be the man who walked one onety-onety-onety miles to drop down at your door.” Which you have to admit is awesome.