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Wednesday 4th May 2005

There are comedy venues in the most surprising places. Tonight I was in a town I had never heard of before in Derbyshire called Wirksworth. ItÂ’s a small conservative looking place and not somewhere you might think there was an enormous audience for stand-up, but over sixty people turned up in the room upstairs at the Red Lion pub and apparently that was a quiet night.
I was staying overnight as I am heading up to Leeds tomorrow (now only doing Thursday in Leeds as I have to head to Oxford on Saturday afternoon for a poker based event and the promoter has agreed that it is not worth the hassle of me heading back to Leeds for the other gig), and slightly strangely my bedroom was about a fifteen metre walk from the stage. I was in room six, which was up three steps and then through a door and then first door on the right. I have never gigged so close to my bed, which was very convenient and I wondered aloud whether such information might attract any lazy groupies in the audience. Groupies who didn’t want to put in much effort. Not prepared to be put out too much. These are just the kind of groupies you want. Lazy ones. Who will probably be asleep the minute your head touches the pillow. It means you can be rock ‘n’ roll without actually being unfaithful to someone you care about. It’s a win win situation. As it happened the walk was too far for any dishonourable women (or men, it makes no difference if you’re just going to sleep) in Wirksworth and it was another late night of Brickbreaker for me.
The Peak District is a staggeringly beautiful place and it was very calming to be driving through the countryside on the way to my destination. I love London in many ways, but itÂ’s important to get out of it every now and then and be reminded that the world isnÂ’t all concrete and stink. I was struck by the brown signs indicating the various slightly rubbish looking tourist attractions in the vicinity, which led to my opening joke:
“It’s great to be here in Wirksworth. It’s a beautiful place. Beautiful…. But I wouldn’t like to live here… Every morning when you wake up the same thought must be going through your mind. Where am I going to go today? Gulliver’s Kingdom or the Heights of Abraham? I wouldn’t be able to stand the stress of making that kind of decision.”

After some negotiation it turns out that pokerstars.com is the best internet poker website in the world. They have offered the most money for a page of advertising in the programme and have offered me a gig interviewing Poker World Champion, Greg Raymer in Oxford on Saturday and maybe more – watch this space. The other sites, whose names I can’t even remember, will regret not getting into bed with me (my bed is always conveniently very close and yet they were too lazy to hop in). It is nice to think that the ethically dubious world of internet gambling is assisting a charity and giving back some of its, if not ill, then easily-gotten gains to a good cause. Viz have also agreed to put another ad in the programme, and it’s good to know that some of the millions they make from swearing and cock jokes has been taken from them and given to more polite people. I am like the Robin Hood of the internet. Stealing an insignificant amount from multi-million pound businesses and then giving it to the poor. And also getting a free programme aggrandising myself printed in the process. Robin Hood was into self-aggrandisement too. Why do you think we’re still talking about him? If he wasn’t interested in the publicity, he’d have stolen from the rich and then secretly left the money on the door-steps of the poor, remaining anonymous throughout the process. But no he had to dress up all in green and join in with archery contests and be all big-headed about how good he was. But he never thought of setting up a blog on the internet to brag about how brilliant he was, like I have.
I am fighting the system like a two modern day Robin Hoods.
Thanks to the money from evil big businesses and you, the little people, the programme is already in profit, so thanks to you all, whether you make your money making up new euphemisms for the perineum or whether you have a proper job. There is still time to join the ranks of the worthy and be in my band of Merry Men (and Merry Women, I am not sexist like Robin Hood. And I am a human being not a fox as well). Just click on the link below and make a donation and you can join the fun!

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