It feels like a life time since I did a 20 minute stand up gig, though it can only be around about two months. But it was terrific to be on a bill with other comedians tonight, rather than out on the road, without company, experiencing the loneliness of the long distance punner (except that I don't really do puns - apart from that one).
I was at the Pleasance Theatre tonight doing some of my secret work for charity that I don't like to talk about, headlining a gig to raise funds for Sue Ryder Care
. I suggested that the staff from the two charities actually fight to the death to decide who got all the money, and the shops. But the organisers seemed intent on splitting the money equally. Where's the fun in that?
It was great to experience the camaraderie of the dressing room again and to see some great mates like Dan Antopolski, Lucy Porter, Rob Rouse and Spencer Brown.
The stage was decorated with giant fake flowers and little Easter bunnies and I felt a bit uncomfortable doing my filth and tried to tone it down a bit, but somehow ended up laying into OK magazine for its unending Jade Goody coverage - as long as the boys are getting money it's OK right. Whatever moral outrages are taking place, as long as the boys get money then it's OK. It doesn't matter if an obituary issue comes out before Jade is actually dead (nice that she gets to read it for herself hey?) or that money-grubbing vultures are exploiting her most private and tragic moments, as long as the boys get some money for their education. Presumably they are to be educated in a college made of gold, that only they are to attend, where they will be taught by jewel encrusted robots. But you can justify anything as long as the money is going to the children, however morally dubious or unsavoury. So don't worry about me being critical here, because I am going to send the boys a fiver the minute I've finished writing this. As long as the boys are getting money, then it's cool. What a valuable life lesson for these children. I hope my own death can be prostituted for commercial ends in some way, but of course I don't have kids, so that would make the whole thing abhorrent. If it was just about raising money for myself and magazine and tabloid owners and PR people, then that would be awful. But if it's so my kids could be educated - because as is my understanding you have to pay for your children to go to school or they get no education- then that's OK.
I hadn't intended for this to come out on stage tonight, but it erupted from nowhere. And I also commented on how gutted the people of Manchester must be that those possible Al Qaeda guys had been apprehended, meaning they wouldn't be getting another new shopping centre. This might have worked in Manchester, where the IRA bombing in the 90s led to a massive regeneration of the city centre, which secretly all the Mancunians are delighted about. But they've had that shopping centre for at least ten years, so surely they're ready for an even better one.
It was fun to be making crap up as I went along, even if some of it didn't quite hit the mark. It was even nicer to be able to have a drink with other comedians after the show.
It's also been a while since I've got the late tube home in London, often an unpleasant and frightening experience, as leary drunks swear and bicker and sometimes fight. I had been given one of the little rabbit decorations as a memento and he sat on the seat next to me, which already made things a little surreal.
But contrary to expectations there was a lovely atmosphere in the carriage I got into. Two guys and a girl were chatting and laughing and being quite cheeky, but including strangers in their conversation. People were joining in and being sociable and laughing along rather than sitting, looking at their feet, worrying that they might be stabbed. A man on his own who looked quite meek and who I guessed might live on his own was delighted to be included in this moment. I think it made his day to have a laugh with some strangers. The group realised they had missed their stop at Holborn cos they were having too much fun, but the girl said it was OK as they could get a bus from Ealing. A young man next to them pulled a face, wondering where they were going and how they could be aiming in seemingly such different directions, and everyone laughed again at this piss taking between people who had never met. It made me think that maybe there was a chance for humanity, maybe we could just get on. It made me want to make it illegal to be a dick on public transport and to have any people who were threatening or odd or selfish in such situations sent to prison for life, or maybe even executed, because when nice people are allowed to interact with each other the world is a fine place. But when arseholes start trying to look for trouble they destroy something beautiful and magical and that, I believe should be a capital offence. Everyone should be nice to each other and be forced to be nice to each other by the constant threat that they can be summarily executed if they step out of line. That's the way to bring peace and joy to this world.
Of course I would have to be the first to be executed for even suggesting this obnoxious idea, but it would be worth being a martyr in the knowledge that I had helped create a better world.
When I got to Shepherd's Bush station, my Utopian vision was shattered. A woman had been sick all over the platform and was crouching against the wall looking awful. A man was asking her if she was all right, but she told him to leave her alone. The man did as he was asked and then his girlfriend started having a go at him for getting involved. I couldn't quite understand her argument, but she seemed cross either that he had been caring enough to check she was OK or because he hadn't been caring enough to insist on helping the woman when she had told him to leave. Basically she was just looking for an argument with a man who, unlike anyone else, had been decent enough to care about a stranger. The horribleness of drunken London hit me full in the face like the stench of some recently spewed sick and I realised that we'd never get to my brave new world of politeness. Even if people were executed for rudeness others would still carry on their work.
I took my bunny home and stayed up too late watching poker on TV.