I took part in the Radio 4 show "A Good Read" this evening, chatting to Harriet Gilbert and Tracy-Ann Oberman about books by Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Womack and Rupert Everett. It's been fun being made to read all these books, though was a lot of work. I managed to finish re-reading "Slaughterhouse Five" (my own choice) about 2 minutes before the recording started. It's on the radio on February 18th.
Afterwards we were taken to the Langham Hotel, opposite Broadcasting House, for a quick drink. Twenty years ago we very occasionally came over here for a drink, though usually favoured the more downmarket Yorkshire Grey. I pushed the boat out and had a vodka Martini (even though I was about to dash across town to do a spot at the Bloomsbury). It felt very decadent, especially at it arrived in a metal goblet that made it feel like I was drinking some kind of representation of Jesus bodily fluids. It couldn't be his blood as it was colourless, but maybe it was Jesus' wee (which would surely be pure and clear). It was a lovely drink and I have to say that if the Catholics want to get more people into their churches they should serve up one of these at communion. "This is my wee, which I weed for you that you might be cleansed of your sin in a golden shower." Just add that to all the Bibles and we can open up the new cocktail bar churches. I am sure you can come up with some tag-line like, "That's what I call the Holy spirits!"
We just had the one drink and chatted for 45 minutes or so and then headed our separate ways, but I found that I was walking on air. That one Martini was coursing through my veins, feeling like some kind of Heavenly elixir that was turning me into a God. It's so rare that you go to a cocktail bar and have just one cocktail, but I think it might be the best way to go. I am not into taking hard drugs, but I think it would be hard to beat the lift that this one, rather strong, alcoholic drink had given me. I could envisage myself living the kind of life where I made myself one of these every night at 6pm, just to give my evening a lift. Maybe it was a combination of not having eaten much, along with all the exercise I've been doing, but I have never enjoyed a single glass of alcohol more than this. Perhaps it really was Jesus' wee. Perhaps Jesus had seen me, knew I needed a bit of a lift and thought, "I know what, I'll piss in his drink." Well thank you Jesus, for using your supernatural powers in such an unselfish way. Maybe there are people who deserve to be drinking Jesus' wee more than me, like all the priests and vicars who have dedicated their life to Him. But one of the things I like best about Jesus is that He gives more of his time and hie effluent to those who are weak or broken or in pain. It was nice of Him to pick me out of the ranks of the freaks who suspect they can never love anyone, though of course it is in His power to just piss his magic piss over us all every second of the day and I secretly think it's a bit selfish of Him not to do that (like it was a bit selfish of Him to cure some lepers, but not all of them). Though I guess we wouldn't appreciate it as much if we got the Holy micturation all the time. Jesus know what He's doing and a fool like me shouldn't question Him.
I was a last minute replacement for some comedian called Stewart Lee at the chairty gig tonight who couldn't come because one of his children was unwell or something. I berated him on stage for putting family above charity and said that he had changed and called him names, which the audience enjoyed. Maybe Jesus' wee helped me through, but it was a very enjoyable gig with perhaps the most comedy literate audience I've ever played to (hardly surprising giving that the bill also included the brilliant Daniel Kitson). Is a goblet of martini the secret to becoming a comedy superstar? I enjoyed seeing Kitson backstage (it's been a while since I've bumped into him) and we chatted about self-playing snooker (he plays himself at pool, which is hardly comparable) and Scrabble. I tried to persuade him to come on RHLSTP, but he did not seem super keen. I will work away at him. He would be pretty much the perfect guest.
I've been having a highly satisfying and varied week of work and it's nice to be on a little run of stuff that has left me feeling mildly elated. At its best comedy is as good as Jesus wee, but it's usually followed by over-confidence causing you to trip into a bog of Satan's poo. Which is not as funny as it sounds.