I was gigging at Walton Playhouse tonight, though when I arrived the front doors were locked and I had to walk around the building twice before I could find a way in I wondered for a while if the gig had been cancelled and no one had bothered to tell me, but then I heard laughter coming from inside, so either the show was happening or I was the victim of a Jeremy Beadle style stunt and that was the studio audience mocking me. It was the former. I finally found a door that led to the back of the bar and was told that the front doors get locked to stop anyone sneaking in for free. It's not quite the death trap that it sounds because all the doors opened from the inside. It's a good plan, but they nearly lost an act as a result of it tonight.
In the dressing room there was a clock on the wall. It was up above the mirror. It had "PLAYHOUSE" written above the face and "DO NOT TOUCH" written beneath it. It seemed like an odd thing to write on a clock. I hadn't planned to touch it, but now because I was being told not to I really wanted to. Why didn't they want me to touch it? Would it fall apart due to its delicacy? Was it holding up the wall somehow? Or did they just not want me to steal it? I was unlikely to want to steal it, mainly because it had PLAYHOUSE written on it, which I think would make it stand out a bit if I displayed it in my house (unless I put it in the playhouse that I have set up in the basement). Also it would be nice if the Playhouse trusted the acts at their theatre not to walk away with stuff. The chairs did not have a similar warning, or the light bulbs. What was so special about the clock that it mustn't be touched? Perhaps it was a vortex that would lead anyone who touched it (or at least their finger) through time or into another dimension. But if so I think they should probably either cage off the clock or lock the room that it is in. Putting "Do not touch" on something that nobody is likely to ever touch (I have never touched a clock in a dressing room in my life) can only lead to more people touching it. They must have known this when they wrote that on the clock. It's like they wanted me to touch it. Which made me not want to touch it. I wasn't going to fall victim to their perverse time con.
But the sign had worked to the extent that no one had stolen this clock (probably due to all the writing on it, more than the instruction not to touch) but also no one had dared take the clock off the wall and change it so it had the right time. It said 9 o clock, but it was actually 10 o clock. Not being able to touch a clock causes time havoc when daylight saving comes in.
I wanted to know what would happen if you touched the clock. So I touched the clock. It seemed robust and nothing obvious changed in the room. No alarms went off and I did not get arrested. Though I didn't wear gloves so my finger print is now on the clock, so if it was evidence in a crime then I might end up in prison for life. But if that's the reason you're not allowed to touch it, then surely the person who wrote "DO NOT TOUCH" on that piece of evidence is in trouble too.
Anyway I felt like a rebel and I fought the law and I won. I touched the clock and unless somewhere somehow a fairy died as a result then no harm was done.
The gig went OK, but wasn't spectacular. Maybe the clock was a test and they all watched me touch it and I had thus failed and let them down and so as a punishment they only laughed a moderate amount. I don't know. Maybe I'll only find out about why the clock mustn't be touched once I am dead. Why wasn't I allowed to touch the clock? You knew I'd touch it anyway. This is like the Garden of Eden all over again.