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Thursday 13th July 2006

I arrived at Clapham Junction drenched with sweat from the muggy train ride, plus the hungover effects of yesterday's birthday celebrations. I would be on stage at the BAC in 45 minutes and didn't want to be all clammy, so I dashed into Debenhams to buy a T-shirt.
In keeping with my mid-life crisis desire to look like a 21 year old, I didn't want to grab just any T-shirt, but maybe get something with a cool surfing logo to cling to my prominent beer belly. If I am pretending to be 21, I might as well pretend that I am thin. I will only be fooling myself.
Time was ticking by and then I saw what looked like quite a cool brown shirt with a pink logo (showing that I was in touch with the feminine side of my psyche) and I grabbed it and bought it without really looking at it properly.
It was only when I got to the dressing room and tried it on that I realised it actually said "Free Hot Dog" with an arrow pointing down towards my groinal area, with the additional motif, "Bring Your Own Buns".
Far from picking up a cool designer T-shirt, I had in fact chosen a crude garment with a double entendre implying that I was willing to give my penis for no money to anyone who was prepared to provide me in return with their buttocks.
Tha would send out a very different message to the audience. They wouldn't be thinking, "There's a 39 year old man who is trying to pretend he's 21", they'd be thinking, "there's a 39 year old man who thinks that it is clever to refer to his penis as a hot dog."
Furthermore anyone who considered the epithet more closely would conclude that I was advertising my proclivity for anal sex. I was giving away my hot dog (penis) for free, but in return I required buns (buttocks). The clear implication is that I wanted to place my hot dog between those buns in an unnatural sex act which can not be described in a family newspaper, but which can be described on here, as bumming.
It is a very bold and crude man who makes it clear that all he is interested in a potential partner is their anus. To want to go straight to that without any other rigmarole is something that many would consider rude and ungentlemanly. Perhaps a few might appreciate the candour, but it would be a rare person who would find this an attractive initial proposition and who would also want this disgraceful act suggested in the form of a lame pun. I think even if all those requirements were met, any intelligent person would be offended that the T-shirt designer felt it necessary to include the arrow pointing to the crotch, just in case you hadn't understood that the "hot dog" was acutally a euphemism for the penis. If I was a woman who wanted to immediately have free anal sex with a stranger and would like to have the subject broached through the medium of a humorous T-shirt, I would be insulted by that arrow, which implied I was too stupid to understand the extremely basic play on words and would no longer be interested in performing the lewd act.
But perhaps the designers had to put the arrow on, because maybe some people were taking the T-shirt at its word and coming over the the person wearing it with some buns and demanding the free hot dog that the clothing had promised. With the arrow the wearer is now able to make it clear to these people that the hot dog he is referring to is his penis and the buns would be their buttocks and then perhaps raise an eye-brow in a suggestive way as if to ask if that would be something the hot-dog covettor was interested in. But in the Venn diagram of people who like free hotdogs in return for the supplying of bread and people who like free anal sex with a stranger with a humorous T-shirt, the central intersection is a very small area. There are maybe only two or three people in the world who are in that group and at least one of them would be insulted that the T-shirt had the arrow on it, thus over-explaining the joke.
So anyway as you can see this T-shirt opened up a whole can of worms as I knew the minute I walked on stage all these things would be going through the minds of the audience. It could have thrown the whole gig off, but luckily I am a professional and I rose above it.
Over a hundred people came and paid, when they could have seen me for free two days ago, the idiots. But I think maybe now I am 39 I have reached a level of maturity which means people suddenly want to see what I have to say. Not like when I was childish and stupid and 38 on Tuesday.

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