What's the whooshing sound? Oh it's the second deadline for my script going by. Hopefully I will be given a few days grace on this, but unsurprisingly my bruised brain wasn't playing ball today and I was in no fit state to work hard. I have burnt myself out in the past - it took me a good couple of years to really recover from the Marathon of writing 37 episodes of Time Gentlemen Please. Though at least that job compensated me with a huge bag of money!
But the decision to make next week's AIOTM the last will not only please my mum (the unwitting creator of the Morcocks), but it also made my burden seem a little lighter. It's the right choice I think.
I got some mixed reactions to the flour bath video ranging from disgust (mostly disgust) to respect and even in some odd cases arousal. I am forever surprised by the range of things that human beings manage to find sexy and in my innocence hadn't thought that anyone would think a fat man in a bath covered in flour could be used as anything but a libido dampener. Perhaps it could be put up on big screens in prison and army camps rather than putting bromine in the tea. But unless you're already a pervert, welcome to a new fetish that you might not have been aware of WAM which stands for wet and messy, having nothing to do with the 1980s pop duo or the 1970s filling removing chew bar. Though I would like to start a new fetish for people who can only get aroused by the pop group Wham eating Wham bars which covered in flour paste. It might cost a lot to get Wham together to pose for some shots, but I hear Andrew Ridgley really loves Wham bars so that's half the battle won.
But I did enjoy Thomas Telford's Youtube video. In many ways my video makes Two Girls One Cup look rather tame.
I was also glad of the internet today for less salacious reasons when someone tweeted about my upcoming gig in Nottingham in July and I decided to look in my diary and see when that was, only to discover that the gig had dropped out of my calendar completely (this seems to happen every now and again with the mac and mobileme and it's incredibly annoying). Miraculously even though I have a gig for pretty much every day in July I hadn't managed to fill the gap on the 10th, which is when the Nottingham gig is, so I don't have to make an embarrassing call to anyone. Though I am fearful that some errors may have occurred.
And tonight I had a bit of an odd gig at the Bloomsbury. It was just a strange audience - all the comedians thought so. You get to recognise certain types of crowd the more you do this job and I generally don't work out exactly what material I do until I am on stage and see what reaction rude or clever gags get and then adapt accordingly. But tonight they seemed a bit shocked by anything vaguely rude (which is a shame because all I have is filth) but the cleverer gags seemed to go over a lot of people's heads. There was just an odd atmosphere, which from where I was standing felt a bit like I was playing to 200 people out of the 300 who couldn't actually speak English. If the other comics hadn't been similarly disconcerted I might have thought the fault lay with me and the fact that I haven't done too many regular stand up gigs lately. But when my banker "child hand signs for sex routine" (that I was hoping I had retired) was mainly greeted with affronted silence I knew something odd was going on. My mind was furiously trying to think of something that might work for this crowd, but I knew that the stuff I had been hoping to do (the Christian complaints letter and why racists are more liberal than liberals) just wouldn't work tonight. Luckily a drunk New Zealand woman started talking loudly which allowed me to lay into her for the last 5 minutes. When I talked about having tiny hands like a seven year old she said something unintelligible. I thought it might have been "Funny" though it didn't sound sarcastic, so that would be an odd way to go (you know rather than just laughing), then wondered if it was "cunny" which would have been a bit rude. It took ages to clarify that she said "Carny" as in someone from a carnival and I was able to attack her for her political incorrectness, but also speculate about what kind of shit fair would have an attraction that was a man with smaller hands than you'd expect. It's hardly the elephant man is it? "Are the hands really tiny?" "No, just a bit smaller than you'd have been imagining he might have." And so it went on. I probably should have just done banter from the start with this crowd, but it was a bit eerie. A bit like the actual audience had planned an audacious escape attempt, leaving life-like models in their seats while they burrowed out of the theatre.
It didn't bother me too much. I just got on and did my job. I have had a lot worse audiences, but there was something strange in the air tonight. I wonder what it was. Could they all sense I had recently been in a bath full of flour - maybe the video was quietly playing behind me. Maybe they were all into WAM and were silently masturbating.
I know they weren't fans of mine because when I commented on the slightly high backed armchair on stage it got nothing!
But lots of fun to be on a bill with other comedians and we went for a quick drink after, which made a pleasant break after all this work, work, work. I pontificated about the profession and work ethics like an elder statesman of comedy (which tragically enough I suppose I am) to some of the youngsters (the very personable and pleasant lads from "Late Night Gimp Fight" who seem to be doing very well for themselves - look out for them in Edinburgh). Even when battered and bruised and tired this is a lovely and fascinating job. Just wish I could hit my deadlines! End of the week. That's my new self-imposed one. We'll see.