Coincidentally in the middle of my on line debate with Flat Earth Collings about fluoride in water, a man from Thames Water arrived at my door this morning saying he was in the area, testing tap water and would I mind letting him carry out some experiments on my kitchen tap.
I didn't mind at all, though the suspicious, superstitious Collingsish part of my brain wondered if this meant there was something wrong. Maybe some fluoride had accidentally got into the system and was going to kill us all.
I thought he might just take a small sample and be done in 30 seconds, but he ran all kinds of tests on my water. He left the tap running with some device underneath it (possibly to take the temperature - which he told me was good) but then also filled about four large bottles with water as well as some smaller test tubes. One of them had something in it that turned the water pink, "Don't worry," he said, "That just shows that there is chlorine in the water." Chlorine? In my water? I don't want chemicals in my water. Why are they putting chemicals in my water? To stop me dying of dysentery and to try and make me healthier? The bastards.
He took so much water that I began to wonder if this was just a sophisticated scam to steal tap water from hapless homeowners. It would seem that the expense of buying all the equipment would be more than the value of the water he was making off with, but who knows? He said, "Do you drink the tap water?"
"Yes," I replied, though thought this was an odd question and that maybe he was fishing for something. Maybe the water had been poisoned recently and he was just seeing whether it was a concern.
"Good," he said, "You should do. This is the best quality water you can get."
He was either proud of what he did or making a ham-fisted attempt to cover up some industrial accident. I hope he was proud. He should be proud. When you think of the logistics of providing millions of homes with clean, safe water, it is quite astonishing. Science has done some amazing things for us and the world is full of ungrateful idiots who treat everything it does with suspicion and fear, despite all that it has done for us. And think they're trying to kill us because they're evil. Or don't know what they're doing.
Still now I know there's chlorine in my water I won't be drinking it any more. Apparently it's also full of oxygen and hydrogen too. Yuck!
He took my number though, just in case anything turned out to be wrong. Which seemed a bit suspicious too. Chances are these people have no idea what they're doing. I'm with Collings all the way.
I cycled down to Putney for another try out gig. I put on my cycle helmet and my fluorescent jacket (though slightly worried that the fluorescence might be bad for me) and set off. There was still some vestiges of daylight as I left home and as I cycled through the streets I became aware that with my Hitler moustache and my outlandish gear I was looking more mental than I have ever done in my life. I got some odd looks I have to admit. I looked like some rubbish sit com character obsessed with safety, to a fascistic degree. Look at him with his funny cycle helmet and yellow jacket and Hitler moustache. Imagine the hilarious high-jinks he must get up to!
I went to work in the bar before I was on and went to buy myself a drink. The barman recognised me and turned out to be a fan of the podcast and gave me a cider for free. Thank God the podcast is finally starting to pay off.
And the material seems to be developing nicely. I think there's something interesting to explore in the fact that the toothbrush moustache was worn by both arguably the funniest man of the 20th Century and arguably the most evil. What if they'd both gone the other way? Is the moustache the point where evil and comedy meet? Are evil and comedy actually much more similar than we might imagine. The most evil things that happen are sometimes so spectacularly out of the ordinary that they are funny and the funniest things are often evil. Is the toothbrush moustache the subtle knife that can take you from one universe to the other. Will the moustache make me evil? Will it make me funny?
We have six weeks to find out.