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Saturday 9th November 2013

Again no coverage on the news about 9/11 at all today. How soon they forget. Sometimes humanity makes me despair.

A road trip to Dorset today to take part in the Wimborne Literary Festival. My brother and wife (two different people) were doing talks about their children's books and I was doing an hour of stand-up in the evening. My parents had come along too so we had some family time too, though due to crossed wires my wife and I had not realised that everyone was meeting for lunch in town and we turned up late and having had a Burger King on the way.

We were all facing strong competition from a Spitfire which was on display in the centre of the town. Would you rather look at a Spitfire or come and see a man doing cock jokes? I managed to get a few of the locals to come to my gig and then told them that the war was over and they didn't need a Spitfire on hand just in case the Germans attacked. The population of Dorset are all a bit like those Japanese soldiers who occasionally get discovered on some remote island unaware that hostilities have ceased. Or at least those hostilities.

I was reasonably amusing on stage, but of course, never as funny as my ridiculous family. My dad was on surprisingly good behaviour today and didn't get into any trouble, but the comedy highlight came not from any of the family on stage today, but from my mother who started a story by saying, "I was in Morrisson's supermarket the other day and I was seduced..." She left a big enough pause, I think by accident, for us all to imagine that a shelf-stacker or check-out man (or woman) had made a move on her (and why not? She's a very attractive woman if you find a young Bobby Robson good-looking - and who doesn't?) and apparently she'd succumbed to the seduction. It was an odd time to let her family know, but on the bright side if the new relationship worked out we might enjoy a discount at the supermarket. Alas it turned out that she'd been seduced by the £8 meal offer where you get starter, main and pudding at a bargain price. But the family enjoyed their own version of events more. I am glad I am part of a family that can laugh together and it was a nice change for my dad not to be the butt of the joke. It would be good if I could get such big laughs in my act though.

I had been powerfully tired all day, but as usual once I was on stage the weariness more or less drifted away. It was not quite my usual crowd and I don't know what they had been expecting, but it went OK. I tried out some of the stuff for next week's Meaning of Life and it's beginning to take shape. There's still a lot to do in a very short period of time (but c'mon, that's always the way, right?), but I am not feeling stressed about it. I just want to have fun with it and see what I can create. It's enormously liberating and inspiring to be having a go at something like this. At the very, very least it shows other people what is possible. And it even feels a little bit revolutionary. The internet and relative cheapness of tech is putting the means of production in our hands. Let's see what we can do with it.

And the jokes (mainly) made the people of Wimborne laugh. And they still think that World War II is going on, so it's very hard to get them to crack a smile.





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