(I am indebted to Miss Natalie Haynes
for a number of Medea's lines here, and for yesterday's "She was sexy,
she was sticky, she was sex on a stick", and also for the re-naming of
the Corn Exchange in tomorrow's post, while the thing at the bar
is obviously a nod to David Cronenberg. My dad's just given me a hat
like that... I used to get these strips in about an hour before the
paper was put to bed. Editorial interference was therefore pretty
... That last strip spent some time in Limbo. I was having problems
with my mum's computer. Anyway I'm still in France but have this to
hand, so here's where the story really starts. It appeared in the
University paper back in 1996: I only had the one character, and he was
always going to be called Jaundis - I'd decided that back when I was
thirteen, imagining him as some kind of futuristic bounty-hunter - but I
never got round to that strip ("Urban Vulture"). Then at eighteen I did
get round to "My Quiff", but none of the independent titles rife at the
time were willing to print anything so irredeemably wet. And then,
then, I was finally approached to create a strip for Varsity at the age
of twenty-one and had one more crack, which is this, and which, as I
head home tomorrow, should hopefully take us up to the new year:
1993. That is tiny. Or maybe just far away. It's only up here because
the narrator appeared three years later a little mellowed, in the
strip I was hoping to upload before coming out to France for Christmas
and haven't. Sorry. It was going to be great; the whole thing would be
serialized and silly and festive and take us up to the new year but I
met up with some people for drinks instead. Anyway how's your Christmas
been, dear bunch? Get anything nice? I got a Harold Pinter! Worked fine
for the first couple of hours but then...
Monday the 22nd of December and the weather outside is thirty-seven
minutes late, so whatever you're doing this morning be sure to leave
plenty of time.
Apparently the Dungeons received a memo from "top
office" to "tone down" SATAN'S GROTTO this year, and replace the line
"I've killed Santa" with "I've kidnapped Santa", which we've done. And
the displays team have set him just to the left of Satan's throne. Only
he's a bit rotty. And nailed to a cross.
Still could be worse...
I honestly don't think the sight of Santa's gnawed, eyeless, crucified
carcass is going to be as traumatic as any actual Santa. I really do.
"What's he doing in Bentalls?" I seem to remember asking myself as a
six-year-old. Surely part of the mythos is you never actually get to see
him, like 'Er Indoors or Doctor Claw or Humphrey Lyttelton.
That's a medley of money shots from Benjamin
Christensen's enlightening 1922 expose "Haxan", re-released in the
sixties as "Witchcraft Through the Ages" with narration by William
Burroughs (the Haxan blooper reel's
also up on youtube, featuring at 1 minute and 40 seconds in four takes
of a nun "trying out a variety of ungodly titters"). And that's the
director himself playing the devil, top off and tongue out, which must
have made for an interesting set. (Warning: contains bumbums.) Anyway
coming up next, as requested by Mr. James McQuillan, a short yuletide
run of an old cartoon strip of mine "Persona Non Grata" as soon as I
work out how to scan A3. Meantime here's more Santa.
... and looking over this opening again I think I can
see why. It was the smile. I thought it was evil. And she looked like a
ghost. Also I was a terrible racist until I was about five - all Asians
looked to me like evil wizards - and I thought Emily looked Asian.
Regional accents disturbed me as well so "Ivor the Engine" never really
got a look in either, particularly those dragons (and nor did "Why Don't
You?"). And they didn't show The Clangers when I was a toddler, which I
think I would have loved
(even though it wouldn't have made me laugh, like "Chorlton and the
Wheelies") let alone Noggin the Nog - I must have missed those both by a
few years - so what I'm saying is that Oliver Postgate's influence only
really began to work on me when I became a teenager.
And I'm saying this because of course Oliver Postgate is now dead.
that I should only love Smallfilms' output now - REALLY love them -
makes perfect sense to me. Look at Bagpuss or Ivor, there's an inbuilt
nostalgia. And I trust nostalgia. Perhaps that is the wrong word. I
trust stuff that is old, and handmade. Such stuff has earned my trust,
and the worlds built by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin in their
magically non-magic shed are timeless, and chiefly responsible. So I
should mark his passing somehow, definitely, and I'll do it by posting
to Chris Goode's own excellent tribute here. It includes a recording of
perhaps the last story Postgate ever told, the introduction to "Hippo
World Guestbook", and praise for Postgate's own blog which is also well worth a look if you're interested (it's political, in a good way... ie it has a moral). Enjoy, all interested parties.
The BBC you might have heard is incredibly nervous at the moment about putting another foot wrong: you can hear Adam and Joe
checking with their producer to see if they're allowed to say "Smack My
Bitch Up" just like the old days when you weren't allowed to hear "I Want Your Sex",
all shows are now undergoing a three-day vetting period to ensure
nothing which might possibly offend anyone reaches the internet etc,
everyone's clearly under a lot of pressure to play it as safe as is
humanly possible with no more "slip-ups"... in the light of which I
found this image from The Mxxl On Sxndxy illustrating what's accidentally been programmed for Christmas Day SO HILARIOUS I CRIED.
was lying in a cafe. I did not buy it. And it's not the outrage I'm
promoting, just the delicious Oops of it... Sorry, have you already seen
this? I'm a little out of the loop.)
Yes, moon alert: Tonight's full mooon
will loom larger in the sky than it has since 1993, although peering
through the blinds tonight all I see is cloud. Actually I should put
some curtains up. Venetian blinds are all very well for a two-fisted man
of letters keeping faith with Ridley Scott's vision of 21st century
living, but it's getting quite cold now, and the bonsai tree by my brass
bed's beginning to smell ill. Seriously it took me ages to locate the
On the subject of the moon, here's a short animation made by Paul Barritt accompanying a story by Suzanne Andrade; she stands in front of it, looking eerily like Jean Charles Deburau but with sexier hair, in their show "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" which I saw last night at the BAC:
They don't do cabaret any more. That's a shame because
an hour of this on its own can look a bit phoney, whereas a
fifteen-minute invasion of the stage of the Battersea Barge, say, is
awesome… That's a terribly ungracious judgment for me to make however
because I was sitting right at the front on my own, with a bad neck, and
hadn't even paid and paying always gets you in the mood. But this was a
Big Christmas Treat from the Battersea Arts Centre, you see, who'd
invited me along to a "Brainstorming Session". I felt like a real
player. After the show there were probably about two-hundred of us sat
around tables with crackers and lasagne, two-hundred who had all, we
were told, been "put on a list". Lewis was there (of "Alf and…" fame) and personal favourite Julian Fox.
Crackers were pulled and tiny pairs of nail-clippers sent flying across
the hall. And then the time came to "round table" some subjects, and I
joined the round table that read:
ONE ON ONES
… firstly because of The Books of Soap
and Interview Room H, but also because I found the name very pleasing
to the eye and couldn't quite work out why. At this table the BAC's
joint artistic director tabled the notion of a "one-on-one theatre
festival" which sounded great. Then he suggested this festival might
answer a demand from a public finding themselves in a "post-capitalist,
post-Blairite, post-spin" era, hungry for honesty and "energized by
Obama" etc. and I thought "Who? What? Oh no..." But it prompted Lewis to
make what I thought was the most interesting and important point of the
evening, namely that this demand for "one on one" theatre wasn't in
fact coming from the public at all, but from us artists. It's us who
want "the house-lights turned up" as he put it, far more than our
paying or non-paying house. I love Lewis. And it seems to me a very
important distinction for an artistic venue to make when deciding on its
focus, and indeed for commentators in general. Art doesn't change
direction because the public want it to but because the artists do; but
artists are also of course the public - they're seeing stuff as well as
making it, and chances are they're making the stuff they want to
see. In other words, you don't necessarily need all these feedback
forms. And the idea that the Battersea Arts Centre is somehow a
barometer of national public interest is, when you think about it for a
second, bonkers; what the BAC can I think genuinely take pride in is the
interest they generate from the large number of artists wanting to
produce work there. Dedum.
So anyway I walked home well-fed,
clearly knowing everything there ever was to know about my chosen
medium, found a DVD of "Planet Terror" in the living room, bunged it on
and was immediately reminded how much I clearly wanted to DO THIS! THIS!
MOVIES NOT THEATRE! THIS!!! Gah:
I have written no screenplay-he-dee-dee-doe. I have written no screenplay-he-dee. Done nothin all the livelong day but written this song And then whittled a fiddle out of whicker from a skip And stuck it up me bum-dee-doe.
Hollywood, I'm afraid I did not get round to writing "Fat Adolf" in the
end but here is a song I just done instead, can you make a film of
that? Yes? Excellent, phew that's a load off.
Writing isn't hard
you know. Graham Linehan said in an episode of Screenwipe I have left
it now too late to link to, it was like "doing a poo". Perhaps I should
get off the pot then. Certainly I'm not going to get anything written at
the British Library; people are distracting, and I've never written
anything in a library I now realize. When I write I tell myself a story
and take it down, and that means being on my own, maybe in bed, with
warm low lighting. Sounds nice enough but I'm still not doing it, I'm
simply filing these reports. Some excellent writers were interviewed for
that Screenwipe and the only thing, disappointingly, they had in common
was that they all dreaded writing. And willies. They all had willies in
common I mean, they didn't all dread willies. Russell T. Davies' one
piece of Advice To Writers was "Finish it", which is sterling.
the half-point, yes? The half-point of the week? So I'm at the
half-point of my paid holiday now and that's five livelong days of
procrastination (ten day week, yup... You weren't told? You're in for a
big shock come Stansday)... five days in which I have written nothing,
and done very little else either because I know I'm meant to be writing.
Everything has been put off, even sleep. I mean I've been for walks.
And into second-hand bookshops, as should now be obvious (NICE FACT TO
STAVE OFF PANIC NECESSARY TO GET MY ARSE IN GEAR: Shunt have asked me to
be in their next show, which is based on "L'Argent" by Zola. I've been
looking for a copy). And I've been eating out a bit (SECOND
PROCRASTINATION-FRIENDLY FACT: The money came through from those
Mitchlook and Webbell sketches, the ones with this
on the back of which I have now been invited to write for BBC 3's "The
Wrong Door" following a very friendly meeting with - I think - the
producer and receipt of a brief in which "Edgeyness" was misspelt.) I've
been swimming. I've been running baths. I've found an old sitcom of my Dad's
in its entirety on youtube, and been reminded yet again just how kind a
writer he is, and how glamorous ITV used to be back in the eighties:
that handover from Thames to LWT, those floodlit office blocks along the
South Bank promising such good times for the weekend (recalled to
perfect life in the opening credits of "Man To Man with Dean Lerner"),
and Richard O' Sullivan in a pastel blue track-suit toppling suavely
into Regent's Canal... I mean, yes, the BBC had the world for its logo,
but ITV had the South Bank! And the West End! AT NIGHT!
what am I going to see of that glamour, eh, in this day and age? Where
will I find all the magic bits in a W1 I now know like the back of my
tiny hand?... Anyway sitting in front of the laptop this morning looking
at - I don't know - this maybe -
- I received a text out of the blue from Dr. Meikle of
Foix: "Lazy bottom..shift and do something other than pretend you know
what its like ouside!scoot!i think you should go to....maida vale
today!why not." So I got up and headed out. I went to Maida Vale. I'd never been. It
was sunny. I had ciabatta on a barge. I picked up a leaflet called
"Little Venice Circular Walk". I hit Regent's Canal and attempted a run,
like Richard O' Sullivan. I felt queasy and slowed down. Ibis to the
left of me, dingoes to my right and up ahead moored to the Cumberland
Basin, the top-heavy Feng Shang Floating Restaurant just waiting to be
hijacked. I continued my way to the top of Primrose Hill and, similarly
buoyed, awaited further instructions.
"Adam and Eve" by the late Willie Rushton and the Primitive painters of
the Portal Gallery, a beautiful little book picked up in Oxfam in
Kentish Town on a Sunday evening set aside to be spent as though the
doctor with a talent for tenderness was in town and knocking about
beside me (the "she" mentioned below is Mrs. Bradley, Rushton's own
imaginary companion, like my doctor or that American who lives inside
Jack Dee's head in 'Lead Baloon' - or maybe he's a ghost, or a cylon, I
don't know. And the painting is "First Love" by Martin Leman):
"Now she's tut-tutting very loudly. " 'Mr Leman,' I say, 'is well-known for his cats.' I don't know why I think this will help. 'World famous.' " 'Tut-tut-tut.' " 'He loves chess.' "There is no way I am going to persuade her that these are two cats playing chess."
That made me laugh a lot. I loved this book:
God brings every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air to Adam
'to see what he would call them. And whatsoever Adam called every living
creature, that was the name thereof.' Here we were very lucky as he was
And here's one of a number of bizarrely oblique
jokes I recently unearthed that I had sent off to Private Eye back in
the nineties. Eh?
water damage. A little plastic cup full of soapy water routinely
toppled onto this hundred year-old Welsh hymnal. I think the damage
suits it though. Mother if you're reading this sorry.
hit my nose on a beam that first evening and I think I also look better
now as a result of the damage. The scar draws one's eye away from the
chin. "And and Bee" also got wet (shown above) and I love And and Bee.
They're out of print now, I'm pretty sure. The page above makes them
look creepy. They're not. They simply met this GIRL on a BOAT bound for
ASIA, and later they will meet a fairy in a STAR while standing in a
QUEUE by the ROAD who helps them catch a TRAM, gives them each a VEST
and sneaks them into someone's back YARD just in time for XMAS. Which
reminds me, it snowed this morning, what a kick!
here are the rules for the Books of Soap: "Bag checks in operation.
Only one visitor allowed in at any time [only the display case is
illuminated, the walls covered in mirrors that are cracked but not
smashed, and you have a torch]. Certain volumes may be handled [beneath
strips of processed chicken - that and the soap were my nods to the
Trinum Magicum] Simply ask an attendant. Every visitor must be
accompanied by an attendant [so me]. Please do not mark these books.
Goggles to be worn at all times ['The place is a bit of a tip.' 'But I
can't see anything.' 'That's why we ask you wear them. Because it's a
bit of a tip.'] Attendants to be blindfolded [so take my soapy hand and
lead me out]." And once out you were asked if you'd like to go back in
without the goggles - If you'd kept them on, this treat was your reward
and if you hadn't, this not being a treat was your punishment. Only half
said yes... And the last book:
"Simon, did you write this?" shouted David R from behind the soapy goggles while I stumbled into the leg of a chair. "Describe it." "It looks like it was made by a child, with access to a typewriter." "What's it say?" "
'But then Sam Spaghetti, Picky Pear and Quarrelsome Cucumber slid into
the whale's tummy because they were swallowed... and I expect you can
guess what happened then!'
Look, here it is: It will be a busy week (including Robert Popper previewing a radio piece in the Arena - zooks!) and it's the last week the Lounge
will be open for a while before the big hatted panjandrums of
MagniDickensChristmassyCorp move in with their antlers, barrels and
gluey snow-cannon. But yes, the books of soap: Having valiantly
transformed the penthouse into a reading room, Gemma's now had to skip
the country before being able to realize the final dream of turning that
beamed murk at the back into a "Rare Books Room". She was inspired by
Eleanor's tales of the "Trinum Magicum", a book bound in human skin on
display by appointment only at the Brighton and Hove Library, which was
worth bearing in mind when I got the call a couple of days ago to come
in and see if I could come up with some use for what had been put in
place. Great. It was a paid gig, and the room actually looked pretty
much finished if you squinted. So I said yes gladly and smeared some
vaseline on a pair goggles. I'm actually very pleased with how Books of
Soap's turned out for a day's work. It's not just the random creepy gubbins
I initially hoped to get away with, it's turned into something that
really takes account of the care with which you handle an old volume
(along with the bag checks enforced at the British Library) and doesn't I
hope just make you feel like a blundering game show contestant, the
path of least resistance in these kind of makeshift sensory installation
deals. Oh yes and bloody hell Graham Linehan was in last night, a
definite "get to meet"! He is a diamond. "Hello - Jon [Ronson!], this is
Simon. He's a comedy writer also." Except of course I'm not I'm a fan
Graham a tiny fan and we've never even met... Actually though, I did go
along to the final recording of laughter for That Mitchell and Webb Look
on Monday and feel now finally that he may have a point... It was very
good, I'll expand bout dat laters tho. At the top is a picture of
Quinto's on Charing Cross where I used to work. They've got rid of all
the shelves, look. I wonder what it will smell like.
I'm afraid you've missed this now. Sorry I should have said. For the past two weeks
seventy-four empty, wooden frames have hung to form a false perspective
in Shunt's long corridor, their distance from each other and
diminishing dimensions perfectly calculated by Tom Duggan. They looked
great. And to the right as you came in there hung a piece by Kathy Hinde,
the working guts of a prepared piano with a video of birds alighting on
a wire projected on the underside. A white line passed steadily from
left to right across this image and every time it hit a bird a note was
struck... It's been a rich programme this past fortnight. Problems with
the license meant I ended up performing Nijinsky Karaoke twice to plug
some gaps, once on Thursday as planned, and another shotgun showing of
it in the Arena on Saturday which turned out to be far more successful.
It took a while to get going but from about 11pm onwards I didn't have
to perform at all, or any way I decided this time not to intervene, and
it was fine. People were perfectly happy to sit and natter and listen
and then, most importantly, cross what I had feared was an intimidating
distance to a lone chair three arches down, tap a stranger on the
shoulder and take the mike from them. I still get a kick from watching
these changeovers. Occasionally the volunteers wouldn't read from
Nijinsky's diary at all but perform Cyprus Hill or the opening credits
to Beverley Hillbillies, and I was fine with that; despite its name, all
"Nijinsky Karaoke" really needs to be is an oppressively isolated open
mike, comfortable seats and a crowd happy to take turns (and they always
returned to the diary in the end). I enjoyed Saturday. It got me
thinking. And I think most of these thoughts I then put down on the
following strand of Chris Goode's "Thompson's" blog regarding his allusion to some inherent ideological flaw in the Lounge's make-up.
in brief... Me: "Am I sort of right in saying that the ideological
problem for you is the space's remoteness from the surrounding
reality... the very fact that people upon entering might go 'Fantastic'?
A theatre company should have a 'quizzical' relationship with a space
this patently -- non-domestic, this ostentatiously alien in your view,
and 'Shunt are the benevolent dictators' presumably because people are
unable to make themselves at home here, is that it?... But here, re:
works of art and paying attention, what is it you pay attention to? It
is never going to be, and therefore should not be, just the piece. You
pay attention to each other as well. And, while not really 'my scene'
whatever that is, the Shunt Lounge matches and probably surpasses any
venue, show or indoor event I can remember in the opportunities it gives
its artists (and frankly in the pressures it puts upon them) to pay
attention to their audience and allow their audience to pay attention to
each other as part of the work... I mean really joining in. Audience then becomes the wrong word. 'Crowd' is fitter. The Shunt Lunge is very much about the Crowd."
On Wednesday we didn't even have the documentaries, so Amber Sealey
was projected in their place before two columns of plane seating and a
dirty mesh, while I paced disconsolately around this enclosure in a pink
wig and the rags of a stewardess' uniform. Again, it was fine.
Chris: "I think the best way to describe it is in relation to
recreational drug use... One of the things I regret about the
recreational use of, for example, ecstasy, which generally seems to have
a positive effect in making people happier and calmer and more open and
more readily available to genuine experiences of love and intimacy in
relation to others, is that on the whole users seem to tend to ascribe
these positive effects to the drug alone... So, your mind is blown by
Shunt? What do you do with that? You look forward to going back to Shunt
again another night."
this is the image I bore in mind while I knocked about that
transvestite stewardess enclosure with the punters peering in: the horse
that slowly approaches you from the other side of the fence, and then
Finally, me again: "To be clear, I am not arguing
that the Vaults is the perfect model of a theatrical space. I'm not sure
one single place can ever fulfill that Function. What I do believe is
that it is a useful and beautiful mutation, rather than a dangerous
placebo... the response I hear more often than any other from people
entering the Vaults for the first time is - and it's why I love the
place - 'How did they get hold of this?'... Why don't you ever hear that
asked in, say, a space like the Tate? Is it because the Tate is
immediately baffling? Because it is. But this question, to me, sounds
like a person having their idea of what is possible suddenly enlarged a
little... I don't mean people have asked me this knowing I'm 'in'. I
mean that I constantly witness people enter and yes go 'wow', but then
also go 'how did they do this?' and the excellent and important thing is
that this isn't a magic trick, because it isn't a secret! Which is why
this isn't a dictatorship. It might be a compound, yes, or a haven -
although not my idea of one - but I'm fine with that because everyone's
invited and we're around to show our working if anyone's interested...
'We are monarchs of all we survey' is the inherent message of the place,
for me, while the subtext is 'Go and do likewise'. And in six months
time it will all be handed over to the sandwich barons anyway and Shunt
will have to build somewhere else. None of which is to detract from your
assertion that this build is a project which should not have been
embarked upon in the first place, and all of which boils down to my love
of theatre almost solely as a medium for amateurs. And builders."
and another thought I've had since: Great Art should not, contrary to
popular belief, necessarily get us talking. What Great Art should really
do is shut us up.
I've just seen Oliver Stone's "W." and it's a bit sketchy, which is
the last thing I expect of an Oliver Stone film, I expect bold, impasto
swathes of goo, bits you open up and glitter and pasta. (And why does
every Bush impersonator always go for the frown and pursed lips when his
signature state should surely be Garth Algar's
nervous smirk?) I then came home to idly surf and found the following
exchange, which I have not seen before. It's deep. Sticking it in "W."
would instantly have made that film twice as good. I mean, it's the
pith. Now while this beautiful piece
in The Onion has seen me finally feeling as cock-a-hoop about Obama's
victory as I was hoping to, in our relief let's never let this poor
little guy off the hook...
"Help!... I wasn't kidding... This is how I work..." etc.
The night of my thirtieth birthday was spent sitting in the kitchen
with a bottle of cheap white wine watching the first uncontestable
election victory of George W. Bush. He didn't steal it this time, they
chose him. I couldn't face that again. So last night I stayed up long
enough to see Obama gain - what was it, 150 seats? against McCain's
90-odd - then McCain suddenly gained another 20 and I remembered Kerry
and knew exactly where this was going.
morning was very grey, wasn't it. I turned on the telly and... well
McCain's victory was still a kick in the guts even though I'd called it.
Obama's wry but wounded speech in Chicago, the tears in the crowd, the
quiet, broken rage, everything as I'd imagined, the predictability of
the whole scene was almost a comfort. And the tension had been
unbearable so at least we'd been put out of our misery, that too was
sort of a comfort... And then McCain took the mike in Pheonix to give
his victory speech, and I thought it odd that he wasn't smiling.
mean it was very odd. Especially given the ecstatic noise the crowd was
making. There was no pointing at the crowd either, I can understand
that he wanted to come across as, well sobre, but why wasn't he smiling?
He just stood there flanked by single-star-spangled banners, his lips
pressed, palms out, and it looked like the crowd would never shut up.
But when they let him speak I have to admit he was more gracious than
I'd ever seen him: "Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you for
coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening. A little while ago, I had
the honor of a call from Senator Barack Obama - " at which point the
crowd struck up again, like a wind, almost like they'd lost. There were
real jeers. The cameras picked out face after face and none would have
looked out of place in a meeting at the warehouse in a straight-to-video
Steven Seagal film. McCain put his hands out once again and signaled
weakly for silence. Finally he got it, and he held it. For what seemed
like a minute. And then, it was extraordinary. It was sort of
beautiful... "Guys. You scare me."
from the crowd. And then: "My fellow prisoners... Goodbye." And he
opened a door in the air behind him, turned to raise a small old hand
above his head for the first time in twenty years, waved farewell, and
walked through it smiling.
Last night I think I finally cut the Gordian knot of "Iago's Little
Book Of Calm". I cut the Gordian Knot, stole the Gordian posts and then
bombed Gordia, electronically deleting all references to Gordia in the
process. The play probably lasts seven minutes now. Good. It should
always have been slight as a paper cut, I'd just forgotten.
I appear to stand behind David Tennant, unshorn and taking a private
snap of Ella with her Ev*n*ng St*nd*rd statuette for Outstanding
Newcomer. Claire Bloom was in that room. She's worked with Chaplin. I
have nothing very coherent to say about the afternoon right now... when
you hold the award newsprint comes off on your fingers I noticed. And
Charles Dance had a hacksaw in his pocket which was odd. And I was very,
very proud. And everyone was nice, and happy, and interested. Ella's
speech seemed to go down well, which was good as we'd hammered it out in
Cafe Nero half an hour before and really made an effort: "Hello.
Thank you very much. I'm very pleased to be here. Thanks to the cast and
to Neil Labute for putting me in a play called Fat Pig. I'd also like
to thank the producers of Fat Pig. And everyone who came to see Fat Pig.
That's Fat. Pig. I hope you all have a lovely afternoon. Thank you, I'm
really really chuffed to bits." Textbook! Go Team! Go Ella!
The walk home has been getting very weird lately...
I finally went and saw Ben Moor performing Not Everything Is Significant
at the Etcetera tonight, which is extraordinary and on tomorrow night
too and then not. Go see. It's been far too long since I've seen a Ben
Moor. It was only tuning in to (alright, dowwwnloaaaading) his show Undone
last week in bed with a cold that I was reminded just how much his
stuff can get under my skin, and has done ever ever since I first saw
him wobbling about onstage and enriching his surroundings twelve years
back. Good as Undone is it's these one-man shows that really send you
off with the five extra senses, the ten senses, and although I'm now
thirty- well, we'll get back to that - it happened again tonight. Then
having bumped into a mutual friend I got to meet Ben after the show
("got to meet"? Well yes) and he asked me if I was up to anything which
was nice, so I started telling him about "Nijinsky Karaoke"... when it
dawned on me: There's a distinct possibility that for the past decade
I've been subconsciously trying to turn my life into a Ben Moor show.
not such a bad idea maybe, they tend not to have happy endings but the
protagonists do live full and active lives or at least get out a lot...
And it's tomorrow now, the third, my birthday. I've
I-hope-not-churlishly cancelled all plans for an Eritrean bunfight in
favour of having nothing whatsoever I must do and just seeing where the
day takes me. My thirty-fourth birthday. Surprise me.
Just trying out a couple of images to flash up on the big screen in the event of a technical hitch the day following John McCain's
inevitable election victory. I'll be sitting above the bar in Shunt
covering the panic, skyping the States and fielding any questions you
may care to scrunch into a ball and throw up at my feet as part of Gemma's fortnight
curating the Lounge. I might also keep a gun on the news-desk to repel
stage crashers, it'll be a reckless, red, misty hoot! Then on Thursday,
once everyone's woken up to the irremediable fuckedness of the American
spirit once again, I'll be hosting another Nijinsky Karaoke. A nice couple of gigs. Pop in.
Tonight's Halloween celebrations
also look very promising. I'm off to Broadcasting House to watch some
sketches so won't make it, but when I was over there this morning they
were putting the finishing touches to a whicker man in the penthouse and
the itinerary I glimpsed in the kitchen mentioned a "pig filled with
blood". I also overheard Andrew Rutland refer to a "blonde wig that
makes me look like a Mexican prostitute, fortunately they'll only be
seeing me from behind" which can only mean he's finally given up trying
to hire a lookalike to cover the non-appearance of Jarvis Cocker and
opted instead for distracting the crowd with his impression of Britt
Eckland, which would have been fun to watch.