Yesterday was much more like it. It was full of excitement, danger, crime and victory. Yesterday I fare dodged.
Now, I didn’t mean to fare dodge. Honestly. I legitimately bought the wrong ticket to Dovercourt (is there any other type?). I only had an off-peak ticket that I bought because, let’s face it, I didn’t think that Dovercourt would ever have a peak travel time. I got on the train and sat down happily knowing that my ticket was fine for the journey, got my DVD player out and ate a Wispa. All lovely so far. Then, about a minute after the train started moving, an announcement was made. “All Off-Peak tickets and travel cards are not valid on this Journey and Michael Legge is a cunt” is what I heard.
Ah, shit, I thought. I’m going to have to pay a fine and buy another ticket because of this. But then I had this brilliant idea; Don’t pay the fine and don’t buy another ticket! It was foolproof. All I had to do was either hope that the ticket inspector didn’t look at the ticket properly or didn’t care OR argue till I’m blue in the face. I didn’t mind the last one. I like arguing.
This was exciting. I haven’t fare dodged in years. In my youth I did it on purpose due to not having any money at all ever but this was different. This was real anarchy. I have the money but FUCK YOU, National Express Rail, you’re not getting any of it. I am standing up for the little man who cannot afford your inflated train fares, I am defending the honest passenger who doesn’t see improvement in the rail system despite yearly leaps in prices, I am making a stand against the system itself. Besides, it was an honest mistake. I didn’t mean to buy the wrong ticket.
I sat and I sat and I sat. Nothing happened. This is a crap revolution. How can I show The Man that I don’t give a fuck about his rules if he doesn’t even come round and look at my bad ass ticket? I took my Che Guevara beret off and watched Doctor Who. Stupid revolution.
Then, ten minutes before I was due to get off the train, he appeared. Mr. Fucking Ticket Inspector. National Express Rail’s own little jobsworth robot throwing the law into the faces of the innocent. Look at him cheerily looking at tickets, being polite and saying thank you. He’s worse than Pol Pot. The fucking, evil, facist bastard. Well, I am not like the others on this train. I cannot sit by and watch his tyranny without doing something about it. I will not look on my brothers and sisters while they are bound to his chains. I will stand. I will move forward. And, yes, if I die then I shall die with my boots on.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, for the last ten minutes of my train journey I hid in the toilet. It was horrible. I hid to make the point that I didn’t want to pay anymore than £28 to get to Dovercourt and after five seconds in that closet of piss I would glad pay that twice to get out. Thankfully, the revolution will not be televised.
When I got out of the loo the first thing I saw were two Transport Policemen. Fucking hell, I thought, this is going a bit far just because I’m fare dodging. Oh, well. I can’t complain. I am in the wrong and they’re only doing their job, I suppose. Luckily, they were BRITISH Transport Police and did fuck all.
I arrived at the gig. The venue was called Alfresco. I don’t think Alfresco was the right word for this dark, damp basement seeped in piss but who am I to judge? At least it was slightly larger than the toilet I’d just been cowering in. It definitely wasn’t a classy place. I could tell just by looking around. The beer was £1.50, they were playing David Soul ON TAPE and there was a poledancing pole in the corner of the room. Those were the first clues. That said, the people were actually quite nice, there just wasn’t very many of them. 27 of them, in fact. The best thing I can say about my performance is that I got through it. Luckily, I had a second gig in Clacton to put it all right.
I was driven to Clacton by a very lovely man called Ray who told me about the locals all being terrified of a recent UFO sighting that had actually turned out to be a burning plastic bag. I love locals. Locals are thick! The Clacton gig was in a venue called the Geisha Hotel. Yeah. Another classy joint. At least I wouldn’t be playing to 27 people in a basement.
I was walked down to the basement bar to look at the 15 people who made up the audience. Brilliant. Matt Price was compering and we both agreed to just quickly get the gig started and get it over with. Matt did an excellent job but 15 people in a brightly lit room was never going to rock, was it? I went on and mucked about. They were actually slightly better than I expected. Except one of them. His name is Peter. Peter is a cunt. He was a cunt when he woke up yesterday, he was a cunt last night and I am pretty confident he is out there somewhere being a cunt right this minute. He spoke to me like I was totally beneath him. He spoke to EVERYONE like they were beneath him. He rolled his eyes at everything I said, tutted when I made jokes and made horrible comments about how unintelligent you have to be to be a comedian. So, I put him down. This was pretty much the only time I made the room laugh as one, I think. It was clear to all that he was a grade A prick with no clue about how big an arsehole he was. Even the woman he was with laughed when I put him down. Maybe me pointing out his foibles rang a little bell for her, I don’t know. The thing is, Cunt Peter looked like the Fat Controller from Thomas the Tank Engine and I did start to wonder if National Express Rail had sent him to fuck up the gig in revenge for my fare dodging. Eventually, I made him laugh. That made me feel good. And then bad. Why did I want him to laugh? I don’t care about his approval. He is an awful, awful bastard. I hate that I have amused him for one single solitary second (that’s an estimate). I left the gig in a big huff.
Then, the Hedgehog Moment happened again. As I stomped from the gig I saw the moon glistening on the sea off Clacton bay. It was so beautiful, calm and majestic. I had to stop and look for a while. Who could possibly give Cunt Peter the time of day when something this perfect was right here and free to look at. I was all happy again. I’m loving the moon these days.
I’ve been lucky enough to own Jerk for four years and one day today. Time for a walk. It’s a nice day today, don’t stay inside.