See? All it took was a gig to destroy all cheeriness and return me to my normal, slate grey, miserable self. I knew I couldn't go for a full week being all happy and shit. It's one or the other for me. Normally shit.
The gig wasn't bad. But I was. I was fucking terrible. Last night in Spalding I found myself tripping over my words and drying up on stage. It felt like it was my first gig and I had stolen all my material from Charlie Awful. I got laughs but I played it safe and it just got a bit dull and then I mentally collapsed. I've been doing stand-up for 45 years. You'd think I'd know better.
Mind you, I'm lucky. I haven't had a bad gig in a long time. I've certainly been spoiled this week with Mike & Andrew's Coalition Party and Los Quattros Cvnts (though, to be honest, I was patchy at best in that) plus I've barely done any gigs outside of London this year so long, depressing train journeys home have been avoided. It was actually quite nostalgic to be on a train, completely alone, listening to Morrissey and drinking Stella. The life of a comedian is full of wild highpoint's like that one.
There was even a bit of joy to be found on the train. Actual joy. Sort of. The ticket inspector came round to do what he's paid to do: be terrified that the next person he speaks to is going to punch him. That's what he does for a living. I mean, EVERYONE wants to punch a ticket inspector. It's the one thing that unites every single human being, animal and plant. Ticket inspectors are to be admired for their bravery in accepting that they are constantly about to be punched but also loathed for their physical demeanour and whiny voices that make us all want to punch them in the first place. They deserve a medal. And a kicking.
The ticket inspector Gollumed his bony, bent frame down the aisle begging for tickets and mercy when he came across the passenger he hates most. The drunk man. I'd like to point out that I was not the drunk man, I'm the sigh-here's-your-precious-fucking-ticket-now-go-away man. Hunch-backed and trembling, the ticket inspector turned to the drunk man and said "Can I see your ticket?" Obviously, the drunk man though this was the funniest thing that he had ever heard in his entire life and burst out laughing. If he ever saw Lee Evans it would probably kill him. But the drunk man had a topper for the ticket inspector's hilarious "Can I see Your ticket?" line. He said "Yes. Can I see your arse?"
But the ticket inspector was a true pro. He'd heard it all before. Without blinking or hesitating or showing any emotion he just looked at the drunk man's ticket and said "No. You're on the wrong train".
I don't know what train is the right train for seeing the ticket inspector's arse but it's nice to know that that service is available somewhere. Obviously it would be nice if ticket inspector's all had nice bums but I can't imagine that they all do. Maybe the rail companies should pay more attention to arses when choosing their ticket inspectors. I'm sure they'd offer Kylie a job when her singing thing dries up.
My memory isn't good so before I forget this story altogether, allow me to add it to this blog. For Monday's Hen & Chickens show I had to bring a small fold away table with me as a prop. When walking out of Highbury & Islington tube I passed two gentlemen who LOVE hanging around tube stations. As I passed, with no trace of humour or irony or anything, one said to the other "Imagine having to carry a table with you all the time".
I can't help but think that he assumed I was homeless. Homeless but with my own furniture.