Monday, 16 December 2013

Ho Ho Hobo.

You'll find it hard to believe but I really do love Christmas. Of course, in amongst all the fighting, disappointment and feeling sick it's easy to forget those less fortunate than ourselves. By that, I mean comedians who have to perform in front of huge rooms full of work do's all more interested in staring loudly or throwing food at the stage while our poor comedian is trying to dribble mirth at them. ONLY JOKING! Of course I don't mean them. Comedians are cunts who deserve everything they get. No, I mean the homeless.

A friend of mine once laughed when I gave some change to a homeless man. "Why do you give money to the homeless?", he asked. That is a bizarre question. A bit like "Why have you stopped kicking that child?". The answer is the same: I think they've had enough. Some people, my friend included, seem to think that the homeless are all really multi-millionaires all taking part in this massive scam, fleecing money from people with stupid kind hearts and at the end of a working day thay stop pretending to be cold, take their massive bag of cash back to their mansion and get the butler to wash all the piss and shit off them. If the homeless are faking it then they've earned every penny. They're VERY convincing. Sleeping in cold rain, getting abuse off people in the street, bloodless faces due to lack of warmth, sleep and food. The actors that make up our homeless clearly show what a tedious amateur Daniel Day Lewis really is. So when my friend said "Why do you give money to the homeless?", I said "Because no one loves them" and his eyes filled up with tears. It was actually a beautiful moment because he seemed to finally understand that being homeless can sometimes mean being broke in a lot of ways but mainly because I'd wanted to make him cry like a girl for years, so that bit was the best.

On Friday, my career finally brought me to Newport. I was gigging there with the lovely man, comedian and Dr Who expert Joel Dommett who very kindly offered me a lift all the way there. All I had to do was meet him in Nunhead. 

At Nunhead station I was approached by a homeless man who asked if I had any change. I didn't so I apologised and said no. He thanked me anyway just to make me feel even worse. Maybe that's the scam? The homeless are actually well off people hired by the government to make the rest of us feel like shit all the time. Well, if that's the case then the joke is on them. I feel shit all the time anyway! Ha! I WIN!

I stood about 10 feet away from the homeless man and waited for Joel. A traffic warden walked past. Then he walked past again. And again and again and again. I got slightly obsessed watching this traffic warden. He just wandered around doing nothing. I know drivers don't like traffic wardens who go around fastidiously finding flaw with every but of parking they can see but I hated this traffic warden for just...well, skiving. He was just doing NOTHING. In my face! Then a man walked out of a nearby off licence and called out to the traffic warden. He looked terrified. Ha! The traffic warden will have to do work now, laughed I, a man with no concept of work.

The man wanted to complain about the homeless man outside the train station. "It's a bloody disgrace", he said to the traffic warden. "We don't want people like that here".

The thing is, the man being morally outraged by the dirty person that existed in the same post code as him had just bought two cans of very strong lager. I know this because one or other of the two cans would fall out of his pockets every three seconds while he was being morally outraged. "Someone should move (CLANG) him on because it's not (CLANG) right having people like that (CLANG) near children. You don't want (CLANG) people like that (CLANG) on your street (CLANG)". This went on for about two minutes. A closet alcoholic mortified by a human being with problems. The traffic warden just stared at him. What did he want the traffic warden to do? He couldn't give the homeless man a ticket. Clamping him would only keep him here longer. "You (CLANG) need to speak to him. I'm an old man (he wasn't. He was about 50) and I don't want (CLANG) to be too scared to walk down the street". The traffic warden sighed and agreed to speak to the homeless man.

What a fucking cunt. The homeless man was shivering, he barely had clothes. Stop kicking him. He's had enough. How could anyone treat another person like that? I felt bad enough that I had nothing to give him but to see someone wanting to take more from the man disgusted me. Is it that big a deal to have a homeless man standing outside a train station? He's a human being in need of help and therefore easy to ignore. Just walk past him. It'll take a half second of your entire life to ignore him and you have the rest of all eternity to forget he even existed. God forbid you'd actually want to support what little he has or hope that he gets a little more. God forbid that you'd ever defend your fellow man.

"Everything OK?", said the traffic warden to me.

"Er...yes", I said.

"A man over there said you were asking people for money".

FUCK. YOU. Have you seen the state of this heap of bones beside me? His shoes are more hole than shoe, his clothes are stinking and unfashionably distressed, his beard has grey sick in it. But, NO, you just naturally thought of the two of us it was ME who was the homeless man? LOOK AT HIM! He's a smelly tramp man. Look at his mad hair and nails. Look at HIM! He's disgusting! 

I wouldn't mind so much but this is the second time this has happened THIS YEAR. In July I was lying on the grass in Leicester Square enjoying the sun when a woman walked up to me and said "Would you like this sandwich?" WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN TO ME? Looking like Dave Gorman has plagued me enough but why would anyone just assume I was homeless? I was furious with that woman. Insulted and hurt. And the sandwich didn't even taste nice. What a fucking insult. "You look homeless". What a horrible, nasty and cruel thing to say.

Luckily, I'm not that horrible, nasty or cruel. "A man over there said you were asking people for money", said the traffic warden and I took a step closer to the homeless man and said "We're just waiting for a lift. There was someone here asking for money but they've gone". 

The traffic warden apologised (AS WELL HE FUCKING SHOULD) and went on his way clearly believing my massive lie. And with that, I became a proud member of the homeless scam.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Buddy Hell.

Friends. Always there as a constant source of support, love and companionship. What would we do without their warmth and their honesty? A complete stranger might think you're an arsehole but it's only a true friend that definitely knows. It is an honour to be relied upon by friends and relying on them, for me, is a constant feature of life. I'm sure it's great being a millionaire but if I had money yet had no friends to talk about the next Avengers film with then I'd have nothing. I realise some people have both £1,000,000 and friends but some have neither. I think that's a good enough reason to appreciate the friends I've got and I do. I truly love them. Not only do they make me happy they also help me, influence me, back me up, stop me and guide me. My friends fall into two categories: people I listen to and people I should have listened to. And my heart soars no higher than when a friend shares their life and stories and laughs with me. This all probably seems very obvious but, of course, I never say it out loud. If I have anything at all, then it has been given to me by the people I know well and love. And I love them for all those reasons.

Well, not just those reasons. I also really like it when they make twats of themselves.

Comradery is fine and everything but not much beats that explosion of joy you get seeing one of your friends fuck it all up. Dave being sick in his shoe, Clare falling into a hedge, Alan crying. These are all moments we live for. At a young person's discotheque, I persuaded my friend Dan to ask a woman to dance with him. It took some time as Dan was convinced it would be pointless as he couldn't dance. "I'll fall", he whined. "I'll definitely fall". He might be shit at dancing but he's not going to fall. "I will", said Dan but after some friendly, supportive shouting from me, he got the courage to go over to the woman, ask her to dance and then he hit the dancefloor. Literally. He'd barely danced a step when his head was on the ground. Leaving a very confused woman who he'd known for seconds just standing there, Dan hit the deck like a sack of iron spuds in a led balloon made of iron spuds. He fell like Peter Griffin falls. BAM! I realise that there's supposedly some joy in having a child and seeing it for the first time but is it as good as seeing someone you care for look like a hopeless big useless twat in front of everyone? I mean, HE HIT THE GROUND! It was like dancey dance BAM! It was brilliant.

And that's why we have friends. They give us these moments. Moments when they seem to just look at you and say "Don't worry, old chum. I'm not going to let you be the world's biggest dick anymore" and they discard all dignity for you. THAT is a friend. And just last week, I realised what a friend I had in Margaret.

Margaret, the least popular one in Do The Right Thing, is very dear to me. Very few people make me laugh as much as she does so you can imagine the joy I had when I saw her on the tube last week. I was on my way to a gig in God knows where. Bag packed and ready to drag my corpse to a comedy club for two nights in a row of being stared at and cruelly tolerated. I shuffled with the commuters, collapsed myself onto the escalator and went down, down, down passing Hell and furthering on to the underground platform. It's the travel that ruins the job of a stand up comedian. Leaving home, dicks on trains, the solitude of hotel rooms. Every weekend, every year. So the thought was depressing and when the doors of the tube train opened and I saw Margaret sitting there, the world was in colour again. I was so happy. Unexpected Margaret! My friend Margaret. Exactly what I needed when I needed it. A direct adrenaline shot of elation into my heart. 

Then I saw that she had her finger right up her nose.

"Ha ha ha ha", I said to Margaret, who still hadn't seen me. "Get that thing OUT of there". 

I said it loudly. Of course I did. I said it loudly to surprise her and to let EVERYONE else around her know that she was picking her nose in public. She is my very good friend and therefore it is my duty to howl with laughter and point when she let's herself down slightly. One of my favourite people in the world and therefore I must belittle her at a time when she was only belittling herself slightly. She is picking her nose on public transport and so I must make her as embarrassed about it as I possibly can because she is my friend. "Ha ha ha ha", I said. "Get that thing OUT of there". And, to really make my point clear, I whacked her on the hand and knocked the offending finger out of the innocent nostril. Still laughing, I looked at her face to see how mortified she looked and...

She wasn't Margaret.



Good move.

The doors closed behind me and now I was on a moving train with dozens of commuters and a woman I had laughed at, shouted at and now slapped. 

These are the treasured moments. These times are why we live. Our friends at their worst, making us feel our best. They're not just there to share stories or to remind you you're being thought of. They're there to laugh at because they're fucking idiots. Our idiots. I got off the train and immediately contacted Margaret and told her what happened.

I am a really good friend.