Clawing my dignity back one day at a time, after the embarrassment of forgetting the material about my own name while onstage on Sunday…
Yesterday was a weird day, in a good way, and demonstrates that sometimes things happen in threes. It started in my local supermarket, where I paid for some messages with the twenty quid I had in my wallet and put the outstanding £5.60 onto my debit card, which went through fine. I was (as usual) bantering away with the cashier – they always ask if I want a hand with my packing, and if I’m in a good mood I usually retort. Sometimes I’ve asked if many people my age take them up on it (apparently so), and yesterday I said “I’m a big boy, I think I’ll manage thanks” – point being, that in the course of chatting and her seeing the bacon, square sausage, black pudding etc I was picking up reminded her she’d forgotten to buy in breakfast stuff for her Christmas guests on boxing day. This chat concluded, as I later realised, with her handing me £5.60 in ‘change’ – which I didn’t realise until I was going out later and checked my previously-empty wallet!
Last night, I went to The Halt Bar to see live local comedy – since I hope to be part of the scene, it makes sense to support it. Plus, very often there are some funny people to be seen, and even the new ones who aren’t quickfire or struggle a bit usually have a few funny things to say. Some are also unintentionally hilarious one way or another. Last night, Obie compered and I think he’s funny as fuck. Anyway, all that aside, while I was in the pub I glanced at the floor and saw a bit of folded paper. On closer inspection, it revealed itself to be – as suspected – a fiver. So now I’m £10.60 up, and I was only on water last night so I didn’t even drink it!
Finally, for the hat-trick – I won the joke competition! Every week, the compere asks the audience for the name of a celebrity who’s been in the news, and then for an inanimate object. The joke then runs: What’s the difference between [celebrity] and [inanimate object]? The prize goes to the answer judged funniest by the audience, after everyone is given paper and pens and allowed the length of the break to come up with a punchline.
Last night, the celebrity chosen was Alex Higgins (thanks mainly to a running gag by Obie), and the object was a four-slice toaster. I entered a couple of punchlines, with the winner being: What’s the difference between Alex Higgins and a Four-Slice Toaster? Alex Higgins was never a prize on the Generation Game.
Which I’d secretly hoped might get a laugh just for the nostalgic reference to the long-running Saturday-night gameshow. The fact it won though…cool! I’m not saying it’s a good joke, but with these audience competitions it only has to be good enough. Malky was delighted(!) that I’ve now won the joke competition twice, and though he doesn’t know it, I’ve had jokes down to the final two at least two or maybe three times too – though those times I lost out to the other joke. Anyway, I got a massive tub of Celebrations as my prize, and passed them round at the end of the night. Nice to get that wee confidence boost though, since I haven’t got a gig lined up just now at which to otherwise redeem myself.
Incidently, the last time I won the joke comp was also the first week I ever went. I asked Malky for a gig, stuck around, watched the acts, won a copy of Nicolas Parsons’ autobiography, and went home. That night, my winning entry, following the same formula to generate the question, was: What’s the difference between Muhammed Ali and Purple Potatoes? Muhammed Ali is an inspiration to millions. The only thing Purple Potatoes inspire is a healthy suspicion of genetically-modified root vegetables, advertised as “good for you” despite their blatantly unnatural colouring. (It transpired later that they aren’t genetically-modified, but like I said it only had to be good enough)
Next gig is “Car Crash Comedy” on the 28th – 25 comedians, each trying to do five minutes on an individual topic they don’t get told until they are onstage. Hence the name. Some will wing it, some will be good, others will fail appallingly. If you’d like to witness the carnage, see you at The Halt on Tuesday from 7.30pm til 12.
Incidently, further to the quote I posted in my blog the other day, two equally apt quotes have been posted on Twitter since by @GreatestQuotes – namely:
“If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
“What is important is not what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
See you out there 🙂