Edinburgh's insistence on saying NO to everything hit a beautiful peak on Saturday afternoon. I just wanted to go to the pictures. That's all. I stupidly thought that the building that advertised lots of films and called itself a cinema might be just the place so I headed there. On the way, I made a very important phone call to Dan Mersh to discuss a Radio 4 project (Dan and I are planning on listening to Radio 4) but as soon as Dan picked up the phone Edinburgh screamed NO!
Three fire engines screamed their very loudest past me so Dan and I couldn't hear what each other was saying. When they eventually passed I started complaining to Dan about how you can't do a fucking thing in this town without them all saying NO immediately and en masse. Dan got some schadenfreude giggles out of my shitty predicament but encouraged me with a fuck-it-you'll-be-home-tomorrow attitude. So what if I'd just been to the King of Everything venue to check it out only to find it closed, so what if the housekeeping lady at the hotel asked me if I wanted fresh towels and when I said yes she told me she hadn't got any, so what if every cash point I went to was enjoying Broken Cash Point Day. Big deal. Just go to the cinema and relax with a good film. But as I approached the cinema I found out where the screaming fire engines had been heading to.
Fucking great. All I want to do is see a film but Edinburgh would rather burn down a building than let that happen. Well, I wasn't taking NO for an answer not this time. I knew that there was a fire in the upper part of the building but I walked into the building anyway. I didn't care. I wanted to see a film and I have every right to go into a public cinema if I so desire. I didn't go upstairs, obviously. I just sulked around the lobby looking at my watch and huffing to myself. I had to enter the building on principle but I thought going upstairs might be a bit much as I hate being on fire. It was now past the time for the film to start (well, the ads and trailers anyway). I huffed some more. Andy White turned up. I had arranged to meet him at the cinema to see The Damned United at 1.15. It was now 1.30 but I thought, as the building was on fire, I probably won't complain about him being late. Then a child walked up the stairs. "THERE'S A FIRE UP THERE!" are just five of the many, many words that I didn't shout at this kid as he made his way upstairs to certain death. Then a few other kids followed him. THEY ARE INSANE. THEY WILL DIE. But, if it's a choice between doing nothing and burning to death then I'm up for a bit of flaming agony. We both followed them. We followed them knowing that this would be the last thing we would ever do.
Anyway, turns out there was no fire but no-one wanted to say anything. I mean why would they? You'd only go and do something stupid like go to the cinema that wasn't on fire. Fucking awful people. Of course, just because we were mere feet away from seeing the film doesn't mean that there wasn't time for one more quick wee NO before we go in. REGULAR TICKETS: £5.50, GOLD CLASS TICKETS: £9.50. Well, we're not flashy folk. We'll go regular, please. NO! There are only Gold Class Tickets for this screening. This means that our seats aren't crawling with cockroaches and have a hole that you can put your drink in plus you can watch the film on a "luxury screen". You know, a screen that's not on fire.
The Damned United was very good but very different from the book. The book has lots of lovely spiralling paranoia and the film has lots of cheeky. It's a lot lighter.
I'm not saying Edinburgh is a bad place. It's far from it. I love it to pieces, in fact, and occasionally something good happens there that you don't expect. About 100 feet away from my hotel I saw a small, mobile petting farm. They had two sheep and four pigs. Just there. In the street. I know I'm not the first comedian to go away for the weekend to spend too much time touching a pig but it was all lovely. I demand a petting farm every time I gig from now on. If Tony Gerrard is allowed a so-called "ramp" then I think promoters can cater for my little whims too.
I had two gigs on Saturday and that meant that, basically, Edinburgh was saying NO to me seeing Doctor Who. Well FUCK YOU, Edinburgh, because the staff at Jongleurs were lovely and they let Andy and I iPlayer it in between the two shows. It was completely and utterly, phenomenally OK. There was a spaceman and an easter egg and sand and monsters and a flying bus. Sometimes I forget that my favourite thing is made for children and not me. I absolutely love David Tennant but, you know what, it's time for him to go. He looks bored. Not as bored as the HUGE man sitting in the front row for the late gig. He was angry, serious and very, very bored. Why he sat at the front is a total mystery but he HATED me, he didn't care for Andy White, he sat through Richard Morton with daggers for eyes and surely he was going to leave during the interval? I mean, why would he stay if he hated this? I know he's from Edinburgh but you don't have to go to all that trouble to say NO! Anyway, the interval came and went, which is more than can be said for him.
He was still there at part two. He started to become more and more obvious to me. I'd tell a joke, people would laugh, he would stare. CUNT! What's his problem? I was up there for 10 minutes and although the room liked me I didn't care about anyone except Grumpy. Nothing from him. NOTHING. NO! NO! NO! I'm from Edinburgh and Edinburgh says NO!!!!!! I gave up. Fuck him. He's the last acts problem now. I'll do one more gag and bring him on. I did the gag and.....GRUMPY LAUGHED. He finally cracked. I was overjoyed and made a big thing out of it. The thing is, I didn't realise that the rest of the room had clocked Grumpy too and when he laughed, everyone cheered. His wife looked like she was going to cry. Finally, the big stone lump that had swept her off her feet all those years ago has smiled. I was happy for him. There's no point in sitting in the front row of a comedy club and pretending that nothing makes you laugh. He only came across as weird and when he laughed he suddenly became one of us. We were happy and so was he. Anyway, I then brought Brian Higgins on. That'll teach him.
Lots of comedians came down to the gig and we did do lots of drinkying. Unlike Jesus, I did not rise much on Easter Sunday. I pretty much slept all day yesterday. Did anything happen?