At this time of year, we comedians fear the audience even more than normal. Mainly because they're often not really an audience. They are people who have reluctantly agreed to come along to their work's Christmas do and their boss has decided that a comedy night would be fun, not quite understanding that the employees just want to sit, drink heavily, chat a bit and hopefully put their willy into Debbie from Accounts.
They're indifferent to us a lot of the time, angry and violent at other times. It's just a bit scarier than normal. And boy howdy, do we complain about it. Comedians turn up to gigs and take one look at the happy, smiling, paper hat wearing people in the room and, because they're having a good time, consider them cunts. They are cunts, of course. Everyone who doesn't want to watch us, laugh at our jokes and consider us King Sexy of Fuckland is a cunt. That goes without saying. We know this just by taking one look at them and their pre-gig joy. Fuckers.
It's not our fault or their fault that some Christmas gigs don't work. A lot of people in the room don't know there's comedy on. They just assumed it was booze and food and Debbie from Accounts. They're not ready for us and we hate them. It's never going to work. Some people there will be at a comedy club for the first time while others will be out of the house for the first time this year. They're the scariest ones. They get drunk quicker, shouty quicker and they are Debbie from Accounts.
That's why we fear these gigs a bit more than even the stags and hens that we face the rest of the year. But that's because we're pussies. We don't know how fucking lucky we are. A lot of these people might be massive arseholes but at least they're all in one room, contained away from the civilised world. We forget that people who only go out and drink heavily at this time of year are EVERYWHERE not just in comedy clubs. In a comedy club we have bouncers to protect us. On a train filled with drunks who can't drink, there is no one to help you.
Last night I gigged in Bournemouth, a town 70 billion miles away from London. On the way there I was lucky enough to be sitting very near two cunts. One of the cunts had no front teeth. I can imagine that those were removed from his mouth during a previous train journey. Toothless Cunt sat in front of his friend, Tattoo Cunt, and they drank heavily during the whole, long, bastard of a train journey. Just to give you an idea of how cunty they were, they were drinking a beer that I've never heard of (it looked like it was called Shoom), they clapped at everything the other one said and Tattoo Cunt had Est. 1985 on his neck. He thinks he's set up. He's not. His other tattoos included Angry Dog, Slag and Shouting Flag. He was at least colourful.
A woman made the biggest mistake of her life by sitting next to them. She got her laptop out and started to work. Toothless Cunt offered her a Shoom (which he thought was hysterically funny) and when she politely refused he called her a....well, I can't say that word because it's offensive but it begins with C, lets just say that. She closed her laptop and left. Toothless and Tattoo found this even funnier than offering someone a drink. Then they started farting.
Farting and farting and laughing and farting and laughing and clapping and farting. But I sat there saying nothing. If I said something they probably would have got aggressive but that was certainly not the reason why I didn't confront them. I didn't confront them because, as awful as they were, I hated everyone else on the train more. Could they not hear the farting and the clapping and the shouting? Could they not hear them calling someone a cunt? WHY DO I HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING? IT'S YOUR FUCKING TURN!
Toothless then got on his phone and was shouting arrangements to another cunt (I assume) about meeting later. "Meet me at the station", he said. "Meet me at the station".
"Meet me at the station. Meet me at the station. The station. Meet me at the station. The train station. Meet me at the station."
This went on for a while, like a pissed Paul Hardcastle.
My only hope was that they were getting off the train before Bournemouth. I couldn't stand farting and clapping for another hour and a half.
"Meet me at the station. The station. Just meet me at the station. Yeah. No. The station".
For fuck's sake.
"The station. Just meet me at the station. Meet me there. The station. The station".
Just shut up.
"The station. Yeah. The station. The station. The station. The station. The station. The station. The station. The station. The station. The station. The station. The station. The station. The station. The station. The station. The station. The station. Yeah. Bournemouth".
I left the carriage. Not so much angry at the two horrible mistakes but at everyone else. Why can't people just stand up for themselves and say anything? Simple: because they're all thinking the same thing. "I'm not going to say anything. I mean, if no one else is going to do anything about grown men farting and clapping on a train then I won't either. Look at me disappearing into my free newspaper".
The gig was fine (Ava Vidal was absolutely excellent) and within the blink of an eye I was back on the train for my three hour journey home. The carriage was empty. The whole train was practically empty. Fantastic! I got my DVD player out and started watching some lovely old, black & white Doctor Who.
The train came to it's first stop about two minutes later and a man got on at my carriage. Just one man. That's OK. I can share MY carriage with one man. It's a big carriage. I probably won't even know he's there.
He stank of piss, was carrying a bottle of wine (that was half empty) and he sat right across from me.
For fuck's sake.
I immediately moved. Not far, but far enough so that I couldn't see or smell him anymore. I could hear him however. He had very loud phlegm that he was very, very proud of.
The train journey went on and the carriage slowly got fuller the closer to London we got. London. Friday night London.
Soon I was surrounded by drunks, idiots and children who love their loud music. I broke my new rule (my new rule is to say nothing to anyone on a train and let someone else sort it out for a change, if it's not upsetting anyone else then I can pretend it doesn't upset me) and told some children to switch their music off. The child turned his music down. Down, not off. I gave it a minute and told him to turn it off, completely off. He did so because I looked so angry due to this AAAAAAARRRRGGGHHH of a train journey that he must have just assumed that I'm a big mental nutter.
That's how easy it is. Just look madder than everyone else on the train and you can get them to do whatever you want. If only I had thought of that a few weeks ago with the irritating crippled girl.
I got off my train and prepared myself for a night bus. I looked around at the zombie film of drunks wavering around the bus stops and decided that a cab was in order. A nice relaxing cab journey that will take me, JUST ME, home.
The cab driver was a loud music loving, shouting, speeding maniac. He told practically every driver on the road to fuck off but at least he got me home in 15 minutes. Incredibly, when I paid him he said "No tip, then?" Still, I was quite proud of my response. "No way. No fucking way".
Merry fucking Christmas.