Friday, 26 July 2013

Not Cruelty Free.

All this good weather has made everything a lot more positive. No matter what problems we might have or how terrible this world seems to be, at least the sun is blazing bright in the sky. Flowers are beautiful, birds are singing and instead of wearing duffle coats and thermals we're wearing sandals and smiles. The glorious heat just makes you want to get out there and enjoy life for once. That's why I was especially happy two days ago when I saw a sewer explode and two men got covered in shit.

It's probably the greatest thing I've ever seen. Yes, it could just be the well being that the sun's rays beam down upon me, but seeing a sewer explode and two men get covered in shit made me laugh more than I've laughed in years. I mean, there is just so much shit when a sewer blows up. Loads of it. Like a brown fountain with two people cavorting in it in their swimming trunks to keep cool on this wonderful day. Except it wasn't a fountain, it was the excrement of a million people and these men were fully dressed and they weren't cavorting. They were saying "Oh, fuck. Oh, fuck. Oh, fuck". But it's just these tiny little moments that make these sunny, sunny days completely perfect. The tiny moment of a sewer exploding and two men getting covered in wet shit. In 32 degree heat.

An hour later, I was coming to the end of a walk in the park with Jerk when a little boy on a scooter came up and said "That's a lovely dog you've got". I thanked him and thought to myself how charming this little lad had been to say such a nice thing but it was then that I noticed his mother's face grimace like she knew what was coming next. The little boy bent down to look between Jerk's legs. Then he stood up straight, looked at me and said "No willy. Girl!". I laughed and said "You're right. She is a girl". Then he said "No, I was talking about you".

I didn't even want to punch his tiny little 5 year old face in. THAT'S how lovely that day was. Plus, I'd just seen a sewer explode and two men get covered in shit so nothing could possibly spoil my good mood.

Until last night.

I was performing at the Top Secret Comedy Club in King Street, Covent Garden. It was boiling hot in there so, while I waited to go on stage, I took my beer outside for some air. Right across the street from the venue was a shop. A shop that sold skin care products. A shop that looked modern and exclusive and expensive. Basically, it was the exact kind of shop that I would never normally even notice. Except that it didn't have a proper sign over the shop. Instead it had a quote. A quote from Oliver Cromwell.

Who the fuck in their right mind is going to go into a shop that quotes Oliver Cromwell? He was a genocidal maniac. You might as well have "No Irish. No Blacks. No dogs" in your shop window. It's insane. Just think about it: they'll have had a meeting. They'll have sat round in a boardroom with advertising executives who have been paid money, actual money, to come up with an idea that will help promote good skin care and ethically produced products. "We could quote Oliver Cromwell", someone would have said. "Great!", the room would respond. "His slaughtering of the Irish and stealing Scottish land certainly does go hand in hand with our policy of bringing rich people the very best moisturisers and toners to help them look beautiful. What's his most famous quote?"

"Paint me as I am, warts and all".

"What's his second most famous quote?"

And that would have actually gone on and on until they congratulated themselves that they chosen the best quote from a murderer they could find: " Subtlety may deceive you; integrity never will".

It's not even a very good quote. In fact, it's rubbish. They took a rubbish quote from a slaughtering nutjob and they put it above their shop. "I have sworn to only live free" - that's a good quote. So is "Words build bridges into unexplored regions". I think "Don't drink at all, don't smoke, you must exercise and eat vegetables and fruit" are also great words to inspire a good life but that shop didn't use any of those quotes. I suppose they have something against Osama Bin Laden, Adolf Hitler and Robert Mugabe? 

I pointed out the shop sign to one of the other acts. He's English and said "What you have to understand is, we were taught that Oliver Cromwell was a hero". That's the thing; I don't have to understand that at all. Heroes generally don't try to wipe out the people of entire countries or force them into slavery. That's one of the many things I like about Indiana Jones. He never once slaughtered the Irish.

So, fuck that shop. It's called Aesop, by the way, and it's in King Street in Covent Garden. Clearly they don't want Irish or Scottish people anywhere near them. A fucking sign over a shop that quotes Oliver fucking Cromwell? It's the most offensive thing I've ever seen.

And I've seen two men covered in shit.

UPDATE (28/07/2013): Well, this is good news. After the blog and a couple of tweets, I got this reply from Aesop...

I'm very happy with the result and hope you are too. Thanks for reading and supporting and congratulations on getting something nasty removed. Well done!

Thanks to @mattsymonds for the photo.

My show "Free Wifi" is on at The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh from the 31st July until the 25th August at 3.40pm. Please come along. You can buy tickets here:

Tuesday, 2 July 2013


Have you ever been at a party, an occassion full of joy and celebration and dozens of people, and felt completely on your own? Or have you ever been out with your very closest friends, people who love you, and yet you feel utterly alone? Well, you're a bit of a wanker, aren't you? Loneliness is one of those words that gets on my nerves because of its constant overuse. He is not a GENIUS just because he carries a bottle opener on his keyring, she didn't get BULLIED just because everyone disagrees with her opinion on Community and you're not LONELY just because you had some shit nights in recently. 

Being alone is more damning than that. I'm probably very sensitive at the moment due to...well, everything. I'm trying to finish writing my show for this year's Edinburgh Fringe  and already the massive paranoia is having a good laugh at me inside my own head. I will be the oldest person at The Fringe. I will be the shittest person at The Fringe. None of my friends are going up this year. All the other comedians will be there with their sexy, hot, young clique that I'm too old to fit in with and their telly contracts and their sell out shows and their constant sex. Everyone banging away while I'll be up there completely on my own playing to an empty room whose very bricks and mortar know I'm a hack. Everyone fucking everyone at all times while I go back to my room alone and cry through another Doctor Who box set. Every single person sliding into every single hole while I sit alone in the wet stench of my own missed opportunity of an existence. What I'm saying is, you know that wanker I mentioned in the first paragraph? That wanker is me.

I might have a reason though. Maybe I've actually hit rock bottom. You might think that worrying about your contribution to this planet over the few months that you're on it coupled with the fear that everyone is having a better time than you is the worst you can feel. Perhaps you might consider that the very definition of loneliness. You're wrong. Because what if it wasn't just you alone while everyone is having a better time? What if every THING is having a better time? What if you saw proof that you're barely alive compared to absolutely every single thing on this planet? What if God herself told you that YOU. ARE. ALONE? Those noisy, cheery parties where I don't quite fit in seem like Michael Legge fan conventions now.

Being at a party seems such fun and there will be someone out there that knows you're at that party and is jealous of you having a great time. They don't know the truth. They don't know how apart from these other people you are. And going on holiday sounds great, too. I went on holiday last week and I'm sure there was someone out there that was jealous of me having a great time. But they weren't there. By the swimming pool, with a cocktail, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night. Alone. They weren't there.

No one was.

That was when I saw the frog. A frog came along and joined me by the pool. I love animals and take great joy in being around them. Especially when I'm by a glamorous swimming pool and drinking a huge the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night. Alone. That frog came along and he became my friend. My sole companion in the darkness.

Then another frog appeared and he fucked it.

I wasn't feeling great before that frog came along and now that he's simply come along to have sex right in front of me, I'm not feeling any better. And I couldn't tear my eyes away. I watched two frogs fuck. From beginning to end. Does anyone even watch pornstars fucking from beginning to end? I doubt it but I was alone and it was dark and I was so far away...and I couldn't stop watching two frogs fucking. Two sexually charged amphibians who simply came along to show me that their life is carefree, exciting and infinitely superior to mine.

Then they finished and the female frog left. It was just me and the original frog, my frog, again. He had something special that he shared with someone and now she was gone. He was alone. Alone, just as I was. Well, frog my friend, it looks like we have only each other.

Then another two frogs appeared and he fucked them.

Two frogs just appeared and hopped over to the pool. ONE FROG WAS INSIDE THE OTHER FROG but they were still hopping, using the power of their fucking to transport them from the cool grass to the glamorous surroundings of the pool. And the original frog, MY FROG, fucked them. He fucked those frogs while they were fucking each other. I watched the whole thing. They just fucked and fucked and fucked and fucked and looked at me and my cocktail that I had instead of a life. I sat there, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, wearing sandals and I watched a frog threesome. Alone.

Then they finished and the two frogs, one still in the other, left. The original frog, my frog, stayed by me and looked at me. "I've fucked three people tonight", he said. "How's the cocktail?". I took a sip and it tasted of rust and cobwebs. But he can be as smug as he likes because, yes, he may have an amazing life full of experimental sex and swimming pools but he's as alone as I am now. That's my point. "Sooner or later, we all sleep alone", I said to him.

Then another frog appeared and he fucked it.

I went inside after that. How can you tell me that you're lonely and say for you that the sun don't shine? At least you didn't spend the night quoting Cher to a very horny frog.

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