22 Nov 2009

Post 167: Trying to keep laughing despite being a crippled n****r apparently

A week where I have tried to fill the yawning chasm that is now my existence with comedy and my mum's 70th Birthday, so all comedy then.
My mum is an incredible lady, no-one can believe she's 70, because she looks and behaves so much younger, she is often an untameable ball of energy and stress, running around organising everyone else's lives.
Her impracticality is legendary, I have nightmares about what would ever happen if she appeared on the Krypton factor!
During the spacial awareness round, you know that bloody 3D puzzle, I can just imagine her getting so frustrated, that she would start shouting at it! This is often what happens with say her mobile phone, woe betide anyone who dares send her a text! Having said this and despite her being an easy target, she is a formidable lady without a shred of malice to her being. If there's any it is her willingness to believe everything the Daily Mail says. I have lost count of the number of times she has said 'listen to this' and read me word for word some poisonous article about how this country is being 'invaded by immigrants'. Apart from her believing insidious journalism, what really irritates me is her inability to ignore stuff that is clearly nonsense or a waste of time, after all she is an intelligent, educated lady who despite having the misfortune of going to Cambridge (getting in on her own merits when they barely let ladies in) I always think people of a certain intelligence ought to be able to analyse things so that obvious bias drops out, but my view of the world is often just wrong, I might have even inherited bits of this from her along with my hatred of early mornings and/or being rushed/rushing.
Anyway, her 70th birthday drinks was a jolly evening giving mum a chance to see all her friends and my sister and her 8 year old daughter Maddie (who had come over from the states in secret to surprise mum (apparently mum almost had a heart attack when they surprised her )) There is something about middle-aged ladies and their grandchildren or small children in general that I have alluded to before (post 114 where I say I think small children are like Heroin to ladies like my mum), small children aside, parties like this allow her to adopt what I call her 'Hyacinth' persona, showing off to everyone how wonderful the rebuilt house is (regular readers will recall that the house burnt down when I was in hospital and has been rebuilt). Even though this was a horrific ordeal, the silver lining is that the New House is wonderful and is also now accessible to a wheelchair on the ground floor. I recently got Dad to make a video tour of the upstairs of the house so I could see how it had changed because obviously I can't go up there. It looks nice. Being able to walk up those stairs one day has been stored in that little corner of my mind where I keep my ambitions.
Anyway, the rest of the 70th was a whirlwind of middle aged, middle class people, the type of gathering that an-anarcho-socialist would quite happily send an Exocet missile into, I must admit to having the odd ultra-liberal socialist tendency because of the failure of my parents to see their middle-class poshness with any irony and the politics of my peer group. If I wasn't able to take the piss out of it and myself I would be even more fed up.
So, that was Monday, I have done my best to try and continue the comedy. On Tuesday my indispensable brother and new(ish) legend of a mate Sacha took me to Reading to go and see Marcus Brigstocke's new show 'God Collar'.
A show that makes fun of organised religion, something that strikes a real chord with me because Organised religion seems to be responsible for most of the worlds problems oh, and it has never done me any favours, indeed being a Gentile going out with a Jewish girl a few years ago caused more problems than I care to mention, never again – sheesh that's probably an anti-semitic thing to say, Oh wait, I DON'T CARE, GROW UP. Now I really like Brigstocke because I seem to have a fairly similar view of the World and I sense that I won't be alone in being rude about Reading where the show was. Reading and Coventry must have shared a designer, one who was heavily invested in concrete, local businesses must have then had a competition to see who could have the most soul-crushing and unsightly premises with the overall intention being to rival Slough for grimness, and the cherry on top must be that Satan himself designed the one-way system. Why John Lewis have a branch in the pedestrian precinct has always escaped me. I once went there for a day with the guys who worked for me, and after looking at the way schoolwear was laid out, it was difficult to imagine anyone braving shopping there and now I've seen what a psychopath next doors 7 year old can be the thought of dragging him round a department store makes a day in hell sound like a relaxing spa experience.
Back to Marcus Brigstocke – I don't just like him because he's posh, two fingers to anyone who cynically thought that, probably the Champagne Socialists who read this and shuffle uncomfortably whenever they get called it. No, I like Brigstocke for his humility, his irreverence and his favourite putdown being to tell people to 'grow up' which is mine too. This sort of grown up (not adult) humour appeals a lot to me, it seems to yield a universal way of laughing at everything, combining grown up humour with the puerile and making sure there are no juvenile bits, eg his description of how it was hysterical how his former best mate James used to always get his cock out or how his young children did hilarious but bonkers things and how they had reinvigorated his life. Seriously, if you've ever had any doubts about having kids, go and see this show or it can be as simple as the email I had from a mate of mine saying 'that getting a smile from his one year old son when he got home from work made it all worthwhile'.
So last night I went to go and see 'Welsh angry man' Rhod Gilbert
do the last date (sold out at the Mecca for comedy that is the Hammersmith Apollo) of his Edinburgh festival show 'the cat that looked like Nicholas Lindhurst' so called because he wanted to stop one of his fans in Canterbury coming up with a gift associated with the 'bloody show title', I'm not sure who's weirder, the fan or Mr Gilbert, or me actually, I'm sure that I've always been taught i before e except after c, not in weird apparently, odd or weird blah blah etc. Gilbert was funny and energetic and angry, very angry - I eventually found myself thinking 'calm down' but despite finding Mr Gilbert a little too angry he was still funny although I do find it ironic that someone who so mercillessly takes the piss out of Wales does the Welsh Tourist board ads. The evening was made the more enjoyable because my comedy aficionado companion/driver/carer/mate was the lovely Katie (right) who has worked at the Edinburgh festival and has heard of everyone, she is my new housemate Claires niece and she has already taken me to several events, she will be greatly missed when she goes off for 5 months to do a ski season in two weeks. After the fury that was Rhod Gilbert I took/got taken by a big group of friends to see in my opinion coolest comedian in the world Reginald D Hunter at my favourite venue for stand up the Soho theatre and I have to report that Reg was brilliant and judging from the reaction and the smiles on faces they all loved it which is the most important thing to me. In fact since the show I have still been chuckling at a couple of his gags which if you'll humour me I'll reproduce. Reg, like a lot of career comedians has moved to live in London, presumably to try and perfect that thing that most American's just can't get, irony. The 2nd reason is probably for the reason US comedian Rich Hall says 'when you're a comedian you come to where all the misery is' and thirdly 'because Brits drink like Americans eat'. Apparently this is a good thing. Reg did note that Britain 'doesn't really like British people','It only likes men if they're athletes, women if they're mothers, and children if they're missing'.
He also said that as a black american, he was watching all the coverage of hurricane Katrina and he thought to himself 'I'm only one hurricane away from sucking cock for potatoes'
God we laughed, and proper laughs too, you know the ones that go on to long. This creates problems if you're in the front row,
usually I figure that the wheelchair ensures that the comedian chatting to you is unlikely, not so with Reg, politely asked me my name after one of my slightly too long laughs and then said 'who knew that my market was crippled niggers' he uses the n word as a pronoun apparently and insists that if any of the media ask him for a comment on racial issues he insists on them saying 'Reginald D Hunter king of the blacks', his patience is clearly wearing thin.
I suppose I could have taken exception to him calling me 'a crippled nigger' but I DON'T CARE. Much like with Brand and Ross, they're comedians, they were probably joking, he's quite right when he noted that they would have probably been ok if it'd been funny. Reg rocks. Thanks to my friends for braving the grim weather, Simon and his lovely wife Yvonne for driving me, Simon Winstanley, Jim and Tony and Kate. After 4 years all ofyou have never wavered in your support and even though I am the highest of high maintenance friends you still put up with me. Legends! And because I can't resist having just found this photo, the neighbourhood cats use my house as a bit of a general thoroughfare and doss house, this is my neighbours lovely cat fat frank so called because he's huge and bloody heavy, doing what he does best, not much.

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