16 Jan 2010

Post 177: The 'big Yin and a distinctly Glaswegian feel to proceedings

More snow this week has once again pathetically crippled the country, the way to invade this country is not with guns and bombs, it's with snow machines, we'll be fighting back by building snowmen, taboganing down anything with a slope and running out of grit, the overwhelming word that seems to have been used by the kind people who e-mail me to stop me going insane is 'BORING'! For once in my life I have been one step ahead of people, I knew we would all be bored with the snow within days, I just anticipated it the minute the bloody stuff started to settle. People are not used to tolerating anything that prevents them doing what they want to do,take it from a man who can't nip for a 'quick' piss anymore, who is scared of getting into a normal armchair because of all the rigmarole in getting out of it. At least I can't stand the thought of being in bed all day, I would feel like I'm missing out on things, opportunities to stay in touch with friends and family, meeting new people and trying to further what's left of this life (not the TV series so beloved of 'meedja dahlings, hacks/hackettes, faghags and Hoxton haircuts).
I talked a long time ago about doing a writing course, I have now started it and have set aside all day Thursday every week by giving up one of my punishing physio sessions which I hate. I think yesterdays morning session explains my hate of them. We all hate being crap at stuff, well in my case I'm crap at standing up, feeling awake and generally being normal. So in yesterdays session my torturer (my physio Ian) had me doing 3 reps of 10 minutes each on a stepper (I keep myself from falling over by holding on to a bar above my lounge doorway. Objectively speaking this is not a lot of exercise but for me it feels like 3 back to back marathons. I bitched, hollered and bellowed my way through this ( Ian is a saint for putting up with me) and at the end I almost cried. I used to put myself through this sort of punishment because I wanted to, now, I have to and the only thing I ever feel I get out of it is more and more fatigue. I may have lost 15kg in the last year but that has been as much about observing a boring diet as doing more exercise. I still try and go out once/twice a week to take in a show and this week (last Sunday) it was 'the big Yin' Billy Connolly. I must confess I was a bit apprehensive about going to see him, firstly because of the bloody snow but more importantly I didn't think it would hit my funnybone. I have seen him on TV or DVD numerous times and I have never found him pant-wettingly funny, but you don't get voted the worlds best stand up comedian for nothing. Luckily my pant-wettingly funny friend Sacha (who was driving) took a call that the roads were worth the risk and this was likely to be the last time in our lives we'd probably get to see him. Well he is 70 and he doesn't get down to London that often plus my friend Derek (the Glaswegian Male nurse from the RHN) had said he was a must-see. I'll give him this, Billy was great – To most people, the Hammersmith Apollo is a big venue, to Billy,it must have felt no bigger than his front room, this is a man that has performed in some of the biggest Arenas in the world including not performing opera at the Sydney Opera House. He holds the room like a master, with his long white hair he looks like Gandalf in stupid trousers and glasses ready to cast a spell. Well, he doesn't do that , instead he is a formidable story teller, you just get the feeling he's an overflowing vessel full of stories that have made him piss himself, and hes itching to tell everyone, I know the feeling precisely, where you've got a piece of information or a way of conveying that piece of information that is just so funny that it has to be got out. There are a group of people that often have a go at people for laughing at their own jokes, as far as I'm concerned these people can F off! Laughter IS infectious, often it just takes someone laughing to start me off, and people with comedy laughs are funny in themselves. How funny is it when someone snorts at the end of their laugh? You know who you are. Back to Billy, it is clearly the idiosyncracies of some human behaviour that makes him laugh for example the bizarre behaviour of drunk people who've been chucked out of the pub and practice being sober quite publicly to get back in (often in full view of the bastad who's chucked them out) and what makes him laugh a lot on stage is that he has clearly just thought of things to say off the top of his head that are hilarious and amuse him like his idea that he might be just the man to represent the majority of people that now abstain from voting in elections starting with overturning the smoking ban in pubs, mostly because of the hypocrisy that it's ok to smoke still in the house of commons bar 'those bastads'. To be honest, I wouldn't get too upset as the clientele of hacks and Mps make for some of the worst people in the world, so what if they can smoke. They'll die quicker! Apparently Connolly isn't even a cigarette smoker. Erm, what a freedom fighter, the Scots are a feisty bunch!. Most of the time if it's on-topic, he'll share the things he has just thought of – otherwise he'll just chortle away, which is funny in itself, something I can empathise with, flying off on tangents or shaggy goose chases (sorry). So, we were glad we took a slight gamble on the snow, even when it was falling in flakes as big as old fifty pence pieces. Sacha has also furnished me with the definitive answer to the question 'do you love me' when a partner asks you 'of course I love ya, I f*ck ya don't I?' in a thick Essex accent. Too funny. Believe it or not, some of this nonsense can be used in my first assignment! The other thing that did slightly put my nose out of joint was that I was supposed to be seeing Glaswegian comedian Kevin Bridges last night at Jongleurs in Battersea. That was until a phonecall from them yesterday afternoon telling me 'that actually we've got no disabled access' despite me specifically asking in my original call. Idiots. In fairness to them, oh wait there is no 'in fairness' bit. I am furious. Kevin Bridges came to my attention on Michael MacIntyres' comedy roadshow, he was brilliant – judge for yourself
And just for the hell of it I'll tag on another walking video!

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