NOT PAID TO THINK.
This week I stopped at a service station for some food.
Attempting to avoid anything too unhealthy I opted for the baked potato with beans.
“Certainly Sir” said the young man serving,
“As we cook all our food from fresh, that will be ready for you in an hour and a half”
That’s just stupid, says I.
“I know,” says he” shrugging, “I don’t make the rules”.
I almost waited the hour and a half just out of spite.
Instead I had an egg mayonnaise sandwich.
A sandwich that I did not enjoy very much due to having an epiphany;
Mayonnaise is actually made mostly from eggs, and so it is really egg sauce.
And who finds the thought of an egg and egg sauce sandwich appetising?
This baked potato incident is a prime example people who do a job, knowing that it’s a stupid job, but they just do as they are told.
It is the old adage;
I’m not paid to think.
Thinking and showing initiative is above their pay grade.
To quote for the TV show The Wire;
“Why are you giving a fuck when It’s not your turn to give a fuck?”
Recently I saw the best example of “I’m not paid to think” that I have ever seen.
It was during a cold spell and I saw the gritter lorry out happily gritting the road.
Out there doing his job, gritting the road, all while being followed immediately behind by the road sweeper!
Happily sweeping all the grit back up again.
Not paid to think.
It must be quite nice to have a job where you don’t have to think, someone else tells you what to do, you just have to do it and they are responsible.
You can just spend your working hours daydreaming about what you are having for your tea.
It’s different for comedians as we are paid to think.
Paid to sit thinking and daydreaming, mostly about what we are going to have for our tea.
THE LITTLE COOK.
Eating in motorway services is one of the down sides of being a comedian.
This week I ate in a Little Chef, which if they were being honest would be called The Little Cook.
The Little Chef is very proud of its famous Olympic Breakfast.
They should rename it the Paralympic breakfast as it costs you an arm and a leg!
In the Little Chef an extra egg costs £1.19, when I complained that it seemed a bit expensive, the waitress pointed out that they were free-range eggs.
For £1.19 per egg, I want those chickens to be free range, with sun beds, and their own butler service.
A portion of extra mushrooms was 99 pence, and there were 8 mushrooms in a portion.
That’s over 12 pence for a button mushroom.
I hope they are free range as well, or at the very least hallucinogenic.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN.
Every comedian worth their salt, (salt that they have stolen from a Little Chef), knows the loneliness of life on the road.
Recently I have been on the road so much that I’ve started masturbating to the female voice on my Sat Nav.
Now if I actually have sex with a real woman, I can’t ejaculate until she says,
“You have now reached your destination”.
(I was very pleased to find that photo as it shows a Sat Nav and a wanker).
Most comedians have experienced the feeling of staying in a Travelodge.
In a room that only looks different from the last Travelodge room by the varying degrees of wear and tear.
If it wasn’t for the stains on the walls they would all look the same.
Is there anything lonelier than sitting in a Travelodge, in your pants, eating a pot noodle with a disposable plastic teaspoon?
Essential Kit For Road Comedians.
Apart from a Sat Nav, there are some things all experienced road comedians carry with them at all times.
It is a terrible experience to check into your hotel room, and realise that you have no earplugs.
Many times I have been searching thru my bag in a cold sweat as I realised that I have forgotten my earplugs.
Even a crack addict looking for a lost rock does not know this level of blind panic!
STAND-UP AND BE COUNTED.
The title of Stand-Up comedian is something that has to be earned, and living on the road is where you earn it.
If you haven’t driven for 5 hours to perform in a badly set up room full of drunk stag and hen nights in a nightclub basement in Glasgow, and then driven 5 hours home again with heckles still ringing in your ears, then you cannot call yourself a Stand-Up Comedian.
THE SECRET OF GOOD COMEDY.
The secret of good comedy is quite simple;
Go and watch it in the right places.
The good comedy clubs are a much better place to watch comedy than the big theatre gigs, and don’t even get me started about comedy in stadiums.
Comedy in stadiums, where you can only see the act as a dot on the stage, or watch the whole show on a big screen is just wrong.
These massive shows are all about the acts and their agents making as much money as quickly as possible, and are fuck all about giving people a great night out.
Even the acts that you will see in these huge gigs are better if you see them in the clubs.
Comedy is not meant to be seen in stadiums, stop wasting your money.
Either buy the DVD and watch it from as far away as possible, or get down to a good comedy club and see the real thing.
But how can I tell if it’s a good comedy club? I hear you ask.
Simple, have a look in the listings of what’s on and you will see that some clubs have all the big names performing there.
Some of the same acts that can fill a stadium still perform in the comedy clubs.
And that is because they really want to be Stand-Up Comedians, and Stand-Up Comedians perform in comedy clubs.
But it is not just the acts that love the live circuit; the audiences have a better experience as well.
Often when I am compering shows, people come up to me afterwards to thank me, and to say they had a good time.
(Punters sometimes think that the compere is also the person who books the acts and puts the night on).
In the last 3 or 4 years more and more people that I have spoken to after club gigs have told me it was their first time in a comedy club.
These people have usually enjoyed comedy on TV, and have often been to see one of the big touring shows like XXXXX XXX (Peter Kay) or someone like that.
More and more people are telling me that they found the club experience even better than the stadium or big theatre gig.
Think of it like this;
The big touring shows are like Tescos, selling you well made white bread, just as advertised on the telly.
The good club comedians are like artisan bakers selling unique handcrafted fancy bread, you know the kind with seeds and stuff.
To stretch this analogy a bit too far;
Open spots are like people selling sandwiches and drinks from a trolley on the train.
They do a lot of miles, and think they are only there until a job at Tesco comes up, (see above).
The hack comedians are Big Issue sellers.
Not the good accredited Big Issue sellers, but the ones who have found a copy in a bin and are chancing their arm trying to resell it.
If you want comedy for the masses, then check out a big touring theatre show.
If you want unique, diverse, handcrafted comedy then a good comedy club is the place for you.
If you want garlic bread go to see Peter Kay, I’m sure he will happily thaw it out and reheat it for you.
I had vowed not to mention the Catholic Church in this week’s blog but they just won’t let me stop!
Cardinal Keith O’Bigot has resigned after being accused of “inappropriate actions” against other priests.
I really hope that he now leaves the priesthood, gets over his homophobia, comes out as a gay man, finds a nice fella and gets married.
He should keep hold of his cassock and dog collar in case he goes to any fetish parties.
I really think now is the right time for the Catholic Church to adopt a theme tune, and for me there is only one song that fits the bill.
“we have not the time or the right to judge each other“
This one goes out to you Ex-Cardinal Keith O’Brien.