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Take That China!
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Monday, June 30

In an attempt to get rid of the ticket stubs that have been cluttering my desk since August, I have updated my fringe 2002 diary... for those of you who are interested. The 6th day is now online. Only four more shows to review... will it take another 8 months? I hope not. I hope to do this year's fringe in real-time.

Monday, June 23

A young actress dies, falling from a balcony, high on a mixture of cocaine and vodka. The same actress played a character in Grange Hill, who died falling from a balcony. The role she left, so abruptly, was that of a nurse in a second-rate BBC drama series. The public's response - Candles for Laura. I hope that they include my message on there...

You taught us so much...
... I hope you're happy

You can read that either way.

My luck never seems to stop - another fantastic business offer today:

From: Dr. Eze John.


I am Dr. Eze John an ex-executive staff of the Mobil Oil Nigeria Limited, I got your contact from a business Directory. I seek your assistance to transfer $14.3million Dollars into a foreign Account. A total $28.6million was realized for a contract executed in 1993 by myself and a partner from the supplies of hydraulic and electromechanical components to a company in South Africa. My partner Mr. Ernest Obi traveled to South Africa to collect the payment and that was the last i heard from him. I was given
an early retirement in 1994 and all hopes until date.

On the 18th of November, 2002 I received a parcel from a courier service, enclosed were documents of deposit of my share of the funds (14.3m) in a trunk in a security company in Europe and of a branch in Malaysia, a letter was also enclosed and was addressed from my friend Mr. obi saying he was sorry and he is now married with two kids, but he did not disclose his where about to me. I immediately contacted the Security Company and they gave me a confirmation of the trunk. I also contacted my attorney and h e assured me that he will be able to make a change of beneficiary to who ever would be able to assist me in the collection of the consignment from the company .

You are to assist me in going to Europe with all necessary documents I will forward to you and collect this consignment, open an account and then deposit this funds until my arrival in your country to do the sharing .Upon your assistance I shall offer you 20% of the funds, and 70% for me, the balance 10% will be set aside for all expenses incurred during the course of this transaction.

I will also require the under listed information to enable my attorney make a change of beneficiary to your name and also minute the company of your assistance.









With all this I will inform my attorney of your assistance and also minute the Security Company of your assistance. I will also require a letter of invitation once the funds are cleared because of my health conditions being a diabetic patient so that I can travel overseas to treat myself and then come back to Nigeria to set up my already registered oil company to take care of my family over here. I await your response to this effect, as this may be a long lasting business relationship between us.


Dr. Eze John.

Friday, June 13

So I thought I was Funny

Last night at the competition was difficult. I came away thinking I'd seriously underdelivered and completely exhausted by the whole experience. I have reviewed the tape recording of the gig and I conclude the following:

  • They wanted 8 minutes without overrunning - I gave them exactly 8 minutes (provided you're generous about how you time it - from first to last word I was dead on). I thought I'd seriously underrun.

  • The audience laughed throughout - giving me only one brief laughter break - towards the end of my routine. This is hardly surprising - I was the 11th act of 16 and I'd just mentioned that I'd be leaving the stage shortly - they were keen to move on with the evening.

  • I used a variety of different joke types and different ways to work a laugh. I'm surprised at myself.

  • I tried hard to work the crowd - a crowd that was tired. I think I made a connection.

  • I'm happier now I've heard the tape.

Competitions are hard work. Apart from the vast number of acts to be seen in one go, there's also the fact that, as a performer, you feel like you're up there with every act... so if they die, you feel like you've died with them. Tough show!

I don't know how the judges will have taken my performance, but I'm happy that it's worth continuing at this game on the back of my last performance. I reckon you're only as good as your last show, and I'm not feeling too embarrassed to do monday's gig, now I've heard how I did yesterday.

I think I'm suffering attention deficit disor

I am exhausted.

Here is a Queen lyric I've always enjoyed "My fine friend, take me with you and love me forever. My fine friend. Forever." Classic Freddie Mercury breathy delivery in a quiet bit of a song - "The Millionaire Waltz" from "A Day At The Races".

Thursday, June 12

More Updates To The Comedy

Tonight (provided the rain lets me), I'll be at the So you think you're funny preliminary round in Liverpool. On Monday, I'm doing an open spot at The Iguana Bar. Not bad for the occasional bit, snuck in between rehearsals.

Monday, June 9

Electric Fly Swat anyone? This is not a toy! Makes killing insects fun!

There are some sick advertisers out there.

Sunday, June 8

Further to my pointless limerick of the other day, I should point out that I don't plan to quit my job. However, I do plan to do a large number of things this year that are not within the office where I work. These mainly involve performances of some description. I'm in Edinburgh for the whole of the festival (the Fringe guide arrived yesterday - there's plenty to see) both watching and performing. I've got My Fair Lady at The Gala Theatre, Durham to perform at the end of this month. There are trips to make (London for a meeting on Tuesday and Liverpool for some comedy performance on Thursday) this week. There are various shows to see and gigs to perform in July too. All in all, a busy few months lie ahead.

So, how do I prepare for the glut of activity ahead? Well, this weekend was definitely the calm before the storm and I still managed to see a musical and a half. The musical was Miss Saigon in Birmingham and the half was the first Act of West Side Story (from my now-half-watched DVD).

Going to Birmingham involves some driving and Steve managed well as both company and chauffeur. Despite his arguing over the rules of CNPS, we both reached the rank of 23 together. However, to satisfy him, I independently re-reached 23 (he discounted my 22) and moved on to 24 today. Undoubtedly, he will outrank me soon enough.

I managed to spend some time in the garden before the rains came - this is good, since I did some gardening, even better since the plants can now grow better and make use of the rain, now the weeds have been removed from their light and soil. Sadly, the fence construction project has gone nowhere - I should have tackled it today, but chose sleeping and staying dry as higher priorities.

Today I did something I'd not done in a long time - a huge quantity of kitchen-based craft. I baked an apple and rhubarb crumble. The rhubarb came from the garden - a staggering 750g, rather than the paltry 250g from last year's harvest. There could possibly be more to come, now I've removed the infestation of weeds from the vicinity of the rhubarb plants. The crumble has been divided into 8 portions, and contains a total of 100g of fat (low fat margarine and all that), so hopefully I'll manage to get around to eating it all, while simultaneously not affecting my waistline. Sadly a portion of last year's entered the bin directly from the freezer without passing go and collecting 200 pounds today. I also made a pizza, which I've not done in quite some time - perhaps not more than once this year (too many time-consuming rehearsals).

Add to that the fact that I've spent much of the day washing, ironing or moving a scourer around in bowl of washing up... well, it's been a day of domestic bliss. Or a day of working as my own house-maid. I'm happy either way.

I had intended to enter a song into the UK Songwriting Contest over the course of today. I'll have to wait until next weekend to do that. Hopefully I'll have had chance to get my recording software installed by then, so I can use the laptop as a portable studio.

Updated: 24/4/2012 - I have changed the Miss Saigon link to a website that someone asked me to change it to. Follow it at your own discretion.

Friday, June 6

More random thoughts.

Last night two young ladies were debating what my job might be. One of them suggested that I was a Pole Dancer, then she suggested that I was a Drag Queen... the other young lady believed her on both occasions. However, when I'd finished strenuously denying these slights on my good nature, young lady number two said "is it something to do with computers?". Ah! Caught out! I think I preferred it when she thought I was a Drag Queen.

Should I ever decide to resign from my computer-related work, I might use this limerick I wrote for a friend yesterday:

I thought that my job would be fine
But now it's the time to resign
working for you
is completely poo
and I have had a shitty time

Not very good, but at least it scans ... well nearly!

Thursday, June 5

A series of random thoughts:

  • I am currently listening to Frank Sinatra, but the computer thinks he's Frank Sinartra. This will be the fault of the eejit, somewhere out on the interenet, who first submitted the track listing for the CD to the CD database.

  • I nearly bought a Scotch Egg last night, but stopped myself at the last minute. I vowed never to eat another sausage roll, and a Scotch Egg is materially different, but it's still a fairly evil product. Wrapping an egg in some meat - it's a recipe for unpleasant odours, either during eating, sometime later, or for life - if you're so fat that personal hygiene becomes an issue.

  • Instant coffee is not very nice. I would love an inexhaustable supply of Starbucks coconut mocha frappuccino.

  • Be careful what you ask for, you may not be able to pay for it when it's delivered.

  • Be sure your songs will find you out.

  • Never take a wheelbarrow through a revolving door... unless it's remarkably funny to do so.

  • Life is not scripted - noone can be bothered to edit it.

  • If it doesn't happen in a theatre, I don't believe it's real.

Wednesday, June 4

Looks like I had success and failure all in one go there. Check out the site to find out what the hell I'm talking about!

I'm taking the rehearsals for My Fair Lady exceedingly seriously. It's a very long show - 3 hours - with chorus numbers that had to be carefully conceived by the writers, since they were absent from the original play (Pygmalion). With good writing, excellent choreography and direction and a cast of amateurs, something needs to be in place to bridge the gap. That something should be good old fashioned practice. So I take the rehearsals very seriously. I also spend most of the time rehearsing with a huge grin on my face (unless the director requires a different expression). Indeed, one of my fellow cast members has renamed me "Mr Happy". I think she believes me to be on drugs. I am not. I am simply enjoying the whole process thoroughly. Hopefully, the Gala Theatre audiences in Durham will see the benefit.

There are only two rehearsals I may miss between now and the show. One is a definite miss, since it moved to clash with another commitment. The other is a maybe - it depends on the rail service. Hopefully I can trust this service, but if not then my day trip to London, for a stay of approximately 4 hours in the place, will turn into "journey to disaster".

Damn, damn, damn.

Be careful what you wish for.

I did an audition for the Jongleurs Stand and Deliver competition in Birmingham on Saturday. I had hoped that they'd take my audition towards the Leeds heat in July, rather than the Birmingham Heat two weeks today (which I am unable to attend). Sadly, I just received a call offering me a place in the Birmingham heat and I've had to turn it down. The first rule of being a new comedian should be never to turn a gig down. Aaaagh!

Hopefully they'll put my audition into the Leeds pile, rather than the "ungrateful bastard" pile. I guess I'll find out in 3 weeks.

Tuesday, June 3

Remember Ali? Well, he's been emailing me again. This time I received a lovely one-liner from him:

tesco is not reponsible for any damage to your luggage.

When questioned, he followed it up with this explanation:

If you remember at the start of my marketing-course i sent you several mails to make a joke etc... well now I am almost finished with my first year and i thought that it would be a splendid Idea to "bug" you again just to finish off the year the way I started it...

once again:

me and my mates dont have anything against you but we just love a little tradition if you like ;-)

I see...

Monday, June 2

This comment on overclocking made me laugh.

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