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Friday, August 4

Bloody Friday

Today started going wrong at 4.30 when my mobile phone's battery went flat as I was trying to call someone to see if they could help drum up an audience for the show I was about to board a London train to reach. Dead phone is bad. No spare battery- I keep it in the coat that I don't wear in summer. No charger with me. No contact with the outside world, and no opportunity to fritter away a train journey in my own head space, writing.

Oh bum. However, I managed to contemplate my way through the journey, and I arrived bright and early at the theatre, even taking time to give Mr Branson some money via his virgin megastore.

I set up the theatre for our show, relying more on memory than anything else. There's a definite difference in one's approach when you reach show 4. Then I went out to flyer and didn't have a drug dealer for company this time.

The other member of the show cast who can be bothered to flyer joined me at around 6.30 and we fruitlessly handed out paper while I got increasingly patronising about how to do comedy. He seemed to take it with good grace. A smack in the face would have been a justifiable way for him to react.

Show time is 7.30. At 7.29 only two of the cast were present and of the few people in the pub, nobody had asked about tickets. I was all for jacking it in. I was also fuming that our third man could not even be bothered to turn up 5 minutes before the show let alone join in with any effort to drum up an audience.

At 7.31 he arrived. I don't know if he was stoned or if he's normally like that. I explained that I thought we should pull the show. We agreed to announce the doors being open and pull it if noone came. After a bit of being told what to say, our third man went out and made the announcement. Then we pulled the show.

I asked our latecomer to come earlier the following day. He had no idea what time it was when he arrived and seemed to think it didn't matter anyway because he'd be on last. . . Like we'd start without him even in the building. Or like it's okay for him to expect us to flyer and him not lift a finger. Maybe he has other commitments. . . But maybe I fucking do too, with a full time job and 2 hours' travel to the venue from it. Cock.

I'm not happy. I always knew this show would go pear shaped and despite some good coming out of wed and thu, it drags me down to waste my time on a pulled show. I grabbed my stuff put away what I had to and headed home.

Here's a problem. I have no power in my phone. How do I call my girlfriend and ask for a lift from the station? I don't even know the number. I live there now so effectively I don't know my home phone number. Or the number of her mobile or anyone's number. It's all in the inaccessible memory of my dead batteried phone.

Think, Ashley, what did we do before mobile phones? I went to an internet phone booth in Paddington station which annoyingly had a big brass band playing next to it, I kid you not, and inserted a pound. I wasn't allowed to dial 118118, but I was allowed to use BT's own 118500. The operator reached the dialling code of the number when my pound ran out. I swore. I'm still pissed off.

I took the train, resolving to ring on arrival or just get a taxi. I calmed myself down rabbiting at the man next to me about things. Kids, don't talk to strangers, but if you do, try not to bore them.

In Reading I put my credit card in a phone used the 118500 service and even let them connect me to the other end. It will probably have cost 5 quid and I should send a copy of the credit card bill to BT with the words 'you thieving bastards' scrawled on it in my own feces. . . Well, I wouldn't want to use anyone else's.

Back at home it came as news to my girlfriend that there are two more shows, basically killing my last weekend before I go to Edinburgh. So I'll be spending some time apologising, no doubt. It's hard to justify doing the show if it's going to be like this.

I'm currently in bed, my phone is alive again, but I'm knackered. Good night.


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