Well, it's not. It's just the artificial dropping of a social boundary that usually stops us from getting into trouble as we should consider whether what we're about to do is really altogether wise. However, I'm, apparently, developing immunity to this circumspection and so I find myself acting out my thoughts. Again, on the stand-up stage, it usually gets the right reaction. In real life, it can go wrong. I think I've been lucky recently. The following scenarios could have ended worse, but my instincts and luck got me the reaction I wanted:
On A Train
I was sitting on a train, bound for London. It was last Monday. I was due at a show in Camden. I noticed some school children mucking about. It was annoying. I think that this behaviour needs challenging because children benefit from boundaries. People these days are frightened to be responsible adults around children - frightened because children can be little bastards, and also because they're frightened to look like they have too much interest in children.
I glared at the child who was swinging on the hand rail and kicking the toilet door. I said "Don't break the train". He looked back at me and protested, but actually he stopped being so monkey-like. Result.
On The Street
The following day I was walking round Newcastle's pedestrian district. A twat in a four-wheel drive, using a mobile phone, drove through these bit of paved street. He was allowed to drive through, slowly, but he was clearly an irresponsible wanker, using both his mobile phone and a big gas-guzzler of a car. Given that there's new legislation on mobile phone use, and given that I take this sort of thing seriously, I decided in an instant to have a go. As he went past, I snapped my fingers. He looked at me, I mimed a mobile phone, he started swearing at me and drove off. Result! I'd pissed off a wanker in an expensive car who thinks he's above the law. Har de fucking har.
Leaving A Gig
Last night, having had a middling reception at the gig, so uncertain of whether I could really use my comedian-post-gig-has-carte-blanche-to-say-anything-and-it'll-be-funny rights, I walked past various people, saying goodbye. Around the door, there was a group of people either side of the corridor. I pondered whether, if I jumped, they would instinctively put their arms out as a bridge to catch me. So, I ran at them and declared "Stage dive". I jumped, but landed on my feet and they laughed.
That could have been a lot more twattish than it seemed to me at the time that it was.
I don't know what they said when I'd left ear shot.
Still, at least I have the illusion that I've breezed through the last week without causing any real harm.