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Wednesday, March 14

You Wouldn't Let A Mouse Paint Your Skirting Board

Well, I just learned something. I was about to trot out the old saying about the best laid plans of mice and men often going awry. As is now becoming the norm with such things, I pondered the exact wording of the saying, who had said it, whether it was just something from a John Steinbeck novel, or, basically, what.

Well, I found out. There's a poem by Robert Burns called To A Mouse which starts with the line "Wee sleekit cow'rin' tim'rous beastie" and progresses to "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men; Gang aft a-gley". "Gang aft a-gley" - that's a phrase and a half. So, the famous quote is actually a paraphrasing of this. Why "of mice and men", well, the poem's addressed to a mouse. All this time, I wondered about the somewhat surreal suggestion that mice and men have planning in common, and it's just happenstance. If Burns had been ploughing a field and found a rabbit, then perhaps Steinbeck would have written Watership Down. No, wait, that doesn't make sense.

I think I've mined this subject enough for now.

I think we all learned something.

Onto the monotony. The plans for last night went a-gley for sure. However, the night was a success in its own way. I had originally planned to do a night's DIY, but there was a meeting in London for a Sketch Group that I help out with. They were talking about going to the Edinburgh Fringe, something that I realise I've been doing for the last 4 years. In fact, I've even produced the following shows at the Fringe (or at least paid towards the production of):
  • 2004
    • The Musical!
    • When Hedges Attack
    • Rehab's For Quitters
  • 2005
    • Wife Idol The Rivals
    • The Great Big Comedy Picnic
  • 2006
    • The Great Big Comedy Picnic
So, I guess I know a bit about the process of spending a lot of money in the name of entertainment.

I had decided that I would bracket this meeting with DIY. I went home from work at an earlier time and did an hour's painting (a little more, in fact) in my house. Then, I washed my brush (paintbrush, not a euphemism for something), walked to the station and got a train to London. I'd planned to be home by 11pm and get another couple of hours' painting and other tasks done.

The best laid plans of overweight comedians and DIY enthusiasts often gan a whoopsie (there, I've made my own). At about 9pm, someone suggested we get a round of drinks in. I left the pub at 11. I got on a train at 11.45. I was back in Reading at 12.45. I got a lift from the station home, which was nice, but the bottom line is that I had, instead of rushing back home to do some DIY, decided to have a couple of pints of strong lager (by which I do mean 2, not several), and talk bollocks with people in a pub.

I enjoyed it far more than I deserved to, the work-avoiding fool that I am.

As a result, I gave myself a little lie-in this morning.

Despite having a gig tonight, I will do some more painting once I get home.

Unless my plans "gang a-gley".

Surely not two nights running!?

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