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Wednesday, October 10

Knight in Shining Vectra

I had a gig in Brummie land tonight. I got there in time to do my thing. I even managed to get there in time DESPITE taking a stupid 30 minute detour because I can't pay attention to my sat nav when I'm on a stupid roundabout and my "drive me home" instinct kicks in and I take a STUPID exit that there's no easy way back from. D'oh!

Anyway, the gig was fun and the audience were up for it. The acts got progressively better and I'd already agreed to go on last, so I had to watch the show and do my usual trick of worrying if the audience would enjoy me. If the acts before are too good then either they'll make me look crap, because they're better than me, or they'll make the audience give all their energy to laughing and leave nothing but tired people for me to work.

I should point out that I like it when other comedians rip a room. I like it when audiences have a good time, and I don't need to be the best comedian on the bill. I just worry about being capable of making the audience laugh.

I needn't have worried. This audience were lovely. They were totally up for it and I managed to give a nicely self-indulgent but largely focused performance for them. It was fun to do and that's why I do stand-up comedy. I've also learned a lot about how to make gigs fun for me, even though it's often the same-old same-old, and I got to use those tricks and that confidence in profusion tonight.

I hurried back to the car with the aim of getting home in reasonable time. I was also arranging a holiday with a friend over the phone. The sat nav said I'd be home between one and two.

Then I got the call. A friend of mine had missed her train from London. With late night links she'd have a long wait and a long bus journey and not be home until way after 4. My "lone female" instincts kicked in. It's like a "spider sense" with me. I couldn't leave her. I worked out the best place to meet her in her natural journeying onwards, and programmed the sat nav. I'd get there within minutes of her arrival.

Now, this could look like some sort of noble rescue, or like I was trying to prove a point or get something back from it, or even like I could give myself a good story to tell on this blog, or to people I want to impress. I think the "hey aren't I a good guy" bit flashed across my head, but I'm too lazy to be motivated by that. In the end, I genuinely think I was motivated by the fact that I saw it as a shared problem. I like my friends to be safe and well. This friend was facing the uncertainty of a ridiculously late lone-journey and that affected me. So, I joined in the solution.

I arrived at the station and there was no sign of my friend. I rang her. She was somewhere else in the station. We worked out that there was an underpass linking us. I talked to her as she crossed it. I heard her footsteps, I replied with a little tap dance so she could hear that it was me. Apparently she still thinks that's funny. If she knew how bad my tap dancing actually is, she'd find it even funnier.

Then we got in the car and headed a long way away. I dropped her off and headed another long way. There's nothing more to it than that. I'm basically everyone's dad. It's ace.

It's nice to look after someone. It's nice to have company on a late night drive. It's nice to have the ability and freedom to do good things. Not everyone could have done that. Not everyone could have gotten a little sleep after a long night's driving and then gone back to work and functioned well enough to be useful. I knew I could. And I did.

So... not a knight, just me.

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